Hero characters are unlockable through regular gameplay, but players can skip the grind by paying up.
The Coalition’s Gears 5 will have free post-launch multiplayer maps, no season pass and no random loot boxes or card packs for players to deal with. There will be direct routes towards earning cosmetics and other rewards but some things can still be purchased with real money. These include XP boosters and the ability to unlock characters wholesale.
Much Rainbow Six Siege, Gears 5 will provide a few “Hero” characters from the outset with others unlocked as you play more. You can skip that grind by paying up though. Speaking to GameSpot, multiplayer design director Ryan Cleven and the esports creative manager Rose Gunson said, “As new Hero characters impact gameplay, they will be both earnable and purchasable to players to maintain an equal playing field.
“Players have full visibility into the Hero Character they are selecting, and there is no randomness involved. New maps and Escape Hives will be free to all. While there are no purchasable loot boxes in Gears 5, there are earnable rewards obtained from simply playing the game. If players choose to purchase separate in-game cosmetic rewards using our premium in-game currency ‘Iron,’ they will have full visibility into what customization items they are purchasing.”
While it’s still monetization, The Coalition is ensuring that players are aware of each item they’re purchasing without random chance. We’ll see how well that fares player investment, especially given the number of changes made to multiplayer. Arcade Mode, for instance, is now all about passives, upgrades and purchasing powerful weapons when enough Skulls are accrued from kills. How will Hero characters impact this, if at all?
Gears 5 is out on September 10th for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.