Now that Gears Tactics has been released, many of you are probably looking forward to sinking your teeth into this tactical adventure by Splash Damage (and you should, here's our review explaining why). If you're used to the genre it's fairly easy to get started (and if so we also recommend playing on a higher difficulty), but for all you Gears of War fans out there who usually enjoy trigger-happy gun battles and huge amounts of (absolutely necessary) violence, there are a few things to bear in mind with the shift of perspective.
Therefore, we have now whipped up eight handy little tips that will make your first steps in the game much easier. Here we go!
• Use Combos - Gears Tactics has a very clever combo system where there are several ways to get extra actions, and this is something you should always keep in mind. For example, sending someone on a suicide run into the middle of an enemy horde can sometimes give all your other characters the options they need to wipe out every last threat, and also provide additional actions. It is therefore extremely important to have each unit act at the right moment, that way you will be able to do great things every time it's your turn. What's more, by chainsawing a screaming locust to death, you are not only contributing to an enemy being killed in a satisfying manner but also towards receiving extra bonuses. Often these come down to getting extra health, not only to the person who performed the execution, but for the whole team, and it can also give you additional actions. So, there is a lot more at stake than just cool cutscenes.
• Do Not Enable Overwatch Prematurely - This relates to the previous point. Overwatch is, as you probably know if you're a tactics fan, an absolutely indispensable tool in games like this, as it allows each character to perform actions during their opponent's round. The more actions you have left, the more you have in overwatch. But if you're planning on giving your characters extra actions via the aforementioned combos, then it may be an idea to wait as you can't change this decision once you've made it. When the character you intend to use has received all bonus actions, only then is it time to position them and then spend the rest on overwatch. This is usually far more effective than having a lot of overwatch moves for less well-positioned units.
• Check the Battlefield From Every Angle - It may sound like a no-brainer, but don't forget to check the battlefield frequently. It is easy to miss buildings that you can enter, hidden loot, and above all knowledge of where there is hidden cover that someone might hide behind. Don't just pan around the battlefield, rotate it so you really have a good idea of what to expect from the enemy and where it might be good for you to position your units.
• Everyone Has a Gun - When the enemies get a little too close, it's easy to end their lives with your lancer, gnasher or whatever you're armed with. But just like in the Gears of War games, all characters also have a sidearm, and it's more than just your 'Interrupting Shot'. Instead of having to reload in pressurised situations, it's often better to use your sidearm as it offers precision up close and does surprisingly decent damage. That way, you can save the ammo in your main for more important moments and reduce the amount of reloading you'll have to do.
• Choose Your Troops with Care - It's easy to use your favourites, the units with the highest levels every time, but that will make things harder for you down the line, especially during more tricky levels. If you want hard-to-reach loot, you can, for example, use your snipers or, even better, your scouts (who, with smart levelling up, can have multiple actions at their disposal). This makes it possible to both pick hard-to-access gear, and still not leave someone unprotected. And if you have missions where certain objectives have to be protected, it is significantly better to use your heavy units as they can easily barricade themselves in and make it almost impossible for the enemy to advance. Make sure you have strong characters in each class, and that way you'll have all the tools you need at your disposal.
• Don't Forget the Grenades - Guns are great and all, but frag grenades are absolutely priceless and can knock out several enemies if they're clustered together, close 'emergence holes', and blast obstacles out of the way. We also think that grenades are one of the best ways of dealing with enemies with overwatch turned on because, after all, an enemy that you've just blown to smithereens is a lousy guard.
• Kill All Snipers - We hate snipers. This applies to pretty much every game that exists, too. Cowardly and immoral, we would say. And to top it all off, incredibly effective. Gears Tactics is no exception, and when snipers start to emerge, it quickly becomes difficult. Fortunately, a dead enemy is a poor aim, so be sure to kill those guys first. If you have snipers and/or scouts yourself, let them get their hands dirty.
• Make Your Meaningless Characters Perform a Striptease - You will pick up significantly more characters in Gears Tactics than you actually need; make sure to recruit everyone you can and then strip those you don't intend to use of their valuables. This includes helmets and anything else you can make use of - every little helps. The chances are you will be able to utilise some of what you get from them for characters you actually want to play with.
Hopefully, those tips and hints will help you get to grips with Gears Tactics. Check out our video review below to find out more.