Gears 5 was a very solid entry in the franchise and a vast improvement over 4. When I heard Gears 5 was getting DLC I was intrigued to see what it would be – it’s safe to say, Hivebusters doesn’t disappoint! It’s more shooting & more explosions (granted, over very quickly!). Hivebusters can be finished in 3 hours. Within that 3 hours, you will have lots of fun, so it’s not too bad that it’s on the short side. As it’s in Game Pass as well, it’s even better! This time though, it doesn’t focus on the main characters. We’re introduced to a new team named “Scorpio Squad”, which consists of Keegan, Mac and Lahni. As this is a Gears game, they have the usual bickering between combat, arguments and by the end, become friends.
The downside to it being short is that this new bunch of characters don’t get allot of time to develop. As it sounds like we will find out more, the DLC is over and it’s a shame because I sense these could be great characters to add to Gears growing cast. Mac, being my favourite of the new trio, he certainly gets more lines and has the biggest reason to want to end the swarm – however I wont spoil that for you, so go play to find out! What Hivebusters does different to the main game and previous Gears games is encourage you to use different weapons more often and more frequently. As much as we all love the original lancer with chainsaw every turn, it feels like you have another choice. Torque bow to the side or a Boomshot – I even ran into Tri-shot far more than I would expect. Due to this, it creates more variation in the fights and more explosions, which Gears as a franchise always delivers on, leading to good solid combat which is enjoyable from start to finish.
Hivebusters mixes the franchise combat up further which each character having a unique ability. Mac can bring up a shield, bringing a breather and a chance to get that perfect reload. Keegan can drop an ammo box which tops up your ammo and also your team mates. Lahni has an electric ability which allows her to hit enemies back and do melee damage using electric blades. All of the abilities recharge and during the game you will collect glowing orange rocks that improve them further. The rocks are never explained in detail, they just glow and it somehow gives a bonus. We all love the mystic rock!
Just briefly moving onto the graphics side of the game. As we all know, Gears 5 was stunning and as this uses the same engine, so it’s just as good. The DLC is set between islands and going under ground, which does bring a different look and mixes the games visuals up. The island itself is very pretty. I played this on Series S and the console never ceases to amaze me at how much it can handle for such a tiny box. I would recommend this is picked up as its allot of fun whilst introducing something different to the main game.
Gears 5: Hivebusters is out now on Xbox Series X|S and PC, and available through Game Pass.