Metacritic (81) | OpenCritic (81)
Eurogamer (no score):
There are moments in which Tactics does manage to be the successful marriage between Gears of War and XCOM that you might have hoped for, but as a whole package, I'm not convinced it's ever quite as good as that. I applaud it for experimenting with some brand new ideas, as well as providing another solid entry point into the turn-based strategy genre for those who've not been convinced in the past. But with the likes of Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2 having paved the way before this, Tactics had some big shoes to fill and not even Sid Redburn (who looks to be a size 16, at least) could quite manage it for me. But that execution mechanic! What a fantastic idea.
Polygon (no score):
This is a near miss, but as anyone who has ever played a turn-based game will tell you, a near miss can be all the enemy needs to take you out. This is an interesting, but hardly essential, addition to the Gears family.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun (no score):
So, in conclusion. This is 100% a Gears Of War game, that also happens to be a top flight strategy effort. Arguably the best of its kind on the market, in fact, despite a bit of trouser trouble. It’s a spectacular thing to play through, and it’d be more than enough to merit the fifty quid price tag if it deleted itself on completion. Thankfully, however, the replay value is much greater than you’d expect. There’s the randomised side missions, for a start. And even for the linear-ish story missions, the massive spread of subclasses and squad compositions allow for way more playstyles than you can feasibly test out in one run. Plus you can play them on “veteran” mode after one completion, offering a new suite of game rule modifiers to present you with fresh challenges. It’s the first game in ages that gave me the urge to start a second playthrough in the same session as my first completion, which says a lot.
Echo Boomer (no score, loved, review in Portuguese):
The revolutionary cover-based shooter gets adapted into a turn-based game, that still gets the fun, the action bits, the chaos and the adrenaline that defined the series.
ACG (buy, video review)
Tactics is a fantastic conversion of Xbox’s iconic franchise into a more thoughtful gameplay setting. It’s a spin-off that takes everything Gears is known for and masterfully retools it for an engrossing strategy game that we’ll likely be playing for years to come. With a Locust enemy that’s finally more imposing than General RAAM and a lovable cast of characters, it’s also a game that continues to tell an epic, cinematic story that strategy games have never had the budget to do before. This is everything you love about Gears, you just have to think a bit more.
All my quibbles are on the periphery of Gears Tactics, though. The core -- getting onto the battlefield and agonizing over every move -- is excellent. There's a smart experience here, one that feels both authentically Gears and tactics. That's the best possible outcome. Gears Tactics is a great Gears game and a great tactics game. This 90% doesn't miss.
Gears Tactics is a stellar tactics game that still manages to feel like the Gears you know and love. With a solid story, addictive RPG systems, and dozens of hours of gameplay, this is a must-play for any fans of turn-based strategy games or the Gears franchise in general.
Gaming Nexus (9/10):
Gears Tactics is definitely different than what Gears fans are accustomed to, being a tactical-style game, but I think it fits the genre pretty well. If you've ever wondered what Gears would be like outside of the main series, Gears Tactics shows that it does pretty well in a tactical-style.
Critical Hit (9/10):
Gears Tactics isn’t just one of the biggest surprises of the year, it’s a vulgar display of power starring everyone’s favourite beefy boys in a bloody new direction that’ll test your trigger fingers with pure heavy mental action.
Gears Tactics is the best Gears of War game since the original trilogy came to a close.
Great storytelling, solid characters, impressive performance and subtle changes to the formula set by XCOM create the impressive spinoff title that is Gears Tactics.
Xbox Tavern (9/10):
Gears Tactics is better than the sum of its parts. It recreates classic Gears in a reverent and relevant way and adds its own flavour with some great new characters and new mysteries surrounding the locust. I look forward to playing this on Xbox in the near future, but for now I can absolutely recommend the game on PC. It’s deep, satisfying, and incredibly faithful and authentic.
With such appreciation shown to the roots of the whole franchise, as well as the courage to take the old settings of emergence day and make it something we’ve not experienced before, Gears Tactics is a reminder that Gears of War is an excellent example of world building that transcends being genre specific, and despite borrowing some staple gameplay elements from XCOM and other turn based strategy games, is a blast to play and an awesome strategy game in its own right.
IGN Spain (9/10, review in Spanish):
Gears delves into the Turn-based strategy genre with a game extremely faithful to the core saga, fun shootings that keep the essence of those played in the third person, but somewhat repetitive after a few hours.
Geek Culture (8.8/10):
Gears Tactics delivers signature over-the-top action in a brand new genre that not only works, but succeeds spectacularly.
Spaziogames (8.7/10, review in Italian):
Gears Tactics feels like a natural step for the franchise, and the best game since The Coalition has been given control over the series.
Gears Tactics is, simply put, an excellent turn-based tactics game that stands up well against titles like XCOM and others at the top of the genre. While it has some slight issues, such as disappearing characters and a story that can best be described as "more Gears of War", the character development is better than the series' average and most importantly, it makes slight changes to the genre that make it a tactical joy to play. From extensive character customisation letting you specialise characters and teams, to gameplay tweaks, like adding a slight movement boost if you end in cover or removing the idea of a movement and attack phase of a character, Splash Damage has created one of the best RTT games in quite a while.
While XCOM comparions are front of mind, I’d be remiss not to compare Gears Tactics to the likes of Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2. I honestly, and easily, prefer Tactics to Wars, with the latter’s all-too-similar units and overreliance on vehicles a detriment rather than a bonus. While Gears Tactics has some refining to do, it’s hard not to recommend, especially when free to those with an Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription… and later this year, those with an Xbox Game Pass for console subscription too.
Gamers Heroes (85/100):
Everything about Gears Tactics screams quality, and it’s easily one of the best debut titles this genre has seen in years. It’s nearly time for X-COM to step aside – this genre just went up a Gear.
Game Informer (8.5/10):
Stilted pacing blunts some of the aggressive joy in Gears Tactics, but I still walked away impressed. At the heart of any engaging tactics games is the sense of emergent moments, where careful skill usage and planning leads to clutch wins. Taking control of a squad of COG soldiers in this adventure, I repeatedly encountered those moments, along with the thrill of a narrow victory. This is a solid new front in the Gears theater of war, and one worthy of additional opportunities to grow.
From the rushing melee-based Creepers to exploding Tickers to enemy snipers that can pin one of your squad members into place, there’s diversity in how each firefight plays out.
Worth Playing (8.5/10):
Gears Tactics is a solid turn-based strategy game that has something for genre veterans and newcomers alike.
Gears Tactics is a great fit for the IP and its gameplay complexity matches – and sometimes surpasses – that of other long-established IPs in the genre.
Gears Tactics is turn based excellence, a strategy title that takes the Gears of War franchise in an interesting new direction.
PC Gamer (83/100):
Clever combat abilities and brutal executions translate Gears of War into a deep, fast-paced strategy game.
Hobby Consolas (82/100, review in Spanish):
Gears Tactics reinvents the saga moving from shooter to tactical strategy. It keeps the essence of third-person shooter, it's fast, wild and fun, despite some boring side missions.
Gears Tactics is an excellent turn-based tactics game that does a fantastic job of melding Gears’ famous style and action with the mechanics laid down by XCOM. It’s one intense and satisfying tactical battle after another, and it looks absolutely fantastic doing it. It does slightly wear out its welcome with too much of a good thing in its Gear-grinding side missions, and due to the lack of larger strategic decisions I don’t see it as being as replayable as its tactical role model. Even so, it’s an excellent campaign that leaves a great impression with some clever, Gears-appropriate original ideas.
Though Gears Tactics wears itself a little thin by the end of its protracted campaign, the rush of pulling together a victory from the jaws of defeat carries an exciting, chaotic energy. Unlike most strategy games, playing well doesn't necessarily make you feel like a mastermind, so much as though you've cheated death. Every successful plan, even a last-ditch effort, feels like a small stroke of genius. That's no small feat.
Despite its rather shallow endgame and pace-slowing side missions, Gears Tactics is Gears of War like you’ve never experienced it. A blend of excellent gameplay and a compelling story that feels true to the Gears universe is guaranteed to turn the COGS of series veterans and newcomers alike. Gears Tactics should be on the radar of all Gears fans, even those entirely new to the tactics genre.
Tactics is an accomplished, action-packed alternative to XCOM that genre fans will certainly appreciate – especially those looking for a larger-scale experience than the recently released Chimera Squad. It also lays a promising foundation for the Gears of War series – which is possibly feeling tired in the shooter space – to grow in a new genre it’s clearly suited to.
Windows Central (4/5):
Gears Tactics is tied together nicely with some epic set-pieces, stunning, well-optimized visuals, and hey, it's on Xbox Game Pass for PC, which in some ways makes it a no-brainer to at least try. While I think this one could have done a lot more to evolve its macro-level progression layer, the minute-to-minute combat is some of the best I've experienced in the genre.
Effectively blending the Gears of War universe with strategy gameplay, Gears Tactics is a fast-paced experience that succeeds on both fronts.
The game offers a solid experience of squad customization and tactical turn-based battle, but still keeps some of the most satisfying head explosions to ever come out of an action game.
There's a sense that this is Splash Damage and The Coalition playing to the crowd with Gears Tactics. It undoubtedly captures the look and feel of the Gears universe, squeezing it into a slick turn-based tactical game, but while I can see a few genre fans attracted to its more cerebral form of warfare, it's the series fans who are going to get the most out of it.
Gameblog (8/10, review in French):
Gears Tactics is a nice surprise. If you like the XCOM genre, there's a lot of fun waiting for you. It's beautiful, epic and clever in its gameplay mechanics. And you dont need be familiar with the Gears saga to appreciate it. But if you are, it's definitely a treat.
On the gameplay front, Gears Tactics nails the transition from high octane shooter to tactical strategy. You'll be hooked even as you grind through an overlong campaign filled with repetitive missions.
Gears Tactics marries classic Gears of War elements with engaging tactical combat. It's not as deep as X-Com, but this is a unique, enjoyable tactical game with a lot of depth that should entice fans of both Gears and X-Com.
Gears Tactics takes the intense third-person action of the console game into the realm of PC-centric turn-based tactical strategy.
The gap between Gears and the isometric strategy genre popularized by XCOM isn't that wide, based around cover and squad action. Gears Tactics finds its niche by leaning further into the hyper-aggressive action and gore of the franchise. It throws tons of enemies at you, which forces you to move and keeps you on your toes, but can also become annoying and tedious in some missions. For a first-time outing though, Gears Tactics is a fantastic start.
TrueGaming (8/10, review in Arabic):
Maybe some missions felt repetitive and the overall structure felt linear without branching options to advance, but the combat in Gears Tactics is amazing and it can even rival the amazing XCom.
Glitched Africa (8/10):
Gears Tactics is one of the best tactical games on the market. It delivers a challenging and unique approach to the series. As for replayability, it offers hours of intense gameplay, fantastic boss fights and a large emphasis on an end-game modifier experience. You don't want to miss this.
Gears Tactics is a great game that is sure to delight fans of the series. More hardcore gamers will find it a little lightweight to be considered an XCOM rival.
Gears Tactics is a fantastic strategy game. The character classes, with their unique abilities and complex progression trees, offer up a deep strategic meta. Complex and different enemy types add to this along with tremendous boss battles that radically shake up the gameplay. However, tedious side missions get in the way of the fun and slow the story to a crawl, while Gabe Diaz and the crew are somewhat uninspiring and lack the charisma of other characters from the Gears franchise. Still, if you're after a well-constructed and deeply thought out strategy title that can keep you busy for hours on end, Gears Tactics should definitely not be missed.
The Games Machine (8/10, review in Italian):
Gears Tactics is not only a pretty good turn-based tactical game, but it also manages to keep the typical feeling of the Gears of War series unchanged.
Game Revolution (4/5):
Gears Tactics makes a wonderful addition to the franchise, and I hope that it spins off as its own series.
Cerealkillerz (7.8/10, review in German):
Gears Tactics successfully injects the brutal acion of the Gears of War Series in a tactical environment with phenomenal boss fights and gory executions but runs itself in the ground with a repetitive mission structure and a lot of missing variety in many departments. Even newcomers of the Genre will soon have a desire for more.
Staying true to the franchise, your Gears are brutal killing machines who live in a soap opera. We'll add that it's also rare to find a tactics game which makes you feel powerful but vulnerable at the same time, and that's worth a lot.
New Game Network (72/100):
Gears Tactics is a worthwhile spinoff that does a great job of integrating key franchise elements into a different genre. The story is shallow and the missions get quite repetitive, but fans of turn based tactics should get some gory fun out of this one.
Gears Tactics is a smart, fast, and aggressive strategy game that's in need of a little more variety.
Its core combat is probably better than XCOM's. If only it did a little more with it, Gears Tactics would be one of the greats.
Press Start (7/10):
As a spin-off, Gears Tactics has strong core gameplay, but unfortunately surrounding areas in the design hold it back from being greater.
Hardcore Gamer (3.5/5):
Despite some stumbles, Splash Damage has successfully taken the essence of the Gears franchise and transferred it into a turn-based strategy game. Gears Tactics is a true Gears title with a campaign that builds and expands the franchise’s lore, all while introducing new characters and adding new wrinkles to old ones. The turn-based gameplay fits well within the universe, providing plenty of strategy both on and off the field. Combined with some genuinely excellent main missions, Gears Tactics comes together nicely. It does frequently stumble thanks to the repetitive and frequent side quests that vastly hurt the pacing, but remains a joy to play throughout its many hours. Gears Tactics is a solid turn-based game that’ll make Gears and tactics fans happy.
Screen Rant (3.5/5):
It's probably not the best turn-based squad tactics game nor the best Gears of War title out there, but Gears Tactics is an impressively solid adaptation of the beloved Xbox franchise, proving that The Coalition is capable of bringing out the best of the couch co-op classic while continuing to take risks. Its pacing leaves something to be desired and it borrows as many genre ills as it does strengths, Gears Tactics is mechanically and thematically engaging from the start of its long campaign to its end and does its inspirations justice. It isn't at all inaccessible to newcomers while also taking care to pay respect to veterans of the franchise and other squad tactics games, and fans of both will be absolutely enamored with Gears Tactics.
Rocket Chainsaw (3.5/5):
While it doesn’t quite have enough tricks up its sleeve to remain engaging throughout its 40-hour main story, it’s still a creative, interesting new take on the franchise that’s worth a look for any fan after something a bit different.
Ultimately, Gears Tactics may be inviting to someone who wants a bridge between robust strategy and high octane excitement. However, veteran strategy game players may find this game a shallow ride.
Despite the necessary rules and stricture of turn-based strategy, the action feels just as chaotic and unpredictable as any trophy match Cole played in his sporting days.