It's nearly time for the first widespread hands-on with Gears 5. It comes this weekend via an alpha technical test for all Xbox Game Pass subscribers on both PC and Xbox One. Heads are gonna roll.
A few days ago, we learned that this multiplayer stress test will feature the new Arcade Deathmatch mode. Today, developer The Coalition explains how Arcade Deathmatch works. It's a mode that counts kills, as the first team to stack 50 bodies is the winner. However, the "Arcade" part of the name comes into play in an interesting way.
As this trailer demonstrates, players accrue skulls by getting kills and assists. These skulls functionally act as a currency. They're used to buy more powerful weapons; naturally, the better the weapon, the more expensive it'll be.
It's a fun angle that could turn the tide of battle at any moment. As the trailer points out, anyone can spend skulls at any time. A strategic purchase in the middle of a firefight could give you the firepower you need to come out alive. Also, skulls aren't tied to any sort of killstreak. They're permanently banked until you spend them.
It seems as though no one will be able to accuse Gears 5 of lacking for things to do. Campaign, cooperative play, Horde mode, the new Escape mode, and competitive multiplayer which is even getting new game types -- it's a lot. Who knows if this Gears will be better than ever, but it's undoubtedly bigger than ever.