Gears of War 5 was finally announced this year during E3 2018, and it's dropping the "of War" portion of its title for the simplistic Gears 5. The title isn't the only thing that's changing this time around, either. For the first time in the series, female character Kait is taking everyone on a mission that's all about her. It's going to be a pretty big departure for the series, and an important development for the games as a whole.
Corporal Kait Diaz (pronounced "Kat"), who made her first appearance in Gears of War 4, is the daughter of Reyna Diaz and the niece of Oscar Diaz. Kait was an integral part of Gears of War 4 as a part of a group of Outsiders including J.D. Fenix (son of Marcus Fenix and Anya Stroud) and Delmont "Del" Walker, two former COGs who ended up straying from the government's militia. The trio were the main focus in-game as they faced off against a new threat to humanity.
Gears 5 re-introduces Kait, but it's clear that much has changed until we saw her and the rest of the squad. While J.D. was previously the poster child for Gears of War 4, Gears 5 puts Kait front and center. The first footage we've seen of the game finds Kait about to take part in some sort of rescue mission, but a death sends her into a spiral of depression. J.D. himself is far more weathered than when we last saw him, and it's unclear exactly what Kait has gone through between the previous game and this one.
Kait has been dealing with some particularly dark nightmares, and the trailer shows her asking Marcus Fenix, the central protagonist from Gears of War through Gears of War 3, for help. She hands him a necklace her grandmother gave her featuring the Locust symbol, implying that her grandmother could potentially be the leader of the Locust herself, Myrrah.
Marcus imparts to her that she may want to head "north" for the answers to the questions she's been facing as well as her nightmares. When she gets with J.D. about the situation weighing heavily on her mind, he's not on board with what she's putting down, so it looks like the journey may instead feature Kait, Marcus, and Del as they work to unravel the secrets behind Kait's pilgrimage.
Gears has always been an excellent third-person shooter series with female characters like Anya Stroud to help punctuate the narrative, but this is the first time a woman has been at the forefront. It's not like we needed a woman to lead the charge, but as always, it's cool to get a different perspective from characters we just don't end up hearing much about. It can be likened to swapping in Spartan Kat in for her own personal Halo title instead of giving her a little time in Halo: Reach.
Currently, Gears 5 is targeting a 2019 release, along with two spinoffs in the form of Gears Pop and Gears Tactics. There's no word on whether Kait will appear in either game, but hopefully she becomes something of a mainstay in the series going forward. She's an important part of the team, and brings a new and interesting perspective to the table that we can't wait to hear more about.