Yesterday at Gamescom, Microsoft dropped a brand new trailer for the campaign of Gears 5 — and it looks to be the most exciting, emotional, and action-packed campaign in the history of the series. I’ve always likened Gears of War to a typical summer blockbuster film. It’s fun, you shoot people, and you blow things up. The cover mechanic was revolutionary for its time and has influenced countless games to this day. The Coalition is taking a major risk, shifting the narrative of the game to Kate’s perspective rather than the Fenix crew (though they’re still involved.) It’s a huge risk but has the potential for a monumental payoff. It’s sickening that some will use this to say that The Coalition has sold out and are pandering to social justice warriors, but that takes away from the strong character that Kait is. And let’s be honest: who doesn’t like a strong female protagonist? We previewed Escape mode at E3 2019 and found it to be a lot of fun. That, in conjunction with the best campaign in Gears history, and a multitude of different multiplayer modes, is the reason why Gears 5 will be Game of the Year. Parachuting Kait. This looks incredible. Gears 5 has two main competitors for Game of the Year in 2019: Death Stranding and Modern Warfare. After yesterday’s display, Death Stranding appears to be boring with excellent cutscenes in-between. Modern Warfare is Gears’ biggest competitor, and the fact that it’s bringing back a campaign mode makes it even more of an adversary. That being said though, Gears has always had excellent campaigns, much better than Call of Duty’s. The multiplayer has always been great, but, the campaign is what is going to make or break the game, and from all indications, Gears 5 will knock it out of the park. This is a fairly weak year as everyone is preparing for next-gen, and gives Gears 5 the perfect opportunity to step into the limelight and for the series to once again reign supreme, second only to Halo, as Microsoft’s top franchise. The Locust emblem.. Much moreso than previous Gears games, this campaign seems to be highly personal. Kait is one of the best characters to ever grace the franchise and it appears her inner struggle against her “Locust” urges will be at the forefront. It’s easy to talk about multiplayer and all the various improvements that are being made, but when it comes down to it Gears has some of the best campaigns video games have to offer and will be the reason why Gears 5 will be Game of the Year. And while yes, I am a Gears fan, there’s really not that much competition. Kojima is great, but Death Stranding looks lame, especially after yesterday. Gears 5 has one game to compete with, and while it will probably sell better, Modern Warfare will not be the better game. While Halo was a bit of a disaster with its transition to 343 Industries, The Coalition has done Gears justice and one look at Gears 5 and it’s obvious they’re trying to keep the franchise fresh; they’re not simply rehashing old ideas. They’re using something familiar and something new, which is what every great developer does when crafting a game. Gears of War is back. It’s adding a fresh new element to its campaign and will undoubtedly be the best narrative in the entire Gears franchise. Kait is an interesting character who will only grow as the game goes on. The more we see of the campaign, the more convinced I am that this will be the best AAA game (just ahead of Modern Warfare) to come out this year. While the multiplayer is always full and center in the Gears franchise, the campaign is where the series always shines. If it’s as big and bombastic as Rod Ferguson claims it to be, this game will be one for the ages. In a year with light competition (yes Death Stranding will do well, but, it doesn’t look impressive), Gears 5 is poised for both greatness and recognition. As long as Kait’s story lives up to its potential, which is something The Coalition has been hyping up since the beginning, there is no doubt that Gears 5 will be Game of the Year. With such a huge and bombastic campaign, there’s no reason for it not to be 2019’s Game of the Year.