Gears Comes To Mobile (Gears Pop Review)

Daniel Anderson

Now before you grab your pitchforks and torches thinking “another 7 thousand word review for Gears” relax alright. This game is much smaller in scale. Literally, it’s on mobile phones. Gears Pop is a strategy game similar to… actually, I don’t know any other game that plays like this other than RWBY Amity Arena, or the exact name of the genre, but it is a strategy game for those of us who can’t afford an XBOX or PC, and it’s family-friendly. I don’t know how you can make a game that is known for its brutality and a chainsaw machine gun “family-friendly” but, hey, it is what it is.
Like Gears 5, I was really excited for this game when it was announced alongside Gears Tactics (seriously Coalition, give us some news on that game, mechanics, design, gameplay, anything) and until that comes out, Gears Pop is the best Gears themed strategy game we’ve got. I was unaware that this game came out until my brother sent me a post on Instagram telling me that the game was out and it’s free, so because of that I’m writing this review. First I downloaded the game, then, I waited till the resource data and cache data downloaded. I haven’t been playing mobile games that long but if this is what I have to do to play Gears then I’ll stick to my console, thank you very much. Long story short, I am now able to play the game. Like Gears 5, Gears Pop throws you into the tutorial where you learn the basics of the game, deploy units and heroes, grenades, all that such. “Who is the teacher” I hear you ask? None other than that tough to kill nightmare from Gears of War 1, General Raam. After you learn the basics you can now get into character customization, you can change your Funko Pop characters head, from skin color to his/her haircut, but no matter what they still have a do-rag, torso, legs, as well as hair, skin, shirt, and do-rag color. You can also add symbols to the do-rag or shirt, as well as change the look of your name tag.
The gameplay is simple enough, your character is held up behind sandbags and defended by turrets on one end of the field while the same goes for your opponent on the other end of the field. Certain heroes, such as Marcus Fenix, the Locust Drone, and the Lancer Gear, for example, take cover to help advance your deployment field and won’t move to the next until the piece of cover their on is fully captured. If a hero character is spawned in the middle of the field, they will run to the nearest piece of cover and stay there for a few seconds before moving on. Frontline characters are a different matter, of course, They ignore cover and attack the nearest enemy unit or defense until they die so positioning and timing are critical. Grenades so far fall under Frag and Ink. Frag grenades are used to destroy groups of enemies and damage defenses in the back of the field, while Ink grenades slowly damage enemies and fortifications within a certain area and time limit, use them wisely. And you can’t just spam units, you have to wait until your power bar recharges, the more power you have, the more powerful the unit you want to spawn, proceed with caution. The Ultimate ability is used to spawn an E-hole or Kestrel to support your characters, but they don’t last long and need a cooldown period every time you use them. If the match takes too long the game goes to sudden death mode, which means whoever destroys their enemies fortification (or the enemy in general) wins the game. The winner is also rewarded a loot box for each win…yay? You can open these winnable loot boxes using Locust Crystals, an in-game currency that is as easy to get as Iron in the game.
Horde is honestly not what I expected, instead of fighting wave upon wave of C.O.G. and Locust forces alike, it’s two players going up against General RAAM with whatever items they have equipped. All you need is to be part of a crew, which in my opinion is stupid because if my friends weren’t available I would want to tackle Horde alone, or with randoms. Also to win at Horde mode, you have to defeat RAAM not once, not twice, but three times to beat a match. Unlike Horde from the consoles, you don’t fight for survival, but for victory. Why would I want to fight for victory in a game mode called “Horde” which is a survival game type? Why can’t I just position troops alongside fortifications and lay traps to slow the enemy down? I didn’t even get into the microtransactions yet. This game is Pay-To-Win, with the purchase of Iron funding your crystals, (or the other way around) to get more loot boxes, or characters and items. You also need a certain amount of these items to upgrade said item but you need to use Iron to do so. I honestly can’t blame the Coalition for doing this as the game is free to play and is on the Google Play store.
All and all, this is a fun game to play 7/10. Yes it has it’s issues, and may not be like the Gears of old but until Gears Tactics comes out this is the best strategy game that Gears fans have. Tell me what you guys think. Do you like it? Hate it? Do you prefer the third-person shooters, or are you just waiting for Gears Tactics to come out? That’s all for now, leave a comment and I’ll see you all on the field.