After that whole loot box debacle in Gears 4, Gears 5 won’t have a season pass, random loot boxes, or gear packs. Instead, the player will always know exactly what they’re earning or buying. If it’s earnable, you can’t purchase it, except when you can.
Speaking to GameSpot, Gears 5 multiplayer design director Ryan Cleven said that customisation rewards will fall under three groups; earnable, purchasable, and free.
The new structure is built to respect player choice: earnable items are not purchasable, purchasable items are not earnable, and free items are only free.
For the most part.
Heroes in Gears 5 are treated differently, apparently to “maintain an equal playing field”. I’m not sure how that reasoning works, but okay. In the various multiplayer modes, each Hero has different skills and abilities that impact gameplay and some might be better at certain modes than others. You will be able to grind in-game to earn new Heroes or you can purchase them with Iron, the premium in-game currency.
How frustrating this ends up being probably depends on what you have to do to earn a new Hero and how much of an advantage the new Heroes impart on the player. I imagine it could get pretty annoying if a bunch of people purchased a superior character and dominated because they have spare cash to spend on a game.
If you want to get a glimpse of Gears 5 before it’s released, the second tech test will run from 26 – 29 July. You can access the test if you subscribe to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Xbox Game Pass for PC, or have preordered the game from the Windows Store.