Gears Tactics brings a PC turn-based strategy flavor to the franchise

Gears of War has long been Microsoft's premier franchise that it uses to showcase not only its Xbox consoles but its clout in the gaming biz as well. For the majority of the game's history, Gears has mostly been comprised of third-person shooters with one or two smaller spin-offs on the side. Now Microsoft and Xbox Game Studios are making the big announcement of the franchise's biggest departure from Gears' gameplay, bringing a touch of turn-based strategy to PC gamers.

Gears is largely known for its rather bloody content and fast-paced action, the latter of which may not be so easily transferred to any other genre other than shooters. That is exactly what makes Gears Tactics intriguing in that it aims to bring those same telltale Gears qualities to a more reflective and strategic gameplay that titles like X-COM is more popular for.

Despite the novelty of playing style, at least for long-time Gears gamers, Tactics is actually a prequel, which seems to be the trend in franchises these days. The game takes place more than a decade before the first-ever Gears title but you will encounter familiar names, like the protagonist Gabe Diaz, father of Gears of War 4's Kait Diaz, and, of course, the big bad of the entire series, the Locust Horde.

Gears Tactics, which Xbox boasts to already be highly-praised by reviewers, is available for PCs both on Steam and directly on Windows 10. It's also available on the Xbox Game Pass for PC that's currently in Beta where new subscribers can get an Ultimate Pass for just $1. Those who play the game before May 4 will be able to get the Thrashball Cole Character Pack with Augustus Cole and the Thrashball Armor Set inside.

That isn't the only new Gears-related product that Microsoft is launching. A new novel, Gears of War: Bloodlines, that sets the tone for both Gears of War 5 and this new Gears Tactics is available for purchase as well. Fans who also love collecting anything Gears-related will also be able to get their hands on an Art of the Game book made especially for this new turn-based title.