Gears 5 made a splash with its release on Xbox One and PC Tuesday. The Xbox exclusive game fuses family melodrama with gory action, tied together gracefully by sharpened controls expected out of any modern sequel. But the third-person shooter had one major surprise at its end that stunned fans and will certainly affect the subsequent installment when it’s announced.
Gears 5 is the second Gears of War game developed by The Coalition, which took over production after Xbox Games Studios acquired the franchise from Epic Games in 2013. The Canadian developer garnered glowing reviews across the board for the title, but experimented by adding an RPG mechanic at a pivotal part of the story.
The series has never given players power to influence how the games turn out, but The Coalition took a risk with Gears 5, and the choice shocked many fans.
Full spoilers for Gears 5’s ending below.
Gears 5 follows the story of Kait Diaz (Laura Bailey). When she and her squadmates, Delmont “Del” Walker and James Dominic “JD” Fenix enter the final battle of Gears 5 Kait is faced with an impossible choice.
The team comes face to face with the queen of the Swarm, a race of hivemind creatures that are the main antagonists in the series. The matriarch is a mutated tentacled humanoid of Kait’s mother, Reyna Diaz, who was captured by the Swarm.
The Queen takes Del and JD hostage and Kait can only act in time to save one of them. Kait frees the teammate that players choose to save and watches the Queen snap the neck of the other. Regardless of what choice is made the final battle plays out the same way, but a few scenes change.
If Del Survives
Del grabs JD’s dog tags before he and Kait hightail from the clutches of the Swarm Queen. Shortly afterward, they regroup with Marcus Michael Fenix, JD’s father, and the rest of their team to continue the mission. That’s when Marcus asks where his son is.
Kait hands him JD’s dog tags and Marcus has an emotional moment and refuses to be comforted by his friends. This could affect his character in future Gears of War installments, making him colder towards his teammates or even thirsty for revenge after the loss of his son.
If JD Survives
JD grabs Del’s dog tags and escapes from the Swarm Queen. They reunite with Marcus and the team, this time JD is most shaken about the loss of Del.
Marcus embraces his son who’s at the edge of tears before continuing the mission. JD might be colder towards his teammates or also hellbent on avenging his friend.
What Does This Mean for Gears 6?
It’s possible that The Coalition will allow gamers to port their final save to the next Gears of War installment so they can begin the next game without either Del or JD.
It’s also possible that the developer will choose to go with a canon ending, making one choice effectively a bonus ending of Gears 5 instead of a choose your own adventure.
Considering that Gears 6 hasn’t even been confirmed, we doubt the Coalition knows what it plans to do with this “Del or DJ” that players will grapple with at the end of Gears 5.
Gears 5 is available on Xbox One and PC now.