We’re back with yet another instalment of Respawning’s Let’s Talk series, where every Friday we get every one of our charismatic writers together to discuss a new topic! Gears 5 is out now and we’ve spoken about PS exclusives enough so we thought we’d give Xbox some limelight! This week we’re chatting about exclusives and more specifically if Gears is worth buying an Xbox for?

Well I haven’t got much to say about Gears of War as I’ve never played any of them, and if you’ve ever read or listened to anything by me you’ll know I’m a Sony fanboy. So I obviously like exclusivity, it’s just the other side of it. I don’t necessarily buy PS because of the exclusives but I think the likes of Uncharted, Spider-Man and God of War are far better than what Xbox offer, I have literally no interest in their exclusives. So i guess I do think about it but it’s not the sway to buy one or another, saying that I am buying a Switch primarily for their exclusives, sooo…………..

Do games need to be exclusive to consoles?.. no but I like it, I like that certain games are on certain consoles they tend to have the best show of what a console can do. I mean look at Horizon Zero Dawn and the newly released Gears 5, both games are incredible to look at and play amazingly. Then you have Nintendo and let’s face it, they are leagues above the rest on their exclusivity front as almost every Nintendo game that comes out is a winner – Mario, metric flipping Smash Bros.. though console exclusives that is retail locked sucks!

Gears 5 –

With the next chapter of the Gears of War franchise recently releasing, its fair to say I was more than excited to see where JD, Marcus, Baird, Cole and the newly introduced characters were off to next. I’ve only had a chance to play Gears 5 (as they have now dropped the moniker ‘Of War’, from the game title this time round) for about three hours. It may not sound like a lot, but its more than long enough for the game to introduce its new mechanics and features. I now have my own version of Jack the robot, which now comes with a handy fetch feature to bring me weapons and ammo from across the battlefield, or should I say; chest high obstacle filled arenas. And this is probably where my one and only criticism comes from so far. As much as Coalition has improved the colour palette and has included more diverse locations this time round, the player is still met with the usual `Arenas’ with conveniently placed chest high obstacles. As much as I understand that’s the essence of the franchise, it would be nice to see them break the mould slightly and mix up the areas in which you encounter the enemy. Ultimately though, the game looks and plays well, with the usual amazing orchestral accompaniment and sound design you’ve come to expect from the franchise. It’s a worthy continuation of the established brand, and i’m really looking forward into what is to come.

Console Exclusivity – 
I remember when I first got my Xbox 360. And the reason I bought an Xbox 360 and not a PlayStation 3? Gears Of War. Pure and simple. A game that released as an exclusive to the Xbox. I was sold. The visual design, the visceral nature, all ticked the boxes. It wasn’t an easy transition though. A lot of my friends went the PlayStation route, and I was left to make new online squad mates. However I was happy that I was playing Gears and that’s all that mattered. Then titles like Killzone 2 started showing up on PS3 and my favour to the Xbox began to waver. I stuck with the 360 though. And now I’m a proud owner of a PS4! That’s right, Sony got me to switch, partly due to Microsoft touting the next Xbox as a `Multimedia machine’, something I saw as an insult to gamers. Now i’m inundated with exclusives, and I couldn’t be happier. I have titles such as; God Of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Spider-man, The Last Of Us and the Uncharted titles, to name just a few. I know there will be Xbox owners that will argue most of my opinions in this, and, in all honesty, good. I understand that there will always be rivalry between the console generations, but this isn’t always a bad thing. It pushes developers and manufacturers to up their game to provide the next hot exclusive, the next amazing console. And that’s a win win in my book. So, to answer the question of; where do I stand on console exclusivity? I don’t think theirs anything wrong with it. Microsoft and Sony have fans to keep happy, and it will always be that way.  

I understand first-party console exclusives; why would you release your games on competing systems, after all? But signing onto exclusivity deals doesn’t really work out the best for other companies, or the consumers. How many consoles have you bought because you simply couldn’t get a game on another platform? I’m willing to bet that, more likely than not, you just missed out and hoped it’d come to the PC or something at some point.

As for companies, is it really worth that extra money to sign up for exclusivity nowadays at any rate? We’re no longer in the era of the console wars. There’s a lot less loyalty to specific systems then there was in, say, the 90’s, so fans expect games to come out to all of them. I can’t imagine Sony or Microsoft is providing enough to make up for potentially lost sales.

But, reasoning aside, it is ultimately up to the publisher what they want to do with their properties, as disappointing as it may be to the rest of us.

I do tend to get riled up over the nature of exclusivity in video games, as I see them more from the aspect that my preferred exclusives are being held hostage. I only bought an Xbox One for the Forza Horizon and Forza Motorsport franchises, and whilst I have definitely had good value for money out of the time I have spent on each of them, I’d have been much happier just playing them on my Playstation 4.

Out of a weird sense of obligation, and Rise of the Tomb Raider’s timed exclusivity on the Xbox One, I have conceded a fair amount of times and bought non-Forza games for the Xbox. My original point still stands though, and I’d have been happy to let the console pass me by if it meant I could have whatever game I wanted on PS4!

To touch on the game that started this discussion, I played Gears 1 briefly and didn’t like it as I don’t enjoy cover shooters, and prefer to play a game where my character can be more of a bullet sponge and tank all damage.

Well for me, Gears 5 isn’t the sort of game that will convince me to go out and purchase an Xbox. That doesn’t mean I don’t think exclusives are massively important! Games like The Last Of Us, God of War and Spider-Man are the exact reason I own a PS4 over other consoles. It’s probably the most important thing that pushes me to buying a console. It’s a shame that Xbox hasn’t really had an exclusive this generation that’s made me want to pick one up but the Switch on the other hand.. Now there’s a console pumping out great exclusives and if I’m going to buy another console, it’ll be that!

Have you managed to play Gears 5 yet? Maybe it was enough to make you buy an Xbox?! Let us know in the comments below and please feel free to use the Amazon links below to purchase Gears 5 right now.

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