In some ways, Gears 5‘s Escape mode is a subversion. This series has been so entrenched in Horde mode ever since Gears of War 2, you and all your teammates hunkered down in the, well, trenches. Stay immobile, pop up at opportune times, keep everything at a distance.

Escape is the opposite of that, but it scratches the same itch in a satisfying way. In Escape, teams of three are dropped into the center of a Locust hive. They plant a poison bomb to exterminate the hive, and then they rush away. The name is very literal.

The result is that you’re always pushing forward, because a poison cloud is always at your back. Move too slowly and you’ll inadvertently exterminate yourself. Move too quick and your teamwork might break down. There’s a balance to be struck.

Gears 5's Escape mode scratches the Gears co-op itch screenshot

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Gears 5’s Escape mode scratches the Gears co-op itch