Short and sweet, Gears 5: Hivebusters DLC delivers an epic three-hour campaign experience that hit the mark of what made the Gears of War series a staple on Xbox consoles. This DLC strays away from the likes of Kait Diaz or even Marcus Fenix and gives players a look at the mayhem that the Scorpion Squad has to face.
The Scorpion Squad was introduced to players in the Gears 5 Escape mode. The characters are individuals with varying personalities; Leslie Macallister, Lahni Kallisto, and Jeremiah Keegan are the characters that players can play as. Just like Escape, each character has their own unique ability. For instance, Keegan provides ammo resupply for the squad, Kallisto has a knife that, when activated, will shock enemies during melee attacks, and Macallister provides an energy shield to protect the team.
The banter between the squad helps move the story along in a great way that helps create a dynamic atmosphere. The Coalition does an amazing job of creating a sense of urgency with each level. Every mission helps build a sense of urgency especially when a familiar face is seen during the cutscenes. Each character has their own backstory that will grow round out well by the end of the campaign.
The team finds themself on the ironically beautiful island of Galangi to fend off the Locust enemies. Each firefight presented during this journey is intense, and the Coalition does a great job of telling a story through the firefights. Each battle brings a sense of wondering if the team will continue as the Locusts becoming overwhelming to the squad. The Locust enemy types vary, bringing something unique to the table, which makes the battles more interesting. When the idea that a fight may be over a few moments later, Macallister makes a comment, and then there are more enemies on the way.
It is evident that Hivebusters was created with 3-player co-op in mind, especially if you want to use either Lahni or Keegan, as activating Macallisters shield can become a nuisance when he is AI-controlled. The game simply works a lot better with 3-players; any other option can be quite annoying. Even though you are placed in a jungle, the exploration is limited compared to the Gears 5 base game; this experience is more linear.
A lot of storytelling potential was left out as this DLC plays more on the Escape mode when you reach the campaign’s end. The Coalition did a great job telling the story but left a lot to be desired from each character. There is easily enough moments here for the Scorpio Squad to receive a Halo 3: ODST like an expansion instead of a three-hour campaign to get players interested in Escape mode.
Overall this DLC is a great showpiece for what the Gears series is and also a graphical showcase of what the Xbox Series X is capable of.