The Gears of War franchise has always been Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s God of War, Uncharted, The Last of Us, and the Infamous series. Gears of War games were marked by their superior technical prowess, fluid gameplay, gripping storyline, and easier controls.
All that changed with Gears 5, thanks to shady microtransactions that affect performance and gameplay. Microsoft now gives players the option to ‘accelerate’ gameplay progress with XP boosts that can be bought by real money.
Players who use real money will have an unfair advantage over other players who choose to go through endless grinding to achieve unlockables and earn more XP.
You can also buy Supply Drops that contain weapon skins, emotes, and customizable blood sprays. This means killing an enemy with that specific gun will leave behind a unique blood splatter, including one shaped like the Forza 7 logo.
The in-game currency that can be used to buy items is called Iron. 500 iron costs $4.99 in the digital store, 1000 iron costs $9.99, and 12,500 Iron costs $99.99.
Just to put things into perspective: grinding through 24 rankings in the Tour of Duty mode awards you only 100 Iron. Some costumes and items cost 1000 Iron, which means players can’t earn enough Iron in a week because they’ll earn only $1. You have endless more ranks to climb before you could earn enough to buy something valuable at the store.
The final insult to injury is that players can buy a Boost pack in the store that doubles your XP rewards and helps you earn more Iron. The only catch is, it costs real money.
Many gamers fear that Microsoft will be implementing a similar approach in all their first-party titles, including the upcoming Halo 6, complete with layered grinding gameplay, microtransactions, and even loot boxes.