Escape Mode in Gears 5 is a new game mode that’s meant to test you in different ways, namely in your ability to manage resources, your propensity to survive, and your skills as a team player. Escape is widely different from the Horde Mode. Instead of fighting against waves of enemies while hunkered down in a place, you are meant to invade the enemy base, destroy it and escape.
We have prepared a guide to help you through this new and unique game mode, breaking down all its features and changes from the traditional campaign and horde mode.
Gears 5 Escape Mode
The mode features 3 unique characters, all of whom have unique attributes, bringing something different to the battlefield.
The mode begins with the 3 characters being captured by a Snatcher and being inserted into a pod; little does the Snatcher – or the rest of your enemies – know, this is all part of the plan.
After escaping from the snatches, you plant a gas bomb and begin to make your escape while simultaneously taking out every enemy that crosses your path. The gas serves as a constant force against you, pushing you towards the escape area so that you don’t stay in one place for too long.
Each character has a passive and super ability. Your goal, as the player, is to utilize these abilities to their maximum potential, working alongside your teammates so as to get the best results. The following will explain each character’s abilities:
- Jeremiah Keegan: A Corporal in the Coalition of Ordered Governments, and a veteran of the Locust War, he is the leader and support of the group. As a support, he has the passive ability to buff his teammates’ unique powers; once ready (once it’s no longer in cooldown) Keegan can activate his super ability – dropping additional ammo for all his teammates (may not sound like much but you’ll understand its true value in a little bit).
- Leslie ‘Mac’ Macallister: After having his hometown destroyed, Mac is out for revenge! He’s the team’s tank, meaning he can take far more hits than the other two; his passive ability is connected to his innate trait to absorb hits – it recharges his super. His super allows him to create an impenetrable barrier in front of him. Using this, the team can safely move forward without the threat of dying.
- Lahni Kaliso: A Scout and part of the Coalition of Ordered Governments, she, too, is a veteran of the Locust War. Her passive abilities allow her to get a pilfer pickup once every 1-in-5 kill; her super gives her access to a supercharged Electroblade attack, something that can kill enemies in 1 hit.
In previous games, you had the option of choosing to play on Normal, Casual or Hardcore difficulty; they’ve changed that. Now available to you are the following difficulties: Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced, and Insane. These also apply to the playable difficulty in Escape.
As you’d expect, the harder the fight, the more you’ll be rewarded. Completing a level on the Insane difficulty will yield more experience points and rewards (such as Skill Cards), all of which will contribute to your rise through the ranks.
I would recommend that you don’t try to power through each level of Escape Mode to reach the Master difficulty (the most brutal levels of Escape Mode). Unless you’re an absolute beast, you’re bound to perish.
Instead, what I recommend is that you try to level up your characters as much as possible. Much like the Modern Warfare multiplayer, you can level up your character, giving you extra slots to add in more perks.
As you progress through the levels, while simultaneously buffing up your character, you unlock ability cards (they can vary in rarity). By completing Escape Runs, you can actually earn duplicates of each card; trading those cards in can upgrade the ability of yours.
The harder levels offer a chance of gaining an even rarer card, but don’t adopt a ‘gung ho’ mentality and go in guns a-blazin’. You need to understand that the way to the top requires a lot of hard work and dedication. So start out small, get some neat abilities, buff up your guys and, slowly but surely, you’ll get there!
Teamwork is the Key!
You’re not Rambo, let’s get that out of the way. You’re not going to solo the Swarm; you’re most likely going to die if you try something boneheaded like that. You are part of a team, so you need to be a team player!
Stick together, have each other’s backs, and understand your role. As mentioned earlier, each character has their own unique traits, so you need to pick a character that you feel you can make the most of. With whom you can assist your team the most.
If you pick Mac (the tank) then get to the frontlines and act as a defensive barrier for your team; if you’re Keegan (the support) remain close to the rear and keep providing your team with the support they need; and if you’re Lahni (the scout) then get as close as possible to the enemy! It’s all about making up for each other’s flaws, becoming a stronger unit to get out of the whole thing alive.
Remain close to one another at all times. If an ally is downed, don’t panic. Get to them ASAP and help them back up. Even if they die, you can revive them later on by finding their Swarm pod; try to avoid this scenario as things get incrementally tougher with fewer people on your side.
This section can be summed up in one sentence: you’re in a team, don’t just think of yourself!
Weapons and Ammo
Ammo is an invaluable commodity that’s in short supply in this mode. You are not likely to find too much ammo strewn about, especially on higher difficulties. So understand that not every member of the team can carry the same gun – you’ll just end up fighting over on who gets the ammo for it.
Rather, try to pick a different weapon from your teammates, that way you’ll more likely to find ammo for yourselves and they for themselves.
Remember earlier how I said that Keegan’s super is far more important than it seems? This is why! The fact you barely get ammo in this mode is a big crutch. But having someone who can provide you with extra ammunition? That person is indispensable. Especially if you’re being swarmed by the enemy and are running low, Keegan will be the man to turn to!
One advantage is that enemies are prone to drop weapons once killed. This is a useful feature that’s meant to balance everything out. But it’s a gamble on whether you’ll get a worthwhile gun or not, but something’s better than nothing!
You’re allowed to carry a single side-arm, one primary and one secondary weapon. Lahni is especially devastating in short-range, so it’s suggested that you give her short-range weapons (I think a shotgun would be apropos).
Don’t expect to find anything like a grenade though, the ammo packs only provide you with just that – ammo.
There are essentially two ways in dealing with bosses: the way of the warrior and the way of the tactical coward.
The first method involves you fighting the boss (the Warden in most cases) head-on. Use everything in your arsenal but the most effective weapon against the boss would be the Cryo Gun.
Use the Cryo Gun to freeze the boss and start wailing at its head to deal as much damage as possible; rinse and repeat until it’s down for good.
The second method is to guide the boss in a supply room. Fun fact: these supply rooms have doors that can be opened and closed only by you or your allies. You get what I’m putting down? Lure these suckers into the supply room, use a flashbang if you have one, then get out and close the door behind you, trapping them inside. Quick, easy and it’s sure to get the job done.
Yep, there’s a leaderboard, all right. The leaderboard gives you a chance to view how well you’re doing as compared to other teams. The way this works: you compete with other teams to see who can finish a level the fastest.
Killing an enemy, killing them via headshot, or killing them in a stylish way, will take seconds off of your total time – the team that took the least amount of time wins (you’re sanctioned if you play on a lower difficulty, so that’s not recommended).
Why go through all this trouble? Well, completing a Hive gets you an Experience Boost, getting in the top 50% doubles that boost; being in the top 10% or 1% earns you unique items such as weapons and character skins, and emotes! So yeah, there’s a lot to be earned. And don’t worry, the leaderboard is reset each week, so 1 rough week won’t be a problem.
Tips and Tricks
Once the gas bomb’s detonated, it has the potential to kill the Hive AND you! You need to keep moving, don’t dawdle in one area for too long.
Having said that, don’t forego exploration for survival completely. You’re still encouraged to look for supply rooms and anything else of value. Even though the gas cloud is rolling in further and further, it takes its time, so don’t feel you need to be in a rush at all times.
The bomb doesn’t detonate for at least 1 minute after being planted. During these brief 60 seconds, the enemy is not aware of you. It would be in your best interest to silently take down as many enemies as possible, thus conserving your ammunition, getting some experience points, and taking some enemies out of the whole equation.
Try to track a Flock. They have the bad habit of jumping out and charging at you at random intervals. If caught off-guard, the Flock can do some serious damage. Jump out of the way if you see them coming.
There’s a new enemy called Popper. As the name implies, they pop; these enemies explode when killed. So never try to melee them, always kill them from a distance!
And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen! As you can tell, Escape Mode is not a cakewalk, it’s a brutal and challenging ordeal that is equally fun and engaging! Grab your weapons, strap on your armor, and go in to kick butt!