While it's looking likely Gears 5 (opens in new tab) will include a whole raft of characters from Gears of War history, we're here to talk about the biggest players in the game's narrative. Primarily focused on the story of Kait Diaz, our favourite Swarm-kicking heroine from Gears of War 4 (opens in new tab), the entourage of Gears 5 characters range from familiar heroes like Marcus and JD, and friendly faces like Baird and Cole, to brand new faces and old, less welcome, ones too.
We'll be focusing on the main Gears 5 characters, giving you some backstory and history on each before you wade into the gore and snow that makes up the game's story.
Warning, this article contains spoilers for the Gears of War 4 story and the Gears series as a whole, so only read on if you're really ready for Gears 5 and have done all your homework.
First appeared: Gears of War 4
Voice actor: Laura Bailey
The story so far: After appearing as part of the core squad for Gears of War 4, Kait is now taking up the mantle of lead Gears 5 character. Despite the fact she's now part of the COG, Kait is still struggling to discover where her true loyalties lie. It doesn't help that the end of Gears 4 saw her dealing with the revelation that she's biologically linked to Myrrah, the Locust Queen (more on her in a minute), who just so happens to be the main antagonist of the original Gears of War trilogy.
Unfortunately, Kait had to kill her mother after she became entwined with the Sawrm biomass, but it's then that she passes over a medallion. On the front it's ornate and decorate, beautiful even, but it later emerges that it's shaped like the Locust Horde icon – something that she's not yet mentioned to her squadmates. Now, in Gears 5, Kait is trying to find out more about her past after she starts having dreams and receiving messages, which seems to be something to do with the medallion, her grandmother's necklace. Ultimately, she's looking for where she truly belongs, and some serious answers.
First appeared: Gears 4
Voice actor: Liam McIntyre
The story so far: JD Fenix, otherwise known as James Dominic Fenix, is the son of Gears' long-standing hero, Marcus Fenix and Anya Stroud. In Gears 4, JD and Marcus are estranged, but after strange creatures take Kait's mother from the Outsiders' base, JD seeks out the help of his father.
After the events of Gears 4, with the events involving the Swarm at Tollen, JD realigns with the COG, from which he'd been thrown out after going AWOL with Del at Settlement 2. Neither Marcus, nor JD's friends are entirely convinced by the newfound friendship, which could play a major role in Gears 5. However, from what we've seen so far of the game, it's the COG that's stopping JD from helping Kait find out more about her past. But, it looks like his friendship with Kait won't keep the pair apart for long.
First appeared: Gears of War 4
Voice actor: Eugene Byrd
The story so far: After losing both his parents in the Locust War, Del was siphoned into a boarding school. However, it's here that he meets JD, and the two eventually become involved in a disastrous mission at the COG's Settlement 2. He's not entirely sure about JD's renewed affiliation with the COG, but he recognises that it's a means to an end. He's the one though, who steps up when Kait announces she's not returning to the COG, and is instead set on searching for the history to her grandmother's necklace.
He becomes a pillar of hope and support for Kait, accompanying on the journey that discovers much more about her past before they have to call for some serious backup. Sadly though, he's in for some revelations himself when he discovers more information about the Settlement 2 incident that JD has been keeping from him all this time.
First appeared: Gears of War
Voice actor: John DiMaggio
The story so far: The hero of the original Gears of War trilogy, fans of the series will have a long-standing history with Marcus Fenix, the once leader of the COG Delta Squad. After the events of the Locust War, which concluded at the end of Gears of War 3, Marcus takes a big step back from the COG, fuelled by the authority's move to a more authoritarian motion. But, when he's approached for help by his estranged son, JD, he's forced back into service – and away from his quiet life and tomato plants.
Torn between his frustrations with the COG, and conflicts with his son, the events of Gears 5's story will prove a trying time for Marcus. However, he's more than focused on helping Kait discover more about, and deal with, her past, which seems to unearth some serious complications for the squad – and the remaining Sera survivors en masse. Suddenly, Marcus finds himself fighting for the COG once more, and you can just imagine how he feels about that.
First appeared: Gears of War 5
Voice actor: Rahul Kohli
The story so far: A brand new character for Gears 5 played by iZombie's Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, Rahul is a big of an overconfident meathead, but charismatic at the same time. Apparently he shares a past with JD and Del, but it's unclear as yet what exactly that entails. However, he will be joining Marcus and Kait in her battle against her past, and will go on his own journey to test his loyalty, as well as exploring his own motivations, which the Coalition says are "bound by duty, friendship, family and blood". Intriguing.
Myrrah, the Locus Queen
First appeared: Gears of War 2
Voice actor: Carolyn Seymour
The story so far: Queen Myrrah was the main protagonist for Gears of War 2, and Gears of War 3, and was the leader of the entire Locust Horde. Eventually she meets her end at the hands of Marcus Fenix, which makes her reappearance in Gears 5 all the more interesting. She's already appeared to Kait in visions and flashbacks, which are making some wonder whether's she is actually her grandmother, making Kait's ties to the Locust stronger, and stranger, than we could have ever imagined. Her presence in Gears 5 is going to change the narrative in a huge way – even from the grave.
If you want to learn more about the upcoming game, be sure to check out the On The Radar: Gears 5 (opens in new tab) coverage hub for all of GamesRadar's hands-on impressions, interviews, and more.