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Gears 5 has "levels that are 50 times bigger than any previous Gears of War level"

(Image credit: Microsoft Studios)

Gears 5 (opens in new tab) is the biggest Gears of War game ever created. We learned as much in our Gears 5 campaign hands-on preview (opens in new tab) when we visited The Coalition last week. Created in little over two years, Gears 5 is designed to showcase the studio's desire to push the series forward, something that you will see reflected in its new open-ended levels. 

While Gears of War has been traditionally known as a corridor shooter, Gears 5 will take the action out into larger levels – so large that The Coalition had to introduce a map to help you navigate them. "What players will see in Act 2 and Act 3 of the campaign is that you'll be able to use the Skiff to traverse the largest levels we've ever built," says studio head and Gears 5 creative director Rod Fergusson. "You know, in some cases, the levels are 50-times bigger than any previous Gears level."

Act 2 takes place across a huge icy wasteland that's as beautiful to behold as it is utterly isolating for Kait and Del as they set out on their adventure. But it's Act 3 where Gears 5 really comes into its own, as play shifts to a sprawling desert covered in vibrant blood-red sand. It's here where the real size and scope of Gears 5 can be seen; the level is packed with plenty of side-missions, collectibles, and opportunities to take on the Swarm, and advance the story. It's a huge space, the biggest in Gears history.

(Image credit: Microsoft Studios)

Here, you'll be able to see how Gears 5 was inspired by BioShock Infinite (opens in new tab), thanks to the inclusion of player-initiated combat spaces. You'll discover how Gears of War's unsung hero takes the spotlight, (opens in new tab) as you put Jack to work to let you shape your own play experience. And, perhaps most importantly, you will be able to get a better sense of just how awesome of an addition the Skiff is to Gears of War's pantheon of vehicles. 

While Gears 5 is due to launch September 10 (or September 6, for those of you with Game Pass Ultimate) we will continue our exploration of the game's features and how it was made throughout the week in our On The Radar: Gears 5 (opens in new tab) coverage. 

Josh West is Features Editor of GamesRadar+. With over 10 years experience in both online and print journalism, Josh has written for a number of gaming, entertainment, music, and tech publications, including 3D Artist, Edge, gamesTM, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. He holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing, has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh plays bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.