Gears 5 isn’t just the usual campaign/multiplayer/horde affair. The folks at The Coalition are trying a little something new with a mode called Escape. It’s a three-player co-op mode where you invade a swarm hive and destroy it. The devs are also taking this opportunity to experiment even further with a Map Builder. This only works for Escape, and it should help give the mode legs it might not otherwise have.

Last week, a trailer diving deeper into Map Builder was released to little fanfare. Let’s take a look.

Hey, Victor Hoffman is still around. Alright, I’m going to touch on a few parts that stood out.

Mix and match pre-made tiles. This is where Gears 5’s Map Builder reminds me of DOOM SnapMap. You’re not creating a map entirely from scratch like you would in a traditional map editor. Instead, you’re using taking a set of pre-made tiles and arranging them to create a unique map. Here’s a screencap from the trailer showing some of them you can pick from.

You’ll also notice each piece costs a certain amount towards an overall budget of 1,000 — this a per chapter budget (you can have up to three chapters). You can create a single chapter hive arena, or link them together with safe rooms to create lengthy hive busting missions.

You pick what to fight. While the maps won’t be designed from scratch, you’ll have control over pretty much everything else — numbers and types of enemies (Swarm and Deebee) along with ammo and weapon placement. What you fight and how you fight is up to you.

Flythrough your creation. Before you call it a day and jump into your map, you can do a flythrough to see how it all came together. And frame a thumbnail to give folks across the world an idea of what your Escape Map has to offer. Oh, and The Coalition does require you to play your map from start to finish before publishing it. So you won’t be able to troll folks with a map that can’t be finished.

Escape’s Map Builder should help give the mode legs. Here’s hoping it’s the beginning of user-created content. I would love to see the Map Builder make its way to multiplayer or even the campaign. (UPDATE: The Coalition does plan to bring Map Builder to more multiplayer modes post launch) Creating your own epic set piece moments using campaign assets would be incredible.

Games are better than ever, but I do wish developers and publishers would give their fans more freedom over what they can create. And with the push away from premium DLC models and towards cosmetics, map builders would be a great area to push towards. I remember tinkering with Far Cry’s map editor all the time. It’s a damn shame user-created content (especially maps) haven’t been embraced by more console games.

We’ll see what folks can come up with using Gears 5’s Map Builder when the game hits next month.

When I’m not playing Rocket League (best game ever), you can find me writing about all things games, space and more. You can reach me at alex@newsledge.com

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