The brief snippet of gameplay shows players taking control of multiple COG soldiers and fighting the Locust, the signature enemies of the Gear’s universe. There’s not mention of characters from any of the other Gears of War games, but Tactics be a prequel that takes place 12 years before the first Gears of War game.
This isn’t the first time that Microsoft has turned one of its star console shooters into an strategy game. Back in 2009, the company released Halo Wars, developed by legendary Real Time Strategy developer Ensemble, to critical acclaim. Just last year, Microsoft released a sequel, Halo Wars 2, which was not nearly as well received. Unlike both of those games, which were primarily focused on translating the strategy experience to consoles, Gears Tactics will be a PC-only title — a rare move for Microsoft in 2018.
Microsoft has completely pulled back on plans to support virtual reality headsets on the Xbox. In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer of gaming Mike Nichols said that “we don’t have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality.” Nichols goes on to say that the PC is “probably the best platform” for virtual and mixed reality, and that for the Xbox, “our focus is primarily on experiences you would play on your TV.”
This basically completes the slow decay of Microsoft’s console VR plans, at least for now. In 2016, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that the upcoming Project Scorpio console would support “high-end VR” like that available on Windows PCs. Since Microsoft had previously partnered with Oculus to support Xbox controllers on the Oculus Rift, there was widespread speculation that Scorpio might work with the Rift as well.