Gears 5 is going to be, much like it's predecessors, a pretty violent game, with the usual dose of guns, gore, and meaty explosions to satisfy even the most sadistic amongst you.
What won't appear this time around, though, is smoking of any tobacco of any kind. It comes as the Anti-smoking organization Truth Initiative and ELeague decided to get together and make Gears 5 a smoking-free zone, approaching and subsequently working together with The Coalition and Microsoft to make it a reality.
As a former smoker, I fully appreciate and support the intention to cut out this toxic way of life, although I do firmly believe people have the right to make their own choices. The Coalition's Rod Fergusson also expressed similar sentiments when talking about the choice to exclude smoking from the game;
I’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact of smoking. It’s always been important for me to not use smoking as a narrative device, which is why we made the conscious choice to avoid highlighting or glorifying smoking in Gears 5 and throughout the Gears of War Universe moving forward.
While Gears of War has never been heavy on the smoking, it has featured in cut scenes from time to time over the years, and it's unlikely anybody will notice the chance unless it was pointed out to them. That being said, it's a nice gesture and at least, through articles like this, opens up the subject to discussion.
There's been some pushback, with others calling out Rod as having a sudden change of principle, which he has addressed on twitter;
To be fair, this isn't entirely accurate. I've been against smoking from the beginning and have worked hard to not make it a part of our franchise. Ever notice that the Dizzy concept art for Gears 2 has a cigarette but the actual character in the game doesn't? I stopped it. https://t.co/KahohpMH3A— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) July 12, 2019
But on the whole, I have to say I approve. It may seem like a stupid thing to care about given the content that the game will likely hold, but smoking is a real world issue I prefer not to be glamorised, whereas chainsawing a massive hoard of alien monsters? Less so.
What are your thoughts? Let us know down below.