Gears 5, the latest entry in the vaunted Gears of War series, is gearing up for release on Xbox One and PC. I’ve had the chance to spend several hours with the main campaign, and I’ve noticed that, while it’s overall an exceptional game, there is one big caveat I feel needs pointing out.

Who’s on first?

I won’t tell you too much about the story, because it’s something that most people will no doubt want to experience for themselves — but I will tell you it is prime melodrama. This is a thick hamburger of a game: not the most refined creation, perhaps, but it’s really damned juicy. This story is darned good… when it actually knows who the protagonist is. The first act of this five-act game stars Gears 4‘s JD Fenix, before abruptly switching gears (literally) to relative newcomer Kait Diaz.

Without spoiling why that’s the case, I will say it’s about as abrupt in game as it is in writing. I sat there for a moment wondering if I’d missed something — turned over the proverbial two pages in the script. While the game cobbles together a reason for the viewpoint to shift to Kait, it does so by completely shafting JD as a character. I get that Kait’s the one with an open character arc, therefore it makes sense for her to be the main character this time around — but there’s no reason it shouldn’t have been her story from the very first chapter.

I’m not going to waste time pontificating about the gameplay, because if you have even a passing familiarity with Gears of War, you already know how it plays. You shoot chunky guns from behind chest-high walls until everything explodes into gore. It’s solid, gratifying, and pretty much exactly what you know to expect from a Gears game.

Credit: Microsoft