Unearthing Nightmares: THE COALITION’s Gears of War: E-Day Revives the Terror

It’s rare that a game, let alone a gaming series, earns its place in players’ imagination and bodies. That’s what the Gears of War series has done, especially for horror enthusiasts. THE COALITION studio’s latest chapter will continue to rattle my bones and yours. This year’s Gears of War: E-Day will truly be the scariest chapter in this franchise, because it returns to the series’ haunted corners. Every shadow will speak, every victory will cost, and this is why it might just be the scariest Gears of War.

Reigniting the Horror of Emergence Day

From the Studio's Heart: The Vision Behind the Revival

THE COALITION has never been shy about trying new things, and in Gears of War: E-Day they’re venturing into the slimy, alien-fearsome edges of horror again. Nicole Fawcette, the brand director, and Matt Searcy, the creative director, told IGN they wanted to capture that “FEELING of Emergence Day”, arriving at a place of “fear and uncertainty”. That feeling would “capture a moment in time” that would be all about “immediate, visceral reactions to our characters on Sera being faced with something that is completely new and impossible to understand or control.”

Crafting a Legacy of Fear

But rather than a turn, it is, the game has just come home. The scary stuff THE COALITION is giving emphasis to is not a turn but a return, to the heart of what mattered most in the original games – to those ‘scary’ moments that left you stunned, staring and wide-eyed, your heart pounding. In THE COALITION’s vision for the future, Gears of War: E-Day is as much about delving into the psychological underbelly of the character and the player alike, who are experiencing the Locust onslaught.

A Story Rooted in Darkness and Desperation

The Emotional Warfare of Gears of War: E-Day

Emotional anguish and communal despair can be found throughout the Gears series, so gearheads should be well-prepared for E-Day. Bringing the Gears narrative to a close by setting the story in a narrow window of just a few days means that players should feel each character’s loss, achievement and pounding heart more viscerally than ever before.

A Reflection on Character and Courage

At the heart of this studio storytelling is the way the human spirit is besieged. THE COALITION does not just intend to scare but to provoke, to highlight humanity’s resilience, bravery and, at times, hubris in standing firm on E-Day. The player is invited on this journey through the eyes of familiar and new heroes in a narrative that is about more than monsters: it is about mankind’s grit and determination against total blackness.

THE COALITION’s Leap Into Next-Gen Horror

Revolutionizing With Unreal Engine 5

By committing themselves to the most literal possible rendition of the story, and taking advantage of the latest technology, THE COALITION makes its own nightmarish vision real: Unreal Engine 5 is the studio’s means of bringing back the Locust horde, more real, more frightening, more sinned-against than ever. It makes Joe’s conceit real: it’s fiction become flesh, and players are immersed in it.

Why E-Day Resonates: A studio's Perspective

The Timelessness of Gears' Origin Story

Because going back to E-Day wasn’t just a narrative choice for THE COALITION. It’s a way of stepping back and taking stock of what Gears has become: an embodiment of a winking defiance in an overwhelmingly bleak world. This chapter pays homage to the past, and both the makers and the players are invited to look back at the moment when the war began; that first landing on Sera, when the Locusts descended and the fate of the world was locked into the opposing forces that define the Gears universe.

THE COALITION’s Passion Project

Indeed, as Fawcette and Searcy said, Gears of War: Es-Day ‘isn’t just Gears of War 4’. It’s the realisation of a ‘passion project’ created ‘fueled by our community’s collective wish to tell an emotional story on a more human scale’. The studio is ‘excited and honoured to finally deliver our interpretation of “E-Day” after years of dedication from those who came before us, and those who will come after us.’

Gears of War: E-Day—What Lies Ahead

For now, THE COALITION has yet to announce a release date. But, from the promise of that unveil stream, as Dom Santiago returns to the airwaves for Gears of War: E-Day, from the trailer that dropped the bomb on the Xbox Games Showcase, you can tell that THE COALITION has made not just a great third-person shooter, but a remarkable study in the human condition at the end of the world. While we await more details about Gears 5, one thing is certain: the studio rebuilding Gears of War is also, in a sense, remaking Gears of War.


THE COALITION is what the gaming industry dreams of producing: a development house that specialises in narrative-focused game iterations. The studio shoulders the responsibilities of the Gears of War franchise, a series that has constantly pushed the boundaries of what can be achieved through the melding of human story and technological fireworks. They never forget they are working with the characters and stories that helped incubate their own careers and, in their work, you can feel their passion and love for the Gears universe, the frustration at what it can be, and the occasional fear of it, too.

Jun 11, 2024
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