- —Boomers before firing.
Boomers were large, brutish, markedly less intelligent Locust who earned their reputation as the Locust Horde's heavy weapon specialists. Several variations appeared over the course of the Locust War, and the Lambent Pandemic. While unintelligent, Boomers are extremely dangerous enemies to deal with, as their Boomshot can deal a lot of damage (or kill the player on harder difficulties), and they can take a lot of punishment before they die. Fortunately, players can easily tell when they are about to attack, as they yell "BOOM!" before firing their weapon.
Boomers were humanoid in shape, but were much taller than the average human or Drone, being at least eight feet tall. Boomers also bristled with muscle and they were very fat, making them considerably thicker than other humanoids. Despite this, they were able to move at surprising speeds.
It is unknown how Boomers come about, whether they are a special breed of Drones or Drones that suffer from defects is not currently conclusive. What is known is that they are heavy and physically very powerful, capable of lifting an entire Gear with one hand and crushing their heads. This puts them at least on par with a Berserker if not RAAM, albeit more sluggish.
Their inner anatomy is presumed to be similar to that of a Drone's, as they showed no improvement nor degradation in vision or hearing. On the other hand, Boomers were considerably tougher to kill than their smaller brethren, able to survive a Longshot round to the head.
Boomers were members of a Locust blight known as the Bloodied Vanguard. Which was led by Vold RAAM and Kantus Skorge. The Vanguard’s main goal was to wipe out the Lambent and to protect key areas within the Hollows. Boomers gave the Vanguard a tactical edge in battle with to their weaponry being capable of destroying multiple Lambent units, this was due to lambent locust being highly explosive upon death and the explosive ordinance used by boomers creating a chain link of explosions.
Destruction of Halvo Bay
General Karn's army was comprised of a large number of Boomers and took an important role during the Destruction of Halvo Bay. After Kilo Squad captured the balcony outside the Museum of Military Glory, Boomers and Drones emerged from E-Holes around the area and tried to recapture the area. Kilo, armed with Sawed-Off Shotguns, Hammerburst II Rifles, and One-Shots, managed to stop the reinforcements and defend the area. They later assaulted the Museum itself but were stopped by Kilo before they caused any major damage.
There were also several Boomers laying siege to the Halvo Bay Military Academy which engaged Kilo Squad when they arrived at the Academy and, later on, they tried to destroy the targeting beacon they needed to deploy the Lightmass Missile. Against all odds, the Gears managed to overcome the brute force of their aggressors and escape.
At Onyx Point, Boomers protected the silo that housed the Lightmass Missile and attempted to stop Kilo from leaving the island alive but were overpowered and slain by the humans.
Later on, they were part of several patrols searching for Kilo Squad to prevent them from launching the Lightmass Missile and were later part of the Locust force that attacked them once they launched the missile but were wiped out. Afterwards, they headed towards the courthouse where Kilo was being held on trial and killed many Gears before eventually being taken down by Kilo, with one of them being personally taken down by Col. Ezra P. Loomis after he came behind it. Karn and its Shibboleth survived the explosion but were killed by Loomis and Kilo. However, the Locust eventually killed Loomis and his men, and the Coalition was forced to retreat from the city.
Skirmish at the Live Zone
A single Boomer attacked Augustus Cole on a routine patrol south of Jacinto. Cole activated his Lancer's chainsaw and started to chainsaw it, aiming for the crotch, while the rest of the Gears opened fire on it with the APC's guns. The Boomer died just before a group of Drones arrived at the scene.
Evacuation of Ilima
During the Evacuation of Ilima, countless Boomers attacked the city to try to prevent it from being evacuated before the Kryllstorm could arrive. Zeta-Six, one of the squads evacuating civilians, faced many Boomers surrounding their evacuation outpost. They used a Chain Gun and, later on, a Hammer of Dawn control center to deal with them and the other Locust. More Boomers appeared near Ilima Savings and Trust and pinned down Echo-5 and another Gear squad nearby.
More Boomers appeared at a parking lot Zeta passed through. One accidentally opened a way into the structure. Zeta killed another one inside and two more Boomers blocked their way out of the building. However, Zeta made use of a car near them and pushed it towards the Boomers, crushing them both. A Boomer took guard at Ilima City Hall.
A pair of Boomers appeared at a construction yard Zeta-Six passed through and unintentionally showed them a big crane they could use to pass through the construction yard. During the evacuation, two new Boomer classes appeared: the Mauler Elite, which was an elite version of the Mauler and their shields were upgraded to reflect bullets, and the Tremor, who used a giant hammer and a Thumper to summon Seeders.
Battle of Ephyra
West Barricade Campaign
After the members of Delta Squad managed to survive the siege at the Tomb of the Unknowns, they were led by Dominic Santiago towards Franklin's Outpost so that they could borrow a vehicle to reach the Lethia Imulsion Facility. However, as they made their way through a small building, they came across two Boomers passing by. Despite this, the Gears managed to overcome them and exit the structure. The squad faced more Boomers on their way towards the Stranded outpost but managed to reach it unharmed. Another Boomer attacked Marcus and Dom at Chap's Gas Station shortly after they arrived. They managed to kill it but another Boomer arrived just as they were leaving with Laverne. They ran over it but not before it managed to blow up the entire station. After reaching Franklin's Outpost, the duo found it being besieged by the Locust. As they take down the Snipers at the surrounding buildings, a Boomer joins the fight but the Gears make use of a nearby Troika to take it down. As the survivors finished off the remaining Locust, a giant E-Hole opened behind them, revealing four Boomers ready to blow them up. However, the Gears made use of nearby Propane Tanks to ignite a large gas tank above the Boomers heads, which soon collapsed and closed the hole, killing the Boomers.
After reaching the Imulsion facility, the Gears made their way through waves of mutated Lambent Wretches to get to the cart control room. As they reached a locked door, a lift containing a Boomer and a pair of Grenadiers suddenly drops. The team manages to save JACK from the Locust as he opened the door and continue their way through the facility. The Gears came across another Boomer at the cart rails but also perished. Two more Boomers arrived in the platforms the squad planned to use to get to the Outer Hollows. Inside the Hollows, another Boomer attacked Dom and Marcus from a far distance as they dealt with more Wretches.
Delta would come across many Boomers on their way towards Fenix's Estate, even making use of the Hammer of Dawn to deal with them at one point. At the Estate itself, while Marcus and Dom repelled the Drones and Theron Guards outside, a Boomer joined the fray, carrying an explosive battering ram. It charged at the main entrance and destroyed it, opening a way in for the Locust. The duo would later evade several Boomers as they made their way to the APC at the back of the house, with a Brumak in hot pursuit. More Boomers would later attack Delta as they tried to find a way to return power to the Timgad Bridge so that they could reach Timgad Station. They guarded several key points through the area but failed to stop the Gears from crossing the bridge.
Ambush at Sovereigns Boulevard
Mission to the Pirnah Badlands
When Delta Squad was searching for KIA Gear squads at the Pirnah Badlands, Dom and Marcus told histories about the Lightmass Offensive and their encounter with the Boomer at the Lethia Imulsion Factory. At the end of the ensuing battle at the Badlands, a trio of Boomers emerged from the ground, cornered the Gears, and gained the advantage of the battle for a while. However, Marcus managed to flank and distract them with a Bolo Grenade. In the middle of the confusion, the Gears took the Boomers by surprise and began to fire at them with all they had, with Michael Barrick chainsawing one of them in the groin, Marcus killing another with another Bolo Grenade, and Dom gunning down the last one. After a crude battle and a large rain of bullets, the three Boomers were finally killed.
Operation: Hollow Storm
Boomers were seen gathered among the new Locust Horde, commanded by Skorge, with new Boomer variants that were tasked to use different kinds of weapons and equipment: Grinders used the Mulcher as their weapon of choice, Maulers used the Boomshield to protect themselves from enemy fire and made use of explosive flails, Flame Boomers used the Scorcher Flamethrower as a deadly weapon, and Butchers used their Butcher Cleavers to kill Rockworms and - if necessary - defend against humans.
During the Assault on Landown, a Boomer squad was able to ambush the Assault Derricks while they prepared to deploy their Grindlifts. Though they caused a great deal of damage to the Derricks, Delta Squad was able to deal with them using Mortars and Bolo Grenades. Another pair of Boomers were seen attacking Omega-One. At the Locust forward base, a pair of Boomers tried to surprise the Gears, appearing through a door along with Wretches and Tickers. However, they lost their chance and were killed. A last Boomer appeared below the city of Ilima before it was sunken by the Riftworm, attacking alongside Drones and Grenadiers but falling like the rest of their allies.
A Boomer guarded a Beast Barge with no prisoners inside the Hollow against Delta Squad. Several Grinders, Maulers and at least one Boomer stormed the New Hope Research Facility in an attempt to prevent Marcus and Dom from leaving. A large number of Boomers tried to stop a Centaur tank manned by Delta Squad from reaching the entrance to Nexus and one attacked them from a tower in the entrance. However, all of them were annihilated or crushed by the Centaur.
Inside the Hollows, the Boomers gave a last stand against the Lambent and COG forces storming the Palace. Delta Squad found two Boomers and a Kantus near several Lambent corpses before they killed them and inspected the corpses.
More Boomers tried to destroy a pair of Reavers being ridden by Delta Squad, but the Gears killed all Boomers they encountered in their way. A number of Boomers attacked Jacinto under Myrrah's orders. Delta Squad encountered one at a courtyard attacking a group of Gears before killing it. Several Boomers attempted to stop a hijacked Brumak piloted by Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago but were all killed by the Brumak's weapons. A large number of Boomers were seen dying in the flood of the Hollows.
Skirmish south of Port Farrall
After the flooding of the Hollows, any remaining Boomers joined several of their fellow Locust survivors and headed towards the city of Port Farrall to wipe out any remaining Jacinto survivors. While on patrol, Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago spotted the army of Locust and warned Command about it. They proceeded to engage several Boomers while reinforcements arrived.
Several APCs came into the firefight and laid support to both men as more squads arrived and started to attack the Boomers and any other Locust around, when KR Three-Five and Centaur Twenty-Eight managed to kill a Corpser and a Bloodmount heading towards the town. Nearly all Locust (Boomers included) were killed shortly afterwards with only one Drone being captured and tortured by Bernadette Mataki before being finally shot.
Ambush outside of Port Farrall
Six weeks after the skirmish, Sgt. Rory Andresen wounded a Drone while on patrol at the woods and sent Delta Squad and Sigma-4 to hunt it down and kill it. However, the Gears headed to a trap and two Kantus led the attack while several Drones and Boomers blocked the exit and herded them into proximity mines, taking out a large number of Gears.
Bravo-Three and KR Eight-Zero were sent to help them but the Raven wasn't able to lay fire on the Locust due to the trees blocking the visibility of the shooters. Bravo-Three managed to lure the Boomers and Drones into the other squads' line of sight and quickly tore them apart with their chainsaws.
However, a second ambush occurred with more Boomers and even Maulers and Butchers joining the fight. With the Locust overwhelming them, Cole decided that he was gonna look for Bernie, who was assigned to take down the Kantus but hadn't been heard from for several minutes. The two of them managed to kill both Kantus, which stopped the healing of Boomers and Drones. Some Boomers attempted to escape but as they made it out of the woods, Eight-Zero easily gunned them down with its chain guns and the remaining Boomers were destroyed by the Raven and the Gears.
- "Quiet, people. Grubs up ahead."
"Marcus, we ain't sneakin' past 'em, are we? We got a score to settle."
"Yeah, we have."
- —Marcus Fenix and Augustus Cole, deciding to take revenge over the Locust for Dom's death
After the fragmentation of the Horde, several Boomers returned to their feral states and became the Savage Boomers, while other Boomers, Maulers and Grinders chose to remain with the Queen's Guard. A horde of Boomers marched towards Anvil Gate's doors and, after a path had been cleared by other Locust forces, despite taking fire from Chain Guns on their sides, opened the last door that led to the garage. The Boomers continued to attack but were killed when a large fuel tank exploded inside the fort. Later, Delta Squad would find seven more Boomers at the Endeavour Naval Shipyard, trying to stop them from reaching the CNV Adamant. Meanwhile, others attacked Damon Baird's squad during their Mission to Halvo Bay.
Boomers later took part in the Second Battle of Azura. As Delta tried to reach the Maelstrom device, they found several Boomers at the dockyards and trenches around the facility. A pair of Boomers ambushed the Gears while they searched for a way inside the facility, unintentionally opening a path for them. Inside the facility, more Boomers attacked Delta but were torn apart by the Silverback they had borrowed earlier. After shutting down the device Delta, began taking down the Siegebeasts around the island. A single Boomer ambushed them at Acanthus Train Station but was easily dispatched by the Gears. More Boomers appeared inside Pinnacle Tower. At first, Marcus wanted to sneak past them but Cole reminded him that they had "scores to settle" and they took them down, bent on revenge. Shortly after this, the Imulsion Countermeasure device was activated and the Boomers were presumably killed with all other Locust variants. However, the Swarm eventually returned to replace the Locust Horde, though the Boomers have yet too reappear.
As stated before, several Boomer variations have appeared over the course of the war between humankind and the Locust. The first Boomer observed by COG forces was the standard Boomer, who carried the Boomshot Grenade Launcher and unspecialized armor -regardless of any additional equipment related to battlefield role; all Boomers invariably wore this standardized light armor outfit that largely resembles a scaled-up version of the armor that Drones were often equipped with, although it offered less coverage due to the fact that the chest plate terminated abruptly past the sternum to accomodate the bloated belly, which was itself merely girded with straps.
During 15 A.E., COG forces were engaged by four new types of Boomer. Grinders used Mulcher miniguns and wore sturdy headgear to protect their heads; Maulers utilized the Boom Shield for defense while using explosive flails for offense; Flamer Boomers used Scorcher flamethrowers; and finally Butchers. Butchers served a non-combat role as the chefs for the Locust Horde.
In RAAM's Shadow DLC, which takes place before and slightly during Gears of War, two new Boomer Variants are introduced. One being a subclass of Mauler, which is the Mauler Elite, and the other Boomer variant is called a Tremor. They wield an enormous hammer. These two boomer variants are higher ranks, and are a part of RAAM's squad.
- "Boomers are dumbasses. Even by Locust standards. But they do carry some nice toys. The Boomers plan of attack couldn't be simpler. They see something, they shoot it, it dies, about as high a concept these one word-wonders can handle. Boomers are as tough as they are stupid. You're gonna empty a lot of ammo clips before they finally go down. They have to be reminded they've been shot. At least you'll never have to guess when these morons are about to fire."
- —Damon Baird
Boomers were among the least sophisticated members of the Locust Horde, being larger, tougher, and markedly less intelligent than other Locust. Despite this, Boomers are incredibly determined and fierce during combat. Luckily for humankind, this came with a fortunate side effect: a rather peculiar inability to listen to reason. Boomers often charged headlong into battle with little regard for their own well-being.
Despite this, Boomers could actually learn to use different sorts of equipment on the battlefield and some even managed to use strategies against their enemies. Some of these were presumably the Mauler Elites, which were some of the most fearsome soldiers of the Horde, killing battalions of Onyx Guards with ease and even being part of General RAAM's squad during the Evacuation of Ilima.
Behind the scenes
- Originally, during the concept stage, the Boomer was called "Pot Belly".
- Cliff Bleszinski stated that the Boomers were named after the robots from Bubblegum Crisis.
- Boomers were ranked Number 5 on Gears of War's "Top 5 Deadliest Locust".
- In the original Gears of War, it takes five seconds to kill a Boomer with the Hammer of Dawn. From Gears of War 2 and beyond, the Hammer kills most enemies (including Boomers) instantly.
- Several Boomers appear in the deleted scene Road to Ruin from Gears of War 2.
- In Gears of War 3, Boomers are featured in Beast as a Tier 3 Creature at the price of $1500. They provide medium to long range support with their explosive Boomshots and are quite the formidable characters. Using them is also an easy way to achieve "Hail Mary" ribbons which leads to a faster unlock of the "Big Explosions" Mutator.
- The damage Boomers sustain when attacked with explosives changes between Gears of War 1 & 2. In Gears of War, all limbs are blown off along with the head, but there is also a colossal chunk torn out of its pot belly revealing its internal anatomy, and the head even has half of it missing. In Gears 2, however, the gore has been lightened; the limbs and head remain shot off, but the torso remains whole, as does the head. However in Gears 3, the gore has been turned back up and Boomers fall apart the same way as Drones.
- Boomers' stupidity will normally open a path for the player when it appears that there's no way out or through the situation.
- A couple of Boomers appear in Marcus' dream at the beginning of Gears of War 3.
- Boomers are one of the few Locust that cannot be chainsawed, despite being chainsawed several times in both comics and novels and not having any known protection against the chainsaw bayonet.