All they could think of were armor variations? Why not:
-Earn the ability to use different kinds of cover!
-Gain the ability to use active reload, then make the timing easier!
-Unlock licenses to use certain guns, then hold more ammo!
-Earn the ability to roll and roadie run!
-Start normal, then grow gorilla-sized!
Though the idea is mostly for fun, I'm sure there's a good idea hidden in this process. Maybe.
Your ideas are horrible. It's not just the excessive use of the exclamation mark, it's that your ideas are genuinely terrible. They all hinder the classic third-person shooter gameplay of Gears, and purposely hindering gameplay is an awful design approach; It imposes a fake learning curve.