Gears of War: Judgment – Review
Follow Genre: 3rd person shooter/cover based
Developer: Epic Games, People can fly
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platform: 360

Gears of War: Judgment – Review

Site Score
9.4
Good: Gears of War, need I say more?
Bad: Cole - why are you so quiet?
User Score
7.7
(3 votes)
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Rating: 7.7/10 (3 votes cast)

For those struck with grief when the Gears of War trilogy came to an end, there is good news. This news is coincidently called Gears of War Judgment. Gears of War Judgment is a prequel to the original Gears of War game. Instead of revolving around Marcus Fenix, this game will focus itself around Damon Baird and his very own Kilo Squad, which just happens to include our very own favorite Cole Train! Indeed, the blonde wisecracking member of Delta Squad used to lead his very own team, before the judgment of Kilo Squad, that is.

01

Story:

Seeing this game is a prequel of the original Gears of War game, this game will give us further information about the start of the war with the locust armies. Sadly Baird and his team happen to be in quite the predicament. They are facing trial for their actions, which have gone directly against protocol. This trial is taking place in the middle of a warzone and this makes the game a little more tense and exciting and keeps you on edge the entire time. (You just know something is going to happen!)

When having played the previous Gears of War games (which happen to be in the future!) you know the game will revolve around 1 main baddie. Gears of War Judgment still follows this formulae, and keeps you plowing through the locust forces to reach that final villain for you to cut in half with your trustworthy old Lancer rifle.

Even though the game will revolve around Baird’s actions at the beginning of the war, the trial creates a totally different atmosphere than most of the Gears of Wars games. The chapters still tend to follow each other but feel a little more loosely connected to each other. But the thing that makes it quite different than previous games, happens to be the fact you change characters when another member of Kilo Squad does his testimony about the actions they are charged with.

Another fun part about this game’s story is the fact that Baird his own team will introduce new likeable characters that weren’t part of the main series.

02

Graphics:

Graphically this game is as Gears of War as Gears of War can be. When you start playing you will instantly be emerged in the typical grayish war stricken world we’ve come to known as Sera, creating an authentic Gears of War feeling.

There is not much to be said about the actual graphical quality except for the fact even with the limited exploration options, you will enjoy running and shooting your way through these newly introduced areas.

The only regrettable part about the main appearance of the game is the still quite limited possibilities to destroy actual parts of the scenery. We all know a frag grenade happens to be used a lot in the series, sadly there is hardly any chance to the scenery after actually using one. A small hiccup in an otherwise marvelous looking game.

Not only new areas will be introduced, be prepared to see younger versions of the Baird and Cole you’ve come to known.

Sound:

Again this category can be kept quite short. Authentic Gears of War quality once more, great music, great voice acting and sound effects. It’s as simple as that.

03

Gameplay:

For those who are new to the Gears of War universe, this game is a cover based third person shooter. Which pretty much means it’s an action shooter with a bit of tactics involved.

Even though another developer (People can fly) helped creating this game, together with the original developer (Epic Games), the game still offers us the same old Gears of War gameplay we’ve come to love and maybe even cherish. This being said, there are also a decent amount of changes that don’t hamper the original playstyle.

When completing sections of chapters you will be awarded a star rank. Three stars is the maximum for each section and when playing on higher difficulties these might not always be the easiest to receive. Even though some might not be easy, they open the way for a lot more replay value if you want to achieve the highest rank on every possible section. Also earning enough stars will open the way to the second part of the campaign, named Aftermath.

During your missions you will come across ‘Declassify’ missions which pretty much just add an extra difficulty to the section you’re in, when you accept that is. When accepting a Declassify mission you will earn stars a lot more easily, creating the chance for you to achieve that max rank for the section you’re in.

The game will also reward you for earning ribbons and what not in the game. These are pretty much fun to boast with against your friends, but also some happen to earn you ‘prize boxes’. These price boxes give you extra experience for the level up system or even skins which you can use in the character customization, for some extra multiplayer fun.

04

When it comes to playing multiplayer, the game offers us 5 different modes we can play, namely: Survival, Overrun, Domination, Free for All, Team Deathmatch. The last 2, should be pretty clear on what they actually are.

Survival is pretty much a mode in which you will have to survive 10 waves of enemy locusts trying to destroy 1 defense point at a time. Most maps will offer you 3 spots to defend, always unlocking the next one, when one gets destroyed. A fun mode, which can prove tricky to actually clear.

Overrun is actually the same as Survival only with a time limit and 2 rounds. 1 Round you will play as the CoG forces, defending your base. The second round the roles are reversed, you will try to destroy a CoG line of defense, playing as the Locust forces. All Locust characters will not be available to you at the beginning of the round and they will have to be unlocked by scoring points. These points can be earned by killing enemies, or damaging structures or damaging the main objective. Keep in mind, when buying an expensive character, your score will reduce again, which causes you to save up once more for a nasty Locust character.

Note: Both Survival and Overrun introduce a class system in gears of war, namely the Engineer, Soldier, Scout, Medic. Each having their own weapon set and unique skill.

Domination is also a fairly common mode in most competitive shooters but still provides a lot of fun. The basic idea is that you occupy several key points on the map which earn you points every few seconds. These points can be taken by the enemy team at any given time. Simply put, the more points you are able to occupy, the faster you will earn points and win the match.

Free for All is as simple as the name itself – Kill each other till someone reaches the kill limit.

Team Deathmatch is a team based Free for all, making killing your enemies slightly more tactical.

This all being said, the multiplayer modes will provide a lot of fun for hours to come. Sadly the number of maps tends to be very limited and feels as if the map design might have been rushed. Don’t get me wrong – the maps are fun, but after a few matches you’d hope for a few more maps.

05

Conclusion:

Gears of War Judgment, might already be the third person shooter of the year, with only a few small details that could have been improved. If the game had a few more multiplayer maps, or a lengthier campaign, this game would pretty much earn a perfect score.

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Gears of War: Judgment - Review, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

2 Comments

  1. Mitsumi
    March 19, 2013, 8:12 am

    This game really is a system seller! :)

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    • ThaMofo
      ThaMofo
      March 19, 2013, 2:58 pm

      Indeed, all the Gears of War games are worth it actually. Even though their gameplay is alike, they still differ enough to keep them great scoring titles.

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