Gears Of War: Judgment Review

Introduction

Gears Of War Judgement is the fourth entry in the long running series, but also a prequel. It was developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games, and was released in March 2013.

Review

Years before Marcus Phoenix was freed from prison to help with the war efforts against the Locust horde, the war still raged. The Locust attacked the surface of Sera, and Halvo Bay, in what is known as “Emergence Day”. If you’ve played any Gear Of War game, you know this event was referenced a handful of times. But now, we get to live it!

You play as Baird when he was a Lieutenant, and working with his squad, The Kilo Squad, to figure out a way to deal with the Locust, and the General of them, Karn. Except the game is played through flashbacks. As Baird and his Squad are in a Court Tribunal, for their unauthorized use of a Lightmass Missile. So throughout the game you learn how they accessed the missile and launch codes, and find out why they did what they did.

That is literally the story. Nothing too crazy. Just simple and fun. But let’s be honest, if you’ve ever played a Gears Of War game, it’s not exactly the pinnacle of storytelling. Sure it’s good, but not drop dead amazing. But I will say, the great thing about the game is that the entire game can be played in 4 Player Co-op. So I ended up playing the whole game with my brother, and it was a rip roaring good time! Though it was such a pain in the ass to get the game going. I couldn’t just invite him to my party, then start up a game. So to remember what was happening, I had to start a public lobby, and he had to start a game as well. Then we’d watch the cutscene, then he’d back out and then find a public lobby to join. It was so much work every time.

Now the gameplay is where the gameplay shines! The guns are fun, and feel heavy. Though I will say, they don’t pack as much of a punch as you’d think they would. So that was quite a let down. But the game is built for cover based combat. Though I played on Very Easy with my brother, cuz he’s not very good, so I could literally play the game HOWEVER I wanted. There were times I stuck to cover with a sniper rifle. Or times I strategically used my grenades. But the best part was running in with a shotgun or lancer to blow the enemies to bits, or cut them in half! So I never felt restricted to a specific playstyle.

Considering the game is made by the developers of BulletStorm, you can tell they used a lot of influence from that game, to craft this. The game is broken down into sections. So there’s 6 chapters, then mini chapters in each chapter. Each section is basically a combat arena, then you move onto the next section, and rinse and repeat. So if you blow through the game on easy, it can be over in maybe 5 hours. But you can always come back to earn stars!

Each section has a “Crimson Omen” near the start of them, that can give you an optional handicap in each one. So maybe there’s more enemies, or you have to beat the area in a specific time limit, or enemies use snipers. None of these are mandatory, but if you want 3 stars in each and every section, you have to do them all. Or get creative with your kills. Every kill gets you points, if you do specific kills, so many times in a row, you get a ribbon that goes to your points. These stars are used to unlock the DLC, and after that are more for cosmetics! Possibly achievements too.

Unfortunately I couldn’t really try much outside of the main story, as the online community is very dead, and we had no interest in trying the optional “survival horde mode”.

Rating

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Pros:

  • 4 Player Co-op Campaign
  • Fun Gory Gameplay
  • Crimson Omen Objectives

Cons:

  • Simple Story
  • Weapon Don’t Feel Powerful
  • Pain To Start Co-Op

Summary

Unfortunately I never played 2/3rds of the game, but going strictly off of the campaign, it was a blast to play with someone. Plus it was nice to finally see the events of Emergence Day. The gameplay is fun if you play on Easy, and the side objectives were always fun to see if we could pull them off. I recommend this with a group of friends. Just don’t expect a fantastic story.

Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: People Can Fly
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Xbox Game Studios
Publisher Socials: Twitter

Official Gears of War: Judgment Launch Trailer

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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