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Platform: X360 Publisher:  Microsoft Developer:  People can Fly, EPIC Games
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Third Person Shooter Rating: M

During the launch of Gears of War back in November of 2006 I had bought the Limited Edition of Gears of War on launch day.  I had no clue what it was but the commercial with Mad World had enticed me and had immediately received a fan for its art and mystery.  Since then I have read the books, played the original trilogy, and logged over a thousand hours into this franchise. However Gears of War: Judgement did not get the same attention from me as I was not interested. EPIC Games was no longer the developer, Marcus Fenix was no longer a character, and the game seemed to be going in a completely new direction.  Now I bring to you “An Unbiased Review” of Gears of War: Judgement.

This is a story about Baird, the mouthy intelligent mechanical genius and COG Soldier that has partnered with Marcus Fenix for three games.  Baird is accompanied by the familiar (Now not so familiar) face that is Cole Agustus the Thrashball star, Paduk, and Sofia.  The game takes place years before Delta Squad and at this time Baird’s story tells exactly how he was demoted from Lieutenant by a recollection of flashbacks from all four characters in a court room.   It baffles me that a world as big as Sera, and a 15 year span of the Locust from E-Day, why this topic exactly?  Not only does the fans not care about this particular story, but we would have much preferred a story that could have told so much more.  Not to say the story is bad because at times it can be interesting.  And with the newest enemy, “General Karn” it adds an element of fear that the original General RAAM had shown.  Or at least until the end. It does allow for some funny dialogue and gives you a greater view of Baird’s sarcastic character.  Not that you really learn anything knew about him, because you really don’t.  It is exactly how I explained previously.  You learn about his demotion.  No more, no less.  The story became uninteresting and uninspired.  Luckily EPIC Games also made an extra story for Judgement.  The story about Baird and Cole’s adventure that takes place during Gears of War 3.  Not only was it more interesting but overall the campaign was setup better in Aftermath as well.  So for the hardcore Gears fans out there, if you really are interested in Baird give the game a shot, but don’t expect to be blown away like you was with the previous Gears trilogy.

Like the Gears of War trilogy Judgement is a third person shooter, and a great one at that.  The cover is nice and fluid, running, shooting, and everything you want from a Third person shooter is there.  They did make a few changes like the Tac Com is now down on the D-Pad, switching weapons is the Y button, and you can now throw grenades with LB.  This was all out of bad decisions.  Because of these 3 decisions you lose your 3rd weapon, the pistol.  The tac com is now in an odd location instead of useful and because grenades can be thrown at any time now, they become spammed in multiplayer (Since you start with them).  Though I will admit the grenades were at great use in the campaign.  People can Fly also made a few changes with the overall layout of Gears of War’s campaign.  Instead of going corridor to corridor attacking grubs and locusts from flanking directions, you now have tactical missions you can do.  Each mission is optional but brings different strategies to each battle.  Some may want you to finish a mission in a specific time frame while others may want you to beat a mission with only a pistol.  This brings a great variety to the game while also bringing out the competitive side to you.  Why?  Because with each mission you get a score that you can compete with your friends.  Oddly enough they also brought horde mode to the campaign.  Plenty of missions makes you setup a base and defend against waves of locusts.  Some of these are quite hard.  The added guns like Breach Shot, Markza, and grenade launcher also made for a nice addition to the game.  Even though they may have went a little overboard on precision weapons and made a few changes that could possibly have been the wrong decision, at Gears of War’s core it is still the best 3rd person shooter.  The only problem is, it isn’t the best Gears of War game or Gears shooter.

Gears of War has been known to be the full package with both a great single player and a good multiplayer so People can Fly has had to fill some pretty big shoes.  Coop of course is a blast with up to five members being able to play at once during the story line.  This game is made for coop gameplay and really adds a new element of gameplay with it. 

On the other side Judgement made so many mistakes on the competitive side.  They have completely changed the format of Gears of War’s multiplayer that had made it so popular.  You now have your reticule on screen the entire time, start out with grenades, able to pick out your starting weapons which includes the Markza (completely useless), and they got rid of the locust.  So now instead of easily being able to tell the difference from each team you have to really focus to tell the difference from friend or foe.  Not to mention they got rid of downs, so no more reviving.  Meleeing is super-fast, but weaker.  Still welcome back two piecing.  The shield can be paired with any weapon making for an over-powered combo.  The lancer is back to being under-powered with no slow down damage.  Just rush with your gnasher now.   And now you have random spawns for a chaotic game rather than a game that is built around strategy and map control. The multiplayer competitively can be fun, but is also a mess.  This can also be the reason that less than 1000 people was playing today at a given time. 

On the positive side the brand new overrun mode is a fantastic game mode.  This allows the Locust go against the COG soldiers in a tower defense like game.  If you are the locust you will need to manage your points intelligently to buy new locusts to tear down their defenses.  You can be a Kantus, Grub, wretch, Mauler, and even a Rager which is a new enemy.  The Rager is similar to a berserker but is Male.  It also is able to use a gun but when he gets mad he transforms into a savage beast. The COG on the other hand has different classes much like Team Fortress 2.  You can be a grenadier and spawn your team ammo, a Mechanic expert to restore defenses, or even a sniper.  This game is great over all and aids horde mode.  Instead the horde is real life enemies.


Gears of War: Judgement ends up being a good experience overall but has too many mistakes in it for Gears of War fans.  While Overun is a great game mode paired off with great gameplay, coop, horde mode, and an overall great looking game.  It lacks in both story and competitive multiplayer.  Something the Gears fans has grown to love.  The story came off as tacked on and the competitive multiplayer is a complete mess and I would recommend any of the other Gears of War games before buying Judgement.

Story 6.5
Gameplay 8.5
Third Person Shooter Genre 8.5
Graphics 8.5
Multiplayer 7.5
Overall 7.9