Gears of War: Judgment Review
A new challenge-based campaign structure and some fresh multiplayer action make Gears of War: Judgment a worthwhile scion of the celebrated franchise.
- Difficulty modifiers spice up combat
- Character classes engender teamwork in Survival and Overrun
- Free for All and Domination are great multiplayer additions.
- Narrative flow is regularly disrupted
- Aftermath campaign is lackluster.
With the conclusion of the Gears of War trilogy, the Locust threat has been exterminated and Sera's humans can begin to rebuild their devastated world. Marcus Fenix and his surviving Delta Squad brethren have laid down their arms, but a fictional setting as rich as the Locust War provides the potential for many other stories to be told. Gears of War: Judgment ventures back to the early days of this conflict to tell a tale of a disobedient squad standing trial for treason. Though it's a decent story, the campaign structure favors action over immersion, delivering rousing combat challenges at the expense of narrative flow. It's a change of pace for the series, but Judgment successfully serves up the tense, brutal action you know and love, and an assortment of new online modes make it an exciting game for competitive and cooperative players alike.
Before he was the wisecracking private in Delta Squad, Damon Baird was a wisecracking lieutenant in command of Kilo Squad. Just about a month after Emergence Day, Baird finds himself in Halvo Bay, a coastal city that looks a lot like every other Locust-ravaged city. With him is series regular Augustus "The Cole Train" Cole and two new characters. Sophia is an Onyx guard recruit who does things by the book, offering resistance to Baird's crazy plans and sporting an unfortunate hairdo that looks like molded plastic. Paduk is a former enemy of the COG conscripted to fight Locust, and his disgruntled anti-COG potshots are the highlight of the otherwise unremarkable squad chatter.
The story is told in flashbacks as the squad stands trial for treason, with each member taking a turn as the narrator and primary player character. The sneering colonel who prosecutes them makes a good antagonist, and the narrative tells a decent story from the annals of the Locust War. Yet it never achieves the dramatic heights of its predecessors, and this is partly due to the fragmented mission structure that isn't very conducive to long-form storytelling.
It plays out like this: Once the campaign is under way, you walk toward your objective while voice-over and squad dialogue set the stage. Almost immediately, you come upon a big glowing red skull-and-cog, the logo of the Gears franchise. Press a button, and you are presented with the option to deliver declassified testimony, which changes the narration and adds difficulty modifiers to the upcoming combat section. As a soldier testifies about the extra hardships that Kilo Squad faced, these modifiers impose limitations on things like your time, visibility, ammunition, and weapon selection. On normal difficulty, these modifiers are a welcome challenge; on harder difficulties, they make things very challenging indeed.
The combat in Gears of War: Judgment is the same brutal, weighty gunplay that the series has thrived on for years. It's still inherently fun, and the modifiers mix things up enough to make firefights feel fresh. There are new guns and enemies to contend with, as well as a few tweaks that serve to streamline things. You can carry only two weapons now, switching between them with the press of a button, and the hey-they're-sticky-now grenades are mapped to the left bumper for quick release.
With modifiers activated, combat is as lively as ever, but while this structure benefits the action, the focus on scoring disrupts the flow of your adventure. Beginning each combat section is painless, but at the end of each one, you are given a star rating and shown tallies of your accomplishments. With that section complete, you soon come upon another glowing red logo, and the cycle begins anew. The interruptive tally screens and the regular notifications comparing your stats to those of your Xbox Live friends make it feel like Gears of War: Judgment is primarily concerned with encouraging you to perform combat feats for glory. This tallying can be fun when you're playing cooperatively or striving for perfect three-star runs, but the regular appearance of the game-halting score reports makes the campaign feel oddly stilted.
I actually somewhat agree with this review. I was thoroughly disappointed with the multiplayer. Almost in just astonishment. I started with my standard thought process. Let me customize my COG/Locust preferences..... wait where are the locust? Then I go into actual game-types 4 total, with 4 maps...... How much did this cost again? 60 dollars, I forgot.
I enjoyed the campaign, but the chunk of what made me love gears so much was gone. No more downing people online, no more executions, and a Halo 4/COD esque gun setup. Unfortunately this was an after-thought in completion and design.
I've played the first hours of Judgment, and as a fan of the series I'm finding it very disappointing. I haven't tried the multyplayer because I have not a good connection, but I can say that Chris Watters is totally right in his review.
I had the option to buy Gears: judgement & Bioshock Infinite today...
I bought Bioshock Infinite.
Am i the only one still mad they took out Horde mode? WTF
Forget Gears 4. It doesn't compare to the other games in the series.
Just look at gears 3.
For me, when Dom drove away in his truck.. and that awesome music started playing.. and he then drove that truck straight into the locusts for both a) to save the Cogs and b) he couldn't go on without his wife.. was one of the most amazing moments in video game history.
Most people are quite angry with this game but Actually for me the game isn't totally bad,i enjoy both campaigns (amazing campaigns),the new controls works well once you get used to them and feels good with the fast rythm of the game,i like the fact that the maps are quite big and with leves from where you can jump and fall over your enemies, it gives the gears of war franchise a freedom in mobility that previous games couldnt even let us imagine,the fact that now the person that doesn't know how to play well with a gnasher have an oportunitty to battle and survive to the gnasher vets is very good and it makes the game more unexpected when it comes to multiplayer in previous gears you know how to proceed to the gnasher battle but now this are quite different,the stim grenades aren't so anoying you know even if someone uses one he/she can't survive is you hit them with your gnasher or swaved off in close range and overrun is quite fun to play but the BAD SIDE of this game was that it ignores it's original mechanics i mean it's good the fast pace controls,it's good that more weapons get into the overtaken territorry of the gnasher in multiplayer of previous gears of war game,it's good that the campaign has it's declassified challenges,it's good that overrun introduces the class system into the cooperative multiplayer, but what it's not good i'ts that cog versus locust was taken away,that king of the hill was taken away,that dbno one of the gears of war trademarks was taken away,that there are just some few maps for every mode,people can fly pass over the blood and flesh of gears of war multiplayer is and that it's WHAT IS BAD you know gears of war for me is the reason why i have a xbox360 and as a fan i was expecting something amazing and faiftful to the franchise and symply judgement even tough ins't a bad game (it's wayyyy better than most of the third person shooters out there) it doesn't live to gears of war standards,BUT IT ISN´T LOST cause it can be saved if the developers FIX IT wich is something totally posible if they simply listen to their fans and actually it's quite simple to solve if they want to solve it,for they need to:1)bring back DBNO to every competitive mode at least as an optional feature you know is some people want to play judgement without it is ok but there are some old school gamers like me that love this mechanic. 2)bring back classic modes like king of the hill,capture the leader,wignman and guardian. 3)bring back the locust to the multiplayer, i mean the 3d models are on the game so why not simply release a dlc that allow a new mode called cog versus locust? 4)i know is quite hard but BRING BACK HORDE,you know overrun and survival aren't bad but horde was one of the greatest cooperatives modes in the videogames history so, why you guys take it away?we like it bring it back.5)GIVE US MORE MAPS if you guys are lazy and doesn't want to design new ones just bring the old maps from previous gears of war game,just give us more content to play we get very bored of playing the same 5 maps (5 maps with haven).I guess that's all i really hope that people can fly listen to the comunnity and fix the game it will be a shame if they leave this game as it is right now,as i said it's not a bad game but as a gears of war game it fell down short.
As soon as a franchise releases a Prequel to everything you've played over the last 6 years, you know its dead. Next.
A very forgettable gears of war to say its the 4th installment with a poor storyline and nothing new from the last, even the 2 new characters lacked any likeability with an arcade twist making me feel it was slapt together with no real love to create something special, the game isn't terrible but comparing to the brand it wasn't great. Desurved a 7.5 in my eyes.
THIS IS GEARS OF WAR YOU SMART***S WHATS WRONG WITH YOU THIS IS THE CROWN OF THE XBOX GAMES AFTER HALO AND YOU SAY THIS STUPID EXCUSES !!!! AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A XBOX FANS AND TALKING ON YOUR EXCLUSIVE GAMES !!!!!! WTF !!!!!! ILL TELL YOU THIS THE GAME IS CRAZY AS HELL AND ITS DESERVE AT LEAST 9.5 THE TRUTH IS 10 WITH OR WITHOUT MARCOS HIS FRIENDS IS ENOUGH TO KICK HELL THE A** OF THEM
Failed attempt at trolling, or you're retarded...I'm still not sure which...
This game sucks another xbox exclusive tried to be made like COD! 1st halo and now this? Microsoft are ruining they're exclusive games and if they keep that up i'm sure they're are going to lose fans and customers. Next-Gen if they keep making games a copy cutt of cod and i'm definitely going to switch to PS4
@halo117xbox I thought they already lost all there fan base to playstation after stating there making it so all games must have an online connection, and there's a strong rumour going around that it will not be backwards compatible, than to top that off after you purchase a game you install it on the console than the disc is useless so they can cut out the used games market :P
I'm a PC gamer not a playstation one so i'm not part of these console wars but i was just under the assumption that everyone already thought microsofts next console was a piece of shit :P lol
@halo117xbox Nothing like COD. What are you talking about! COD is FPS this is a THIRD person shooter. I also do not think in COD you fend off against locust. You just made the biggest derp there my friend.
@theloneturkey @halo117xbox Actually you did sr. you're stating games can not be similar because one is in third person and the other is in first, than you continued to say it can not be similar to another game because the AI has a differant character skin lol?
So you're telling me super meat boy is nothing like mario, wolfenstein is nothing like doom, CoD is nothing like homefront?
because CoD's AI are middle easterners and homefront uses koreans. I think you should smack yourself in the face that's how hard you derped lol.
And where is horde? Are you kidding? I swear to God I feel like I need a support group to get through this. So disappointed.
@woman4games I prefer it now. In GOW 3 I was always locust and I could play with a massive positive K/D as COG but as Locust I always went negative. I am happy about that but I also see majority aren't.
@theloneturkey @woman4games That's in your head. Locust/Cog same difference. What REALLY sucks is the no frag tagging the walls, not being able to have a decent gun battle, not being able to down people and execute them (remember the first time you beat someone down?), walking being so slow and running being so awkward now, the game having no fluidity now.. IM a gears fan through and through - since gears 1, ive had easy over 100,000 kills, right now im ranked 7999 all time on gears 3, and at one stage I was ranked 800 on Gears one. This game though - is crap If you are a true fan. It feels way to arcade and cheaply slapped together.
@DeltaCobra @theloneturkey @woman4games I feel that way now. I havn't touched the game in weeks and have accomplished everything to do. I also was annoyed that us Gears fans were not rewarded through weapon skins like in Gears 3. I was hoping (Because I have completed pretty much everything for Gears 1, 2, 3) that I would be given a weapon skin to show that I am loyal to the end. Overall... I got bored quickly after doing the campaign and Insane.
I'm disappointed with how the story is told. because it's just one person recalling the events, it almost completely takes out the personalities the characters have. I was so happy to have Baird as the main character, but it just doesn't seem like the same Baird from the previous games
@Fryboy101 Did you play the game? It isn't just one person's recollection; it's Kilo squad's recollection. And it's done very well imho.
@Keivz_basic @Fryboy101 I played the game. It's a massive step backwards for the series. The characters are oddly silent and devoid of personality. There's no tension. You know all four members of Kilo make it through. They're alive at the court martial. You know there will be no tear-filled moments like a certain scene in Gears of War 3.
@Fryboy101 Well that's because this is years before. They had to change his personality.
great online game no surprise the story isnt that awesome though. but the online makes it worth while because u can play that forever and its awesome
Why only a 7.5? I've played all GOW open minded and give this game a easy 8.75 and when Execution Mode Online is added with more Maps it will be up to a 9.
Is it possible to play team team deathmatch in a private session with just my friends like in GOW3? I see I can play, but my friends cannot use their game name tags anymore.
Wow, I was expecting a bunch of preteen Gears fans to be whining about the score in the comment box... I am pleasantly surprised. Although I didn't bother checking some of the older comments ;)
Really dislike the star rating system. Not a fan of having something break down my stats after every room I enter or every 5-10 minutes. Completely kills the flow the campaign. I feel like I'm doing side challenges or something like that rather than playing through a story. The optional declassied sections do make some parts more challenging, but some are obnoxiously annoying and difficult....not like i want the game to be easy (i play on no lower than hardcore), but some of them make me wanna put my controller through the tv. If you're playing on hardcore or above, you pretty much can not get 3 stars unless you do the declassified challenges. Also, aside from getting achievements, there is no incentive to get 3 stars all the time... Seems like it's mostly for multiplayer characters and weapon skins. All in all it's a fun game, but if they do decide to make another gears game, the star rating system and constant interruption with stats and breakdowns needs to go
@vatorus most of the female characters in GOW3 seemed to bullet sponge better than the bigger males - also they take up less screen real estate which is a big deal.
Maybe you just prefer the boys in games and real life - nothing wrong with that but not m,y cup of tea.
@vatorus You know you could use Anya Stroud in Gears Of War 3 right?
@vatorus You must be 5 years old. Cooties still exist for you right?
@vatorus Girls belong in the Kitchen
@vatorus Troll much?
@bmart970 @vatorus Troll? Putting a girl in Gears is stupid. It's a guy's game, like The Expendables is a guy' movie. Throwing a chick in ruins the whole thing. I hate girls in games, like a chick can really walk around holding a gun with a chainsaw that would probably weigh 20 pounds. The guys in the game are 6 foot plus, and look to be about 250 lbs. plus. But a regular sized girl is gonna be able to hang with them. It kills the immersion.
@vatorus @bmart970 You must not play Gears 3 at all. The chicks in the game are absolutely awesome. Sam, Anya, Bernie, etc. I use them all the time to get a change of pace. vatorus you are trolling, and doing pretty good with the amount of replies. I don't know why people say dumb crap like you to get attention even if it's bad though. Also, one of my best friends, mrskicka55 is a God at Halo and CoD. I bet her K/D is better than yours, and your friends. Idiot.
- Player Reviews: 37
- Game Universe:
- Gears of War (X360, PC),
- Gears of War 3 (X360),
- Gears of War Triple Pack (X360),
- Gears of War 2: Game of the Year Edition (X360),
- Gears of War 2 (X360),
- Gears of War 3: Horde Command Pack (X360),
- Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection (X360),
- Gears of War 3: Fenix Rising Map Pack (X360),
- Gears of War: Judgment (X360),
- Gears of War: Judgment - Call to Arms (X360)