Justin Lee On March 19, 2013 at 12:01 am

Gears of War Judgment Screenshot - 1It’s time for the prequel! Gears of War Judgment takes place 15 years before the first Gears of War video game, this time things are not well with Kilo squad…they start off in handcuffs. Under arrest for ignoring orders from HQ because it just wasn’t the right thing to do. While at the tribunal, the story unfolds with flashbacks from each of the main characters of the game. We’ve got Damon Baird of course and Augustus Cole (Cole Train) from the previous Gears of War games and two new faces Garron Paduk and Cadet Sofia Hendrick. You get to play as each member of Kilo squad as the story is “told” through missions. Is Gears of War Judgment just “more of the same” or is there enough to warrant buying this game?

Gears of War: Judgment Video Review:

To read the text review just click on through…

The game mechanics in Gears of War Judgment are about the same as Gears of War 3, it just seems that cover isn’t as effective as it used to be. Enemies are more relentless at pushing toward your position and you’ll need to adjust accordingly. The game visuals are beautiful; they really upped the graphics engine in GoW Judgment, awesome shading and very detailed landscapes never before seen in a GoW game. There aren’t that many new grubs to fight, this makes sense as this is a prequel, the there are some new interesting variations on grub weaponry but they are limited.

There is a new scoring system that uses stars and modifiers to keep you motivated to play the single player Campaign again. The ingenious new addition to the game is the Declassify icon: At the beginning of each level you can decide to accept the modification to the level of not. This usually involves some kind of extra task or makes the mission more difficult such as limited guns or more dust to contend with in the level ahead. If you activate the Declassify icon, this will help with the new 3 star scoring system at the end of each level, of course doing more executions and not being downed also impacts the 3 stars.

Level design varies from open courtyards to tight hallways with no escape. The level design is excellent, if you are gamer who hates wandering around looking for that exit, this game’s level design is pretty straight forward. The new spawn engine is a nice fresh approach to the series: If you replay a level, the enemies will be different and will even appear from different spots. Did a Boomer round that corner the first time you played? Not this time around! This makes this more interesting than just memorizing which enemy is around which corner.

A strange removal from the game is epic boss battles that were scattered around the missions, there just aren’t any! There was nothing more fun than playing a 4 player co-op and everyone shouting “oh sh..” because an epic boss battle was about to begin. Say good bye, no more mid-level “insert giant monster” battles except at the very end of the game.

For gamers who love multiplayer Gears of War, you are not left behind in this prequel. There are two new modes to check out: OverRun, survive as long as you can with 5 COG soldiers by defending your bases. You have 4 bases and if you lose one base, you fall back to the last base…if the Locusts over run your last base, its game over. It is fun to be either the COG or the Locusts as each side requires a different strategy, defending a base as COG or attacking the base as Locusts.

Survival mode is similar to Horde mode but has been changed to be waves of ten AI controlled enemies and you cannot be the Locusts anymore so that’s a step back. You’ll have to stick with OverRun if you want to be the bad guys.

Once you’ve played out the single player campaign and multiplayer, you will want to try the extra mission called Aftermath. For some strange reason they decided to throw in an “extra Gears of War 3” mission into Gears of War Judgment, this will most likely confuse any gamer because it ties directly into Gears of War 3 and not this game.

Over all, Gears of War Judgment is more of the same but with some good additions to the franchise. If you loved the previous Gears of War games because of the duck and shoot aspect of the game, you’ll definitely want to pick this up. If you are expecting a great leap in gameplay from Gears of War 3, you will be disappointed, Gears of War Judgment is a just a better version of GoW 3. New gamers who are on the fence about the whole series might consider picking this up as it is the most refined version Gears of Wars to date.

Gameplay

More of the same duck and cover, but the AI enemies seem more aggressive at attack your position. Most of the gameplay mechanics are the same as Gears of War 3.

Graphics

Very nice upgrade to the graphics engine, the best by far in the series.

Sound

The sound is pretty much the same as Gears of War 3, the guns all pretty much sound the same and the sound track is upbeat and matches the game perfectly.

Overall

Gears of War Judgement adds a two new fun filled multiplayer features that will keep you busy for hours on end and better epic campaign battles for Kilo squad to deal with if you are co-op play.