BADGP Reviews: Gears of War: Judgement

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Gears of War: Judgment (Microsoft, People Can Fly/Epic)

May 31, 2013

Review: “My Name is Judge…” 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6KMAjPqpVs

There are three main changes presented in Gears of War: Judgment. The control scheme has been slightly altered/homogenized to be more like Call of Duty.  Grenades are finally assigned to a button instead of having to select them through the control pad.  Judgment has a much more “arcade-y” feel than the incredibly self-serious romps of Gears past.  The player is chasing three stars at every checkpoint based on performance and different feats (ex. Achieving three melee kills in a row awards a ribbon, and ribbons add considerably towards unlocking the next star).  Stars may be earned more easily by taking on challenges that add much needed does of diversity to the moment-to-moment action of a Gears game:  certain weapons might be only available for the checkpoint, more difficult enemies may spawn, or the battlefield may be obscured by fog.  There are also some “Horde-Mode” sections sprinkled through out the campaign.  The third major change that Judgment offers is that Baird and Cole take the starring roles.  The new story structure really works.  Baird and the gang are on trial at the start of the game; the players not knowing why and the campaign unfolds as each character recounts their testimonies.  Accepting challenges will also throw in some added dialogue further detailing the situation.  There is apparently a new multiplayer mode too.

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That does it for changes; almost everything else present in Judgment will be familiar.  Much like God of War: Ascension, Judgment is not a necessary entry in the franchise.  Both games are reactions to the extended console cycle and certainly not the best in their respective series.  The announcement of both of games annoyed me.  “Obvious quick cash-in before new consoles.”  I stand by this initial reaction.  Though my lowered expectations allowed for me to enjoy the games more than I thought I would, neither game justifies their existence to me.  Ascension was probably closer to justification with a completely new multiplayer mode somewhat reminiscent of Powerstone and possesses some truly spectacular moments.  I suppose it disappoints me to see Sony and Microsoft treading water with familiar names instead of new and exciting ones.  At least Ascension was only the second entry in its series this generation versus Judgment being the fourth. 

Gears of War: Judgment is a suitable coop action game; just do not expect any surprises.  It should be noted that People Can Fly’s talent and creativity is being squandered on GearsBulletstorm was amazing!  Judgment is almost a boring experience.  Gears of War: Judgment does not take any chances and risks being boring due to familiarity as a result.

The jury has cast its Judgment, the verdict being: 6.5 out of 10.

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