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Gears of War: Judgment Review

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Real Talk By: KJ

Set before the Gears Trilogy, Judgment centers around Lieutenant Damon Baird. Baird has committed a major crime involving a Light mass missile, which violated the COG’s policies. He and his team sits on trial ready to be judged. Each member of Baird’s Kilo Squad gives their side of the story. Augustus Cole, and new Characters Paduk and Sofia are added to the lineup. The campaign doesn’t carry a heavy narrative as the previous titles but, it still might be the most entertaining campaign. The reason for this is the inclusion of new declassified missions. These missions are similar to Halo’s Skulls, where players can basically make the game harder. People Can Fly takes this concept and goes nuts with it. Each special mission gives you and amigos an opportunity to earn 3 stars. Stars added up will unlock a heavy amount of bonuses, including another campaign. It forces your squad to play together versus going Rambo. Players who are downed by enemies, will cause the team to lose their stars. Picking a declassified mission demands strategy, especially when playing on insane. Some of the goals are basic. For example: Locusts have a OneShot in their possession. It gets really intense depending on the difficulty. A sandstorm could hit making it very hard to see foes. There’s so many scenarios, that it keeps the campaign from feeling stale. The Declassified missions coupled with the dazzling graphics, makes this campaign the perfect party mode. Gears has never looked better. The immense detail to the war-torn environments look great. The game isn’t all dark either, it handles a range of colors. Campaign or versus, it’s a flat-out great looking game. Speaking of Versus, plenty has changed in the world of gears. Veterans may approve of the changes, but it’s up in the air.

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Team Deathmatch is now a standard affair that you could find in any other shooter. First team to 50 kills wins. One thing that always stood out to me in the past, when gears developers went to add a new mode, they did it with the mentality of how they could make it unique. While this mode is still very enjoyable, G3’s Team Deathmatch forced players to do little more thinking. After your team hit a certain amount of deaths, gamers would lose the right to respawn. In Judgment, that penalty has been removed, thus taking away some of the strategy the series is known for. It’s just a race to 50 kills, nothing differentiates it from TDM in other games. Execution will be returning April 2nd with two free maps soon,  hopefully that game-type will stay true to the franchise. Domination is Like Annex, but with three set destinations players must protect. Collect the points and prevent enemies from taking the spots. This mode is a nice diversion, but there’s no mode available for judgment that stands out like Overrun. Overrun is a survival mode/versus hybrid. A lot of thought went into this, and I think People Can Fly wanted gamers to really understand that fact. This mode has its own exclusive maps. Players will take turns over 6 rounds of play. Three rounds as a COG soldier, and the others as Locust. COG players will protect their power sources, so they can successfully land a Hammer of Dawn strike. Locust must destroy these power generators. Players controlling the grubs, can play as a huge variety of baddies. From the tiny tickers and wretches, all the way up to the New Ragers, picking the right character for the situation can change the tide of a match. Overrun in a way, is responsible for one of my biggest issues with the game.

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It is the only mode in the game that lets players control locust characters. You’ll play in team deathmatch, Free For all, and Domination all of which are just COG vs COG. Content limitations for the game really hurt the experience. For a bulk of gears modes to be regulated to four maps going this far into the series is unacceptable. Maybe if overrun stages were included in Free for all, TDM, and Domination this would have been an easier pill to swallow. When your used to so much, it sucks to have everything taken from you ( I know how Samus feels).

This game handles XP perfectly. As in previous games, users can earn experience points in all the modes. What judgment brings to the table is more milestones, and even more chances to earn points. The prize boxes are one of the coolest things in this game. Get a certain amount of kills, then a prizebox will come to you. Opening the containers is sweet, you never know what you’ll receive. Most of the time it’s more XP, other times it could be more firearm skins, and even a character skin. Players are already constantly earning points for their hard work, so receiving a goodie box on top of that adds to the replay value. Star stacking in campaign will bring you the last segment in the story. ‘Aftermath’ Is set during Gears of War 3. Do you remember when Cole, and Baird split from the group? The mini campaign continues to show off the gorgeous visuals the game has to offer, and answers a few lingering side questions. Just a bit, there’s still plenty of plot-holes Epic needs to fill.

Gears of War Judgement is fun like the rest of the titles. Some veteran players may not approve of all the subtle changes to the gameplay, but first timers have a game they can jump into easier. The way the campaign is structured, its something you could play through a few times without the experience getting stale. It’s too bad the game is holding back on maps and modes because the score would have been much higher.

Gears of War Judgment Gets

4mf

Out of Five

What’s Legit?

+Graphics

+Campaign is hard to put down

+Overrun

What’s Perpetrating?

-Lack of maps at launch

-No Locust in several multiplayer modes

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