This month I’m gearing up for Gears of War:Judgment, the fourth installment of one of the Xbox 360’s most enjoyable third person shooter. Judgement is an origin story that in past games has merely been harkened to within the franchise’s rich (and often) heart wrenching storyline. Judgement tells the story of Lt. Damon Baird as the leader of Kilo Squad. Baird is drafted into the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) army on Emergence Day (E-Day). For those who haven’t played any of the Gears games in the past, know it’s common practice within the first 3 games for the veteran characters to make references to E-day, often. Judgment also utilizes my personal favorite character Augustus “Cole-Train” Cole as a playable character. Baird is first introduced to and becomes best friends with Cole while fighting off the emerging locust hordes.
What to Expect:
Judgment is told through a series of flashback testimonials by Cole, Baird and their two partners Sofia and Paduck, immersing the players into something almost cinematic. The origin is also meant to shed light on the conflicts straining Baird and Fenix, referenced all the way back to the first scenes in the first Gears game. We’ll also find out why Baird in the first game was no longer Lieutenant Baird. Expect to see massive destruction, as this is a prequel to all preceding Gears Of War games, so you can expect to witness most buildings and amenities being demolished as the Locusts launch their full-scale invasion on Sera’s major cities.
As far as gameplay goes, it is to be noted that as they’ve done in all the other titles, improvements and streamlining of controls were implemented. A major plus for those of us who frequent this flagship franchise, single player modes have a new rating system. In addition to traditional achievements, Judgment’s campaign mode unlocks more info by way of the Declassification Testimony. This allows the game to record general performance, keeping track of number of downs, obtained unlockables, and additional statistics. Judgement will also introduce the Smart Spawn System, promising to re-spawn you in areas judged by your own personal player tendencies. Each game selection is scored with a “star” rating system of 0-3. As stars are achieved you are able to unlock the game’s final act Aftermath, and truly get everything out of the game.
As far as multiplayer goes, it will again offer you the choice to play as either a COG or Locust soldier (although I’ve read conflicting reports as to the availability of a Locust player option), and pledges hours of replay value. Bringing back both Head to Head and Horde, as well as premiering Overrun.
According to the New York Post,
Overrun was described to me as a mix between Horde and Co-op. The way it works is that you and up to three other players will join forces as either the COG or Locust as you advance or defend different points on the map.
Much like Call of Duty, while playing Overrun there will be a rank system in place. Your ability to heal teammates, throw ammunition, repair defenses or track enemies will be totally dependent on your class-rank. Together with your team you will fight off hordes of Locust swarms up to a set amount.
A lot still remains to be seen, Epic has co-developed the new title with People Can Fly. Franchise fans are awaiting a new but still fun action-packed experience without the aid of Gears’ founding developers Cliff Bleszinski and Rod Fergusson. Both have parted ways with Epic after overseeing the beginning of production. I’m both nervous and excited about this release.
Follow this link if you’d like to read Gamesoul Online’s official review of Gears of War Judgement.