Community Review -- Gears Of War: Judgement

I spent a couple of hours with Gears Of War: Judgement before its release — I played a single player mission and then I hopped into the new co-operative mode. For the first time since playing the Gears Of War series, I remember distinctly feeling as though I was playing in auto-pilot, and that made me feel a little bit sad.

It's not because Gears of War: Judgement doesn't add fresh mechanics, or doesn't push the series in new, meaningful directions — because it does — it's simply fatigue. It's easy to forget that, upon its initial release, just how original Gears of War felt. The bumper reload mechanic, the cover system — many of the things we now take for granted in third person shooters actually originated, or at least was popularised, by Gears of War.

But that's the problem — we now take it for granted.

So after years of playing Gears of War sequels or Gears of War derivatives, it's hard to get excited about a new game that never really feels like a genuine 'proper' move forward for the franchise. Gears of War: Judgement is clearly a spin-off, and while it does interesting things with storytelling and unreliable narration and what not, it's difficult to shake that feeling.

I think that's my problem with Judgement. It's a great game, well put together and reasonably innovative, but at this stage it feels like a dead concept and it's difficult to justify investing time or money in. And, again, that makes me feel a little sad.

What are your thoughts? How are you guys and girls finding Gears of War: Judgement? Let us know in the comments below.


    I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

    Best Multiplayer in the series so far.

      I've tried out the MP demo and yes I'll vouch for that, the whole class system is well done and the Overrun mode feels like TF2's Dustbowl, which is a very good thing.

    Maybe it would have been fresh if it took a page from Brothers in Arms or Republic Commando and made it a squad command type of game instead of another 3rd person shooter. Maybe even a turn base game like X-COM!

    This is a different style of gears game - more like bulletstorm. If you are into gears you will like it - the intensity is higher, especially when the declassified missions are activated. It is not a new concept - there are tweaks to make it better, but if you want something "new", this is probably not where to find it. I am really enjoying it, as you can pick it up for a short period of time given the episodic style - 5 minutes of blow the hell out of everyone, a report card, and go again....

      What makes it more like Bulletstorm? Because I've always liked Bulletstorm more than the Gears series (and no, it's not just because of the potty mouth).

        I loved Bulletstorm for the "run in"have 30 people run at you, and kill them all with as much mess as possible", which is what judgement feels like to me. I find I play this edition with less interest in not dying as I just want to run into trouble and see if I come out.... Lots of different ideas in the declassifed missions (low visibility, time limits, low ammo, additional reavers) - Nothing revolutionary but having people may fly doing the game seems to have reduced the tension and added fun

          Yeah I might have to pick it up out of brand loyalty to people may fly. I was really blown away with the differences in Bulletstorms design and construction when you could see they were clearly working on a "gears" model.

            The biggest change for this edition of gears is that each section is like a set piece - walk calmly from the thing you just pillaged, pick up some supplies, take a breath, and walk into carnage for a few minutes - Sure, you don't have an electric leash (gee that thing rocked) but you do have auto turrets, laser tripwires, multi shot sniper rifles and lots of blood....

    "We" don't take it for granted. You might, but please don't put words into our mouths. Personally, I've always found Gears to be an excellent execution of a lot of great ideas and mechanics, and whilst playing Judgement (though there are a few changes, nothing I'd call major) those ideas and mechanics are still so refreshing to play above so many other shooters.

      The same game mechanics for the 4th time is hardly refreshing mate. I agree that reinventing the wheel isn't the standard for a new iteration of the franchise, but Mark is spot on the money with the comparison between playing Gears for the first time and playing this. So yes, some of us do take it for granted. And most of us, are really not as excited for Judgment as we were about Gears of War 2 and 3; and I can guarantee sales figures will support that.

      Last edited 26/03/13 3:03 am

    I dont think there really needs to be a departure form the 3rd person shooter. As stated, Gears has really nailed. Have played alot of different 3rd party shooters, none even got close to gears.(Spec Ops was good, but not for the gaem mechanics. Was all story driven, refreshing change.) There could be a few more gameplay variations, e.g for some reason I love the sliding down a line shooting with a pistol segments, could do more of them.

    The judgement campaign is good, the only bit that I thought was poor was the final boss fight, just so, disappointing. There was no killing the worm, first time bererker killiong type moments in the stroy. There were definatly times where there is way more enemies to kill. I really enjoyed the declassified missions. they added something new to test the skills, especially the no ammo or pistol missions, tower defense etc. the time limit ones were challenging. I felt that Cole and Baird personality were toned down alot in this game. I mean the dynamic between Baird and Sam in GOW3 was fantastic, and Cole's OTT personality and confidence, they didnt ever really get to the surface like they did in the previous games. I can only really put is down to people can flys take on the characters. Didnt chuckle as much as I thought I would have.

    The Aftermath mission was fantastic. That part of gears 3 always felt incomplete for me. I thought that i was going to be a DLC mission in gears 3. I would have paid $15 for aftermath alone.

    Overrun is a good multi mode. the decision to drop the 50 wave horde was, well, not well thought out. id be surprised if it doesnt get patched in at some point. Domination is good, but again, why drop the old game modes. Its is disappointing to have to choose between the lancer and the shotty. for this reason I will mostly play over run and survival.

      I just have to say - While I thought the story of Spec Ops was intriging, the contorls and game mechanics made the game almost unplayable for me. I kept playing because the story in a game is very important to me, but I didn't find the game particularly fun to play at all.

        I agree it was all story. the cover mechanic got me killed on multiple occasions and teammate AI was awful; and the guns all felt the same wether it was an LMG or an Uzi. Seemed to have the same range and damage etc. I feel they tried to copy the gears gameplay style, failed horribly.

        Only one that got close in terms of fluidness was a japanese game called Vanquish. I still play that every now and then, story is b grade but the action was pretty non-stop. Its probably in the bargin bins now. Check i9t out fo 6-7 hours of fun, good boss fights.

          Im working through Vanquish currently, not too bad for $10, but prefer blood and guts to sparks and bolts though :)

            True, theres nothing as satisfying as chainsawing someone in half. American V Japanese developers I guess.

    I'm not through it yet...

    But I will say the way it shows the stars during gameplay, and the 'report card' stuff really, really takes you out of the narrative.
    It looks fantastic...
    Some of the narration over the gameplay seems kind of rote though, like the actors are reading from the script... without feeling.

    Why on earth did they think dropping Horde mode was a good idea? I don't play competitive MP because I'm not great at shooters on console, so the majority of my time was spent with GoW3 Horde mode with my friends. The basic RTS/Tower Defence stuff of setting up turrents and walls and the like are now relegated to a single 'class' in the overly simplified Survival mode. I don't know about any of you but this mode can be over in as quick as a few minutes, leaving the experience to be unfulfilled,
    Ultimately I wish I'd bought the Horde DLC for GoW3 when it was on sale, I'm sure I would've had more fun with it that I'm currently having with GoW J.

    "I remember distinctly feeling as though I was playing in auto-pilot, and that made me feel a little bit sad."

    This is the precise feeling I got from watching the 15 minute "gameplay" trailer of Bioshock Infinite.. not really inspiring to say the least. Maybe actually playing it is different.. but it feels like that..

    I know it's weird seeing it spelled 'Judgment' and it's tempting to think of it as US spelling, but since this is about a legal ruling, the lack of an E is actually correct in British/Australian spelling:

    As for the game, I didn't play nearly enough of Gears2 or Gears3 so I'm not over it yet. I'm finding this is an exhilerating breathless polished game and I'm really enjoying it a lot.

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