Gears Of War: Judgment was the last game in the Gears franchise to be released on the Xbox 360. The game while being the fourth in the series is actually a prequel, set before the events of the first game that was released in 2006.
Story & Presentation
The story has always been a strong point in the Gears series and this entry is no different. You no longer play as Marcus Fenix. Instead you play as Baird and Cole Train who were two of the main (and most popular)characters from the other three games in the series. The game also adds two new characters to the Gears series in Sofia Hendrick and Garron Paduk. The story unfolds through a tribunal and is told via flashbacks as Baird and the other characters explains to the judge what exactly happened.
Baird and the rest of the team are under trial for the un-sanctioned use of a light missile. The game is set in the early days of when The Locust tried to take the planet from the humans. It is a great story that while I am not a huge fan of prequels and if I had to pick a game in the series that had the weakest story. Then I would say this has the weakest story that is not to say it is bad. It is still a very good story and one that does hook you right from the start.
The presentation of the game is amazing. Graphics have always been one of the strong points in the Gears franchise and while this one does not look a million times better than what Gears Of War 3 offered. It does have more varied locations in the game than its predecessor. One thing that I love about the Gears Of War series is that during the levels the banter between the characters lets you know them better as characters. It’s a great way of not only progressing the story, but letting you connect with the characters more.
This is the same cover shooter game play style that all the Gears Of War games have had. This one from a core game play point of view has not changed a great deal, but there is one new part to the game that is a great deal of fun and that is the declassified missions.
Before you start a level you will see a giant Gears logo on the wall going over to this will let you try the declassified version of the mission. This is the same mission, but with different variations. For example you may have a time limit or you may have to use a certain type of pistol. These declassified missions add a great deal of replay value to the game and I found myself playing these more than just playing the standard missions. This is a feature that hopefully will be in future installments in the Gears franchise.
Gears Of War is known for its multi player scene and Judgment keeps many of the game modes that you love (although there have been a few taken away). Horde for example returns and is just as much fun as it ever was. Seeing you take down wave after wave of enemies. As well as this two new game modes in OverRun and Free For All have been added to add a little variety to the multi player.
Gears Of War: Judgment is a worth entry in the Gears franchise. Gears Of War 3 was always going to be a hard act to follow and while this is not quite as good as Gears 3 it is still very fun. If you do all the declassified missions as well as the standard missions then the campaign will take you quite a while to beat. And of course there is the multi player which still has a very active multi player scene right now.