Gears of War: Judgment Review

Gears of War: Judgment is a 2013 military science fiction third-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly, published by Microsoft Studios, and released for Xbox 360.  Serving as a prequel, the story revolves around Lt. Damon Baird and Kilo Squad during a hearing at a COG military tribunal during the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day after a battle against the Locust in Halvo Bay.


Positives:

  • Graphics are solid
  • Great voice performances
  • Interesting story
  • Great characters
  • A lot of replayability
  • Good soundtrack
  • Fantastic multiplayer
  • Fun, challenging gameplay

Negatives:

  • Unnecessary changes in gameplay mechanics
  • Story isn’t compelling

Campaign: The main campaign is extensive, divided into six chapters, each with several missions.  The campaign is pretty fun and the optional missions can make the campaign pretty challenging.  The main story follows Kilo Squad who are put on trial for various crimes by Colonel Ezra Loomis and is given the chance to explain their actions.  Each level is a recollection by a different member of the team consisting of Lieutenant Damon Baird, former Thrashball player Augustus Cole, Onyx Guard cadet Sofia Hendrick, and former UIR soldier Garron Paduk.  The characters are a good blend of old characters and new, Sofia and Garron are pretty sweet, offering a new outlook on the COG and the war.  The story is an interesting one though it isn’t as compelling nor as lengthy as previous installments. Great that players can see the early days of the Locust War. (3 out of 5)

Gameplay: Remains largely similar to its predecessors, Judgment does introduce a lot of new features.  Each mission is scored on several criteria including the number of kills, head shots, and an optional setting that mandates certain criteria such as a time limit or a restriction on usable weapons.  Each mission is rewarded up to three stars. What makes this game pretty unique is that each part of the story allows players to control a different member of Kilo Squad.  This is a refresher as every game til this point mainly follows Marcus Fenix.  There is one big change that developers did that seems unnecessary.  Instead of players using the D-pad to switch weapons they have to press the Y-button (and after playing three games switching weapons at this point is muscle memory). (3 out of 5)

Graphics: Judgment does feature some pretty good graphics.  The character designs have a good amount of depth to them, the environments are highly detailed, and the cinematics are done well.  The creature designs look really good. (4 out of 5)

Score:  The soundtrack is actually done really well.  It has that militaristic theme that all the games share.  The voice cast do a great job with the characters.  The sound effects are solid and definitely give depth to the environments as well as the weapons and the creatures. (4 out of 5)

Replay Value:  Judgment introduces two new multiplayer modes, OverRun (a team of COG Soldiers must defend three objectives while the Locust Horde must destroy them), Execution (two teams attempt to wipe each other out before time runs out), and Free-for-All (every player for themselves), Domination (two teams fight over three stationary rings around a map), Team Deathmatch (two teams just go at it), Master at Arms (Free-for-All style match where players kill with one of 19 different weapons), and Breakthrough (one team must breakthrough the opposing team’s defenses and deliver the flag before their lives run out).  The multiplayer modes are incredibly fun and highly competitive.  Also, going through the campaign again while trying to achieve all three stars for each mission does make it worth another playthrough.  There are character and weapon skins that can be unlocked for the multiplayer modes. (4 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Gears of War: Judgment is a good edition to the GOW mythos.  There are some nitpicks here and there, but mostly some of the gameplay changes.  However, the game does feature a good story, awesome characters, great combat, great voice performances, great multiplayer, and a good score.  Gears of War: Judgment gets 4 out of 5.

Related posts

Leave a Comment