We judge this to be awesome!
The Pitch: Refocusing the series on a slew of new main characters, Gears of War: Judgment tells the tale of Lieutenant Baird as he stands trial for treason in the immediate aftermath of the Locust invasion on Planet Sera.
What It Really Is: Now that Marcus Fenix and the rest of Delta team’s swan song has been sung, the Gears of War dynasty is making a major shift with Judgment. Enter Kilo Team, Lt. Damon Baird, and an entirely new narrative structure that cleverly unearths the events following Emergence Day through chunks of playable testimony and flashbacks. This military tribunal slant actually accomplishes more than just lending some cinematic quality to the game, it also lays the foundation for Judgment’s new declassification system, a series of optional challenges scattered throughout levels that will either make enemies tougher, put time limits on checkpoints, or add new elements of chaos to your goals. Accomplishing a declassification will help add to the stars you earn for each checkpoint you reach. Stacking up the stars gives you access to unlockable features within the game, like the Aftermath campaign, which bridges the gap between Gears 3 and Judgment. The new additions do a good job of breathing some fresh air into the nature of the series without changing the unique gameplay that has defined Gears of War all along. Plus, the military trial basically obligates any player to occasionally shout “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” and that’s a huge bonus in our book.
Maxim.com Ready-Made Press Blurb: “We’re guilty of loving Gears of War: Judgment.” -Maxim.com
Fun Fact: Gears of War: Judgment now includes a new artificial intelligence system that spawns enemies in different places each time. Gone are the days of replaying a level and knowing exactly where the baddies will come from. Replaying levels solo, with friends or online will make your COG adventures a lot like our bathing habits: irregular and potentially deadly.
Who It’s For: If there was ever a time to begin your descent into the Gears universe, now is it. Judgment may throw nods to veterans who have been coming back since 2006, but it’s also a great opportunity to jump into the series fresh, setting up the events of Gears 1-3 and leaving us thirsting for the next installment.