When 343 made Halo 4, people were skeptical  So it’s understandable that some fans would be skeptical about People Can Fly putting their own spin on Gears of War.

But are they worrying for nothing? We got a chance to check out Gears of War: Judgement and we reckon everyone may be a bit surprised.  

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Gears of War Judgement follows series favorite  Damon Baird, as he stands trial for War Crimes. During this time, Baird is the lieutenant of Kilo Squad with Augustus “Cole Train” Cole who is part of his team. Emergence Day has just begun and during all the chaos, Baird and Cole are forced to face down hordes of Locusts, while listening to the harsh accusations of COG Colonel, Ezra Loomis. Dynamic action. Mounds of dialogue. So what makes Gears of War Judgement different from the previous numbered installments? Well, for one thing, Dom and Marcus are no longer the focus so we get to learn more about Cole and Baird, and for another, part of the game is a prequel. With this prequel, we get to see more of the Locusts menacing soldiers and some unique and awesome weaponry from both the Locusts and COG. Players will also gain finer details about the Pendulum Wars, some of it told from a brand new perspective. Garron Paduk, a new introduction to the series, was a major for the UIR. During Emergence Day, his home town gets destroyed by the Locusts, and so he agrees to join the COG as a grunt to take revenge.    

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So, why is a prequel a good idea for Gears of War? Well, Halo had Reach, O.D.S.T and Halo Wars and it gave us a better insight into the Halo universe outside other media forms such as books and comics. Gears of War also has a huge universe with so many possibilities. During the story, Baird is questioned as to why he disobeyed direct orders from command. Whilst Baird gives his own account, you get a chance to declassify the story, adding more information, new details and challenges. As you begin each mission, you will find a Gears logo spray painted on the wall. After inspecting it, a challenge will pop up such as “get through the area in 2 minutes or less”. This makes Judgement quite unique each time it’s played, and also ups the stakes for players who may be finding it all a bit easy. Each mission also has a Star-Rating, the better you do during a mission, the more stars are unlocked. There’s a total of 3 stars in each mission, and the better players do, the more they’ll unlock, such as skins, characters and other cool content for multiplayer. The campaign also has a few horde-like elements,such as defending rooms from countless waves. This adds a refreshing new experience to the campaign’s gameplay.      

Of course, multiplayer is still present in all its glory. Although, I feel there may be some issues in balancing the weapons. New to the series is the Free-For-All game mode. The aim here is to take to the battlefield with only one goal, kill as many players as you can and survive. Also Domination mode which is similar to King Of The Hill. All the favourites are still here including Horde and Beast Mode but there is a new game mode to try out: Survival. The goal of this is to protect a generator from being destroyed by the locusts. You also get to experience the new class system, pick between Soldier, who can drop ammo for other players, Medic, who has medicine grenades that can heal and revive downed team mates, scout, who can show the positions of enemies and the engineer who can repair and upgrade fortifications and turrets. Ten waves of intense defensive gameplay is enough to get your heart racing. There is also a co-op version, Over Run, where teams take turns attacking and defending the generator. We can’t wait to see what DLC they release.

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This might not be the Gears of War game people wanted to see but it will be the game people will be talking about. People Can Fly have increased fans enjoyment of the overall Gears story and universe and with Gears of War Judgement, it might be the start of further looks in to the Gears universe. But we will just have to wait and see.

Gears of War Judgement will be released on the Xbox 360 on March 22 (Europe); March 19 (US).