Gears of War 3. Pretty damn good game eh? The Locust have their bug tails handed to them in a wonderfully destructive fashion and it’s all good from there. How do you beat that? Well Epic was smart and decided it was best to fill in a bit of backstory so you can kind of get the full scope of what happened leading up to the beginning of the storyline for Gears of War 3. Told through flashbacks from the four members of Kilo squad: Lt. Baird, Pvt. Cole, Sofia Hendrik, and Garron Paduk, Gears of War: Judgement is set about 14 years before the events of the first game. Epic is basking in it’s glory of pure awesome so it decided to let
the developers of Bulletstorm, People Can Fly, do the development. And honestly they did a pretty damn good job.
The basic plot of the game is that Kilo squad disobeyed some orders. This isn’t a good thing because Col. Ezra Loomis is not happy and in the middle of the war taking place has contained Kilo squad and put them on trial right then and there. No worry about the fact that stuff is falling down on everyone or that the Locust are pinging their door with rounds of ammunition. In Col. Loomis’ eyes, this has to take place now. Each level of the game is retold through the different members of Kilo squad giving you the chance to play that character. While this is kind of cool, it’s just another characters ass you’ll be looking at for a level. Kilo squad is in this predicament because Baird decided that in order to kill Karn, a genepool reject in the Theron Guard that has somehow made his way up the ranks into a total badass with his special pet that he rides, a Shibboleth, he needed to launch a lightmass missile which is basically a nuke to the power of 10. Sadly this was against orders and here they are now, explaining why they detonated a nuke on a city full of civilians in a COG tribunal.
This, is essentially the first and main mission in the game, allowing you to earn medals and stars to open up another campaign entitled Aftermath. In this campaign, you start out with Baird, Carmine, and Cole at Halvo Bay to find a ship to use in, you guessed it, Gears of War 3. Good tie in right? Anyway, long story short you meet up with Paduk again of the UIR to go find a good boat. You do, and along the way you tear up a lot of concrete and Locust. Nothing special but it is good fun giving you some more backstory about Baird and Paduk and why Paduk has a hate for the COG. There wasn’t a time throughout any of these campaigns where I thought to myself “hey..this is getting tedious, when is it going to be over”. Instead I poured myself another IPA from the kegerator and continued forward. One of the unique items added to the game this time around is an option to activate the Declassified version or mode of the game. This will allow the player at the beginning of each level to activate a red COG logo allowing them to choose if they want to complete that level in a much harder mode. These options range from weapon limitations, countdown timers, or enemies getting smart and flanking you causing some real pain. Finishing these levels in this mode increases your chances of getting a 3 star finish and medal accumulation.
One of the nastier changes in this game came with a good/bad feel to it. The new weapons now available to you are great and really fun to use. You can easily switch from weapon to weapon now making life much more enjoyable in those intense firefights. Additionally throwing grenades seemed to have had some changes made to the system. The bad part of this though is that with all of the new weapons, you are unable to carry a sidearm, thus limiting your carry selection. Whoever came up with this idea should have their knuckles knocked with a ruler. You know, one of the rulers that have the metal edge on it.
Gears of War: Judgment is a fun game to play and you can tell that the game as given some upgrades and code tweaks to try and keep it fresh. Besides the code enhancements, the game gives you some background story, new weapons, and little nuggets of information for those looking for a update in the fan base. A hard task considering you are playing something that is just a large DLC packaged in a new box instead of just downloading it, which in the grand scheme of things, probably would have been a wiser choice when it comes to distribution.
3 out of 4 Widows