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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still fun, but not really on a par with the previous games.
Back in 2006, XBox 360 gamers were treated to the first in the Gears Of War franchise, which was such an enormous success that it spawned two critically-acclaimed sequels in 2008 and 2011 that the gaming audience lapped up with aplomb. But surely that was it after that? After all, those three games completed a story, didn't they? Well, yes they did, but despite this,...
Published 14 months ago by Mr. A. T. Whitaker

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars multiplayer = rip-off
As a long term Gears fan, it pains me to say that this product seems to be something of a cash-in.

The campaign is completely by-the-numbers and seems to have been a rush-job. However, I'm not too bothered about the campaign mode, so that I could forgive.

It's the multiplayer mode that infuriates. Traditional multiplayer only launched with 4 maps...
Published 14 months ago by BornToRun


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still fun, but not really on a par with the previous games., 30 Jun 2013
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Back in 2006, XBox 360 gamers were treated to the first in the Gears Of War franchise, which was such an enormous success that it spawned two critically-acclaimed sequels in 2008 and 2011 that the gaming audience lapped up with aplomb. But surely that was it after that? After all, those three games completed a story, didn't they? Well, yes they did, but despite this, now we have Gears Of War: Judgment, which is actually set before the events of the first game (although to be fair there is a separate section called "Aftermath" in this new game that is set during a specific point that occurred in Gears Of War 3.

The first thing you notice about Judgment is the absence of familiar characters Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago. Instead we have Damon Baird and Augustus "Cole Train" Cole taking something more akin to centre stage, flanked by new members: Cadet Sofia Hendrick and former UIR (Union of Independent Republics) soldier Garron Paduk. Baird is actually in charge of Kilo Squad the same way that Marcus led Delta Squad in the preceding games.

The game is mostly told in flashbacks as Baird and the rest of Kilo Squad are being forced to stand trial at the mercy of Colonel Ezra Loomis after Baird took a frowned-upon action without authorisation. The gameplay is set during a series of such flashbacks as each of the members recounts to the court different moments during the time leading up to the event for which Baird is accused, and it is in these that you take control.

Each small section allows you to collect three stars, which is part of a meter in the top corner that accumulates as you destroy members of the Locust Horde, and, as added pressure, if one of your team is downed then the meter depletes! Because of this it is advisable not to run off too far away from everyone else. To help accumulate stars faster you have the option of adding an element of increased difficulty (this differs from one section to another, but examples include having to complete the level in a set time-limit, greatly reducing the kind of ammo/weapons available or having to protect certain things from total destruction; these elements are called Declassified Missions, and take the form of a large, glowing Crimson Omen logo that you go up to and select, and it will ask whether or not you wish to proceed with this Declassified Mission). Also hidden in each level is a COG Tag collectible.

As in Gears 3 you can have up to four players during the Campaign (although only two at once on the same console via split-screen), and this is still as much fun as it ever was. However, because of the issues mentioned in the previous paragraph expect to have to rely on teamwork more than ever before to reach a decent number of stars.

What do you have in the way of weapons? Well, old favourites are here, such as the Lancer (with its trademark chainsaw bayonet), Hammerburst (although unless you got your version from a specific retailer it is the one that featured in the two previous games, rather than the version of the Hammerburst that you saw in the first game), Boomshot, Torque Bow, Digger, Scorcher, One-shot, Gnasher shotgun, Sawn-off shotgun (or "Sawed-off shotgun" in the game, but that is not really considered good English grammar here in the UK), Longshot, Retro Lancer and Mulcher. You can also get the Vulcan but now there is no need to have someone else carrying the ammo box; it's all built into the weapon so that one person uses it. New ones include the Markza (a semi-automatic sniper rifle, but arguably not as advanced so you cannot zoom in as much as you could with the Longshot), Breechshot (a bit like the Markza but you get no scope whatsoever) and Booshka (which fires small explosive rounds that, if you do not hit anything directly, can bounce off walls and other things before settling and exploding; expect to have to practice with these to get the best out of them). Grenades-wise you get the familiar Frag grenade, Incendiary grenade, Smoke grenade and ink grenade, plus the new stim grenade and spot grenade (more about those later).

Multiplayer-wise the Horde Mode and Beast Mode from the previous game are now gone, and instead we have Survival and Overrun.

In Survival you and up to four other human players (again only up to two on the same console) have to hold off against ten waves of Locust to prevent them from destroying two emergence hole covers and a generator. However, you cannot just choose any character; you are restricted to four different characters that have differing abilities that is reminiscent of the way you help each other out using various soldier classes in the Battlefield games. The Soldier can throw ammo grenades that allow people to stand in the circle and top up their ammo in all their weapons (although the circle only lasts for a short time); the Medic can throw stim grenades that can heal damaged fellow COGs and revive downed ones; another is a Scout that can throw spot grenades that identify any Locust that come into its range (again, this only lasts for a short time) and the Engineer character can raise short-term sentry guns and use a repair tool to repair damage to Troika turret guns or barriers. Unlike Horde in the previous two games, however, each character is constrained to specific weapons and you cannot pick up guns from downed foes the way you can in other game modes. The Soldier is restricted to the Booshka and Lancer; the Engineer's only real weapon is the Gnasher (although his repair tool also does some damage to enemies), while his grenades become Sentry guns that last for about eight seconds; the Scout uses the Markza and Snub Pistol (note that there is no Active Reload for this particular pistol any more, so there is no chance to reload faster or give yourself the temporary damage boost that still exists for the other weapons, but luckily it does not take long to reload); while the Medic has the Lancer and the Sawn-off Shotgun.

Overrun is just the same as Survival, the only difference being that the Locust are controlled by human players and that Overrun consists of two rounds on the same map, with the teams alternating between being COG and Locust, and the Locust pool you can select from is restricted, even more so than in Beast in the previous game, which is more than a bit of a shame.

The other adversarial multiplayer modes include Team Deathmatch, Free-for-all and Domination, which pretty much do what they say on the tin even if you have never played a Gears game before.

But is all this any good? Well, yes and no. Yes, it is still fun, and no, because there are some things about Gears Of War: Judgment that somehow do not quite measure up to the sheer brilliance of the previous games (especially not the second and third ones).

The first shock came when I found that, instead of being able to carry four weapons that could be selected with the D-pad, I could only carry two that you switched between with the Y button. Why did they change a control system that had been a standard of these games for over six years? It did take a bit of getting used to. They also changed the grenade-throwing control to the Left Bumper. Again, why? What happened to not fixing something that was not broken? I lost count of the number of times that I accidentally threw a grenade (sometimes killing myself) because I pressed that to try and locate my other teammates, and this is how you did that in the previous games.

Another issue that has arguably been a big problem even in the previous games is the AI of your cohorts when you are unlucky enough not to have humans controlling them. This is still as bad as ever, and is particularly frustrating if you are playing on the Insane difficulty level or if you are playing Survival by yourself -- the AI-controlled people clearly do not have a working brain cell between them and quite often prioritise things that really aren't that important compared to rescuing someone that has been downed or going off glory-hunting in Survival when something more pressing like protecting the E-hole cover or generator, or even something like the Medic rescuing downed team members or the Engineer repairing fortifications damaged by Locust. In fact, if you do end up playing Survival by yourself then the likelihood is that you're probably better off quitting while you're behind because of this!

Another element from the earlier games that seems to be lacking (although apparently at the time of writing is due to re-emerge in a DLC add-on) is the ability to perform executions. These were good ideas and added a bit of depth, so why remove them? It is precisely this kind of thing that prevents Gears Of War: Judgment from being anything as special as the games that preceded it.

There are other slight niggles that I could go on about, including the same old problem when there are lots of weapons lying around and having trouble standing in exactly the right place to pick up the one you want (which is even more of a problem if a downed teammate is thrown into the mix as you can still inadvertently pick up a nearby weapon when you intended to revive the teammate in question), the Sawn-off shotgun seemingly not being quite as powerful as it was in Gears Of War 3 (when it could kill Boomers and Grinders with just one shot at the best of times) and the versus modes (save for Overrun) not being COG versus Locust (instead they seem to be differentiated by one team being blue and the other being red).

While we're talking about weapons, I have to admit to taking a bit of a disliking to the Booshka and the Breechshot. To be honest, in many cases I found them to be a bit crap. The Boomshot is way more effective than the Booshka and doesn't bounce off things and require luck in hoping that the projectile will explode when you want it to, while I just found the Breechshot incredibly annoying to use. Because the Breechshot is just a Markza with no scope, it comes across to me as being not only a bit pointless, but also restricted in terms of usefulness; I didn't find it particularly useful in general combat (particularly when enemies were closer), and its lack of scope made shooting at long distances more about luck than anything. That having been said, I do not have a problem with the new Spot and Stim grenades.

So the game is still good and still fun, but don't expect it to quite have the same appeal or effect on you as the previous games.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as 'gears' as I would have liked., 26 Mar 2013
By 
T. Brown (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I will start this review by saying I am a fan of the gears universe and not just the game. Ive read all the novels and graphic novels and have thoroughly gotten into the theme.

As far as the single player campaign goes, the structure has changed slightly with the introduction of declassified missions. These arent missions as such but more stipulations for the next combat segment, for example you may only be allowed to use pistols or you might start with no ammo. These do make the segments more difficult but also it makes every fight different. No longer can you run through the whole game with your favourite weapon if you want the full experience. My only gripe with these missions are the timed missions, as I prefer to play at my own pace.

The levels are split into segments, but any experienced gears player will have noticed that in all the gears games the fights were pre scripted in specific areas, so all this does is give you a defined break. You will earn stars depending on your success in each segment to unlock things.

As far as the story goes, suprisingly they have decided not to use the full back catalogue of characters. Paduk and Sofia are ok but nothing stands out. Cole and Baird seem a bit toned down from gears 3. You can tell karen traviss did not write this game. It feels like a video game designer wrote it, so back to the bland cliches of gears 1.

Another dissapointment is Karn, the end boss. Im not going to spoil anything but he is no general raam. I beat him first time.

Horde has gone and has been replaced by survival, which is just co-op overun. The overun mode itself is very good, pitting a team of cogs against a team of locust, swapping sides and seeing who does the best destroying the generator. I really enjoyed this mode, and the cog class system really works. It also makes the weaker locust a bit more useful with the level design. No longer will you hope to just have wretches and tickers to shoot because they will come from unexpected places.

Team deathmatch, and the pretty obvious but not so good free for all, is pretty much the same as it used to be. In fact the level design encourages the roll around with a shotgun playstyle that makes this pretty boring. You can now get different skins for your multiplayer characters, but the amount of multiplayer characters have been severly cut from gears 3.

Overall I am enjoying this game thoroughly but I have to say not as much as gears 3.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars multiplayer = rip-off, 7 Jun 2013
This review is from: Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
As a long term Gears fan, it pains me to say that this product seems to be something of a cash-in.

The campaign is completely by-the-numbers and seems to have been a rush-job. However, I'm not too bothered about the campaign mode, so that I could forgive.

It's the multiplayer mode that infuriates. Traditional multiplayer only launched with 4 maps. Compare that to 10 provided on Gears of War. Overpriced DLC will add another 5/6 maps, 2 of which are remakes from Gears 3. Gears 3 DLC usually had around 5 maps each, including 1 map pack which was FREE.

Epic's excuse is that there are other maps on a new game type called "Overrun". I've tried this game and have no interest in it at all. Like most Gears fans, I want to play the classic gears game. By all means develop it, tweak it, improve it but don't just bin it and try to force your users to play something else!

Finally, the multiplayer playlist situation is a disaster. Lots of unnecessary playlists, means the community is thinly spread and it's hard to even find a game against human players.

I bought this game blindly, due to how much i liked the older games. If there is another gears game to come, I will certainly not be buying that blind. If there are less than 10 MP maps, count me out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gears of flop, 2 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
An alright game by itself but by no way does it surpass or live up to it's expectations or hype as a gears game.

You can have fun for a limited amount of time before it gets dull and repetitive and is in no way a balanced game. As a gears veteran changes have been made that are just ridiculous such as the shotgun shield that was patched in gears of war two has actually been made a playable thing. Along with no dbno system, no recticle widening with the sniper, overpowered weapons, instant melee attack, easy two-piece (with any weapon), button layout problems with the tac com being on the d-pad (when the RB button does nothing) which you can't just tap it stays on the tac com screen and the two weapon set-up where you press y to instantly change weapons. You have to pay for about 9/10 of the skins and the ones you can unlock require no difficulty whatsoever and the plain fact that carmine is not a playable character when he is one of the biggest in the series.

There are so many other faults that I can name with this game. Fun for time killing but other than that, no more than just an arcade shooter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360), 22 May 2014
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This review is from: Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Bought for my daughter to replace her original which had broken. It is completely different to the original, the disc is much thicker, will not run on the Xbox 360 and makes a terrible noise when trying to run the disc, the outer case is labelled differently to that shown on the advertisement, if I didn't know any better I would have said this product is a fake. The game has since been returned to Amazon for full refund.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WORST GOW SO FAR! Online is terrible..., 16 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Good camalign however it is the worst GOW game by far especially the online, this is coming from a competitive GOW player for over 6 years, you can tell how bad the online is just by looking at the current number of online players. On the other hand if you're new to the series go ahead and buy the game as the campaign is very enjoyable
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fun, 22 Dec 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Despite this game doesn't contain the usual characters it was still really fun to play! You play as Kilo team which I enjoyed. It was a change from playing as the usual characters and it worked out pretty well. Before playing it I was put off by the fact that it didn't have Marcus in it and the reviews i read sounded pretty bad. The campaign is quite short but I loved it. The declassification missions were cool and they added more fun to the game for me personally. If you do complete the campaign and don't feel very satisfied then do it again on insane and get all those stars. Graphically it is stunning and it's just great. I would get this game but it is a bit different from the past games but you'll still get a kick out of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game, 14 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I don't know why there are so many negative reviews. The game has new modes such as overrun which are new and exciting. The game play is better with the guns changed for the better in my opinion. I particularly enjoy survival as it really emphasizes teamwork. Great game
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good game!, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Fun game with a good story line, just as good as the previous gears if war games in my opinion! Don't understand what all the hate is for!?
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ...And they all live happily ever after!, 6 Oct 2013
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
1 game without Fenix, & we miss him already! This tells you that something is very wrong with this title!

When? Who?
First off, this was meant to be a prequel. So this sets off continuity mistakes, such as the line in GOW1 "These guys are almost as big as you Cole" to which he replies "Yeah.. Almost!" which is a clear acknowledgement of a new enemy - Boomers. But everything is in this game, & more. It doesn't make any sense. That's the first problem with Prequels. The other issue that strikes me as being odd is how dumbed down Cole & Baird are, even though they are younger, more rebellious, full of profanities & have a general hatred against authority. You know! How we all are when we are young! But these characters are dull, dead, forgettable & bare no resemblance to the characters we fell in love with 1-3.

No emotion.
The Story is where it hurts you. We all developed a connection to these characters. This is war, we share their pain, we witness their struggle, and we take pity on the vestige of the life they have left; to fight. Even Marcus, the stoic stolid rock of a man we first met was reduced to a dejected mess by the end of the 3rd game. The contrasts of that alone is enough to bring a tear out! But here? This game? We're barely going through the motions. Instead of staying alive, sneaking around, going on an all out vengeance vendetta, & having an emotional response to the game's story, you are "Ticking Boxes" for awards, stars, & points! This forces you to restart as soon as anything bad happens, & you totally loose all will to live in real life!

Plays like a Slug!
Active reloads are sluggish, grenades are compulsory, restarting can loose you all your guns.. All 2 of them! Pistols are pointless now, as are most of the old weapons that have been deliberately down graded to make way for the new super weapons they were obviously so proud of! Every mission usually throws everything at you. There's no narrative, so it's like playing multi-player on your own, where smaller enemies kill you easier than large stronger ones! (Go figure!) You get killed during executions, but not during sentry reload! (Go figure!) You don't get killed via team frag, but you do from your own frag! The whole thing is a mess.
The extra Declassified Challenges are a disaster too. You either throw your guns away, or rush through the level on timer, or some other pointless additive, or just accept that at the end of the level, you are going to get an annoying 1 or 2 out of 3 star reward. It doesn't matter to the story, I know! But it makes it feel that way!

Diamond in the rough.
There's 1 reason to get this, & that is for "Aftermath". This extra linear story goes back to the wining formula & yields more character subtlety in 1 hour's play, than the entire game does with multi-player & Judgement put together. This small venture is in fact so ingenious that I think the main Dev team had nothing to do with it.
Playing it Co-op split screen brings back the good old times when friends used to actually meet up & play a game together in the same room. Sociable, fun, & casual. Not everyone has the time to devote to online obsessions!

BIG! REALLY BIG!
All the Gears of War games were larger than life. They were set pieces to look at with their massive scale & endless backdrops. Truly breathtaking in certain instances. Judgement feels like the opposite. You enter rooms 1 by 1, fight everything in waves, cut-scene of opening a door, blah blah blah from Loomis.. Something about Icecream.. On to the next room!! There's just 2 instances where the game tried to look big: The city under siege "We all had friends there", & the Lightmass after decay "We should have been out there fighting". The rest feels very claustrophobic.

Oh look at the little bugs!
Detail is something I cannot get enough of. Those tiny details is what tells me the dev team loved this like their baby. You could cut furniture up in the first game. Shooting the little Red Pods down in the second game was fun too! The third one had detail so refined that I often go back to find more subtlety! There's even a song about how Chairman Prescott ditch them playing at a certain point in the game! Yeh! I notice these things! But once again, Judgement? You can't smash boxes, you can't shoot & break lanterns, & funny how the candles are made of GLASS! Yes, they really rushed this out.

If you're going to play it, first disconnect all expectations you have from the GOW games. Because this is a bad imitation for those who just want mindless violence, which any game can offer to be honest. There will never be another Gears of War game. A game so different you actually forget it's just a game at times.

Games developers need to takes this as a lesson. Take games more seriously. Gamers aren't stupid! Give them a product you expect to sell.. They will reject it. Give them an experience so moving it stays with them for ever.. They will fall in love with it.
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Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360)
Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox 360) by Microsoft (Xbox 360)
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