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I quite liked Gears of War 3, it was a bit samey but please see my review of that game. Any-who, this game takes a slightly different curve from the previous three, including the title, as it is not simply called Gears of War 4, but this reflects the time frame of the plot.
This time you don't play as Adam Fenix, but as Lt Baird, or just Baird as you find out later and the Cole train. Actually you play as four characters as the story unfolds. So this game has you playing as different characters, which are quite interesting in their own way, but I missed Fenix and Dom. The plot is different in that it is not just a linear story that plods along, now you start the story near the end. Lt Baird, the Cole Train and the rest of the crew are on charge of disobeying a direct order and have been put in front of a kangaroo court held by their Colonel, who wants to hear their side of the story before he eventually makes the final verdict (hence the name of the game) and puts them all to death. The whole plot takes place before the first Gears of War as Emergence day has just occurred and the COGs are struggling to understand the enemy they are fighting. Baird and his crew take out the main force with the light-mass missile and are promptly brought up on charges.
The levels proceed as the court hearing goes on, in roughly 4 parts as you play each character in the squad as they give their testament in the trial. The trial is interrupted by the pesky grubs several times and in the end you have to take out the big boss with the Colonel who , after saving his life, decides not to take your life but demotes Baird indefinitely and that's when he and Cole train join Adam Fenix and Delta squad.
Once you have completed this part of the main game you also have a mini-game unlocked called 'Aftermath' which lasts for about 90 minutes straight threw which reverts the plot to 24 hours before the occurrences of Gears of War 3 when Baird and the Cole train are on their side of the mission, its quite good because the radio transmissions between Kilo and Delta squad correlate to what I remember from the earlier game and make sense- I suppose that's what they call storyline.
As with Gears of war 3, the controls, the gameplay, the weapons , the enemies are all the same, their are actually no new enemies or new levels to play a different sort of gameplay - I found this to be lazy publishing.
The main part of the game seems to be that the squad is to protect something from a horde mode, wave after wave of wave of enemies, this gets boring and repetitive.
Gears of War Judgement is the Prologue to the massively acclaimed Gears of War series. In this brand new gears experience you will be encountering how the massive invasion of the Locust attacked and how the likes of Baird and Cole find themselves where they are in later games.
Judgement offers fresh new ideas from the developers to deliver to us an immersive story that leaves an epic impression. With shorter missions and the new inclusion of the 'Declassify' mode, you can experience a harder gameplay style with set weapon out-loads, time trial modes, harder enemies, more enemies, melee only, reduced vision, weather affecting movement as well as many more. This adds for a more objective based scenario within the levels that keep you coming back for more to try and complete them to help unlock more stars which equates to more goodies including unlockable characters, weapon skins and the extra locked campaign, Aftermath.
With the new enemy spawning system enemy encounters are vastly more frequent and allow you to be looking round corners as well as behind out every step of the way along your Judgement journey to make sure you wont be ambushed. Cutscenes are beautiful despite a post-war occurring, and they all seamlessly link in with the storyline which is a bonus as with many games i play, i get lost with the story from them.
Revives appear to be better and even if you aren't playing on 'Co-op' mode team-mate AI's always seem to put your safety through revives first. They are also useful with fighting off locusts and always seem to be getting more kills that you most of the time.
The mulitplayer more is generic. usual Player Vs Player mode with character selections and the ability to level up to unlock more. But i did find this thoroughly enjoying due to the fact that the Locust had a load of different character selection options in-game that don't require a particular level to use. You simply just gain points in a match and once you reach the required points, you can spend them on unlocking a character for a life. One thing that i didn't like about the mulitplayer though was the fact that there was only 4 options for the COG's team as apposed to the locusts' 8. COG characters were too boring with the usual, Soldier, Medic, Engineer, Scout much like those found on Team Fortress 2. This is my only niggle at the mulitplayer but other that that i loved it!
Overall i feel that even thought Gears Of War: Judgement didn't have the usual Gears feel to it with its new spawning and fast paced gameplay, but i think this was for the better. This was knowhere near as good as Gears Of War 2 or 3 and i do feel that this is more of a 'Sell Out' game for producers to make more money. But it does clear up the story towards the beginning more and the replay value of the levels made be come back for more with the game.