Thursday, March 21, 2013

Why No Reason For Posting? One Answer Gears of War: Judgment!

Edited and written by Lynn Gerena ( Ashe Darkthorne )

I thought this would be a quick explanation to where I have been. The obvious is playing Gears of War: Judgment.


I want to take the time to apologies to everyone for not posting in the last two days. I had my wife home to get some things done and both kids have been super clingy with coughs and fevers.
On the good side of things Gears of War: Judgment released and I have been playing like mad for the past two days trying to do the campaign and wet my feet in the multiplayer. I might as well give you my review on what my 2 days of Judgment has led me to believe.


Gears of War: Judgment review

Ok first things first. I was dead set against this even happening. I have played BulletStorm and thought it was a fun game especially coming from new face People Can Fly. I was worried when Judgment was announced and that the Epic crew would not be doing it. Mind you I understood why they wanted the time to work on other things but the same time in my personal opinion did not think you needed a new Gears of War game so quickly after Gears of War 3. I am happy to say that People Can Fly did an incredible task with the franchise. Do I think it a perfect game by no means that is not the case, there are a few issues that bother me but I will break those down as I go along.

Graphics 
Gears of War is known for it’s sense of mood whether it is the Destroyed Beauty of the first Gears that set the dire background for the entire series or the absolutely stunning visuals of the architect in Gears of War: Judgment. Seeing the devastation not weathered or aged but as it is going on in present time was beautiful. Judgment shows how the Unreal Engine can just keep pushing some beautiful power out for the games it runs. I found it hard to concentrate on certain task because this was the first game that made me just look at the beautiful backgrounds. The game has a perfect mixture of dark and bright scenery to break the monotony of the flow. You will not be in a dark world for the entire game. I found the graphics to be smooth and a great change of pace from prior entries. My score from 1 to 5 is a 4 out of 5.
Gameplay
I have to start with the controls were something to get adjusted to. This new control scheme is different and all but it is definitely not as scary as it could have been. Being an old gearhead I was just so familiar with the control scheme that I continued to go for my directional pad to switch weapons, with that function now assigned to the Y button it was something to get used to. Unfortunately I forced myself to learn pretty fast on the multiplayer side. It seems as the control scheme though “simplified” feels familiar once you get over the initial adjustment to the new scheme. Not having to windup all grenades before tossing is a blessing and though you can still aim it to where you wish that quick toss is awesome and helps in tight spots.
In the Campaign mode you are Kilo Squad led by Damon Baird having just been arrested on a slew of charges while the commanding officer Colonel Loomis takes it upon himself to hold a military tribunal as Halvo Bay is falling apart around you. As each soldier testifies, you’ll play through six chapters told (and played) from their point of view of the events that led up to this point. This is a great way to see things from said individuals perspective. The way the story is laid out is great and leads you to a great culmination to present day Kilo Squad. You will also be able to find out what happened to the rest of Kilo while Cole and Baird were running around destroying grub hives with Dom and Marcus in Delta Squad.
I enjoyed the bookend way of storytelling and wish other games would be able to pull something like this off. Other people will probably think that Aftermath should have been released as DLC for Gears 3 but I am glad it was not. We get to familiarize ourselves with new characters and see the end result as well. Brilliant strategy.
A few new features separate Judgment from its predecessors, though, such as the star-based progress meter for each mission; it awards stars based on kills, executions, and completing mission objectives, encouraging you to replay missions to earn all the stars, which will unlock medals, ribbons, Achievements, and skins.
The gameplay is fun and holds up as original  and familiar a good jump on for new players and a welcome adjustments for fans of the franchise.  I would give this a 4 out of 5.

Multiplayer
gears-of-war-judgment-4The class based system is also a great addition as to learning how to play with whoever you choose. You have the Scout, Medic, Soldier, and Engineer and they all complement one another. I did see on certain multiplayer games where there were 3 engineers and 1 soldier just so they can bury their opponents in turret kills which mind you DO NOT MISS even when you as a ticker are going fast pace.
There is definitely a difference between the “roadie run” from previous games and Judgment. It feels slower and seems like as someone in a run you are an easier target because of how slow it feels to move out of gunfire. That is my initial complaint with controls, I just do not feel it as fast as it was suppose to be.
Another thing I have noticed is some issues from previous games just can’t seem to be rectified even with a different developing team working on it. Perfect example is how some people can shoot from wall corners and hit you smack in the head before even stepping out of cover. This has always been a cheap way that people get kills and wish that Epic would have found a way to correct the problem. Another issue is when you have someone at pointblank range and no gib let alone a death towards your enemy as they keep coming and eventually overtake you.
The multiplayer game types are fun. Survival is a compact version of horde but still plays as a game of Overrrun. The only difference is you play against bot AI’s. The game shipped with four available maps and they are a good range of size.
Multiplayer is a fun aspect even if I find it a little too skimmed back for my tastes. Except for the issue with the run in multiplayer and some targeting which has plagued the game since the beginning. I would give the multiplayer a 3.5 out of 5.

Overall Gears of War: Judgment is a solid game that brings some great new features and gameplay to the franchise but at the same time keeps some of the nagging issues that keep it in my opinion from dominating the multiplayer fields that Call of Duty or other games control. I would hope that in a next game they work on the key issues and stop listening to “die-hard” fans that want their favorite weapon to be the most powerful and ignore the “cheap glitch” that said fans exploit. Besides my gripe I commend People Can Fly with what they accomplished with Judgment and look forward to what else they can bring to the table.
Overall Score is a 4 out of 5.

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