I’m a pretty big Gears of War fan; in fact, as it’s been related numerous times before, it’s actually the one of the reasons you’re inflicted with my rambling daily. Curiously though, I haven’t exactly been chomping at the bit for the new Gears of War, from Polish developer People Can Fly. I’ve now played it to completion, and spent a fair bit of time in the multiplayer – and it’s definitely a good game. What does the rest of the world think?
Opinion seems pretty divided; with scores ranging from a 92 from IGN – all the way down to 60’s from the likes of GiantBomb and Digital Spy.
As I said, it’s definitely a good game – but there are some fundamental changes to elements that make Gears of War, well..Gears of War that just don’t sit right with me; In the multiplayer, active reloads no longer buff damage and there’s no bleeding out; two of Gears’ most central mechanisms ripped out – and it’ll take some getting used to for long-term Gears fans. But that new Overrun mode? That’s the business.
Here’s what everybody else had to say :
- IGN: 92 – Gears of War 3 appeared to exhaust what third-person, cover-based shooters do best. Judgment makes Gears of War feel young again.
- Joystiq: 4.5/5 – A diligent approach to ensuring that no two encounters are the same keeps it from ever feeling stagnant or like a waste of your time. You’re always moving, constantly pushing through the next enemy stronghold, never sure of what you’ll face, and it’s always harrowing.
- Destructoid: 90 - OverRun alone is worthy of praise, but there’s just so much stuff going on in this package, there’s something for all followers of the series. A few of Judgment’s experiments may not be as fondly received as others, but overall it’s hard to complain about a game that tries so much, and succeeds in almost all its endeavors…This is Gears of War back, unquestionably, on the winning path.
- Strategy Informer: 85 - The Campaign might only last around 6-7 hours, but there are plenty of reasons to go back, ensuring that Gears of War: Judgment feels more than just an expansion pack to its predecessors.
- GameTrailers: 81 - It’s solid, it’s capable, it fits with the identity of the series. In short, it’s Gears.
- The Escapist: 80 - Judgment is gorgeous in its destruction and the gunplay is simply unmatched, as has been the case with every Gears title since its inception. The fact that the game doesn’t offer anything significantly new is definitely a point against it, but it remains undeniably fun to play.
- GamesRadar: 80 – Not only an incredible action game, but the most enjoyable Gears of War game yet–plot holes be damned.
- Eurogamer: 80 – Gears of War: Judgment is a timely reminder that ruthless focus on gameplay, generosity towards players and good old-fashioned design craft can still pay dividends at a time when big-budget action games are at risk of fragmenting into splinters of mindless busywork. Sometimes, being a bloody good shooter is all that’s required.
- Official Xbox Magazine UK: 80 - Both its strengths and its weaknesses are the result of a vision of how the experience of slaughtering tunnel-loving bogeymen should be, and while the results aren’t as spectacular or generous as we’re used to, they put up a damn good fight.
- El33tonline: 4/5 - Gears of War: Judgment manages to walk a fine line between keeping things familiar and recognisable while introducing something fresh to the comfortable formula to keep the franchise exciting, and if you’ve never played a Gears of War game before, it’s the perfect place to start.
- G3AR: 75 – Gears of War: Judgment never promised to be a full-fledged sequel and it shows. It does however provide you with loads of enjoyment if you can looks past its obvious flaws and is just enough to keep you going until we see the sequel on the next Xbox console.
- VideoGamer: 70 - A solid effort that, in some ways, changes the Gears formula for the better. Whether it will be remembered as anything other than a stopgap is questionable, but small qualms aside, it’s a good one.
- Giant Bomb: 3/5 - There’s just enough exposition there to keep things moving and just enough of a gameplay tweak to make you wish they had made these changes two games ago. It’s a fun but feature-light shooter for people who already enjoy the basic style of Gears of War. Nothing more, nothing less.
- Digital Spy: 3/5 - Gears of War: Judgment is not a bad game, but one that very much stands in the shadow of its more illustrious predecessors. It is a bit like going back to a favorite restaurant, only to find that the management has changed and it’s just not quite the same anymore…Sure, you’ll still have a pretty decent meal, but you’ll also leave yearning for days gone by.
Are you picking up Judgment when it sees release this Friday?
The current metacritic score is sitting at
The last Gears of War title, Gears of War 3 ended with a metacritic score of