Monday, March 4, 2013

Are you ready for ‘Judgment’?

New ‘Gears of War’ takes players back to the start of Locust War.
By: Faythe Maston
   When it comes to gaming, most gamers are torn on their opinion of video game prequels. Despite some fan backlash, Epic Games has decided to make the newest addition to the Gears of War series a prequel to the famous trilogy. This entry, named Gears of War:  Judgment, promises to give players a more in-depth look at the start of the Locust War and show the past history of series’ favorites Damon Baird and Augustus “The Cole Train” Cole. The game will be available for the Xbox 360 on March 19th and is rated M for mature.
   Gears of War: Judgment is set 14 years before the first Gears of War on Sera, an Earth-like planet, and showcases the beginning of a war between the Locust, sentient creatures that have appeared from below ground, and the COGs, the human soldiers of Sera. The game opens with the trial of the newly formed “Kilo Squad”, who is charged for treason, desertion, the theft of military technology, and cowardice during the war. “Kilo Squad” is made up of Baird, a technical engineer and the leader of the squad, Cole, a former sports star turned soldier, Sofia Hendrik, a by-the-books soldier, and Garron Paduk, a former militia man. They claim they acted to stop a large invasion of Locust and save countless lives. The game will unfold as the characters give their testimonies for their actions in the field. These testimonies will be in the form of flashbacks that the player takes part in.
   As this is the 4th Gears of War game produced by Epic Games, Epic has had time to fine-tune the classic gameplay of Gears of War while also adding new multiplayer modes, weapons, and enemies. New bonuses come in the form of “Mission Declassification”, where characters will remember certain facts about an encounter that adds an additional challenge to combat in exchange for better rewards. New weapons will be available to use in combat, while a new enemy type comes in the form of the Rager, a Locust beast who goes into a berserk state when dealt enough damage. One of the most awaited new features appears to be the new OverRun mode, a five-on-five multiplayer mode with one team playing as COG soldiers and another as Locusts. Along with these new changes comes additional difficulty, as the game is said to have a sadistic amount of Locust enemies to defeat, due to it being set at the beginning of the war.
   With the rest of the series’ success, Judgment has some large shoes to fill. The title alone will be enough for some fans to pick up the latest entry in the series. This is due to the fact the original Gears of War is said to have breathed life back into the shooter-genre and the rest of the series continued to impress gamers. With its wealth of new challenges, controls, and difficulty, Judgment looks to be a welcome addition to the famous Gears of War series. Now, we are only left to wonder how Judgment will change the way we look at the shooting genre.

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