The lights are on
For those of you wondering, Gears of War Judgement is more Gears of War. Take cover, blind fire, shoot gazillions of rounds from shotguns, pistols, sniper rifles, and of course chainsaw enhanced assault rifles. Yes, you could say I'm a fan of the series. For me, more GoW is a good thing.
Thankfully, People Can Fly has taken all of those staples of this series, and shaken it just enough to freshen things up. The new Declassified system adds an incredible amount of challenge and variety. These optional objectives constantly pulled me out of my Lancer / Gnasher comfort zone. It's really a nice change up from the stock experience I'm used to from Gears games.
I have not heard whether or not this game is utilizing dedicated servers like Gears 3 did, but I can safely say after about ten matches, I had no problems connecting to a game, and experienced no lag when the bullets started flying. The new Overrun mode is a blast, and the balancing is excellent. Think of it as beast mode and horde mode rendered down to their best attributes, then mashed together. I cannot stress enough how much fun this multiplayer mode is. It's unfortunate that it comes at the expense of having a dedicated horde or beast mode, but it makes up for their lack and more. What it doesn't make up for though is a disappointingly thin selection of maps. I'm used to Gears having an embarrassment of riches when it comes to maps right out of the gate, and having only four for Overrun and Survival combined, plus four more for the more standard multiplayer fare seems awfully stingy. Not to mention the lack of Execution (without buying the season pass, which I as a fan, have) and that's what drops this down from a perfect score for me.
Still, with an interestingly altered campaign, fantastic new multiplayer modes, and the razor sharp controls fans have come to expect, this stands as my favorite release this year. At least until next week when Bioshock Infinite releases. Even so, I will be playing this as my go to multiplayer game for a long while to come, and I hope you'll all join me, because it's one hell of a good time!
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