Gears of War is perhaps one of my favorite franchises of this console generation, and for good reason, but that all changed after this game.

After the departure of Cliff Blesinski, and other executives from Epic, I was a bit skeptical about how good Judgment might be, but I was proven wrong within my first few hours with the campaign. I personally loved the campaign, and the non-stop action, I always felt engaged. I also really loved the new Declassified missions, as they give the game some nice difficulty modifiers to make it a more enjoyable experience. Albeit the narrative was weak, but then again you don't buy Gears for the storyline, not to mention its a prequel so Epic was limited.

The reason I'm very disappointed with the latest installment in the Gears of War franchise is the multiplayer. Multiplayer is awful, Epic really felt the need to water down Gears because of their desire to make money. Epic decided to make Gears of War more mainstream in an attempt to dethrone games like Call of Duty and Halo. Epic has removed several key aspects of multiplayer.

1)Epic removed DBNO(down but not out for those unfamiliar), which in turn removes executions, and revives. Executions were perhaps the best part of Gears for most players, and really made the game unique. Now Epic scrapped it because Halo, and CoD don't have executions. 

2)Epic removed Locusts from character selection. Epic did this in order to provide microtransactions, to make more money. In Judgment, there are now "armor skins," which are basically custom skins for your characters armor, and most cost between 240-400 Microsoft Points. You see, if Epic had included Locusts, they wouldn't have really been able to add armor skins, because it wouldn't fit right, and the characters you not really have fit well with armor skins. Thus, another crucial part of Gears was taken away from us. 

3)Epic removed the main game modes(Execution, Wingman, Guardian, KOTH) in place of more mainstream mode(Domination, Free-for-All, and TDM, not the same TDM as Gears 3, where it was elimination style, the new TDM is first to 50).

4)Epic removed two primaries from the loadout options. Players can now choose between a rifle OR a shotgun, its no longer a rifle AND a shotgun. Basically, the game comes down to no skill, as players can just sit across the map with lancers, and shoot each other, there is really no chance with a shotgun. 

Epic followed all these trends to try to fit in with the vanilla CoD shooters of today. I saw it somewhere on GI, about the so-called "CoD syndrome", which is that all games are diluted now to become more like CoD, and less like the games where the franchise originated. Both of Microsofts best two Xbox exclusives, Gears and Halo have tried to be more and more like CoD, and less and less like their own unique games.

Epic may have ruined the Gears series in an attempt at making money. They may have attracted a small amount of newcomers, but they seemed to turn away most fans of the series.