Written by: Nick Farinola // Published by: Joe Ahart

 

 

2020 marks the start of a new decade, and with that comes the inevitable new years resolutioners. Ah yes, the new years resolutioners. The beginning of the new year means packed gyms, unfulfilled promises and the continuing threat of war! Instead of looking ahead, I thought I’d be a bit of a rebel and look the other way. Every year, tons of great games release alongside some pretty awful and mediocre ones, making it harder for any gamer to keep up. 

The first Gears received an Ultimate Edition Remaster prior to the release of the fourth installment [Credit: The Coalition]
I wanted to start this new year and decade off with a brand-new segment for GameFes.net; a completely unoriginal segment (seen on pretty much every other games media site) brilliantly named “Loochie’s Backtrack.” Catchy? No. Fun? Debatable! Without further ado, I’m Loochie and let’s backtrack!

 

In honor of Gears 5 releasing a couple of months ago, I made the fantastic decision to jump ahead to the prequel: Gears of War: Judgment. Let me start off by saying that Judgment didn’t bring anything new to the table other than trivial polishes to the already refined and bombastic Gears mechanics and a confusing change to the well-established control scheme of previous titles. It’s a Gears of War game to the end, and by God there is nothing wrong with that in the slightest! It’s a hyper-violent, briskly paced story centered around Lieutenant Baird’s demotion to private. Baird is as snarky and smart-ass-y as ever alongside his squad of new characters and a disappointingly hushed Cole Train. 

[Credit: People Can Fly/Epic Games]

 

Unfortunately, by playing through Judgment in 2020 without a remastered version existing for current generation consoles, the multiplayer – aside from co-op campaign and horde mode -is non-existent.

 

The “catch” of Judgement, if you will, is this integrated challenge system (titled ‘Declassifieds’) represented at the start of each mission by a interactable Gears logo. A challenge could range from Locusts wielding lancers to finish this specific mission in a set amount of time before a weapons depot explodes, meaning game over. Developers People Can Fly and Epic Games cleverly integrated this challenge system by writing it into the characters’ dialogue. 

 

Gears is among other classic games like Halo where it has to be played on harder difficulties. Mix tough difficulty with unique challenge scenarios with a buddy or three and you have yourself a bloody good time! I hate myself. Similar to Halo’s seven Vidmaster challenges, snagging all those tough achievements in Judgment adds several more hours to the overall play time.

A Declassify mission (top left) represented by the Gears logo. [Credit: People Can Fly/Epic Games]
Judgment was the awkward little brother of this franchise that could have totally served as Gears of War 3DLC, but nevertheless, I don’t regret a second of time spent playing through it. The Gears lore is both expansive and incredibly entertaining, so any chance to dive back into the world is a treat. 

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