2013 ended up being a swansong year for the Xbox 360, with fantastic titles like Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite and believe it or not, Grand Theft Auto V debuting on the system in its final year.
However, on the exclusive front things dried up a little bit prior to the Xbox One's arrival in November 2013. Forza Horizon launched the year prior, as did Halo 4, but 2013 was a quiet year for first-party Xbox 360 games. Well, save for Gears of War: Judgment that is.
Yep, Epic Games (along with co-developer People Can Fly) launched this Gears of War spinoff 10 years ago today and we can still remember its arrival a decade later. A Gears prequel based off the tech that built Gears of War 3, what could go wrong? Well, a fair bit as it turns out.
Now, we don't want to turn this into a Soapbox rant because Gears Judgment did have a few things going for it (as pointed out by our 10-year old review, which focused entirely on single player). The class-based Overrun mode was a lot of fun, and People Can Fly's campaign actually wasn't bad either all things considered, although it still fell short of the original trilogy.
It's the game's main multiplayer mode we took the most issue with. Removing revive states? Getting rid of the Locust in multiplayer? Launching with about four core maps? To say Gears Judgment's multiplayer was half baked is a huge understatement and aside from the aforementioned Overrun mode, Epic had clearly ran out of ideas for Gears of War.
When Microsoft swooped in and picked up the Gears IP the following year, we were relieved to be quite honest. While we didn't know what the future held for the series, we were happy that a new team was going to get a chance to breathe new life into the franchise.
Of course, since then The Coalition has done a good job with Gears of War, especially Gears 5 which in our opinion is a fantastic entry in the series. In fact, thinking back to Judgment has made us realise just how good of a job The Coalition has done so far.
We do wonder though, how many of you played this ill-fated Gears of War game? Did you take issue with it in similar ways to us, or do you actually have fond memories of Judgment?
Let us know down in the comments below. Oh, and happy 10th birthday Gears of War Judgment, you made us realise how amazing Gears 3 was!
I’ve always been a fan of the series, having first played Gears of War back in 2006 when the first game released. I have played every game in the series since then and don’t hold any bad memories against any except for Gears 5. The issue I had with Gears 5 is that I played it on launch day back in in September 2019 (free on Gamepass) and it was a buggy mess. Everything from game breaking bugs to progress randomly resetting and broken achievements.
I played judgement back in 2013 and don’t recall it was that bad honestly, no negative memories about it like Gears 5.
@Legend_Au I really loved Gears 5, and although they stumbled a bit with its open world, you could see the potential with it. My only issue with the game is collectibles. They never seemed to count right, and it was difficult to tell which chapter each collectible belonged to because of how its open world separated itself in chapters.
On a side note, the DLC for Gears 5, “Hivebusters” is amazing. It’s a shame that doesn’t get talked about more.
I liked the campaign it was ok and it was gears so enjoyed overall.
Surprised Xbox haven’t acquired people can fly
Think they could be a very good help studio to the coalition for future gears games.
I only ever play two modes in Gears of War; the Campaign and Horde. I have played through every game of the entire series multiple times. It is without doubt my favourite series. Just to be clear, I love it! As an example, I have played a ridiculous 45 Days, 16 hours and 32 minutes of Gears 5 thus far, and I am currently the 120th in the World as a Mechanic in Horde.
With all that said, I think Judgement gets a poor rap. I loved the fact that you could change up the enemy types or challenges for each encounter in the Campaign, and the gameplay was Gears as we had come to know it. Yes, it is probably the weakest of all the entries, but that does not mean that it is a bad game. It is still well worth playing, and I have gone through the Campaign multiple times, including solo on the hardest difficulty (which for me is where the Gears franchise pops!). Having said that, the re-imagined Horde was not great. Too few maps, and it just didn't feel right. I played it a fair few times, but I ended up going back to Horde in Gears of War 3, which was far better.
I played Overrun a few times, but it wasn't great, truth be told, and didn't hold my attention, and not having played the versus multiplayer, I cannot pass comment.
Finally, just because the multiplayer modes dragged the game down (in the opinion of some), don't pass on the Campaign, as there is much fun to be had there...
Hive busters even though a cross generation game is still my series x go to game to show some potential of the series x.
Let’s hope the coalition bring it full force with gears 6.
I actually liked Judgment. I thought the Declassified mechanic was genius and I could see an entire game being built around it.
I have played all the Gears of War campaigns. I loved 1, 2, 3 and 4. I didn't like Judgement and 5 very much but I loved Hivebusters.
I only got my Xbox 2 months ago, so I am playing all the Gears of war and halo games in order. Funny enough judgement is next after I finish my current gears game. I'm really enjoying them so far!
Glad you're enjoying them, @Total_Weirdo, they are truly superb games. Not that it makes much difference, but if you were to play the games in chronological order, Judgement would actually be the first. Do try out the Declassified elements of the campaign, they can make a lot of difference into how each mission plays out...
I only played it once, whereas I played 1-3 countless times, and mostly remember struggling to finish it. It seemed a huge step down and nothing much seems memorable, whereas I have many great memories in 1-3, and even 4&5 which I like less than the original trilogy.
I own it and have beat it multiple times. I don't remember anything bad about it.
Judgement really lacked on the story side. The story was a throw together that at times felt like a combination of horde mode and campaign sort of mixed together.
Gameplay wise it was a OK. But it had the same feeling as God of War Ascension to me. A half-hearted effort to get one more game out of the original game engine that was becoming dated at the time.
The first three games were great, I missed Judgement because it released whilst I was at university and not gaming much.
4 was ok in couch co-op with a flatmate but 5 was a boring franchise killer that I put aside about halfway through.
I played it when it was free. It was ok. It obviously had no chance of topping 3 but it was fun enough.
Definitely a good decision to have a new studio take over. I enjoyed 4 and still need to play 5.
Yes I played & reviewed it. I thought it was pretty fun and solid for a spin off.
I actually never played any gears games. Actually, take that back a bit, I recall starting Gears of War 1, but never got far. Was not really into shooting games at the time, at all.
I didn’t get to sit through Halo either until 2020 with the Master Chief Collection.
One of these days I’ll binge through all the Gears games.
I thoroughly enjoyed Judgement. Was made even better by Baird being the MC cause he is my favorite in the series. I honestly don’t remember anything wrong with the game.
It is saying quite something when the weakest game in your franchise is still overall a very solid game. I really liked it. The campaign, while not truly Gears enough was great fun. It also had a linkable female protagonist in Sofya before reddit had to implode whether Kait was a likeable character (I like Kait).
I really liked Judgement. I never got why people bashed it. Yeah it was a bit different, but it was still Gears.
I never really cared about the multiplayer in these games, so I never really had a problem with it.
I tried playing it several times, and it's not that it was bad, but I just could never stay interested in it, which was weird since I played through the trilogy multiple times.
I got it for free and like what I've played but Idk if I'd have bought it.
I enjoyed Judgement, I think it got hate because it came quite soon after Gears 3 and people thought it was premature. I thought the campaign was the best since the first one but I didn’t like the Horde mode much and I don’t remember us playing it a lot.
I played through the Gears games in the lead up to Gears 5 launch. As the online was completely inactive, I was only able to play the single player content of Judgment which I liked though preferred the original trilogy.
I played the campaign on this and quite enjoyed it actually, the let down for me was the multiplayer. I wasn't much of a horde guy but having the multiplayer be Gears vs Gears just never felt right to me. I mean I put in some hours on it but not nearly as much as on previous entries of the series.
Yes and thought it was a fine Gears game. Story was not on the same level as 2 or 3 but a good time regardless
The reason I didn't get it was when I learnt it didn't have horde mode. Any wave based multiplayer will always be known as horde mode to me. And gears has always set the standard I compare the rest to when it comes to horde mode.
@Fiendish-Beaver can't wait to see the difference in graphics from Unreal 3 engine to Unreal 4.
When it came out I thought it was a back step for multiplayer. But I enjoyed the campaign. I’m revisiting all the gears and it’s a nice change of pace and I like how the chapters are splintered into quick battle sections.
I’m playing through them now but haven’t got to judgment yet so who am I to judge
Yes I did and it’s mechanically one of the best third person shooters ever made.
Said it many times on here, this is the game series that made me buy an Xbox 360 all those years ago. I have played this game too. I love all the Gears games.
I liked Judgement. It was different from the other entries but I kinda liked the direction they took for the spin-off. It didn't affect they main series so I found it was a great way to experiment without change what people already liked.
I literally just replayed GoW1,2&3 this past month. IDK why I just started playing and decided to keep going bc I had forgotten most of it. I could explain the differences it's so fresh on my mind but will say the first ⅔ of GoW2 hits better than most games do today. My thought throughout the entire first three games was I miss these big-budget action games. And I just started Judgment and so far I like what I'm playing.
I enjoyed it well enough. It was fun but It felt like filler to wait for the Xbox one era. As did the prequel of god of war on PS3 the same year tbh.
I played it. In fact, I wrote a review of it for my community college newsletter as I had gone back to school at the time. The weakest entry in the series, but still a fantastic game in its own right. I recently acquired a physical copy and was looking forward to having Baird himself, Fred Tatasciore, autograph it at Pensacon last month. Sadly he had to cancel. Maybe next year...
I tried to, but stopped playing 2 hours in. Really didnt like it...only Gears game i never completed.
I thought people didn’t like gears 5. Well 4&5 actually? With similar issues as halo for example creating these very opinionated females
@PushButtons same feeling I have so far playing through them too. I also miss really fun games
The game was just ok, but the commercial with the prodigy song was amazing
Judgement was my first Gears game period and I loved it. What's wrong with it exactly?
I didn't mind Judgement, but I only casually play Gears games so I'd be less likely to spot inconsistencies a diehard fan would.
And still better than the most recent entries. I know people loved 5 but for me, I wasn't overly enthusiastic with the story.
I don’t think I’ve ever played a Gears of War. I remember at the time having this new fancy hardware and bemoaning the sea of ‘grey and brown’ that all games were going for. With a my quota of those games full I skipped this and then it got to Gears 5 and - much like knowing there are five seasons of a TV show to get through - decided that’s too long in the tooth and I’ll give it a miss.
@Sam_TSM You managed to contribute nothing to the conversation and somehow follow it up with even less with that comment. Lol. I'd say watch a short video play-through of GoW1, GoW2 is a must-play, and GoW3 is an optional watch or play.
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