We’re two weeks away from the launch of Gears of War: Judgment, and you may all begin to writhe with jealousy like the creepy, envious snake-like beings you are, because we at Techday have already played it.
And it’s pretty kickass.
To start with, quite literally, Judgment is a prequel. It takes place a few weeks after E-Day, around 14 years before Marcus Fenix became a proper badass.
You won’t be playing as Fenix, but instead you’ll take control of Damon Baird as the protagonist, that sarcastic douchebag who was up to a whole lot of nothing in the first three games
You also get to take control of Thrashball extraordinaire Augustus Cole, Sophia Hendricks and outerspace Eastern European Garron Paduk.
The story is told through testimonials by the various characters – hence the name, Judgment. Baird and company are under investigation for apparent war crimes, and are recounting their tale to a judge.
Breaks between the action show the courtroom to be under attack by Locusts. Dunno why. The action of the game is set in Halvo Bay, which comes after attack right after Emergence Day.
In the few hours of play we got to see, there were intense fire-fights in the city streets and on rooftops, with exploding cars and loads of stuff to take cover behind.
Once the primary campaign is finished, there’s a follow-up entitled Aftermath that serves as an epilogue and ties up any loose ends left by the story.
As ever, Judgment will support four-player co-op throughout its campaigns. This is just as well, because there’s about a million Locusts coming at you in every level so you’ll need some help.
There’s new weapons, too, including a tripwire crossbow that sets a wire to trigger rockets at enemies, turrets that can be placed anywhere, a Breechshot sniper rifle, and the Booshka, a rocket launcher.
New multiplayer features include a Free-for-all mode – not particularly innovative but still promises to be a lot of fun.
There’s also a class-based multiplayer mode called OverRun, and a similar mode called Survival, which all of the attending journalists had a go at – you haven’t gamed until you’ve been in a team with a bunch of professional nerds.
You choose between the medic, soldier, scout and engineer, each with their own speciality and necessary skills, and attempt to hold off ten waves of Locusts on attack. It’s nail biting stuff.
Gears of War: Judgment is set for release on March 19, selling for a nice and weighty $99.95.
It has an R18, so kids, just because you’ve heard me talking about killing Locusts doesn’t make it ok. Locusts are people too. Or they might not be, I’m not sure, I can’t remember their back story.