Gears of War: Judgement

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In video games, like in real life, alien attacks tend to be a bit of a nuisance. Gears of War is no exception. Set before the original game, your home planet, Sera, is under attack from the Locust – a savage insect/monster/lizard-like alien race. Fan-favourites Damon Baird and Augustus “The Cole Train” Cole make a welcome return and are joined by new characters including Sofia, a tough but inexperienced cadet and Garron Paduk, a no nonsense defector previously from a Soviet-style enemy faction.

The story follows the travails of the four main characters as they face court martial. Each section of this run-and-gun third-person shooter is a re-telling of how the team ended up in court. The action unfolds as recounted from each character’s perspective. It’s a nice idea but the macho characters aren’t particularly well-suited to the nuances of subtle storytelling.

The graphics veer between decent and dated. The war-torn rendition of an alien city looks more like a World War II era Berlin than a city from a distant world. The gameplay is completely linear, as your characters are led from battle to battle. Playing with up to three other player in the co-op campaign is fun with friends, but once again, if you play with the console AI characters, they will often run ahead to start and regularly finish off fights before you have had a chance to catch up. Generally however, enemies are plentiful and it takes serious firepower to take Locusts down. Gears is all about huge guns, action-movie dialogue and frantic battles. Fans will love this addition to the Gears series, but those looking for subtlety may be disappointed. This is the video game equivalent of a bar room brawl with futuristic weaponry.

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Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Format/s: Xbox 360
Age rating: 18+
Price: £44.99

David Hutchinson

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