Gears of War: Judgment Hands-on Impressions -- The Ups and Downs of Overrun ModeBy Jake Gaskill - Posted Jun 05, 2012
Epic Games and People Can Fly officially unveiled Gears of War: Judgment during E3 2012, and with the announcement came the first opportunity to not only see the game in action but also take the game’s 5-on-5 competitive multiplayer mode Overrun for a hands-on test drive.
Overrun is essentially Gears of War 3’s Beast Mode and horde mode smashed together with a sprinkling of class-based characters. For one round, we played as humans defending a power generator, and for the second, we played as various Locust variants trying to destroy the generator. Pretty straightforward stuff.
The classes add a nice strategic touch to the frenetic and oft gruesome gameplay, especially with the addition of class-specific secondary abilities. For instance, Baird is an engineer capable of dropping sentry turrets (pro tip: if you enter cover and then drop the turret, you can actually put it on top of whatever piece of cover you’re pinned to, giving the turret some added height and widening its viewing angle) and repairing damaged fortifications like barbwire fences. Cole is a soldier, and can drop ammo boxes. Sofia is the medic who drops a health-dealing gas cloud. Paduk, the scout, drops a beacon that reveals enemy positions on the map.
On the Locust side, you have a variety of gnarly beasts at your disposal, assuming you have earned enough cash to unlock them throughout the match that is. A lot of the characters appeared in GOW3, like the wretch, ticker, and kantus (no berserker though), and each one offers an entirely unique play style and ability. Seeing the chaos that ensues when the two teams collide is just ridiculous, especially when the fortifications fall and everyone just swarms into the central battle zone. Pure, bloody madness.
The gameplay is classic Gears, and the texture and sound work are about as pleasing as you could hope. Although, to be honest, I was a little disappointed with this particular demo, especially for a first look at the game, because you could have told me it was DLC for GOW3 and I would have had no choice but to believe you. People Can Fly proved its ability to orchestrated jaw-dropping set pieces with Bulletstorm, so I’ll keep my cynicism at bay until we get to see some campaign sections in action, but I have a feeling most non-die hard Gears players will most likely have a similar reaction once they get their hands on the Judgment at E3.
Overall, I had a good time hoping around the map, setting up turrets, taking a few quick shots with my trusty Gnasher, and then scrambling to a new position to do the same thing to protect our flank. Classes always add solid variety to what can otherwise be a fairly straightforward multiplayer experience, and they fit with the characters and their personalities, so it feels natural enough.
Expect to see plenty more about Gears of War: Judgment this week during E3 2012 and in the coming months.