Yes, it doesn’t seem too long ago that Gears of War 3 landed on our shores, and low and behold, the next title in the series has already fallen into our laps. Judgment, a prequel to the events of the other games, arrives at a time in which many of these sorts of titles – see: God of War: Ascension – are being lambasted for feeling like “lesser” takes on the core franchise, with less money, time and effort put in than one would expect from any of the “proper” sequels.

Thankfully, People Can Fly have avoided the same pitfalls, honing visuals, story and gameplay to their most refined degrees yet, making for what is easily the most satisfying entry in the franchise to date.

Here’s 10 reasons why Gears of War: Judgment is the best in the series…

 

 

10. Character Development

Gears of War has never been a hallmark of nuanced characterisation, though Judgment does make a surprising effort to move things toward. Damon Baird and Augustus Cole, peripheral characters from the main franchise, are the focal figures here, and though it seems a tad strange that we learn more about them in this one prequel than we have the entirety of the franchise to date, the infusion totally works.

The game cements the toll that war takes on these men, who aren’t yet the kick-ass heroes we know them as later on. Judgment also ably develops its side characters, namely Baird and Cole’s squad-mates, specifically Sofia Hendrick, whose ambition and somewhat incendiary personality makes for a very volatile mixture. If the other games in the series fail to develop the grunts as anything but that, Judgment has evidently taken note and adjusted things accordingly.

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This article was first posted on March 18, 2013