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GoW: Judgment – Lessons Learned, Lessons Given

March 24, 2013

The Soldier

As with the Halo franchise, fresh minds have proven to be just what the Gears of War IP needed. People Can Fly have breathed not just fresh life, but better, longer-lasting life into the game. To assist in their efforts, they apparently flew some competitive gamers in to help design the new class-based, teamwork-rewarding, asymmetrical game mode OverRun. The results are astonishing. I outline a few of the indicators below, but I think the biggest seal of approval is The Blankman’s undivided attention and game time this past weekend. For a while there, I thought our charismatic, volume-goes-to-11, ring leader had hung up his MPvs gloves.  However, for the better part of the weekend, he was not only playing OverRun almost exclusively, but playing it with Randomoniums. Having spent almost all of my weekend gaming time playing the sole map included in the demo, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

OverRun is a combination of Gears, TF2, L4D, and BF3, in all the best ways.  The humans and monsters are all buff and beautiful.  The Mauler-Kantus is the new Heavy-Medic.  The Locust are the Special Infected which take you behind the curtain, show you the puppet strings as it were.  And finally, there are points for almost everything that could possibly help your team. Furthermore, especially as a game touched by Epic, it is remarkably polished and well-balanced.

Check out ArCtiC’s lessons on how to use each class.  Some of it is basic, but some of it is very useful and perhaps even “designer/consultant” insight.  My own observations are pasted below the videos.


The Engineer


The Ticker

My own observations:

Some explosives do no damage to the enemy if they are detonated by the enemy.  For example, the ticker is impotent to enemy player or edifices if shot before it can be exploded by the Locust gamer.  Place a sentry to take out the tickers (and pesky wretches) before they take out your barriers, but use your guns for close encounters.  No worries about splash.  Not realistic, but definitely the right design choice.

On the other hand, lobbed grenades taken out by the enemy still have good effect.  Fortunately, it would appear that they are prioritized by the sentry for destruction.  As Locust gamers get more efficient at lobbing them from cover to land directly on the E-hole, this will become more and more important as it is darn near impossible to visually track and shoot a grenade in mid-flight.  The sentry, on the other hand, takes them out with no problem.  Still, here is the interesting twist that may become exploit: rED has already discovered an interesting way to destroy both sentry and COG in one toss.  Fling the grenade over the sentry and  when it is shot out of the sky, the explosion will take out anything and everything in its blast radius, including the sentry or vulnerable Engineer standing beside it.

I have set up a new Page for GoW:Judgment.  It has earned it.

  1. March 25, 2013 6:57 am

    I didn’t get to play the game nearly enough this weekend. Because… Luke put down Borderlands 2 and Minecraft, and played Judgement ALL weekend.

    There is something so surprisingly refreshing about this game. Now when I see all these videos you posted regarding “How” they came up with the new gameplay / gametypes, I am starting to appreciate these changes even more.

    Already bought the season pass. Now I’m thinking about getting a second copy

    Looking forward to watching the vids you linked.

  2. March 25, 2013 9:44 am

    Heh. As a pure spectator, the transformation of opinion on this game is certainly fascinating.

    • March 25, 2013 11:30 am

      Couldn’t agree more man, haha. I will gladly hold onto my money.

    • March 25, 2013 3:15 pm

      Hey, I am playing this thing like I played BF:BC2 Port Valdez. I had no interest in Bad Company 2 before the demo. Turned out to be one of the best games in my entire life!

      If it weren’t for the demo (so that I could try it for myself), I wouldn’t even be considering it – at least not until I had seen our bros playing it for several months. The Gears 3 beta had everyone all excited. Then when the game came out, the dedicated server was turned off, and you couldn’t fix the fact that the maps were too big for Execution and all that was left was a great campaign and Hork…er…Horde.

      Yes, if one is still looking for Gears 1.5, you needn’t bother checking this out. OverRun is a completely different game that is fun and rewards teamwork and strategy, but still has all the joy of an FPS/TPS.

      And Grymmie, cute little kids don’t say mean things like that. Change your gravatar pic. 😉

    • March 25, 2013 4:50 pm

      That’s me, bro! And if anyone knows me, I say mean things all the time! Don’t let that hardcore cheese and rockin’ spiked mullet fool you!

  3. rEDChief55 permalink*
    March 25, 2013 10:10 pm

    It’s not really an exploit on my part, Suns. That kind of gives the impression that there is no counter to it. Instead of using the turret as a shield (incorrectly) they should move to an actual cover spot while the turret does all the work. What I found is just a way to make someone playing the class the wrong way pay for it.

    There is a surprising amount of depth to this mode and I like it. As far as hopping on the Gears train goes, I don’t like being a passenger on it NOR a hate train. Locomotive metaphors aside, I don’t think it would be very smart to embrace or reject a game based on its name alone. Gears 1 is strangely fun in some way. Not so much for Gears 2 or 3…and that’s all based on hours of playing the games personally. I originally intended to not even look in Judgment’s direction, but with a new dev team and the offering of a free demo, it’s worth giving a shot. As it turns out the game is fun. Addicting at times when friends are present.

    Writing off Gears because of the mistakes of a former developer would be as silly as automatically hailing Call of Duty based on the success of past developers. CoD2 and 4 were great games within our community, yet the Modern Warfare sequels were not. Assassin’s Creed was once an innovative, polished game that could hold one’s attention for a long time. Now it’s a yearly franchise that has stumbled through it’s last couple of iterations. My point is that I pay for the game, not the name. Fun games will get our attention and deservedly so. I’d like to get Judgment once it’s under $40 considering the minimal content offered. Hopefully by then the game and the possible success of its DLC will be picking up steam and the community hasn’t abandoned it and gone off the rails. (Ok NOW the locomotive metaphors are done)

  4. March 26, 2013 12:25 am

    rED, I understand now what was going on with the sentries and Engies. Good, good.

    I love that class. The other day, on several occasions, while the team was holding off double maulers from the front, I came in from the side, dropped my sentry in behind them, and then moved yet 90 degrees further shooting them from the side. Twice in a row a single sentry downed two major Locust.

    And yes, taking cover away from the sentry and letting it do all the work is the way the class should be used. If you get killed, it removes your sentry, too! Again, with the great balance.

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