GoW:J Call To Arms DLC
I know that there are only a few of us here that have any interest in Gears of War: Judgment, but since I wrote up my thoughts on the game over on the official forums, I thought I may as well post them here, too (it wouldn’t surprise me if it was deleted by some cowardly admin over there). Update: Before I even publish this, my thread has already been deleted. Whew, glad I thought to publish it here as well.
Update 3: The official post on the DLC is up, complete with descriptions of the maps and screenshots.
Hit the jump for my thoughts on the game and the DLC.
Some Praise and Criticism On G:J MP From A Grey Bearded Vet
This post is in partial response to Mihawk’s thread on the new DLC. However, as I wrote, I found that I had much more to say than just addressing his point on the DLC. So, I started a new thread. Disclaimer, by “veteran” I mean to this franchise, not of any national armed force.
- Execution 4Ever. I agree. It is what separates Gears of War from all the other games out there. No other company is offering that experience. It is uniquely Gears.
- With the exception of the return of the 2 Piece (in any form), I haven’t enjoyed a Gears game this much since the original. The shottie, the speed, the control scheme changes – all bold and great decisions. It took guts to make those choices and I agree with them. It may not be as polished as Gears 3 but I find it much more enjoyable.
- OverRun is brilliant. The balance, strategy, variety, opportunity and reward for teamwork and creativity put this WAY above all other CoD-wanna-be gametypes that have been added to the franchise since Gears of War original. OverRun is all the best elements of Gears, BF:BC2, L4D, and TF2 (including the humor). Played at a high level with proper teams, it is simply incredible. With the addition of a 100ths of a second timer, it could easily meet requirements for tournament competitive gaming. It is Epic’s second “Lightning in a bottle” (their first being Execution).
- Of the symmetrical maps in the franchise, Blood Drive is probably my least liked, so my heart sinks into my shoes that it is one of the lonely and expensive three. If Epic is going to recycle old maps, why don’t they just bring in the other symmetrical maps unretouched – for free or for pennies – so that people have something to put in the rotation?
- If Epic and Microsoft don’t drastically drop the price on their game and the recycled DLC that they are offering (and get rid of the 2Piece which has already been proven a disaster for all previous Gears games), they are going to find the population for matchmaking drops below the critical threshold from which it cannot recover.
Some additional thoughts:
I hate Horde mode, but seeing as it was one of the most popular modes for the game, doesn’t it makes sense that some of the previous customers would have come back for G:J if it had been included?
Epic has made some great decisions when it came to the tough and risky choices of gameplay changes – why is it that they are so dense when it comes to the simple stuff like pricing, game modes, and map count? Only 4/4 MPvs maps packed in the game? No Horde mode? 1000 point DLC and Blood Drive is one of the three maps? The return of the 2 Piece in the 4th game?! Really?! REALLY?!
I purchased at least three copies of each Gears game (for family LIVE gaming), I spent hundreds of dollars and thousands of hours supporting a dedicated Gears of War community. And, I feel like a parent who has to just stand by and watch their children make easy decisions badly and do stupid things that I know will hurt them in the long run. I don’t mean that condescendingly, but as one who loves playing Gears of War and hates seeing wasted opportunity, squandered potential.
The way I see it, if Epic did the following, they would probably see Gears of War:Judgment sustain a position in the top 6 of Major Nelson’s Xbox Live Activity list:
- Drop the price now to $19.99, or 29.99 with all DLC – do this now to devalue the used market buy-back, and to encourage new comers to jump in.
- Announce and develop a map pack with 10 small symmetrical maps (flashback maps are fine) and charge for them, but give it free to those who purchased and played the game before the price drop (proven by Live record).
- Get rid of the 2 Piece in all forms now. Don’t wait until everyone has abandoned the game like they did with the stun smokes in Gears 2.
- Continue to tweak, polish, and fix the game and engage the community.
- Provide a title Update that offers options for private lobbies and map rotations a la Gears 1, and Horde mode on existing maps if possible.