I regret to inform you that paying full price for this game is a mistake. I write this post several months after the launch of this game and still have a mix of satisfaction and angst. This game was a pre-order from my local GameStop for the full retail price of $60(as of 5/2/2012 it is still $49.99 according to Amazon.com).
Keep in mind that this game was a prequel to the franchise to which part of its name comes from. Do your research before you wade into the game and understand that there will be no Dom or Marcus(except for the brief cameo appearance via radio chatter). Perhaps the removal of Horde mode will be something else you want to consider. If you know and accept these things ahead of time you’ll be better prepared because you don’t want to set yourself up for any further disappointment.
Being a Gears fan and having played all of the previous games, I was exited when this game was announced and remained so through its release. The graphics in the game are very good for an Xbox game. There is a slight change to the standard button layout but given the modifications to the combat and grenades it works well once you get acquainted with it. What brought my excitement to an end, oddly enough, was the end of the game. No, the problem was not with the story’s plot or conclusion as I felt that it was very well written and paced but rather with its brevity. The main campaign can be finished in about five hours. If you include the final chapter that is unlocked, you could say six hours. I can’t include it, however, since this chapter is actually a chapter that was missing from Gear of War 3. Although this chapter may have been the best one of the game and made me reminiscent of Gears of War 3, it left me thinking – why wasn’t this chapter part of Gears of War 3 where is belonged? Why was Raam’s Shadow not part of Gears of War: Judgement instead?
My time with this game was well spent. I did not spend much time with the multi-player but that was something I expected. Horde was my favorite Gears mode and I knew it wouldn’t be there. I tried the new modes they introduced as replacements but just could not stay interested. If you wait for this game to be about $20 new or used pick it up. It’s worth that to see more of the Gears story if you are a fan.