Gearing Up for Multiplayer

Gears of Wars 3 didn’t leave the Gears team many options for a sequel, but that doesn’t mean the series is over. Gears of War: Judgement, the next game in the series, is a prequel to the first Gears, focusing on fan favorite characters Baird and Cole.

At the outset, Gears of War: Judgement, which is being developed by Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly, isn’t very different from the past games. You’re still a beefy solider jumping from cover-to-cover and shooting hordes of Locust. Where the game really begins to separate itself from previous games is its new Overrun multiplayer mode.

Overrun offers five-on-five matches pitting players against each other as either COGs or Locust as you set out to either destroy or defend a generator. What makes the concept is the inclusion of combat roles, an oft-used shooter mechanic that until now has been absent from the Gears series. Each side is broken down into the “normal” class types. The COGs have Engineers, Medics, Soldiers and Scouts, each with their own on-field abilities. Engineers, for example, can repair fortifications and are key to keeping your generator well defended.

Locust classes pull from the game’s list of enemies, each with abilities that run analog to the COG roles. These range from exploding Tickers to the acid-spitting Serapede.

The focus on classes should add much needed depth the “traditional” Gears online experience. Rather than setting out into matches as a loose confederation of lone wolf troops, players will have to work together and use their role’s strong suits to build a stronger combat front.

People Can Fly is also looking to tone up the single-player campaign, adding tweaks to the game’s clunky control system and upping the difficulty level.

Gears of War: Judgement is slated for an early 2013 launch.