Normally, playing a match of Gears of War’s multiplayer involves taking a lot of cover. But in the recently announced free-for-all mode for Gears of War: Judgment, it just doesn’t work for me. When nine other players barrel down on me from every angle I find I become paranoid, constantly spinning around and looking for the next chaotic gunfight.
The average life in free-for-all Judgment match is short. With no teammates around to chase off a would-be executioner, you’re dead when you get downed (and in the case of the PAX build, you died immediately). Free-for-all matches thus end up making you feel much more vulnerable than you do in other Gears gametypes. No one is there to pick you up when you fall, and the other nine people are out for blood as much as you, so they aren’t going to watch your back or protect your flanks.
Maps have specifically designed for Judgment’s free-for-all mode as well. Unlike past Gears games, where they basically adapted various maps to whatever game mode you were playing, these maps have been tailored for 10 player insanity. If the match at PAX was any indication, they’re also a bit smaller than you’d expect. The result is that you never go more than a few seconds without running into someone to shoot, and more often it’s the third player who rushes in to clean up two wounded fighters than scores big.
If you want to play team-based matches Judgment has those too, but free-for-all looks like the most approachable option for someone looking to learn Judgment’s mechanics. Anyone who’s hopped into an older Gears multiplayer match knows how hard it can be to get into. What often happens is that you queue up, you finally join, you run to cover and then you’re summarily blasted into pieces by a super-skilled player with a shotgun and get to be a spectator for a few minutes before repeating. In free-for-all, though, you can respawn a few seconds after being killed. Thus you can play a bit more reckless and experiment more, learning to use weapons you might normally try, or even going for melee kills just for the heck of it. Sure, you might not be the one who comes out on top in the end, but you’re not going to have to wait for long respawn timers or let down a team.
Even if you’re a super seasoned Gears player you’ll have a few new control changes to get used to in Judgment. While Epic hasn’t messed with the now-iconic Active Reload, they have basically eliminated the need for you to use the D-pad. Switching between your two weapons has been moved to the Y button, and throwing grenades is now as simple as tapping the left bumper. As obvious as these changes sound to anyone who plays other competitive shooters on the Xbox, it’s a bit odd to never reach awkwardly with your left thumb to switch beween your gear. It makes Gears combat feel a lot more flexible and makes reacting to different situations much easier, and fits perfectly with the amped-up pacing of free-for-all mode.
With many more modes yet to be announced, Gears of War: Judgment already looks like it has something for longtime fans and newcomers alike. Judgment releases March 19th, 2013.
Source : feeds[dot]ign[dot]com