Generally favorable reviews - based on 81 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 81
  2. Negative: 0 out of 81
  1. Mar 17, 2013
    Gears of War 3 appeared to exhaust what third-person, cover-based shooters do best. Judgment makes Gears of War feel young again.
  2. Mar 20, 2013
    It still stands in the shadow of those that came before it, and little flaws like loading hiccups and soft textures underscore the fact that Judgment feels like a lesser achievement. Still, it's a heck of a lot of fun, and if you still enjoy utterly destroying hulking monstrosities with one blast of the sawed-off shotgun, you'll find a lot to like in Gears of War: Judgment.
  3. Mar 17, 2013
    Judgment is literally as much fun as Gears of War 2. It doesn’t have this scope or severity one and three had, but it operates on a grand scale. I, for one, couldn’t be happier.
  4. Mar 19, 2013
    Despite its questionable approach to the campaign that abandons huge set piece moments in favor of smaller skirmishes, Gears of War: Judgment remains a polished, replayable experience. Even if you never touch any future DLC, the game disc has enough content to keep you busy for the better part of 2013.
  5. Mar 17, 2013
    Even with the pall of over-familiarity lingering over it, Gears of War: Judgment is a timely reminder that ruthless focus on gameplay, generosity towards players and good old-fashioned design craft can still pay dividends at a time when big-budget action games are at risk of fragmenting into splinters of mindless busywork. Sometimes, being a bloody good shooter is all that's required.
  6. Mar 18, 2013
    When all is said and done, Gears of War: Judgment offers up exactly what it promises on the cover: a romp through the world of Sera. Aside from the multiplayer modes, Judgment doesn't really bring anything new to the table.
  7. Mar 18, 2013
    Despite some of the technical flaws and the lackluster multiplayer content, Judgment isn’t a complete bust. The campaign is a blast to play through, echoes the original game nicely, and gives a neat little side-story that doesn’t add much plot wise, but also ends up being a welcome departure from what we’ve seen so far.
  8. Mar 18, 2013
    As a package, there's plenty of good to recommend to fans, but it'll never live up to Gears of War 3's bombastic and dramatic finish. "What's left, Anya?" Apparently there's still war left to fight, but it's up to you if it's worth it. As a reluctant fan of the series, I'm sad to see it go out like this, but Judgment seemed dead set on opening old wounds just to feel the sting.
  9. Mar 20, 2013
    A solid effort from People Can Fly and a game that will entertain you along its fast, if a bit short, ride. If you think you'll find the time to play it over and over with your friends on Xbox Live, this is a game worth checking out. If you are a lone wolf, be warned that your adventure will be over quickly.
  10. Apr 10, 2013
    The same tight third-person combat as the last three games, but just a bit less special. [May 2013, p.66]
  11. Mar 17, 2013
    Not only an incredible action game, but the most enjoyable Gears of War game yet--plot holes be damned.
  12. Mar 18, 2013
    The quality of this new Gears is outstanding and the new approach certainly suits it, but the overall feelings we've got are not that good. Maybe it's just that Gears of War 3 is too close in time, but, in any case, People Can Fly has done a great job that will satisfy the fans of the series and anyone looking for lots of action.
  13. Apr 1, 2013
    That isn’t to say this is a bad game. Even a bad Gears game is a good game; it’s just unfortunate that this series has to end – on this console generation anyway – not with a bang, but with a whimper.
  14. Mar 19, 2013
    It is hard not to appreciate what People Can Fly has done with this revered franchise. When we consider this is the fourth game in six years, it might be hard to imagine it still having any steam left. While the changes make all the difference, they don’t sacrilegiously alter the core mechanics; in fact I found them to be refreshing in almost every sense.
  15. Mar 21, 2013
    Only its brevity and the limited multiplayer modes keep Judgment firmly in the ‘not a real sequel’ world, but it’s a template for the next generation of Gears and a licence to experiment with the series’ most sacred mechanics.
  16. Mar 28, 2013
    Gears Of War: Judgment comes across as an enjoyable stopgap in a series that seems unsure where it’s supposed to go next. This is more of the same with a few new features thrown in for good measure. But when the same equates to arguably the best cover-based shooter on the market, it’s hard to be too judgemental.
  17. 80
    Its engrossing multiplayer modes make Judgment easy to recommend, even if we found its main story campaign weaker than its predecessors’.
  18. Mar 18, 2013
    People Can Fly's take on Gears of War is a good game although one poorer than its superior forebears.
  19. Mar 17, 2013
    A solid effort that, in some ways, changes the Gears formula for the better. Whether it will be remembered as anything other than a stopgap is questionable, but small qualms aside, it's a good one.
  20. Mar 18, 2013
    Gears of War Judgment is exactly what you’d expect in a Gears of War game - a few tweaks here and there, but basically the same game it's been for six and half years.
  21. Mar 17, 2013
    OverRun alone is worthy of praise, but there's just so much stuff going on in this package, there's something for all followers of the series. A few of Judgment's experiments may not be as fondly received as others, but overall it's hard to complain about a game that tries so much, and succeeds in almost all its endeavors...This is Gears of War back, unquestionably, on the winning path.
  22. Apr 1, 2013
    Worth checking out for Gears of War fans.
  23. Mar 18, 2013
    Gears of War is a saga that is slightly off in the course of this generation, and his star does not shine today as it did in 2006.
  24. Apr 15, 2013
    The newest addition to the Gears of War franchise is for the first time a true evolutionary step for the game series. There's finally some dynamic to the warfare and although the story is the same kill-em-all-macho-badass thrillride, it's certainly an improvement to the weeping Marcus Fenix we saw in the third Gears of War.
  25. Apr 18, 2013
    Judgment is a worthy addition to the franchise, but it’s a shame the campaign falls short of the high standard of those that preceded it.
  26. Mar 17, 2013
    Gears of War: Judgment is a great example of how a huge exclusive can become bigger and better even after its (virtual) final episode. Epic can have nice dreams because Gears of War is in good hands.
  27. Mar 20, 2013
    This prequel isn't just a visual delicacy. Gameplay-wise it reaches heaven-like levels. We especially enjoyed the Declassified missions. And although the single-player suffers from some minor AI issues, the co-op mode manages to satisfy.
  28. Mar 18, 2013
    Maybe the game is not as epic as the last entry in the franchise, but People Can Fly didn't cut back on the quality. The new weapons, multiplayer modes and the new enemies in this game make this Gears of War a worthy addition to the franchise.
  29. Mar 19, 2013
    Gears of War: Judgment shines in multiplayer as well as single-player through the way it controls and the typical, but entertaining action. The big downside is that there isn’t much to do in the single-player. The story hardly plays to the strengths of previous installments, which is a missed opportunity. The multiplayer plays great as usual, but seems lacking in content with only four maps. Judgment is an entertaining shooter on many fronts, but a disappointing Gears of War game.
  30. Mar 17, 2013
    Judgment doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to either Gears or third person shooters in general, but with just a small change in perspective it does help to reframe it as something identifiably different. It is still the same game underneath, and we probably didn’t need four of them in six years, but arguably Judgment does more to justify itself than either of the two direct sequels.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 706 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 247
  1. Mar 21, 2013
    I decided to write this review because I'm one of the people that got Judgement on release day. Being a huge Gears of war fan I was lookingI decided to write this review because I'm one of the people that got Judgement on release day. Being a huge Gears of war fan I was looking forward to a new title, new weapons and Overrun Mode. And ultimately, I find myself SEVERELY disappointed. I will say the game brings to unique aspects that I did enjoy, but it's glaring flaws outnumber any advancements that game adds. As I mentioned, the game does some things right: The addition of "Declassified" missions is a pretty fun take on the general Gears formula. Some missions require the the area to completed in a certain time span, other require the use of certain weapons for example; in any case, it brings in a new level of "challenge" to the Gears formula, that's much appreciated. These declassified missions are of course optional, but unlock various multiplayer items.

    Overrun mode is a solid addition to the Gears of War formula as well. I will say playing as the Locust provides more entertainment than Cog; both Locust and Cog gain "Points" for achieving various objects, healing allies, killing enemies, etc. But ONLY Locust get to use these "Points" for purchasing upgraded Locust minions, such as a Mauler, or Corpser. Cog get nothing, just a competition for who can get the most points. I feel like perhaps the designers could've given the Cog access to upgraded weapons, grenades or powers to spend their "Points" on, but there is nothing. Overrun is is a fun game mode, but it still leaves players with the feeling that the game mode could encompass so much more and not just be a run off of the Gears version of Team Fortress or Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.

    Now on to the bad news: This isn't you traditional Gears of War multiplayer experience. I understand that People Can Fly has made an attempt to mainstream the series, but this is definitely a multipalyer experience that will upset the Gears diehards and really feels like a couple of steps back from Gears of War 3. To begin, players are limited to four game types: Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Domination and Overrun (VIP players get 4 more game types... Just the VIP version of each of these that offer no additional maps, no additional benefits other than double experience). Players also get the aptly named "Survival" mode, which is similar to Overrun, but against computer Locust; this is like "Horde" mode, but limited to 10 waves, and you're stuck in rigid classes.

    In any case, back to the standard multiplayer it seems a little rushed and severely numbed down. To begin, you now can select one of up to seven primary weapons to start with (Shotguns are now considered "primary") and you get your Snub Pistol.. Not only that, but you only get two weapons to switch between (with the "Y" button) and your Grenade (which you also can choose between 5 grenades to start with). Being able to select such a variety of weapons and grenades before you spawn severely limits battles over the weapon drops on the maps.

    Judgement also removes from multiplayer, some key concepts brought about by the Gears saga (but oddly enough are kept in Campaign). The first is downing opponents and executions. No more human shields, no more stunning visuals of smacking the heads off your foes with the Longshot like Tiger Woods teeing off at the Masters, now you just kill (except in Overrun). No tagging walls with Grenades to step up mines. In fact, there's not even a bullet power bonus from Active Reloads any longer (just fire speed).

    Really with all the changes, many of the weapons have become underwhelming. The weakness of the Lancer, the inaccuracy of the Retro Lancer, the weakness of the Hammerburst without the bonus power of an perfect active reload, just don't seem to do enough damage. Also, Sniper Rifles and Torque Bows just don't seem to have the same effect in Judgement as they did in game past. Multiplayer in Judgement has really become a Shotgun circle, with each team sprinting at each other, Gnashering or Sawed off until no one is left. With the other weapons becoming so Underwhelming (well minus the Boomshot, Booshka and the explosives), why would a player want to pick any other weapon? The cover mechanics of Gears feel very gimped when your target is 100ft away and they rush straight at you, eat an entire Lancer clip and manage to one shot you with a Shotgun, or survive 4 shots from a Marzka, but can kill you mid range with four Shotgun shots. The multiplayer experience seems like it was rushed, or was developed by entirely different team than the campaign. Even fun additions, like being able to wield a shield with any primary weapon, are overshadowed by the flaws in game play. The sad part is, the maps are very well designed but aren't really appreciated due to the imbalances in game play.

    In summary, this game does have some great additions to the series, but takes so much out of the Gears experience, it feels like a step in the wrong direction after such a great experience with gears of War 3.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 19, 2013
    The game that killed the series. Everything that all fans liked about Gears is taken away and turned into a more arcade COD like game.The game that killed the series. Everything that all fans liked about Gears is taken away and turned into a more arcade COD like game. Disappointed is an understatement. Full Review »
  3. Mar 19, 2013
    The weakest of the series, i personally hate the more arcade feel of the game. Nothing in this game stand out. In my opinion if you are a fanThe weakest of the series, i personally hate the more arcade feel of the game. Nothing in this game stand out. In my opinion if you are a fan maybe a buy if you are not a fan just turn around and go play Tomb raider!! Full Review »