Generally favorable reviews - based on 81 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 81
  2. Negative: 0 out of 81
Buy On
  1. Mar 21, 2013
    We’re directing our biggest complaint to both Epic and People Can Fly for failing to achieve much on the single-player front. The atmosphere kind of lacks all that tension and excitement from previous games (think Gears of War 2).
  2. Apr 1, 2013
    In refusing to slap a number 4 in the title, Epic Games itself is admitting that Judgement categorically isn’t the next great leap for the series, and we’re assuming that will come with the next generation. But as a reminder of why Gears of War became one of the most influential shooters of its generation, Judgement is a welcome curtain call, even if it isn’t the grand finale that some would have wanted.
  3. Mar 17, 2013
    Gears of War: Judgment is not a bad game, but one that very much stands in the shadow of its more illustrious predecessors. It is a bit like going back to a favorite restaurant, only to find that the management has changed and it's just not quite the same anymore...Sure, you'll still have a pretty decent meal, but you'll also leave yearning for days gone by.
  4. Mar 17, 2013
    The game mechanics are even better than the third game, but it still lacks quality in the story and this time even in the AI. Play this with your friends or get ready for gears of frustration.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Mar 22, 2013
    Beautiful, efficient, but burdened with a poor story, this GoW: Judgment lacks innovation for sure, but also its more vivid casting and its new multiplayer mode don't really cohere with small teams and arenas. It still remains a high quality TPS, though, but not one that will make memories.
  8. Mar 20, 2013
    While there have been refinements, the core Gears machinery whirs on through another solid singleplayer campaign. More has been altered in the game's multiplayer component, but it's finally a case of diminishing returns for the cornerstone franchise.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Mar 17, 2013
    Judgment just might be the game that drops Gears of War out of the triple-A tier. It is competently done and no more. The rock-solid gameplay returns intact — virtually identical, in fact — and the Declassified options bump the entertainment value up a few notches, but the epic scope and precision level designs that elevated the franchise beyond its mechanics simply aren’t here.
  12. 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.
  13. Mar 17, 2013
    There's just enough exposition there to keep things moving and just enough of a gameplay tweak to make you wish they had made these changes two games ago. It's a fun but feature-light shooter for people who already enjoy the basic style of Gears of War. Nothing more, nothing less.
  14. Hyper Magazine
    May 9, 2013
    It's Gears 3, minus pacing and ambition. It's still fantastically enjoyable, but it's easily the least interesting Gears game. [June 2013, p.64]
  15. Mar 20, 2013
    Gears of War Judgment looks like a transition episode and something bigger is probably waiting for us on Xbox 720. In the meantime, we'll have to deal with a disappointing campaign which only allows us to destroy waves of Locusts without being entertaining. Gameplay is still very accurate but some better things have been made elsewhere since the first Gears of War, and Judgment seems to be the game too far.
  16. Mar 21, 2013
    These are mostly the same guns, monsters, and combat sandboxes you already played, just arranged differently. Same gameplay, new framework. But given that this is currently my preferred way to get my Gears on, I can’t complain too loudly when I’m so busy trying to three-star each of the levels.
  17. Apr 1, 2013
    Judgment is a prequel that no one asked for. The story campaign is worth a go if you play it in co-op with friends and take declassified missions – although it adds nothing to the story of Sera. The new multiplayer modes are okay, but overall all these ‘changes’ are just a game of musical chairs.
  18. Mar 28, 2013
    Safe to say though that as commendable an effort as People Can Fly have made here it is getting a bit stale. We are at the stage now where we are seeing tweaks and iterations as opposed to must have fundamental changes and it will be interesting to see where the franchise goes from here.
  19. Gears of War: Judgment just doesn’t have a lot of epic moments, which an unfortunate irony when the developer calls itself Epic Games. While the series has taken a big step forward by reining in its worst excesses, it also takes one back by shying away from what made it great to begin with. As such, Judgment is a familiar experience that, at this point in time, is just treading water.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 70
    Gears of War: Judgment isn't actually a bad game by any means - it performs admirably and takes a few risks with the series' conventions to provide a unique (Gears) experience for players. The problem here is that the experience just isn't memorable enough - this is essentially a Gears of War game done by the numbers with all tactical involvement completely removed or made superfluous.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 798 Ratings

User score distribution:
  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 »