E3 2012: Gears of War: Judgment 'Overrun' hands-on preview
One thing the crew at EPIC Games has accomplished over the years with the Gears of War series is capturing true “I got your back” relationships – oftentimes referred to as bromance. Fans have grown to love and respect these relationships in the game that reveal the softer side of many of the series’ protagonists: Marcus, Dom, Cole, and Baird. These bromances, though, have only made their appearances in storytelling throughout the first three titles, but during our Gears of War: Judgment “Overrun” multiplayer hands-on preview, it was clear that this feature is making its way to gameplay, and boy did it impress.
Our private, hands-on preview of Overrun began with a short briefing from Judgment’s main character himself, Baird. The concept itself was quite simple: one team takes over as the COG and tries to defend a generator (you’ll have to defend more than one when the game becomes available), while another team of Locusts try and destroy it. When, and if, the Locusts team destroys the generator, teams will switch and the opposite team will have to beat that initial time. What was interesting about Overrun, though, was the introduction of squad, class-based gameplay.
The class system features distinct abilities, much like Battlefield 3, but each feature their own “Gearsy” feel. For instance, we took the role as a COG medic, loaded with the franchise’s beloved Lancer. During combat, our soldier had the ability to throw out “med kits” that look very similar to grenades. Interestingly enough, these kits have the ability to regain health for all teammates standing close to it, and can also fully revive downed team members instantly. Classes like the recon class feature the ability to tag enemies through walls and cover, while engineers can fix fortified structures after a Locust attack. We weren’t quite sure how the entire team-focus gameplay would work, until we were handed a controller.
Acting as a medic, we began our match scoping out the small, industrial map. The landscape featured two main corridors for enemies to attack from with the generator near our spawn. After a few moments, Locusts began attacking (we’ll cover their side of the mode shortly). We quickly took to cover and provided some important fire for our soldier members. Before we knew it, we were able to utilize our medic’s capabilities to revive and heal members, so they could counteract the enemies attack. As this was happening, our sniper class members were tagging foes for us to preview the onslaught. The entire scheme was absolutely exhilarating and added a very new perspective to the Gears of War universe. Our team was able to hold off the Locusts for several minutes before we finally succumbed to the enemy attacks.
So, our time to beat was set, and we had an idea how to overcome the COG soldiers as we took over the Locusts squad. Players who’ve played Gears of War 3’s “Beast Mode” will have an exceptional idea on how to act as the Locusts. You’ll have the choice to begin as Grenadiers or fan-favorite Tickers, and as you gain experience in battle, you’ll be able to “level up” to more fearful enemies like Wretches and the fairly new “electric snake” Locusts (as forum posters like to say) that can only be defeated by, as Baird puts it, “shooting it in the butt.” Each of the Locusts has been fine tuned for Judgment and Overrun, and has a tighter feel during combat, along with some new and juicy weapons to try out. Playing as the Locusts did not detract from the fun at all – our match was absolutely intense, and came down to the last ten seconds. With the opponent’s generator down to 10% health, we knew we’d have to make a desperate last effort, but unfortunately, time barely expired as our frontline made it back to the generator’s location.
Though we haven’t had a great look at Judgment in terms of a fully featured multiplayer and single-player, we can confirm that the folks at EPIC have once again created an addicting multiplayer mode that takes Gears’ bromance to the next level. Our twenty minute, hands-on preview of Overrun was an absolute blast and has us excited for the rest of Judgment. If Overrun is any indication on what’s to come with the next installment of Gears of War, it’s safe to say EPIC will have another blockbuster on their hands.