There is such a thing as playing it too safely when it comes to video game franchises. In terms of a longstanding series, fans are always looking for that perfect, albeit slightly paradoxical, blend of familiarity and variety. They want similar game play and characters who have made the series such a staple; however, it never hurts to expand the story with every installment, crafting a more memorable sense of action and adventure with each follow-up.
The Gears of War games have been on a roll with this aspect for a long time now, with its pinnacle of triumph being Gears of War 3 back in 2011. Thanks to how exceptionally remarkable that game was, I found it reasonable to expect the next one to be that much better. Instead, Gears of War: Judgment disappoints by delivering an overall experience that does next to nothing to improve upon itself.
I have always applauded Gears of War for its capacity to tell incredible stories. Unfortunately, Judgment is hands-down the first game in this series where the narrative fails to make an impact. The roughly seven-hour campaign just feels like an expansion pack for Gears of War 3, rather than its own stand-alone and substantial endeavor. Don’t get me wrong, Gears 3 is by far my favorite in the series. But what Judgment does is simply bask in the same exact quality that once made the series great. This utterly backfires in the end and now leaves players with a regrettably monotonous undertaking that feels uninspired, at best.