Gears of War: Judgment (2013)

by Christopher
7 minutes read


As a prequel that enriches the ‘Gears of War’ universe, ‘Gears of War: Judgment’ captivates players with its intense combat, strategic gameplay, and the compelling story of Kilo Squad’s fight against overwhelming odds.


‘Gears of War: Judgment’, released in 2013 for the Xbox platform, is an intense, action-packed prequel that explores the early days of the Gears of War universe, setting the stage for the events of the original trilogy.


“Gears of War: Judgment” is a third-person shooter video game developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games and published by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox 360. Released in North America and Australia on March 19, 2013, and in Europe on March 221, it is a spin-off of the Gears of War series and a prequel to the entire franchise.

The game follows Damon Baird, Augustus Cole, and their squad Kilo as they are put on trial for disobeying orders. The main campaign is divided into six chapters, each with several missions. Unlike the previous games in the series, which used very large, open environments, missions are self-contained portions of the overall story and returning to earlier missions’ settings is never possible.

The game is set less than a year after E-Day, and roughly 15 years before the original Gears of War. It centers around the then Lt. Damon Baird (part of the main trilogies Delta Squad) and Kilo Squad, who have been put on trial for disobeying orders and stealing COG technology without authorization.

The campaign takes the player back to the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day and revolves around the trial of Kilo Squad, including Lt. Damon Baird and Pvt. Augustus Cole, as they are accused of treason after a battle against the Locust in Halvo Bay. A unique aspect of this game is every main character is playable through the campaign, as each of them have their own parts of the story.

Early in the Locust War, Kilo Squad is accused of treason by Col. Ezra Loomis after Lt. Damon Baird leads Pvt. Augustus Cole, Cdt. Sofia Hendrik, and Pvt. Garron Paduk in a battle against the Locust in Halvo Bay, during which they steal experimental Coalition of Ordered Governments technology.

Kilo Squad is put on trial for various crimes by Colonel Ezra Loomis and is given the chance to explain their actions: Following orders, Kilo checks out a convoy in the Old Town part of Halvo Bay only to find it destroyed. Kilo proceeds to battle through Old Town and into the Museum of Military Glory where they encounter the fearsome Locust General Karn and his mount Shibboleth accompanied by hundreds of Locust.

Contacting Colonel Loomis, Cadet Sofia Hendrik suggests using a powerful weapon known as the Lightmass Missile to take Karn out, but Loomis is strongly against the idea. Realizing how dangerous Karn is, Kilo decides to use the bomb anyway and travels to the Onyx Guard Academy where they find and protect the missile’s targeting beacon, a bot that Lieutenant Damon Baird later names Troy.

With Troy in their possession, Kilo travels to the Seahorse Hills to the mansion of Professor Kurt Elliott, creator of the missile in order to get the launch codes needed to fire the missile. Fighting into the mansion, Kilo must defend Troy from repeated waves of Locust as he downloads the launch codes.

Once they have the codes, Kilo travels to the island of Onyx Point where the missile itself is, fighting through entrenched Locust forces to reach and arm the missile.

“Gears of War: Judgment” received positive reactions from critics, but received a negative reception from fans. The game underperformed commercially, selling 1 million copies by August 2013.


Major characters include Damon Baird, a brilliant but insubordinate soldier; Augustus ‘The Cole Train’ Cole, a former thrashball star turned soldier; and other members of Kilo Squad. Each character brings a unique perspective and set of abilities to the team’s dynamic.


‘Gears of War: Judgment’ introduces new mechanics and game modes, including the Declassified missions and OverRun mode, adding layers of strategy and replayability. The game’s combat is as brutal and satisfying as ever, with a focus on teamwork and tactical execution.


While ‘Gears of War: Judgment’ might deviate from the traditional narrative path of its predecessors, it stands as a solid addition to the franchise, offering an intense prequel experience with fresh gameplay elements and a deeper dive into the series’ backstory.

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