The Top 10 Most Disappointing Video Games of 2013

02. Gears of War: Judgment

With its rich and well-established presence among the shooter genre, and a crew of awesome and interesting characters, it seems like it would be impossible to make a disappointing game for the Gears Series... And yet it happened.

The previous games in the series were Epic adventures -- which is rather fitting considering that they were all made by the Epic Games studios -- and in fact as the release date for the game approached, based on everything that we had seen at E3 and the press-only reveals, our expectation was that we were going to be treated to yet another epic entry in the Gears franchise.

In the interest of full-disclosure and transparency I admit that I am a huge Gears fan; in fact now that I think upon it, I am pretty sure that I have spent more time with Marcus Fenix, Augustus (Cole Train) Cole, and Damon Baird (who are the heart and soul of Delta Squad) than I did with my university roommate!

Coming fresh off of Gears 3 and deeply satisfied by the manner in which its story arc was wrapped up, I was genuinely anticipating Judgment to take Gears to a whole new level. Unless you have actually played it, you have no idea about Judgment.

The betrayal and frustration we were confronted by is the sort that I can only generously describe as the resulting bastard child of a hurried and drunken mating by Halo and Call of Duty -- a child that while it is certainly a warrior is a warrior of the sort that always fires from cover; in GoW terms then, it is almost more than the heart can bear without breaking.

I can only imagine the immense shame that the dev team must have felt in handing in the source code for Judgment.

To put this in perspective for you, what they have done is to take the unique, patented and slick sang-froid of Delta and its commander, and then replaced it with the anxiety-ridden discomposure one finds in a Supplies E-6 fresh out of Adgie School on their first night in charge of gate security.

The fact that it is not a bad game at all -- from the perspective of a shooter -- makes that disappointment all the more keen. To be honest it is actually a pretty good shooter; it's just not a GoW caliber shooter...

What makes the game even more disappointing is that it performs admirably and it even takes a few risks in terms of convention and expectation -- the problem is the Gears experience we all anticipated simply isn't there.

The game play that IS there, while perfectly adequate, fails even to offer a memorable level that might be held up as a best feature.

All of the issues can be traced back to an effort to simplify the game so as to broaden its appeal for a new audience -- a decision that may very well have cost the series a large chunk of its loyal followers.

The features that make game play overcomplicated in the GoW series -- like requiring the player to attain a level of realistic squad and military tactics and then use them -- is said to have been a big part of why they sought to strip-away those elements for that whole appeal-broadening gesture.

The thing is those are the elements that make GoW titles GoW games.

Our disappointment was so complete that, when a comic performing at one of the cons we attended cracked a joke about Judgment, it was so spot-on accurate that we didn't find it even a little funny...

What was the Joke?

'We hear that Gears of War: Judgment wasn't the first choice for naming the game -- in fact the project name for this one was allegedly Halo: Call of Gears 4!'

True that.

Posted: 26th May 2014 by CMBF
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