A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Gears of War: Judgment is a mature third-person shooter. It is not meant for kids, tweens, or young teens -- primarily for its intense violence, blood, and extreme gore. This includes the ability to shoot, slice, and blow up enemies, hear them scream in pain, see body parts explode, and leave blood trails on the ground or walls. Also, the game has some very strong profanity, just like the Gears of War games before it.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Set a few years before the events of the original Gears of War trilogy, GEARS OF WAR: JUDGMENT focuses on a troop of human soldiers led by Damon Baird and Augustus “The Cole Train” Cole, who are joined by other newcomers, Sofia Hendrick and Garron Paduk. Their goal? Protect the besieged coastal city of Halvo Bay from a vicious, relentless new alien threat. Along with this new campaign that takes gamers back to the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day -- the moment the Locust creatures began their attack on humanity -- Gears of War: Judgment also adds an unlockable side-story called "Aftermath," which links the events of "Judgment" to the original Gears of War trilogy. This new disc also features new cooperative (co-op) and competitive multiplayer modes.
Is it any good?
Fans of this popular sci-fi action series will like what studios Epic Games and People Can Fly has created here, in both the story (which serves as a prequel to the trilogy) and in the multiplayer department (including new modes that keeps things fresh and exciting). Up to four people can play co-op together, and chat at the same time, over Xbox Live. New to Gears of War: Judgment is "Mission Declassification" system that lets gamers experience more challenging gameplay scenarios (and achievements) by finding key information during the campaign -- which is a nice way to tie the narrative to the action. While still a "stop and pop" third-person shooter, where you're often hiding behind an object to take down an enemy, the action is faster in this new game.
While it's not a flawless offering -- the Aftermath campaign seems like an afterthought and both campaigns only yield 7 or 8 hours of gameplay (short for a $60 title) -- the intensity, new multiplayer modes, and challenge-based rewards all make this title a worthwhile investment for mature shooter fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why third-person shooter sci-fi games are so popular: Is it the running and gunning, the battle tactics, or the over-the-top gore? Is it the multiplayer thrill of playing against other humans? Is it the story?
Parents can also discuss the impact of media violence.
- Platforms: Xbox 360
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions
Social Studies: exploration
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, teamwork
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, collecting data, strategy
Self-Direction: time management, work to achieve goals
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Microsoft Studios
- Release date: March 19, 2013
- Genre: Third-person shooter
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Bugs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.