So the latest installment of the critically acclaimed Gears of War series is upon us, but with a change, at least partially, in development comes some fundamental changes to the mechanics of the game, nowhere is this more evident than in Gears multiplayer suite. With that in mind, here are some quick fire tips for a Rookie Cog looking to climb the ranks in the unforgiving battlegrounds of Judgment.
Learn What Weapons Work for You.
Unlike previous Gears of War titles, which allowed you to take a rifle and a shotgun into battle, Judgment only lets you take one primary weapon along with a pistol. This in turn makes the battles much more tactile, with players having to be more astute as to what guns they use and when. Gone are the days when you could drop someone with a lancer and then whip out a gnasher to stop any would be rushers. Having to pick one makes movement and flanking all the more important. Personally on the long sightlines of Rig and Streets I like to run with a Markza or Lancer and on the more confined Gondola and Library I prefer a good old fashioned shotgun.
Top Tip: Although you can only spawn in with one primary, this does not mean you can’t pickup another. Try getting into the habit of switching you pistol for the gun of the first enemy you kill, this will ensure you have options when you need them most.
Don’t Sleep on the Grenades.
One of the biggest changes in terms of the gameplay that Judgment introduces is on tying grenade throwing to the left bumper, the change really aids the fluidity of the game. Grenades have always been sadly underused in Gears games past, due predominantly to the fiddliness of actually using them, now a quick tap of the LB button will let you instantly throw one. The other main change is you can now spawn in with which type of grenade you want; the frag, which is your standard explosive type, ink that causes damage over time, stim-gas, which can heal teammates and yourself (and actually revive fallen foes in overrun) and finally spot grenades, which highlight enemy locations within the radius and have the bonus effect of lowering enemies accuracy whilst they are within it.
In a similar way to the aforementioned weapons, knowing which grenade to use when is key, standard frags are good for the lone wolf types, whereas the others are more useful when used with a closely knit team, healing each other, covering domination points in treacherous ink and spotting enemies to be picked off.
Top Tip: If you are fighting a losing battle, don’t be afraid to toss grenade at an opponents feet with your final breath, you’ll be surprised how many free kills you pick up.
The Sky’s the Limit
Regarding the map layouts, the obvious difference with Judgments maps is that they are much more vertical than those of previous instalments. Alongside that you can now drop off ledges and rooftops to give your foes a nasty surprise. Holding the high ground as a team has always been a key strategy in any team based shooter, and Judgment is no different. Try holding the tower in Library or the roof on Streets equipped with Markzas and longshots and you will be able to rain down fire on your opponents before they know what hit them.
Top Tip: Although you can drop on ledges and roofs, be wary when doing this. Dropping from too high will damage and stun you for a brief moment, allowing sharp enemies to get the drop on you.
Use the Map Interactivity to your Advantage
Moreover on the topic of maps, each map has some unique interactivity to it that when used correctly, can give your team the edge in a close fight. Rig has probably the best of these, a helicopter with mounted turret that will circle the map. Not onlyis it very hard to be killed whilst in this, the turret will mulch anything in your sights and you can also use the airborne time to spot enemies. Gondola has, well… gondolas that will ferry you from bottom to top, these can be used to flank an unaware enemy. Finally library has so secret passages you can use to get around. One runs through the middle of the map and one is located at the top end, which leads way to a secret room and one of the most powerful weapons in the game, the oneshot!
Top Tip: The gondolas each have a resupply of grenades in them so be sure to rain these down on enemies whilst being ferried to your destination.
Stay Close to Your Team
Let me make this very clear, Gears of War: Judgment is nothing like Black Ops 2, and if you treat it like it is, you will die, repeatedly. Good teamwork is essential to consistently achieve victory. The starting rifles take quite an amount of bullets to down a foe, so the more teammates helping you out the better. Make sure to keep a close eye on where your teammates are and use this to judge where the enemy will likely be.
Top Tip: If running with a full party, try experimenting with each team member using a different weapon or grenade type, this variety will prove invaluable objective games to ensure victory is achieved.
Practice in Overrun
Judgments unique new multiplayer mode, overrun, is a great place to learn the intricacies of the new weapons and equipment whilst also being highly teamwork focused. This is great place to learn the fundamentals and build up your skills. Be sure to try out every class to experiment with everything.
Top Tip: When playing as the Locust in this mode, the Ticker is point building powerhouse. Despite its weak appearance, the little critter is excellent at taking down barriers for big points. Just watch out for those turrets, get in their sights and you do not stand a change, be sure to lookout for ticker tunnels that you are able to scurry through to get the drop on your enemy and use these points to save up for the bigger, game changing beasts.
Hopefully these tips will help on your quest to become the most badass Cog on the planet. If you are really struggling, you can also play against bots in private matches to practice your skills before heading online. If you have any further questions or you have a top tip of your own, be sure to leave a comment below.