Gears of War: Judgment has a lot to offer in the single player department – especially with the addition of Declassified Missions – and finding friends to tag along with you in co-op isn't too shabby either. But competitive multiplayer has always been a huge part of this series and Judgment expands upon it like never before.
Along with the returning favorite Team Deathmatch, Judgment comes with a flurry of new modes. Free-For-All marks the first time that players have to fend for themselves on the battlefield rather than working together as a team. (That means you can cut a human in half with a Lancer, you lucky devil.) Survival and OverRun feature components from the popular Horde mode, where you have to fend off against waves of enemies or try and protect a point on the map where others attempt to take it over. Finally, Domination is a tricky "defend the waypoint" mode where you have to compete for three spots on a particular map in order to amass 250 points. The first one to do so scores the victory.
Obviously there are some general rules that apply when it comes to multiplayer – try not to stay out in the open, don't rush for a power-up when it looks like a sniper trap, etc. – but we've got some fond advice for each of the modes to help you out as well. Heed these tips well, because they could very well keep you alive as you move into the next round…
Let's talk about one of the newest modes in the game first. OverRun is vital when it comes to team cooperation because you'll need to set up certain vantage points to protecting your team from incoming waves. It's best to have someone up top (in a tower for example) to watch for and pick off enemies from afar. With that taken care of, set up the other three members of your team in defensive positions surrounding the object while also keeping an eye on lanes where enemies come in. Setting up traps like Locust barbed wire fences is also useful, especially for enemies that come charging in. (You'll also want to make sure you keep turrets and traps in fairly good condition, lest they come crumbling down when you need them the most.)
If you're on the other side of the field trying to get to the objective, you'll want to keep a watchful eye out for enemies that are perched up high. For that matter, you'll also want to make sure you have plenty of grenades or something that can launch a lot of firepower without necessarily putting you in an open lane to get shot. Charging, even with the larger of soldiers, isn't the greatest idea as you leave yourself open for counterattack quite easily. Wear them down, make sure there are no fences in the way and then move in.
This is a change of pace for Gears of War multiplayer, mainly because it's every soldier for themselves. This is a great mode when it comes to learning combat skills, since you don't have to worry about fighting alongside a team; just hit the open field and let loose on anyone that gets in your way. Make sure you have the Lancer with you – that's the best weapon even with Boomshots and Mulchers available – and a finger handy on the B button in case you need to do a quick melee. (Don't be surprised if an opponent is ready to counter, forcing you into a Lancer duel. Tap away and hope for the best.)
If any particular mode is dependent on working well as a team, it's Domination. You'll want to make sure you stay in good communication with your fellow soldiers to make sure your vantage points are covered, lest they become taken over by enemy soldiers. Try and set up defensive perimeters around said points where you're not necessarily open for a quick attack but can still see what's coming. Use cover to your advantage when possible (there's a pretty good amount of it in each map), and don't be afraid to move in for a quick kill if it comes within reach. Just remember – DON'T LEAVE YOUR TEAM BEHIND. They might need you, even if you feel you don't need them.
For Survival, it's best to stay in conjunction with your team and to make sure traps are on hand. These include the laser line firing crossbow to help slow enemies down, as well as barbed wire fences that can trip up and injure anyone – even stronger foes – that come into contact with them. Separating your traps and keeping a strong team strategy in place will help you survive later stages of the game, which become all-out brutal.
There's not really too much new to talk about here, as it's the traditional five-on-five set-up. Like most team-oriented sports, it helps to be on the same page as your squad instead of necessarily running off and doing as you please. You may be required to help in a revival or perhaps set up an ambush against larger enemies that take multiple shots to the head to bring down. Don't be afraid to bring rookies into the fold; remember, you had to start somewhere with Gears of War once too. Be patient, stick with the team, and win the fight.
Good luck to you, and we'll see you on Xbox Live.
Gears of War: Judgment is available now for Xbox 360.