Friday, March 15, 2013
First impressions of the Gears of War: Judgment Overrun demo
After playing through the demo multiple times and spending several hours as both sides, some weaknesses and strengths can be easily accessed. The biggest thing to remember is that the Locust have the advantage. They have numerously more options than the COG do and, once through the defenses, are quite an overwhelming force. There are ways for the humans to combat the locust and drive them away from the emergence holes/generator, but ultimately once the barriers are down, it merely becomes a matter of time before the objective is achieved.
There are many balance issues however. On the COG side, the turret is extremely powerful and quick. So quick in fact, that before you even go around the wall it is already trained on you and will automatically fire the split second you are in view. This is instant death to any smaller creature and a very fast DBNO for grenadiers. It has a low amount of health thankfully and, if distracted, can be taken out with a full mag of lancer fire. The turret needs a slightly lower DPS rate and a very small charge up before firing.
Another COG side balance issue is the medic. Stim grenades, while they cannot be stacked, provide instant immunity for anything less than a full gib. Health regenerates automatically rather than a slightly slower rate as the Kantus. This does balance things since the locust have more power, but both could use a slight nerf in regen time.
The locust side has multiple balance issues. First and foremost, the grenadier's nade should respawn in slightly more time. 20 seconds instead of 15. At the moment, it is very easy to spray the lancer until the nade pops up and continuously toss, spray, toss, spray until the objective is completely destroyed.
Maulers are practically invincible. A very high damage rate and a very high amount of health means a player can charge through just about anything. Spinning shields should be changed and not be able to damage barriers. Damage taken from the front through the shield defenses does not seem to affect it. Allow frontal damage to be as effective as side or back.
You will see many games of players choosing to just be Baird and Grenadier so they have access to the gnasher for good old shotgun battles. This is not a realistic method to winning, but players are more interested in bringing the standard COG v Locust multiplayer back. The problem with this idea, is that the grenadier has more health (a lot more) and is capable of taking multiple shots, whereas the Baird will die in a single shot. The desire to pop-shot will most likely end in death, since permanent crosshairs on the screen allow for instant hipfire accuracy, however it is a very difficult habit to break, as is the change of TAC/COM to the D-Pad.
The rest of the experience is varied. While the mode is fun, it also lacks depth. On the single map given in the demo, the same strategy is used over and over with great success. Each stage has one side that lacks any sort of reliable or even reasonable defense, leaving the COG scrambling to slow down the Locust. Most likely, the other maps will play the same way. Once a successful route is established, it will be mainly a game of "who can do it the fastest?" While playing as the different locust can be fun and there is no lack of love for the "BOOOOOOSHKA!" the enjoyment eventually turns the experience into a mediocre repetitive mode. Is it fun? Definitely. But only in small bursts. Taking a break will be necessary to enjoy the mode for any length of time.