The Backlog Episode 11 (Day 72): Monaco and Gears of War Judgement

Another week, and we get to spend a little time with another system we simply are not right now. Today’s system was the Xbox One with a game I literally had downloaded on the Xbox 360 because it was free with Xbox LIVE. It made it to the Xbox One as one of the backwards compatibility titles. So last night, I was walking into a completely blind situation.

What I walked into was a retro-styled top down game about sneaking around the map to either reach a goal or steal something and get back, starting with your breakout of jail. And while the game didn’t particularly impress me, I have to admit a large part of that is that I’ve never been a huge fan of stealth games outside of the horror genre.

The game felt smooth as hell and each character plays differently to change how they have to face each mission, and the game even supports (and in fact seems to encourage) up to 4 players so you can bring the whole team together by playing with a few friends, on or off line. Unfortunately for me, I refuse to pay MS for the “privilege” of playing online and my buddies in general all play on PC anyway (and even then most of the time it’s Overwatch or Warframe). And what was here for a single player game was solid as you have to learn guard patterns and sneak around undetected to succeed in your mission. If you do get caught for the most part you CAN lose those gaurds with some effort (or even rush through the level if you are almost done) so not everything is lost. I just don’t get into being the thief in a story very often, so the game just couldn’t really pull me in. And after 30 minutes it asked me to rob a bank… and I bowed out, pretty much with a vibe for the game saying it just wasn’t for me.

But wanting to give you guys the full time, I rolled the dice for a follow up and we also wound up giving Gears of War Judgment a try. If you are not familiar with the series, Gears of War is a 3rd Person Shooter based on a world where mankind got undermined (literally) by an alien force known as the Locust and the war between them has been ongoing. The original game got the gaming world’s collective attention purely by how eye-meltingly amazing it looked for the time, but this is the 4th entry in the series, and one many probably didn’t bother with. But as someone who never really played the series (when the 360 was the big console, I mainly was playing PC with a side of Wii for my Metroid fix), I found it kinda fun. It wasn’t anything really special, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect it to be. After all, this was a series everyone else cloned for years, so as with many games that start a trend, it felt fairly generic at this point. But the story’s opening struck me as interesting and I would be interested in going back and seeing what the difference between classified and declassified is. If you can get this one cheap, I wouldn’t call it a bad choice at all. (And considering it’s actually a 360 title, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue).

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