Military.Com - Blockbuster game franchises like Epic Games' "Gears of War" don't just fade away - even if the primary antagonist, the voracious Locust Horde, was obliterated at the end of the initial trilogy.
Not to worry. With "Gears of War: Judgment" (for Xbox 360, $59.99), Microsoft takes players back in time to the beginning of the war between humans and Locusts. It's a hit-or-miss affair - but those few hits manage to leave some bruises.
The story begins shortly after Emergence Day, when the Locusts surfaced from underground and attacked the humans on the planet Sera. The war is still in its early stages and humanity has yet to fully grasp the danger. Veteran characters Damon Baird and Augustus Cole, along with two other members of their squad, stand before a military tribunal accused of treason.
The four soldiers each get a chance to tell their version of events, and though it's no "Rashomon," you do get to play as each squad member. Spending some time with our old friends Baird and Cole sounds enticing, but they are not the lovable wisecrackers they were in the trilogy. The typically sarcastic Baird is dryly serious through most of the game, and former "thrashball" player Cole never invites anyone to ride the "Cole Train" - a colossal disappointment for both characters. More