Gears of War: Judgement, the prequel to Gears of War, is launching in February according to CVG sources. That’s a crowded window, even for Gears of War.
Gears of War: Judgement will apparently launch in February, which as the new November seems like a very crowded market.
If a publisher is looking for a quiet window to release a game, February-March isn’t that windows. Titles such as BioShock: Infinite are being released around that time, and it’s not a given that Gears of War has the presence to sell units in that window.
Gaming website CVG reported that its sources claim February is the window for North America and Europe, but there’s no firm release date. Judgement alone was a surprise – Gears of War 3 release just last year – and the game seems more of an add-on experience to the franchise rather than a full game. Everyone knew Gears of War 3 was the closing chapter of the main storyline, so there was lots of hype for that. And it helps when the game was polished well beyond release standards even when in beta.
Judgement takes place before the original Gears of War and follows Damon Baird, not Marcus Fenix, and Augustus Cole (the Cole Train, as you may know him). It seems like an origin story, which seems perfectly fitted to Fenix as he was sentenced prior to the war with the Locust. Baird is a neat side character, but he’s not crying out for narrative exploration.
More Crazy, Less Familiarity, Please
The game is being developed between People Can Fly, developers of Bulletstorm, along with Epic Games. That’s probably so People Can Fly don’t go mental as they did with Bulletstorm, and instead maintains a semblance of the feel of Gears of War.
Honestly, if you’re going to do a prequel that isn’t generate much hype outside of the Gears of War audience then I’d say go crazy. It’s underwhelming if we saw see Gears of War 3.5, a game with the same mechanics and slight tweaks on game modes. Gears of War 3 is the best you’re going to get in that form.
18 million copies of Gears of War have sold, so financially a prequel of the same ilk is definitely worthwhile.