Expected by many to be a big draw in Microsoft’s conference, Gears of War: Judgment was only given a token appearance during the Redmond company’s 90 minutes. The short teaser, below, stars Kilo Squad, a team of four Gears under the command of Damon Baird, a lieutenant in Judgment. They seem to have been a bit naughty (hence the handcuffs), and amidst fierce scenes of battle and Locust destruction, Baird’s squad are charged with many offenses – including treason.

Fortunately, Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb stepped up to the plate and provided a longer look at the game. This trailer, more gameplay-focused than the first, includes some commentary from Epic director Rod Ferguson, who tells us that the game is set in the weeks immediately following E-Day, and explains that this Gears campaign will be less scripted and more open. Interestingly, no mention is made of Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly’s involvement, and from what little single-player gameplay we see, it seems to be business as usual. So it remains to be seen what, if anything, will be new for Gears of War: Judgment‘s campaign.

The rest of the trailer is given over to unveiling the new multiplayer mode, Overrun. In this mode, Gears defend objectives while the Locust are on the offensive, The unique hook here is that it’s class based, and if you’re fighting for the COG, you can choose from one of four classes, each with their own abilities; a medic, for instance, can throw stim-gas grenades to heal or revive team-mates, the soldier begins with a boomshot and spawns ammo for the team, and the engineer can repair fortifications and deploy turrets, while the scout can climb to establish overwatch positions, throw beacons to tag enemies for the team, and spawns with a semi automatic sniper rifle.

On the Locust side, you can play as fast moving tickers, wretches, grenadiers, kantus, bloodmounts, corpsers, maulers and even the serapede. Yep, you read that right. Each Locust type also has its own special ability, such as the kantus’ healing abilities or the corpsers tunneling, and it seems safe to say that Overrun will be a rather asymmetrical gameplay experience.

But it’s the single-player which mostly interests me. Seeing Sera falling apart in the aftermath of Emergence Day should be interesting, and we still know little of Baird – the books paint him as having come from a privileged background, and, much like Marcus, leaving it all behind to find his own way. It’ll be interesting to get to know him a little better when Gears of War: Judgment launches next year.

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