Gears of War: Judgement review

Take a trip back to the heart of the Locust War for more of the same Gears of War mayhem

Surely nobody really expected that a franchise as lucrative as Microsoft's third-person shooter would end when Marcus Fenix hung up his gun at the end of Gears of War 3? After all, the Locust War established that there was a whole universe of narrow corridors and waist-high barriers for soldiers to battle through...

Gears of War: Judgement takes players back to the heart of the conflict as Damon Baird and Kilo Squad stand trial for disobeying orders. Exactly what they did and why they did it only becomes clear as you battle through the game's levels – each a flashback from a different member of the team. And once again it all boils down to players being funnelled through carefully disguised corridors and arenas, where you spend all of your time murderlising the opposition with your oversized weaponry.

While the inclusion of optional 'Declassified Missions' (which add extra challenges to each level) and a bonus unlockable campaign are welcome additions, it's basically business at usual. So, for all that …Judgement looks and sounds suitably spectacular as it throws you into the heart of some cracking sci-fi action, the gameplay itself feels more rigid and inflexible than ever before. Thankfully, multiplayer (now bolstered by two new modes) remains compelling, which helps alleviate the problem somewhat.

Gears of War: Judgement, Microsoft, Xbox 360, £50 Approx