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Gears of War Judgment: Big multiplayer changes revealed

Things get hardcore in People Can Fly's prequel

This article originally appeared in Xbox World magazine.

So, the new Gears of War game is a prequel. People Can Fly are on development duties - the team behind Bulletstorm - and it's set 15 years before Marcus Fenix is busted out of prison. Epic will still be on hand to make sure it feels like a proper Gears game, but there'll be some changes - especially in multiplayer.

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The new hero is Damon Baird, who most people will know from the original trilogy as 'that guy with the blonde hair' - but who actually topped Epic's 'customer satisfaction surveys' as one of the most beloved Gears characters. The game will feature a real-time dynamic difficulty system, adjusting depending on how you're handling each combat set-piece, and enemies will spawn in different areas every time you play a level. It's a little like the 'AI director' in Left 4 Dead, only more advanced.

Online, the new OverRun mode takes centre stage. This sees two teams - one COG, the other Locust - battling over a generator in the middle of the map. One team has to destroy it, and the other defend it. There'll be multiplayer classes, reminiscent of Team Fortress, that each have their own tactical benefits. Baird is an engineer who can deploy turrets, Cole is a soldier who can drop ammo, and Sophia can heal other players with, er, healing grenades. How does that work? Doesn't really matter.

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People Can Fly say Judgment will feel more like the original Gears Of War. We love the idea of the difficulty level changing as you play, and the random enemy placement, and OverRun sounds like an interesting take on the familiar Gears multiplayer format. Cliff Bleszinski says the game won't be a cakewalk, and cites Dark Souls when he says modern games are getting too easy. Could this be the most hardcore Gears yet?

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