Gears of War: Judgment was somewhat a disappointment when it came to its multiplayer content. For a game series that had previously been known for its innovations in online play, it seemed like a smack in the face to all the fans when it was released with just a handful of maps and a few modes. Of course why would they give something away for free, when they can charge for it?This seems to be the common thinking among publishers nowadays. Unfortunately, no matter how much fun the Call to Arms DLC may be, all I was thinking was “why wasn’t this on the disc?”
The Call to Arms DLC comes with three new maps, and a brand new multiplayer mode called Master at Arms, all for 1000msp. The three maps are Terminal, Blood Drive and Boneyard; all of which are themed around the Locust invasion of Halvo Bay.
Blood Drive, as the name would suggest, is set in a hospital. It’s a rather large map, with a good mix of indoor and outdoor areas. Boneyard however, is set mainly outdoors, which often results in some excellent open-air gunfights. These two maps are available to play in all standard multiplayer modes.
Terminal, however, is only available to play in Survival and Overrun modes, which, to me, is a little unfair if players don’t like those two modes. It is a large map and plays well in both those modes, but I feel it affects the value of the DLC. They are only giving three maps to begin with, and then only two of them are playable in the majority of modes. Compare that to the Black Ops 2 DLC packs, which always include four new maps and new zombie modes, and only costs 200msp more. This doesn’t feel like it is worth the money.
A little redemption comes in the form of the new mode, Master at Arms. Think of the Black Ops 2 party game mode, Gun Play, and that will be a good idea of what this is: a free-for-all type of match, where everyone starts out with the same weapon. As players make a kill with the weapon, it changes to a new one, until they have made 20 kills and worked their way through the whole armory. I found this mode to be a lot of fun, especially when I played it on the new Boneyard map, as it has such an open area.
The DLC does come with ten new achievements, as well as six new gun and armor skins, so at least there’s a little something extra.
Fans of Gears of War will be best served by buying the DLC Season Pass, as that will offer the best value for money, and they are the type of person most likely to buy all of the DLC. However, it is really hard to recommend this as a stand-alone purchase due to the cost and the lack of content. For a game that was already lacking in the multiplayer department, it seems unfair that the DLC appears to be akin to being thrown scraps from the dinner plate. Let’s also not forget that last month the Haven DLC came out. This pack was FREE (as it was sponsored by MAXIM) and still had one map and one new mode.
Review copy of DLC provided by publisher.