Epic Games and People Can Fly want to make sure that Gears of War Judgment adequately challenges shooter fans. Judgment will have an all-new feature called S3, or "smart spawn system," that should keep players on their toes.
"Previously in Gears, if you wanted a greater challenge, you went for the higher difficulty mode. It basically meant less health for you and more health for them. It worked perfectly fine, but we tried to attack this from a different angle," People Can Fly's Adrian Chmielarz said in an interview with Joystiq. "S3 constantly monitors your performance, from simple stuff like accuracy and your skills, but also like your location in the combat zone."
The game will offer up different scenarios to test players. One portion of the campaign could be completely different on separate play-throughs. For example, you might encounter different types of enemies. Certain foes will be reserved for harder difficulty.
Cliff Bleszinski, interviewed alongside Chmielarz, said that there's a growing appetite among gamers for titles like Dark Souls that really challenge them. Epic and People Can Fly want to make sure that Judgment proves harder than Gears of War 3, even on normal difficulty
"The thing about Gears 3 that I learned kind of in hindsight is the fact that technically it was the longest campaign that we've ever done, but we accidentally softened the difficulty a little too much."
Shooters are definitely one of the genres that have gone "soft" in recent years. Regenerating health, A.I. or human companions that can revive you, cover systems, checkpoints - players never had it so good. The danger with all these convenience features is that winning the game isn't quite so satisfying. It leaves more hardcore players out in the cold, ultimately. It's good to see Epic making efforts to keep that section of gamers engaged as well.
Judgment is rumored to be a prequel. It will star Baird and Cole, two of the supporting characters from previous GoW games. Epic believes Judgment will arrive by 2013.