Gears of War has continued to become a more popular franchise, from the announcement of Gears of War 2 to the release of Gears of War 3. It’s now one of the Xbox 360’s flagship series, and it’s only become bigger following the announcement of Gears of War: Judgment. Only a release “month” was announced at first, but a release date of 19th March 2013 was soon to follow; leaked details left fans and newcomers alike highly anticipating its launch.

The game will be a prequel to the original trilogy, set in Halvo Bay after Emergency Day and the Pendulum Wars, where the Onyx Guard Academy is located. The campaign will surprisingly follow Kilo Squad, consisting of two returning characters – Cole and Baird – and two new: Sophia and Garron. Information about two new maps has also been released: Library, based on the Alexiy Desipich Memoral Library; and Gondola, where players will find themselves running on the Agora Foothills.

Two new game types will also be introduced in Judgment, the first of which is OverRun, a blend of Horde mode and Beast mode in which Locust players have to advance across the map and destroy generators defended by Cog players. New emergence holes are created when a percentage indicator in the corner reaches 100%, opening up new areas for Locust to attack. Finally, free-for-all has been added, which (as the title suggests) is a deathmatch-style mode in which all players have to fend for themselves.

We’ll be bringing you an in-depth look at the new OverRun game mode next week following the Eurogamer Expo in London. Hit “subscribe” in the top-right to be updated with the latest Gears of War news as it is published.