More than a month before its release, Gears of War: Judgment has leaked online. Earlier today a torrent of what appears to be a retail copy of the latest game in the popular shooter franchise made its way online, and now Microsoft has taken immediate action.

Microsoft released an official statement saying they are well aware that Gears of War: Judgment has leaked online, and plan to take “vigorous action” against anyone that attempts to play it. A similar situation happened with Halo 4 not that long ago, and Microsoft employed a similar stance, highlighting that game piracy is illegal and that any gamers caught playing a pirated copy of Judgment will be hit with, at the very least, the ban hammer.

As if right on cue, Microsoft also released a new trailer for Gears of War: Judgment (seen above) that teases the return of multiplayer for this prequel. The trailer’s new (old) protagonist, Baird, walks players through some of the new additions developers Epic Games and People Can Fly have introduced this time around.

Epic has apparently taken a page from the Halo franchise and is introduced a sticky frag grenade into the fold. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as watching an enemy flail helplessly before they explode into dozens of meaty chunks.

The beacon grenade is a wholly new addition that allows players to “see” enemies through walls and behind cover. It’s like a mini-sonar that can be placed anywhere in a map.

And finally, there’s a new stim grenade joining the fold, which grants a health boost to anyone standing in the grenade’s blue mist. Players won’t have to watch a wind up animation when they prepare grenades either, they can toss them instantly.

Along with three new grenade types, Judgment will be introducing a new weapon into the Gears franchise: the ‘Marksight.’ This medium range sniper rifle can be fired from the hip, but also has a scope for those very important headshots.

Gears of War Judgment Multiplayer Trailer

Judgment is also adding some new modes that have been standards of online multiplayer for quite some time — namely Free-for-all and Domination. There’s also a description of the game’s new Overrun mode, which is like a combination between Gears’ Horde and Beast modes.

All of that time spent in the multiplayer wouldn’t be worth a thing if it weren’t for the game’s new rewards system. To be fair, the ‘Rewards’ system borrows heavily from ideas we’ve seen before, most recently in Mass Effect 3‘s multiplayer. Inside each of the randomized packs can be anything from an XP bonus to weapon skins — again, something we’ve seen before. And considering Gears of War 3 jumped the shark by charging for better weapon skins, we wouldn’t be surprised if Judgment allowed gamers to purchase packs for real cash.

How should Microsoft treat gamers using a pirated copy of Gears of War: Judgment? What do you think of Judgment’s new multiplayer offering?

Gears of War: Judgment releases March 19, 2013 for the Xbox 360.

Source: Eurogamer