Yes, it's true. Judgement has an unlockable campaign chapter called Aftermath that cuts into the GOW3 time line.
Maybe People Can Fly realised that having a prequel was not exactly the coolest thing to do for a franchise 3 games in. They mixed up the Judgement campaign with optional missions, flash backs to give the campaign a bit of novelty. One thing they kept secret until the game’s release was that having completed the campaign, a second campaign called 'Aftermath' is playable if the player has done enough diligence during the first campaign.
That’s a nice way of mixing it up.
Aftermath takes place the end of GoW 3 when Baird, Cole, and Carmine set out to track down reinforcements before the COG invade Azura. Aftermath is set at a two game play length.
Aftermath can be unlocked by completing each level of Judgement with style and panache. More head shots or fancier execution finishers will grant players ‘stars’ and the more stars you get, the more of Aftermath becomes available.
Gears of War: Judgment’s lead level designer Jim Brown said “We wanted to do something that added context to the game, so you had that beginning part, but then this ties everything together with the main trilogy as well.”
“So you’ll see when you go in there some people you recognize, some places, maybe even some enemies and then see how the two storylines weave together in the context of the whole. Obviously we don’t want to give away too many spoilers in how it’s going to end or what you’re going to see.
“But the basic gist of it is that when they’re at the fort, Marcus sends Barrett and Cole off to find supplies and reinforcements, and then he goes off to Azura. Then at the very end they show up with helicopters. This is where they went and what they did on that mission.”
I gotta admit, I was fairly worried about GOWJ being a prequel but it looks like a lot of work has gone into making it a great game.
Can’t wait to get my hands on it.