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Microsoft threatens Gears of War: Judgment pirates with console and Xbox Live bans

"Consumers should be aware that piracy is illegal."

Gears of War: Judgment then. Word is it's been pirated, a month before release, and can be downloaded right now from the wilderness that is the internet (given access to a modified console and a basic lack of scruples, of course). Do that, however, and you'll tempt the wildly chainsaw-swinging wrath of Uncle Microsoft.

"We are aware of isolated cases in which Gears of War: Judgment content has been propped on the Web and are working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation immediately," the manufacturer has commented to CVG.

"Consumers should be aware that piracy is illegal and we take vigorous action against illegal activity related to our products and services," it goes on. "Playing pirated copies of games, such as Gears of War: Judgment, is a violation of the Xbox Live Terms of Use and will result in enforcement action, such as account and console bans."

I played Judgment the other day and found the campaign to be decidedly impressive. I've played the multiplayer mode OverRun, too, which is also decidedly impressive - more on that front soon.

A series of Judgment hands-on "lock-ins" are currently underway at specialist retailer GAME - secure a slot, and you'll get to spend a whole evening with the game, plus free snacks. Read this to see if there's a participating store in your vicinity.