- "What the fuck is that?"
"Whatever the hell that is, it's a new world record in ugly."
- — Samantha Byrne and Augustus Cole seeing a Drudge for the first time
Lambent Drudges were Lambent lifeforms that appeared on the surface of Sera around 17 A.E. Originally Locust Drones, Drudges were monstrous beings who could hideously mutate themselves to turn the tide of battle into their favor.
- "What the hell is that? I haven't seen that shit before!"
"They blow up just the same!"
- — Jace Stratton and Dominic Santiago encountering a Drudge for the first time
Drudges were virtually unknown to COG forces until 17 A.E., where a team comprised of Clayton Carmine, Damon Baird, Samantha Byrne and Augustus Cole encountered them during their scavenging mission to Cole's hometown of Hanover, as no one recognized this form of Lambent. Cole's team killed more than a dozen Drudges in their trek across Hanover. Simultaneously, multiple Drudges boarded the CNV Sovereign along with dozens of Lambent Drones and countless Polyps.
Later that day at midnight, Drudges appeared once again with Lambent Drones during the Battle for Anvil Gate and attacked the COG and Locust forces present; the Lambent forces (excluding the Lambent Berserker) were killed by the Hammer of Dawn shortly after they emerged. The following day, Drudges were among the countless enemies attacking Delta Squad at Mercy; they were obliterated when Dominic Santiago sacrificed himself to destroy the gas station. More Drudges attacked Delta while they searched for a fuel shipment at Char.
- "That won't stop a Stalk! It'll just piss off the Drudges for a few minutes!"
- — Damon Baird after barricading the doors of Pinnacle Tower
They appeared atop Pinnacle Tower and tried to prevent the Gears from activating Adam Fenix's Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon, but failed. Once the weapon went off, every single Lambent and Locust lifeform was wiped from the face of the planet.
Phase I - Pre MutationEdit
Before they mutated, Drudges posed as much threat as a standard grub would; they moved slowly, were vulnerable to chainsaw and bayonet charge attacks, and only used Hammerburst II's in battle. They were also unable to take cover.
But Drudges were still dangerous in their own right. Close-ranged enemies would be greeted with a fiery barf of Imulsion; and like all Lambent lifeforms, Drudges exploded violently upon death. To avoid this, Gears invented a "stick n' kick" maneuver to push a dying Drudge out of range. If they were heavily damaged, un-mutated Drudges were known to run toward enemies and detonate themselves to ensue chaos.
Drudges were not adversely effected by headshots. Instead, their weak point was a glowing Imulsion-filled cyst located at their stomach; any attack to this would severely injure a Drudge, and if using high powered weapons such as the Longshot, would instantly kill the Drudge. Other weapons would simply stumble it, and using most high powered weapons anywhere else would cause the Drudge to instantly mutate instead.
Phase II - MutationEdit
Drudges were unique in their ability to spontaneously mutate during combat, making them deadly opponents. Mutations provided them with enhanced combat ability - providing extra firepower, range, and/or hardiness. Drudges only mutate when their health is depleted; all mutations render Drudges immune to melee attacks.
Once mutated, Drudges cannot return to Phase I.
Mutation 1 - HeadsnakeEdit
- "The head's still alive!"
- — A Gear warning his squadmates of a Headsnake
The Drudge's head surges upwards as its neck elongates, forming a thick serpent-like appendage. The head itself mutates into a gaping triangular mouth, which could spray a stream of Imulsion at close-medium range, causing significant damage to enemies. Even when the Drudge was killed, the head would continue to function, acting like a snake-like predator on the hunt for enemies (hence the term "Headsnake"). This mutation can occur with other mutations.
Mutation 2 - ArmsEdit
- "Watch the arms!"
- — A Gear's cry while battling a mutated arm Drudge
The Drudge's arms mutate into grotesque, over-elongated limbs with giant claws. This mutation allowed the Drudge a massive boost to close-ranged combat and allowed it to throw balls of Imulsion at enemies outside of melee range. Avoid going near this mutation, as it will cause the Drudge to rip you apart, counting as an Execution.
Mutation 3 - Leg StalkEdit
The third and final Drudge mutation sacrificed all mobility for a cover-busting advantage of height. The legs grew in length and fused together to form a trunk, which placed the upper body on a high pedestal above the battle. From this vantage point, the Drudge could continue to attack with its Hammerburst if it hasn't mutated its arms and head. Its been reported that Polyps have spawned from the root-like bottom of the trunk to attack enemies.
Behind the scenesEdit
- When Retro charging a Drudge, if the camera is behind the character you can see that the bayonet doesn't actually enter the Drudge but goes slightly to the left.
- Oddly, the Drudge is never referred to as such by characters unless they're spotted. Except in the last chapters of the game.
- The Drudge can still mutate after being chainsawed or retro-charged.
- Despite using Hammerbursts, they never drop them if they mutate their arms or are killed.
- Strangely enough, the Drudges that appear on the CNV Sovereign will never mutate. It is unknown whether this was a developer oversight or not.
- Shooting a mutated Drudge's headsnake will cause the headsnake to die with the body, thus stopping it from becoming a separate entity.
- If you shoot with a headshot capable weapon where the Drudge's head was after it mutates into a headsnake form, the Drudge will do its usual death animation, and the kill will say you headshotted it.
- A Torque Bow will always kill a Drudge with one shot, and when killed with a Torque Bow they will never mutate.
- The way Marcus can chainsaw and throw a Drudge off the deck in the first chapter is a reference to the popular scene in the 300 movie where Leonidas says "This is Sparta!" before throwing a man into a pit.