Gears Of War 2 will receive its second map pack very soon. The Snowblind map pack will hit Xbox live servers on March 31st and will sting gamers 800 points. Accompanying the new maps will the games third title update. The update will hopefully fix all the minor gameplay bugs and exploits which plagued the games launch matchmaking system.
Snowblind will contain 4 new maps; Fuel Depot, a remake from the original Gears, Grindyard, Under Hill and Courtyard. Gamespot ran an interview with the games executive producer Rod Fergusson who too us through the new maps.
Grindyard: Grindyard seems to hold a particular place in the developer’s hearts. It was used to trial new weapons and mechanics before Gears shipped.
‘’ It’s a junkyard processing plant with flames, but then you have this really cool falling snow which makes for an interesting contrast.’’
Under Hill: Taking place on a highway just before it enters into a mountain, Underhill will feature a half in half out environment which takes players either in the tunnel heading into the mountain or the highway leading into it.
‘’ You can go to the high ground on the turnpike and grab the mortar, but going up there exposes you because it’s essentially a raised highway. It’s a dead end to go up there.’’
Courtyard: Is set in similar setting to the original Gears Embry Square. It is said to have a more open battle field than the other maps, Which will be interesting as multiplayer in Gears depends on switching from cover point to cover point.
‘’ It’s a really fun map because you can see people across the way really quickly, and so you get a really good sense of motion in the battlefield. ‘’
New maps are good and all but what excites us the most is the brand new title update which will bring with it an entire new experience ranking system. Players will receive experience from playing in public matches advancing to level 100. Their original matchmaking ranks will be hidden but still active to achieve skill matched games for the best possible experience.
“So to remedy the issues, we figured we should impose a system where people could earn experience; even if they lost the match they would feel like they’re moving up the ladder. We want them to feel like they’re progressing, gaining levels of experience in multiplayer play. It was really a reward thing to make people feel better about their progression online.”
The update will also bring new rank and hidden based achievements as well as some desperately needed bug fixes and tweaks.
-Bots will spawn if a player quits a public match early.
-Penalize players for quitting early.
-New anti standby measures to catch cheating players.
Rookie Gear (level 5),
Seasoned Gear (level 15),
Battle-Tested Gear (level 25),
Battle-Hardened Gear (level 50)
Veteran Gear (level 100)
Four other unnamed achievements totaling 250 new Gamer Score.
Patching games post release seems to have been become the new trend in gaming today. Instead of delaying publishers push unfinished games out with the mentality that future patches will eventually finish the game they set out to make. The original Gears Of War multiplayer is still one of the most played games on Xbox Live. This new map pack is nice but seems to be a bit of a cop out with yet another remake. Gears Of War 2 launched with a faulty matchmaking which turned lots of players away. Waiting in excess of 15 minutes only to get into a game which everyone quit after the first round can do that. While the game was still incredible, title update 3 may be too little too late.