Epic Games has done an impressive job of supporting Gears of War 3 with post-launch content so far, between the for-pay Horde Command Pack and RAAM's Shadow campaign expansion as well as the free-for-all Versus Booster Map Pack. Today, Microsoft confirm the contents and release date for the next Gears 3 DLC offering: Fenix Rising.
The Fenix Rising map pack is coming on January 17, for 800 MS Points (or free for Season Pass holders). It is a collection of five new multiplayer maps, for use in Versus, Horde and Beast modes, as well as four new character skins (two apiece for COG and Locust).
The add-on will also introduce Re-Up, which is essentially the Gears take on Prestige Mode. Players who reach the multiplayer rank of 100 will have the option of resetting their level -- all other progression is unaffected -- in exchange for a new rank icon color and an exclusive weapon skin. Do it once to get a Red rank icon and the Re-Up Plasma skin; a second time for a Green icon and the Re-Up Omen skin; and, finally, a third time for a gold icon and the Re-Up Electric skin.
The new character skins are Recruit Clayton and Thrashball Cole (Limited Edition) on the COG side, and Savage Marauder and Savage Kantus (LImited Edition) on the Locust side. Read on for a breakdown of the five new maps, ripped straight from the press release:
- Academy –The lineage of the Fenix family can be traced back along a distinguished line of military officers. Officer training at the Oracle Academy was simply the expected path for Marcus, and he had visited the grounds many times in expectation that he would walk the same path as his ancestors. But it was not to be, and Marcus broke with tradition to be with his best friends Dom and Carlos. Like any number of fine Seran traditions, the Academy is now lost to the invasion of the Locust Horde.
- Anvil – The fortress of Anvegad was called Anvil Gate because its impenetrable walls were forged in the fires of war. Huge cannons sat atop battlements that guarded sprawling walls running the line of the UIR borders. Marcus went there to find Hoffman, and they both thought that Anvil Gate would offer protection from the incoming forces of Locust and Lambent. They were wrong, and little remains other than the ruined shell of a once mighty fortress.
- Depths – The excessive opulence of Azura defied all normal reasoning. But Adam Fenix could see the cracks in the veneer of splendor from the moment he arrived at this underwater processing center. And all that beauty mattered not at all once he was held captive by the Locust. Out of options, he had to find a way to contact Marcus, and finally reveal the truths he’d been keeping to himself for all these many years.
- Escalation – Haldane Hall has been the home of the Fenix family for countless generations. But the only history that matters to Marcus’s are his memories of warm summer evenings spent with his mother, Elain, relaxing in the estate’s gardens. Sadly, all the estate’s history and beauty was lost when the Locust destroyed it in an attempt to kidnap his father.
- The Slab – Convicted for insubordination and treason, Marcus was incarcerated in Jacinto Maximum Security Prison. Known as “The Slab”, this prison is not a correctional facility - it’s a place where Sera’s worst offenders are locked up and forgotten. The inmates are brutal, parole is not an option, and the average life expectancy is about two years. But that was before the Locust showed up, and what couldn’t get worse, suddenly did. Now your life expectancy there is around 2 minutes.
Fenix Rising marks the third of four promised DLC offerings under Epic's Season Pass program. Honestly, the content is coming so quickly (not a complaint) that I'm starting to wonder if we might be seeing more arrive AFTER the Season Pass period is finished.