Epic has kept their promise to support Gears of War 3 with DLC post launch. Fenix Rising was the third piece of DLC released for Gears since September. Unlike the Horde Command Pack and Raam's Shadow, Fenix Rising is solely a multiplayer map pack with a few multiplayer character skins. Fenix Rising doesn't have anything to offer for fans of Gears 3's campaign but if you're in it for Horde, Beast or Versus, Fenix Rising is for you.
Academy: For generations, the Fenix family attended the Oracle Academy. Marcus broke that tradition but he'll return to the campus once more with the map The Academy. The first thing you'll notice is marble fountains, Roman columns, orange leaves, yellow flowers, and stone paths. This map takes place during the day; it's bright and ethereal.
Walkways, fountains and ledges mean there is plenty of cover to get behind. Two spawn points are on opposite sides of the map at the Cliff and the Library. Every part of this map is detailed, from the Autumn leaves on the floor, to the bookshelves in the library. If you're playing this map for Horde, the Library and the Auditorium would make good bases.
Academy is my least favorite map in the DLC pack. It's a personal taste, but I don't like when you put flowers in my Gears. If you need a break from dark and dank caverns, this map is going to be a breath of fresh air. Get it?
Weapons: Torgue Bow,Frag Grenades, Ink Grenades, Digger Launcher, Boltok Revolver
Anvil: The map Anvil is based on the fortress of Anvegad, called Anvil Gate. Marcus went there to find Hoffman. They had hoped the fortress would protect them from the Locust. They were wrong. Now, you'll have the chance to battle in what's left of Anvil Gate.
Covered in vines and crumbling rock, Anvil has the look of something that was once great. The war hasn't been kind to Anvil. The middle of the map has lots of corridors, so be prepared for close combat. Holes in the crumbling walls mean you're not safe in any room.
Anvil doesn't have an ideal place to set up base for Horde. I'd suggest either spawn points or the bottom of the map near the torque bow.
Weapons: Torgue Bow, Gorgon Pistol, Incendiary Grenades
Depths: An underwater processing center and train station might seem opulent to you, but you're not a native of Azura. Depths has to be an ode to BioShock. It's the remnants of a crumbling 1940's style train station, covered in glass and placed at the bottom of the ocean. Humanity may be at risk but according to Depths, the fish are doing just fine.
Atheistically, this is the most interesting Gears 3 map I've played. Yes, it's probably because it's underwater and since it's clearly in decay, I felt like the glass could shatter at any moment. For the most part, the layout is open with several rooms decorated with luggage and old fashioned furniture.
The Viewing Platform would be my choice spot for Horde Mode.
Weapons: Gorgon Pistol, Frag Grenades,Digger, Mulcher, Boom Shields
Escalation: Escalation takes place at Haldane Hall, the former home of the Fenix family. The garden has seen better days after the attempted kidnapping of Adam Fenix. Escalation takes place at night. The garden has glowing water fountains and neatly trimmed spiral topiary. Apparently the Locust have picked up gardening duties.
This map is long and narrow and there's no where to hide. While this map is one of the prettiest, it's also one of the most brutal. You won't be able to rely on cover for very long since each level has so little space. Instead, you'll be running from end to end to find more ammo.
The Estate spawn would be your best bet for Horde, but honestly, don't pick this map for Horde. It's a mess.
Weapons: Sniper Rifles, Ink Grenades, Digger, Gorgon Pistol, Frag Grenade
Slab: Jacinto Maximum Security Prison, aka The Slab, is lovely little correctional facility. Did I say lovely? I meant morbid and decaying, complete with the creepiest showers you've ever seen. Speaking of the showers, that's probably the best place to for your Horde base, just don't drop the soap. The Exercise yard would also make a good safe-hold.
The Slab is full of narrow, windy corridors. Make your default a shotgun, because I assure you, everyone else will. Chain link fences for walls add even more difficulty as bullets could be coming from anywhere.
Weapons: Smoke Grenades, Incendiary Grenades, Boomshot, Boltok Pistol
If these maps aren't enough, you'll also get four new character skins for multiplayer. Recruit Clayton, Thrashball Cole, Savage Marauder, and Savage Kantus are now all playable characters.
If you love Gears of War 3 for the multiplayer then you need this DLC pack. Fenix Rising costs 800 MS Points and it's available now.