UPDATE: Guardian mode confirmed, according to a tweet from the official Gears of War Twitter feed. Here's the text of the tweet: "We’re happy to announce that fan favorite Guardian mode will be making a return with #Gears3 Forces of Nature DLC." Also, additional confirmation straight from the Epic Games website.
It's been a fun ride so far, but the Gears of War 3 DLC content season is coming to a close next month. The final pack, called Forces of Nature, arrives next month on March 27. In addition to three new maps and two remade ones, you'll also get a bunch of character and weapon skins.
Longtime fans ought to be pleased to learn that one of the remake maps is Raven Down. It's just as small as it always was, only now it's covered in snow to fit with the whole "forces of nature" theme. A winter wonderland of warrior cries and steaming hunks of chainsaw bayoneted flesh.
The news comes straight from Epic's Rod Fergusson in an appearance on the latest GT.TV. The three new maps are Aftermath, a tsunami-ravaged government park in which players will have to contend with pools of water and earthquaes, Artillery, a military base that's being rocked by a storm and, eventually, a tornado, and Cove, a wide-open port town that's covered in fog.
In addition to Raven Down, the Jacinto map will also be returning to the game. The weather-based twist with this one is a an eventual heavy rain storm that develops from a light drizzle at the start of any match. The pack also includes four new character skins -- three of them are "limited edition" versions of pre-order skins and one, the Savage Hunter, is entirely new -- and seven new weapon skins, two of which will need to be unlocked as you play.
But wait! There's more! As an easter egg bonus that ties in with the "forces of nature" theme, there will also be four "Elemental Cleaver" hidden away on four of the maps. The Snow Cleaver, for example, throws a stunning gust of icy wind at an enemy while the Emulsion Cleaver explodes on impact in an AoE burst. Achievements will unlock for getting 25 kills with these weapons in Beast or Horde mode.
Some sites are also reporting that Forces of Nature will also be bringing back Guardian Mode, a Versus game type from Gears 2 in which a team will no longer respawn after its designated leader has been killed. It should be noted, however, that Fergusson said nothing about Guardian coming back and it's not clear where these reports are coming from. We're checking with Microsoft on it.
No price was revealed, though 800 MS Points seems to be the standard for this sort of pack. And of course, Season Pass holders don't need to worry about the price since they paid for the pack already. Look for Forces of Nature next month.