More multiplayer maps for you to chainsaw people in.
The "Forces of Nature" pack for Gears of War 3, which has just launched on Xbox Live, brings a bunch of new maps, some re-skins of old maps, weapon skins, and new characters to the excellent shooter. I have to give Epic credit; for a game that’s been out for just over 6 months, they’ve done a great job of updating it with regular content that adds to the game.
The first thing you’ll notice for this Forces of Nature pack is that all the maps, both new and old, have very cool weather effects that happen randomly throughout the match. For the most part, these are visual effects only, but in some cases they can have an impact on how the maps are played - mostly due to impaired visibility.
So what (and how) are the new maps in this Forces of Nature pack?
First we have Aftermath, which has lots of cover and not many open spaces. I could see this being a great map to play Guardian - which is back by the way, if you enjoy that mode. This map is also a sniper's paradise, as there are a lot of high points that give you a good look over the map.
Secondly, Cove is a small map that will demand regular confrontations. I’d imagine those players that love to run around with shotguns blasting (which seems to be most players) will enjoy the franticness this map should create.
Artillery, the last of the new maps, has an eerie quiet when you’re hunting an enemy down. All you hear is the wind until the bullets start flying. There is also an oncoming wind-storm that hits the map every few minutes, which impairs your vision slightly and increases the sound of the wind effect. This is a fairly large map, with two bases on either side, each with access to their own One Shot. As a team based map, I could see some interesting battles around the centre of the environment. It is just a pity that there are places near the back of each base that most players will likely never fight in, because visually they look very cool.
Finally, Raven Down and Jacinto are back from Gears 1 & 2 respectively. It’s nice to see these old places again, especially with the fresh coat of paint and in a new season. Raven Down is in the middle of winter, as it occasionally will snow on the map, giving this tragic looking battlezone the sad feeling of time passing; but nothing's really changed, no one is cleaning up after the war. As a map, it’s just as fun as ever (provided you liked the original). Same goes with Jacinto, if these were favourite maps for you before, it will feel like coming home; if you didn’t enjoy them, then you’ll most likely ignore them this time around as well.
Like the previous downloadable content (DLC) pack, this one of multiplayer focused. If you are happy with the current selection of maps, then there is no carrot at the end of this stick for you. However, If you love your Gears 3 multiplayer (any mode) and have been wanting some fresh maps to battle on, then the Forces of Nature pack is well worth the 800MS points. Of course, if you have the Season Pass for DLC, then this is the final part of that deal, and hopefully, it has all been worth it for you. Now we just have to wait and see if all these DLC packs have been successful enough for Epic to continue releasing more content for Gears of War 3. Let's all keep our fingers crossed.