Microsoft and Epic Games have announced new DLC for Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 3.
The Fenix Rising map pack, which launches on 17th January 2012 for 800 Microsoft Points or free if you're a Gears of War 3 Season Pass subscriber, adds a new experience system, five new multiplayer maps and four character skins.
The new experience system lets players rank up through level 100 multiple times to unlock exclusive weapon skins and emblems.
Those who buy the add-on and attain level 100 have a choice to "re-up" for another shot through the ranks. Your experience and rank will be reset but all other progression (including TrueSkill rating) remains intact.
You can "re-up" up to three times, earning a new rank icon colour each time. You get Bronze at the default level 100. Then there's Red, Green and Gold. Each "re-up" after Bronze nabs you a custom weapon skin that cannot be obtained by any other means.
The weapon skins are:
- Re-Up Plasma - Animated flowing plasma in gold.
- Re-Up Omen - Shiny, red Omen.
- Re-Up Electric - Animated, golden electric shocks.
The new maps work across Versus Multiplayer, Horde and Beast Mode. Microsoft's official blurb lists them:
- 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. Adam Fenix however could see the cracks in the veneer of splendor from the moment he arrived at this underwater processing center. 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 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.
And now for the character skins, for use in Versus Multiplayer and Horde Mode (if COG):
- Recruit Clayton - Clayton was born a Gear, grew up a Gear, and on the very day he became eligible, he signed himself up to become the capable, confident, and devoted Gear he'd always known he could be.
- Thrashball Cole (Limited Edition) - The Cole Train prefers to take the most direct path to the Locust Horde in any situation. What he lacks in finesse, he makes up in raw energy.
- Savage Marauder - Locust Marauders were the first to form any sort of organisation outside of the Hollow - if their brutal infighting and bloodthirsty raiding parties could truly be called organised.
- Savage Kantus (Limited Edition) - The Savage Kantus were profoundly impacted by the loss of the Hollow. They have reverted to a primal, shamanistic state, and their battle cries have taken a dark, melancholy turn. Few sounds are as terrifying to human ears.
The Fenix Rising map pack is the third major Gears of War 3 DLC, and follows the release of the Horde Command Pack and Raam's Shadow. One more upcoming add-on is covered by the Season Pass.