Gears maps are defo free

Plus, full patch changelog.

In case it wasn't clear from the Discovery Channel's bizarro sponsorship of this week's Gears of War map releases, it's all for free. All you'll have to pay for is the equipment you're using to take possession of Old Bones and Raven Down on the morrow.

Not only are the maps free, but the Discovery Channel's also giving away a massive two million Microsoft points (GBP 17,000 / EUR 23,260, since you were wondering) in the near future through its www.readyaimfire.com website (edit: a reader points out this is only for Americans - bloody Discovery Channel).

In the meantime, Epic Games' Mark Rein says the promised Gears patch "should start pushing through the system" sometime today, 9th January, ahead of the maps' release tomorrow. Helpfully, he's also served up details of what's been changes, and - yes - the VGA aspect-ratio bug is among the fixes.

The full list of changes:

  • Fixed aspect ratio distortion when using VGA cable with 4:3 displays at resolutions higher than 640x480
  • Fixed voice issue with new players joining Player Match games in progress
  • Players can now get the Achievement for "Dish Best Served Cold" when using Troika turret to kill RAAM
  • Fixed rare situation where host could loop countdown and never start match
  • Fixed rare situation where players could get stuck after chainsawing in multiplayer
  • Reduced Grenade Tag melee distance
  • Enabled “Strict” NAT check on host to prevent possible connection issues
  • Optimized server browser queries to return results more quickly and prevent scroll bars from hiding quality of service icons
  • Reduced number of possible revives in Execution to match Warzone
  • Removed host name from Ranked match server browser
  • Disabled security cameras in Ranked matches
  • Ranked matches now require balanced teams (3v3 or 4v4)
  • Increased penalty for quitting a Ranked match to -50 points
  • Added additional cheat detection code
  • Additional housekeeping updates

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