Gears' Annex mode detailed
Fighting over common ground.
Epic Games has revealed details of the "Annex" multiplayer mode set to be introduced to Gears of War in a forthcoming patch.
Annex will involve taking control of key locations and holding them as a team to accumulate points, with the winning side the one that hits the target points-total first, regardless of the number of kills made.
Each map will feature several control points, although teams will only fight over one at any given time. When that control point has been claimed by one or other team long enough to exhaust its available points (you can annex a maximum of 60 per control point), the game selects another at random for you to fight over elsewhere on the map.
Respawns will come in waves every 15 seconds rather than occurring immediately, Epic has said, and there will be plenty of variables to adjust as the host - winning scores can be set between 120 for fast-paced games and 480 for longer-haul, and you can also specify the number of rounds to be played, bleed-out duration, friendly fire and private slots among other things.
The information comes our way via a page on the Gears of War website that has since been pulled. When it was up, it claimed the patch containing Annex - along with various bug-fixes, and a 720p option for VGA users running at 1280x1024 - would be released on 9th April. Microsoft has since explained that the page was posted in error, and the date may yet change.
Oh well, at least it didn't try the one about rumour and speculation.