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The Gears of War 4 season pass costs £40

Mad world.

The Gears of War 4 season pass costs £39.99, Microsoft has confirmed.

That's just four quid cheaper than the game itself costs from the likes of Amazon.

So, what do you get for your hard-earned cash?

Microsoft said the season pass includes the exclusive Vintage VIP Pack, which features Vintage JD (no, not the whiskey - JD is Marcus Fenix's son and star of the game), and two Vintage weapon skins.

You also get permanent access to 24 additional DLC maps (two per month for a year) for private play on dedicated servers.

Gears of War 4, remember, does something interesting with its maps. The game comes with 10 maps, and all DLC maps are free, but they're rotated in and out of public matchmaking like free-to-play champions are rotated in and out of League of Legends.

However, if you want to play one of the out of rotation maps, you can buy it with real world money and host a private game. Those you invite do not need to own the map to play it. There's more on this in our Gears of War 4 preview.

So, in effect, the season pass gets you all the maps for use whenever you want.

The season pass also includes an exclusive developer playlist that grants access to new maps, modes and features that can be tested before release, and six Gear Packs. These Gear Packs unlock character and weapon skins, emblems, equipment and boosts. Again, there's more on how these packs work in our Gears of War 4 preview.

Is the Gears of War 4 season pass worth £39.99? At such a high cost it's in-line with the likes of Star Wars: Battlefront's controversial season pass, and Battlefield Premium. It's worth noting the Gears of War 3 season pass was £19.99.

There's all sorts of other annoying Gears of War 4-related gubbins to unpack. Microsoft announced the standard and Ultimate Editions of the game, which are, as you'd expect, both available to pre-order at the Xbox Store, Microsoft Store and GAME.

If you pre-order you get the pre-order exclusive Vintage Del Gear Pack, which includes a Vintage Del character model, emblem, two Vintage weapon skins and a special Vintage Del bounty.

The Ultimate Edition, which costs £79.99, includes Gears of War 4, the season pass, a steelbook and early access to the game on Friday, 7th October. That's four days before it launches proper on Tuesday, 11th October.

Cover image for YouTube videoWhat to expect from the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta (Xbox One gameplay)