By Joseph Leray
“Gears of War: Judgment,” the People Can Fly-developed follow-up to the long-running active-reloading sim, will have a Season Pass, according to Epic Games. The pass will cost 1600 Microsoft Points ($19.99) and give players access to at least two unannounced packs of post-launch content.
While details are scarce, the two DLC packs covered by the Season Pass include six multiplayer maps and two new modes, as well as some weapon and armor skins to customize your in-game Locust-slaughtering golem. According to Epic, buying a Season Pass gets you a 20% discount compared to buying each add-on individually, as well as early access to new multiplayer maps.
Furthermore, Maxim is sponsoring two more maps (Capitol and Haven, pictured above), and “Judgment”’s “Execution” mode, the series standby mode in which players must use elaborate executions -- think the curb stomp, or Torque bow decapitation -- to eliminate enemies. Epic confirmed to RipTen that these new maps and modes will be available two weeks after launch for the general public, but Season Pass owners will get early access.
Here’s the kicker: “Gears of War: Judgment” Season Pass owners will also receive a permanent double XP boost in the game’s persistent leveling system. “Judgment”’s leveling system is tied to a prize box system (similar to “Mass Effect 3”’s multiplayer) that includes special weapon and armor skins, but its unclear if they are also tied to extra weapons or other perks.
I don’t want to sound too cynical about a game that isn’t out yet, but if extra XP unlocks extra in-game abilities (and, sure, that’s a big if), it’s going to take a lot of fine-tuning to keep everyone on a relatively fair playing field -- I’d rather be outplayed than outspent.
“Gears of War: Judgment” will be out on March 19 for Xbox 360, but pre-orders from GameStop will grant you early access to online matches of “Overrun,” one of the game’s new modes.