There are few Xbox-exclusive franchises that are more popular than Epic Games’ very own Gears of War. The reception for the latest installment in the franchise, Gears of War: Judgment, has been pretty good too (see our review), and consumers who picked up the game shortly after its launch can look forward to plenty of fresh content arriving in the near future via DLC. While the prospect of Judgment‘s VIP Season Pass will be alluring to many fans, there’s something much more affordable about the concept of free content.

Apparently Epic Games and MAXIM agree, because they’ve announced a partnership that’ll provide Gears of War: Judgment players with a brand new multiplayer map and game mode free of charge. Anyone familiar with past iterations in the series should be well acquainted with the fan-favorite Execution Mode, and the fact that it’s being added to the latest Gears is a nice surprise.

Execution forces players to finish off downed foes by walking up to their semi-conscious bodies and promptly introducing them to the Grim Reaper. This can be accomplished through a myriad of options, ranging from a head-smashing curb stomp to a blood curdling chainsaw kill, and this is the only means of scoring some of those hard-sought after points — provided the weapon used to down the other player doesn’t insta-gib them.

Not content with simply giving users a new multiplayer mode, the new add-on will also include a new map call Haven. On top of these new pieces of multiplayer content, there will also be a new playlist made available to the masses that offers up 200% XP. Anyone with the VIP Season Pass, however, will score a sweet 300% XP boost when they participate in the same playlist.

Gears of War Judgment Haven Map Screenshots

All of this free content sounds great, but there is a little bit of a catch. Both pieces of content will only be made available to download sans cost for a limited time, meaning that fans hoping to get the DLC without paying for it will have to act quickly to secure it. It’s available right now, and can be accessed through the Xbox Live Marketplace or the game’s title screen.

A revelation was also made prior to the new content arriving on the Xbox Live Marketplace, and it’s one that may hint at the eventual return of another classic Gears of War multiplayer mode. A fully playable version of Warzone, a mode that’s appeared in past GoW titles, has been found hidden within the code of Judgment‘s game disc. According to an official statement from Microsoft to Eurogamer, this was simply leftover code from Gears of War 3.

“There is a text string and a bit of leftover code within TDM from Warzone. We don’t have any current plans to release Warzone.”

Hopefully Epic and Microsoft get around to releasing Warzone at a similar price point as Execution, especially considering that the multiplayer mode is already accessible on-disc. It wouldn’t be very hard for Epic Games to give Judgment users an easier means to access  the game mode either, so maybe enough fan demand will lead to the mode’s inclusion in a future add-on.

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Source: Eurogamer