Microsoft details the Ultimate Edition for Gears of War 4, offering up new information on an early access period set to benefit players who pre-order the hotly anticipated sequel.
Gears of War 4 marks the first mainline entry in the decade-old franchise for five years, and fans of the series are rightfully eager to see what The Coalition is cooking up. Fortunately for anyone incapable of waiting until launch day, there’s a way to play the game a little earlier than most.
The Ultimate Edition of Gears of War 4 will apparently offer a few days of early access, according to a report from Videogamer. Players who purchase the special variant will be able to play the game from October 7, four days ahead of its official worldwide release date.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen one of Microsoft’s first-party releases implement a similar strategy. Last year’s excellent Forza Motorsport 6 also offered an Ultimate Edition, giving players an opportunity get their nose ahead of the competition with a few days of exclusive access ahead of launch.
Of course, early access isn’t the only benefit to the Gears of War 4 Ultimate Edition. It also boasts the ‘Vintage VIP’ content pack, which contains vintage skins for new protagonist J.D. Fenix, series favorite weapons the Gnasher and the Longshot, a special emblem and a special bounty.
Ultimate Edition owners will also receive ‘permanent ownership’ of the bevy of maps set to be released for the game. As an attempt to avoid splitting the player base up as a result of DLC, all players will be given free access to one map, which will rotate on a regular basis.
To gain access to all the locales on offer, players will either need to purchase the content via Xbox Live, or utilize the Ultimate Edition as a season pass. 24 additional maps are set to be released, with two being made available every month for a year after the launch of Gears of War 4.
The Ultimate Edition also comes with six Gear Packs, the form of microtransactions used by the game that was detailed earlier this month. These consumables offer up special character and weapons skins, as well as equipment, abilities and bounties used to earn XP.
We’ve heard plenty about Gears of War 4 in recent weeks, which makes sense given its prominence on the 2016 Xbox One release schedule. However, this is just the start — expect the game to be given quite the showcase at E3 in June.
Gears of War 4 is set to release for Xbox One on October 11, 2016.