Along with the announcement of the Gears of War 3 DLC season pass came news that the first downloadable add-on (or is it downloadable and adding on?) would be coming in November and would be adding more than just maps.

Today, Epic Games and Microsoft Game Studios have unveiled the first pack, titled ‘Horde Command Pack,’ which adds maps, Horde 2.0 upgrades, weapon skins and character skins to the Gears of War 3 multiplayer.

The three new Gears of War 3 maps are of no surprise since they were revealed via the leaderboards last week. One of them is from the campaign, one of them is from Gears of War 2 and the other is something entirely new. Without further ado, here’s the complete list of everything the Horde Command Pack comes with:

Maps

  • Blood Drive — The Jacinto Medical Plaza was overwhelmed by evacuated citizens after the government-sanctioned Hammer Strikes, and the ensuing riots quickly turned this safe haven into a dangerous inferno. An abundance of high ground and funneled choke points make this map a returning favorite to Horde.
  • Rustlung — Once the pride of the Royal Tyran Navy, the foredecks of this decommissioned battleship are now riddled with bullet holes. Any team with the fortitude to hold the exposed central torpedo bay will find that the ship’s Loader has been replaced with a battle-ready Silverback mech suit.
  • Azura — This island resort was once the exclusive domain of Sera’s educated elite, but the tranquil water gardens and lush foliage have become a hotly contested combat zone. Dual snipers overlook a powerful explosive weapon, while the defensive central platform may be your last resort of retreat.

New Fortification Upgrades

  • Command Center — A brand new type of fortification that allows you to call in fire support from sniper teams, mortar strikes and even multiple Hammers of Dawn.
  • Decoy Upgrade — A new fortification level that turns your decoy into an Onyx Guard bot that will fight in your defense.
  • Sentry Upgrade — This upgrade adds a fire bolt sentry that deals much more damage and is very effective against Berserkers.
  • Silverback Upgrade — This advancement allows you to upgrade your Silverback exo-suit with devastating rockets and extra levels of repair cost reduction.

New Characters:

  • Onyx Guard
  • Big Rig Dizzy
  • Bernie

New weapon skins:

  • Team Plasma
  • Jungle Camo

The Horde Command Pack launches November 1st for 800 Microsoft Points ($10) and adds 250 worth of achievement poitns for players to earn.

Notice anything? Outside of the weapon skins, most of this stuff is already in the game and likely on the disc. The silverback upgrade was something obviously left out since in Horde mode, the game currently only allows for one upgrade and doesn’t even let the mech become what it is in the campaign. That means, just like the characters skins from the campaign, it was selected to be not included in the multiplayer so it can be charged for separately after.

Check below for screenshots of the content – the Azura map sure looks pretty:

The other fortifications sound epic and we can definitely make use of these new unlock to conquer wave 50 on some of the more challenging maps. With the good guys getting more support, perhaps the next DLC will add more challenging bosses to balance out the added firepower.

Normally, this DLC alone wouldn’t bother us, but when combined with a $30 DLC pass which in this case, is stuff that should be in there (and already is), and with $45 of weapon skin textures (yeah, skins), it just adds more salt in the wound which is still burning us. Yes it’s optional as to whether or not players buy, but not if they already invested in the DLC Season Pass hoping for more new stuff. It was also optional as to whether or not Epic and Microsoft would keep everything in-game and save the DLC for new content. See what I did there?

Gears of War 3 continues to own a strong presence on Xbox Live and we at Game Rant are still playing it daily – despite the blatant money grab attempts, we hope the DLC continues that trend since Gears of War 3 is one of the best games of the year.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

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