Gears of War 2 Title Update 3 and New Maps Inbound

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Some big additions are in the works for Gears of War 2. The first is Title Update 3, which brings a load of improvements and exciting new features to the game, including an all-new experience-based ranking system. That’s already cause for celebration, but there’s more—the Snowblind Map Pack, a bundle of four wintery Gears 2 multiplayer battlefields, hits the Xbox LIVE Marketplace shortly after Title Update 3.

Gears of War 2 Title Update 3—March 24, 2009

A culmination of the tireless efforts of the Gears team and mounds of player feedback, this latest Gears 2 update is our biggest yet. Title Update 3 contains a bounty of additions ranging from new features and achievements to exploit fixes and matchmaking tweaks, with highlights below:

  • New experience-based ranking system: The new system gives you 100 levels of player experience, gained through scoring in Public matches. The game still uses TrueSkill to set up the most competitive matches possible, but skill ranks are now hidden. Players who quit matches early see their experience docked as a penalty.
  • Public Match autobalancing: Bots now automatically join a Public Match to fill any slots left vacant by players who quit early or disconnect.
  • Improvements: You get region preference for matchmaking, improved standby detection, playlist optimization, plus nine new achievements—six of which require the Snowblind Map Pack—worth a total of 250 points.
  • Exploit fixes: Title Update 3 eliminates the ability to mantle greater distances by swapping weapons during cover slide and to melee attack through walls while holding an enemy weapon, plus adding many more fixes.
  • General fixes: These include more reliable chainsaw interruption detection, improved headshot detection for certain character model heads, improved flag AI in Submission games, plus other fixes.
  • Balancing: Title Update 3 makes changes to Subway weapon spawns for greater balance, reductions to smoke-grenade stun duration, an increase to the forward angle that triggers chainsaw duels, and several other balance revisions.

Of course, that’s just some of what’s in store for players in Title Update 3. For the complete skinny, be sure to check out the complete patch notes.

Snowblind Map Pack—March 31, 2009

Don’t worry, that rush of cold up your back is just the Snowblind Map Pack, a winter-themed batch of four new Gears of War 2 maps bound to crank up the heat on your multiplayer and Horde matches. The four maps are:

  • Grind Yard, a massive industrial complex with low bunkers and high sniping positions.
  • Under Hill, which takes players through snowbound tunnels and beyond.
  • Courtyard, a wide-open battle royale.
  • The popular Gears 1 map Fuel Depot, back with a blast of winter courtesy of Mother Nature, aka Epic Games.
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