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July Is Gears Of War 2 Add-On Month

The biggest DLC yet and a comprehensive retail add-on release are coming to Epic's 5-million-selling shooter this summer.

The Cole Train is showing no signs of slowing down; Microsoft and Epic Games announced a cavalcade of Gears of War 2 content today, coming in July.

This announcement confirms the existence of Dark Corners, the next DLC release that was rumored a few weeks ago. If you hate downloading your games or something, you'll also be able to buy Dark Corners--along with all three previously released map packs--in a new retail package called All Fronts. With seven multiplayer maps and a new single-player chapter, Dark Corners looks like a pretty beefy add-on. Here's a weird picture of Marcus Fenix in Theron Guard attire, which must be from the new solo chapter.

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Take a gander at the full rundown of what's in the Dark Corners pack.

Included in the “Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection” is the “Gears of War 2: Dark Corners” Game Add-on, which features seven new multiplayer maps and a deleted campaign chapter titled “Road to Ruin.” In “Road to Ruin,” Marcus and Dom return to the Locust Hollow in a scene that can be played two ways, guns blazing or in all-new stealth mode. The seven new multiplayer maps in the “Gears of War 2: Dark Corners” Game Add-on are:

  • Allfathers Garden: Honor the sacred grounds of the Coalition founders in this explosive map, where powerful weapons catalyze fast and furious action at this COG landmark.
  • Memorial: Set near the Eternal Flame, which pays tribute to the fallen soldiers on the battlefield, a hard-fought battle ensues at the Tomb of Unknowns. Putting their flank formation and evasive skills to the test, players will fight to control the
  • Boomshot Sanctuary: Once a peaceful ground for reflection and remembrance, all that remains of the Sanctuary is the chill of death. Feast your eyes on the arsenal of weapons available as you make your way through the tight paths and blind corners of the Locust-damaged temple corridors.
  • War Machine: In the abandoned train station that once served as a hub for travel, players will need to master the Longshot, Mulcher and Boomshot weapons to advance the fight while evading fire from the platforms above.
  • Highway: Take the fight deep into the Locust Hollow in the complex passages of this underground highway system brimming with enemy vermin. Stick together, separate the enemy and have an exit strategy ready or it’ll be a one-way trip.
  • Way Station: Sitting in limbo between death and “processing” are Locust way stations filled with fallen COG soldiers. Tread lightly and practice patience as it’s better to sacrifice firepower for stealth while navigating this minefield of hidden grenades.
  • Nowhere: Set in the middle of what was once a destination for weary desert travellers, the land is now barren and devoid of life. Pick off your enemies with the Longshot sniper rifle and make your way to the stairwell with a well-fortified team during this intense firefight.

In addition to the new content, the “Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection” also contains every “Gears of War 2” Game Add-on released to date, including the classic “Flashback” Map Pack, volatile “Combustible” Map Pack and the winter-themed “Snowblind” Map Pack. Also included is an introduction to “Road to Ruin” from Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski, along with a custom Xbox LIVE theme, collectible “Gears of War 2” poster and a strategy guide. Containing over 3,600 Microsoft Points worth of content, the “Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection” is an incredible value at $19.99.

Already enjoying the previously released “Gears of War 2” collection of map packs? Available day-and-date with “Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection” via download from Xbox LIVE Marketplace, the “Dark Corners” Game Add-on will be available separately for 1,600 MS Points.

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The pricing of these packages baffles me. The All Fronts retail disc is $19.99 and comes with Dark Corners, every previous DLC pack, and all those extra bonuses you see listed above. Or you can just buy Dark Corners by itself on Marketplace for 1600 Microsoft Points, which equates to... $20.

So for one penny more you can get a ton less content. That's a lousy deal for someone who hasn't gotten any Gears 2 DLC yet, and a big middle finger to someone who did spend a bunch of money on them already. Unless there's some kind of over-the-top DRM restrictions in place on the All Fronts package, I don't see why anyone would want to buy Dark Corners online when they can get so much more at retail.

Brad Shoemaker on Google+