The next three weeks will be a busy time for Xbox 360 owners. Hot on the heels of this week's Game Developers Conference, Microsoft will be releasing map packs for its console's two top action franchises--Halo and Gears of War.
The first installment will come next week in the form of the Gears of War 2 Snowblind Map Pack. Described in detail in GameSpot's recent interview with Epic Games executive producer Rod Fergusson, the map pack will be the second for the wildly popular third-person shooter and will follow an extensive update of its multiplayer experience system due out tomorrow.
According to the blog of Xbox Live director Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, the four-map pack will cost 800 Microsoft points, or $9.99 in real-world currency. It will feature three all-new, winter-themed maps--Grindyard, Courtyard, and Under Hill--as well as a frosty remake of Fuel Depot from the original Gears of War. Together, the multiplayer update and map pack will also bring a total of nine new Xbox 360 achievements, five of which are based on the new experience system.
After Gears of War 2 gets Snowblinded, Microsoft will release the long-awaited Halo 3 Mythic Map Pack on April 9. Also costing M$800/$9.99, the pack will feature three new multiplayer arenas: Assembly, an open arena situated inside a massive Covenant structure; Orbital, set inside a corridor-filled space station; and Sandbox, an open map designed to be customized with the Forge level editor. For more details on the add-on, which will also feature new achievements, check out GameSpot's hands-on preview of the Mythic Map pack.