Gears of War 3 getting free map pack

Epic Games dubs Versus Booster Map Pack a "thank you" to fans; collection of five new battlegrounds set to launch on Thanksgiving Day.

It has been an eventful day on the Gears of War 3 downloadable content front. First came news of a delay in the game's first downloadable add-on, the Horde Command Pack. That was followed by the revelation that the DLC would meet its November 1 launch date after all, and now Microsoft and Epic Games have announced that they are planning a free add-on for the third-person shooter to launch later this month.

Nothing says "gratitude" like more locations to be cut in half by a chainsaw.

The Versus Booster Map Pack will include five new multiplayer maps for public matchmaking. Microsoft did not detail the maps, other than to reveal their names: Swamp, Clocktower, Azura, Rustlung, and Blood Drive. Billed as a "thank you" to the series' fans, the Versus Booster Map Pack will hit the Xbox Live Marketplace on November 24, Thanksgiving Day.

The Versus Booster Map Pack is the third DLC announced, but it will be the second released. Today's launch of the Horde Command Pack kicked off the postrelease content plan for the game, and a second piece of paid DLC--RAAM's Shadow--is set for release December 13. The Horde Command Pack costs 800 Microsoft points ($10) on its own, while RAAM's Shadow will sell for 1,200 Microsoft points ($15).

Gamers can also purchase the Gears of War 3 Season Pass for 2,400 Microsoft points ($30) on Xbox Live. The pass includes access to all four of the planned add-ons as soon as they are released. If purchased separately, those packs would cost players 3,600 Microsoft points ($45).

For more on Epic's latest, check out GameSpot's review of Gears of War 3.

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