Gears theme, maps now on Live

Epic releases free multiplayer maps for its award-winning shooter; free Gears of War dashboard theme, Cliffy B video also spring up.

Ms. Pac-Man may be today's featured Xbox Live Arcade game, but the yellow gaming icon hardly had a monopoly on Xbox Marketplace downloads this morning. The first multiplayer map pack for Gears of War also went live today, as Epic Games previously promised. The map pack features two new player-versus-player maps, Raven Down and Old Bones, and is free to download.

That wasn't all the free Gears of War schwag that appeared on Xbox Live Marketplace this morning. Also available is a free Gears of War dashboard theme, based on the new maps. The theme adds a few blades of Marcus Fenix unloading on Locusts as well as a few screens of the new battlegrounds. DashboardThemes.com has a preview of the theme on its Web site.

For those who want to get an idea of the maps straight from the man who designed them, Epic and Microsoft have also released a video blog from Gears of War lead designer Cliff Bleszinski. In the video, Cliff gives a brief overview of both maps and gives thanks to the game's fans.

For more on Gears of War, which won GameSpot's Game of the Year award for 2006, read our previous coverage.

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242 comments
queonda
queonda

i think Bond is better than Johanna Dark but Perfect Dark is better in anyway better than any 007 game. i guess :S XD

swat1233
swat1233

OLD BONES THE BEST to bad that the host name is removed.

natethegreat235
natethegreat235

Are you stoned? Goldeneye BY FAR. Perfect Dark was Goldeneye 2... I believe rare just used the same engine and mechanics. James Bond is far kooler then Johanna Dark.

kevbod
kevbod

Umm...just want to make a slight correction...PerfectDark was the best FPS for N64. Thank you very much.

bloodyrooster
bloodyrooster

Gears of War is an excellent "new" type of shooter. It reminds me of the classic rambo arcade games. Halo and Gears of War is apples and oranges. The multiplayer for Gears of War is a Counterstrike type of gameplay, where Halo is and was the followup of games like Bond(the only good one for N64). Where you can compact as many players on once screen and then blast 4 people on another screen in another room. Gears of War is 1player online with one tv screen only. It has the same type of coop that Halo has, which was invented by Halo, but also has a really nice coop feature with two systems online. I could go through the entire game with my brother on the other side of the country. Gears of War is a great achievement. I wasn't too optimistic, but once I played it I realized that there are other greats out there besides Bungie, making kick ass games for the 360. I don't even like shooters, but I do like sci fi movies and this game is so thrilling, it doesn't matter who you are or what you like, you'll like this. Lastly I don't think gears is going anywhere once Halo 3 comes out. I'm sure we will all be playing both, because they are great games with different experiences.

arczero01
arczero01

someone got pwned here twice and i'll have to agree with Zkeptik and Swiftstar183.

lukeymonw
lukeymonw

Zkeptik = constructive argument. Is that so hard????

lukeymonw
lukeymonw

swiftstar183 First off, your an idiot. I cant believe I wasted my time reading your pointless, thoughtless, Dumb comment........blah blah blah ---------------------------------------------------- Wow dude. You really love Halo that much that you need to bash the guy for offering his opinion? You both have good points. At least he can offer his without looking like idiot. Nowhere in his statement did he mention that Gears' looks made him change his mind about Halo 2. He spoke of gameplay, story, and design. Staples in any game, no matter what hardware is backing it. From your ramble, it looks like you believe that if Halo 2 was developed next gen, it would be better than Gears. I personally don't believe that hardware can change the soul of a game. Granted Gears has some weak elements in the story department, but I think that was partially intentional to make future installments more intriguing by filling in the holes. I could be wrong, and If I am, in the future you can call me a "jockstrap." Halo and Gears can easily be compared to each other. They are both shooters. It does not matter where the camera is. You run, you pull out a gun and you kill bad guys. So he typed FPS, does it offend you that much? Most of us got what he meant. Gears made him change his opinion of Halo2. That does not make him disloyal, a jockstrap, or an idiot. Freedom to change preference is normal. If Halo 3 is better than Gears than people are going to like it better than Gears. If that happens, those who disagree will have their strong opinions about the greatness of Gears and be in forums just like you, throwing pointless insults at anyone who doesn't like their baby anymore. But we'll just have to see now won't we? As part of the public you speak of I would ask that you don't speak for me. Especially if you can't formulate a constrictive argument. Chill the F out.

Zkeptik
Zkeptik

lovermanxxx: this game (GOW) has really opened my eyes to what a crock of crap halo2 was. i mean how long til bungie released free maps? i thijnk it was about 5-6 months or even a year later! Does it matter how long it takes for the EXTRA maps to be released? How can EXTRA stuff cause the core game to suck? lovermanxxx: halo 1 was awesome, halo 2 should never have seen light of day with a the lame story and characters (who wanted to play as coveneant anyway). I did. I enjoyed both games. I thought the story was MUCH better in the second one. Character design may not have been the best but it was still better than the first. It was short. That was the only problem. lovermanxxx: the maps and level design were below par. i mean even if you are an avid halo fan you have to admit the following: halo1 was a better game than halo2 halo 1 had BY FAR a better multiplayer than halo2 (prisoner with rocket launchers was sheer joy) Below Par? So you mean the maps and level design in Halo 2 weren't up to the standards set by Halo 1? I disagree. Did you play through the Library? lovermanxxx: gears is the new king of FPS on xbox. Ummm. Wrong category and wrong system. halo3 better be damn good because after Gears, i think the 'halo hype' will only take it so far. We finally agree. After playing Gears of War I see that Halo 3 has a long way to go as far as graphics are concerned. That announcement video looks downright ugly next to the Gears universe. As far as gameplay is concerned, they are completely different. Gears of War is far from perfect. How many times haven't you gotten stuck somewhere you didn't want to? How many times haven't you shot some dude in the face with the shotgun only to let the host get the better hand with a lesser weapon? lovermanxxx: thankks epic for proving that bungie is not the be all for xbox shooter fans. you guys rock!!!!! Gears of War is a great game and it's far from perfect but Halo 3 and Gears of War are not really in competition. If they were I'd tell you that Bungie curb stomps Epic when it comes to online play functionality.

swiftstar183
swiftstar183

lovermanxxx Gears teabags Halo2 lol. i think that is brilliant of epic to deliver free 'worhtwhile' content within 2 months of launch. this game has really opened my eyes to what a crock of crap halo2 was. i mean how long til bungie released free maps? i thijnk it was about 5-6 months or even a year later! halo 1 was awesome, halo 2 should never have seen light of day with a the lame story and characters (who wanted to play as coveneant anyway). the maps and level design were below par. i mean even if you are an avid halo fan you have to admit the following: halo1 was a better game than halo2 halo 1 had BY FAR a better multiplayer than halo2 (prisoner with rocket launchers was sheer joy) gears is the new king of FPS on xbox. halo3 better be damn good because after Gears, i think the 'halo hype' will only take it so far. thankks epic for proving that bungie is not the be all for xbox shooter fans. you guys rock!!!!! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- First off, your an idiot. i cant believe i wasted my time reading your pointless,thoughtless, Dumb comment. secondly. Gears came out like almost 3 years after halo2. if a developer cant make a game for a "Next GEN"console and not have it look better then a game thats been out for 3 years on last gen Console they should stop what there doing. what your saying is dumb. ok. bungie had to work with a system that had limited capabilities. a year from now Jockstrap riders like yourself are gonna be saying how much Halo3 Kicks gears butt. ppl like you, your oppinions dont matter to the public, becuase you switch sides too fast to be loyal. Thirdly. How the heck can you compare Gears and halo2?? there not even in the same Genre. Get your facts straight before you start Bashing Anything. Gears is a 3rd Person Shooter. halo is a FPS, meaning FIRST PERSON SHOOTER. im done wasting my time on this issue. by next month you'll prolly already be bashing Gears when you get your hands on some other new Game.

lovermanxxx
lovermanxxx

Gears teabags Halo2 lol. i think that is brilliant of epic to deliver free 'worhtwhile' content within 2 months of launch. this game has really opened my eyes to what a crock of crap halo2 was. i mean how long til bungie released free maps? i thijnk it was about 5-6 months or even a year later! halo 1 was awesome, halo 2 should never have seen light of day with a the lame story and characters (who wanted to play as coveneant anyway). the maps and level design were below par. i mean even if you are an avid halo fan you have to admit the following: halo1 was a better game than halo2 halo 1 had BY FAR a better multiplayer than halo2 (prisoner with rocket launchers was sheer joy) gears is the new king of FPS on xbox. halo3 better be damn good because after Gears, i think the 'halo hype' will only take it so far. thankks epic for proving that bungie is not the be all for xbox shooter fans. you guys rock!!!!!

saugh
saugh

Yeah free stuff, its a shame most stuff costs money after you just emptied your wallet on the actual game.

tonymatt225
tonymatt225

They halo 2 maps had better be better since they are for 360 users only. Muhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

nurik_strife
nurik_strife

Thanks Epic!!! I love the new downloads, hope to see more awesome stuff like this in the future soon! Gears of War is Awesome!!!

L3GiT
L3GiT

yesss i win i win

Coolyboy
Coolyboy

Solidsnake7993 allu need is xbox live silver..its free....????

BonziBoce
BonziBoce

free content makes me super duper happppyyy

RightOn44
RightOn44

"Without Xbox Live the 360 wouldn't entirely suck. It would simply be a PS3....for $200 less. lmfao" That and the 360 would still have better games.

lobster_22
lobster_22

Did I just see the word free?! OMG GoW is freakin' awesome! Free stuff is simply orgasmic! Ahem....enough said. Back to playing. =)

DTW-Dirty_Harry
DTW-Dirty_Harry

HawksNDoves Sorry Solid... I highly doubt you will ever get this content on a disc. If you have a 360 XBL is a must... the 360 would suck without Xbox Live... Without Xbox Live the 360 wouldn't entirely suck. It would simply be a PS3....for $200 less. lmfao

ele975
ele975

HAHA! they're so rich they can through in about 10 more advanced stuff to the game and STILL free!

bgonz
bgonz

I've been lucky enough to play games for a living most of my life, and I have to agree that GoW is a far better game that both Halos. No disrespect to Halo, I just feel GoW multi-player is much more fun.

Autokiller
Autokiller

and now they should work on DLC with extra guns :P

bubnux
bubnux

Thank you Epic, may I have another?

HawksNDoves
HawksNDoves

Sorry Solid... I highly doubt you will ever get this content on a disc. If you have a 360 XBL is a must... the 360 would suck without Xbox Live...

Incubus420
Incubus420

Gears is great but comparing it to halo is funny....They are completely different ...Get a ps3 and play resistance, that game makes me remember why halo was such a great game and extremely fun over match made games. Gears is supposed to take over the reign that halo is holding over shooters, its only natural that you like them both soo much...So stop comparing them.

Solidsnake7993
Solidsnake7993

Hey, I don't have XBOX Live and therefore can't go onto XBOX LIVE MARKETPLACE and get this, so I was wondering if you guys think they will come out with these extra things on a disc, like Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack. I sure hope so!

Go0pynose
Go0pynose

BOTH of the levels are very fun to play. Just got done with some 2v2 system link and had a blast doing it! We all can't wait for more.....and MORE!

Jim_The_Rebel
Jim_The_Rebel

it would be sweet if they could some how have 4 teams of 2 ona a new map or an extra content thingy like that

pondarosa
pondarosa

Gears = Awesome. The fact that there will be tons of free content for Gears = AWESOME-O

xatman911
xatman911

Its a fact that gears of war is great. Hopefully in future we get more games like this instead of useless ones.

juan99692k6
juan99692k6

I've played and beat both of them and I think halo is a bit overrated all my friends say that and I agree with them. it's overrated. don't get me wrong I would recommend it to play to anyone but I think it's days of Glory are passing by.

linkman31
linkman31

"I would take gears of war over any halo game100 times over!!!" Maybe you should actually play a halo game before you say that.

juan99692k6
juan99692k6

I would take gears of war over any halo game100 times over!!!

juan99692k6
juan99692k6

This game is awesome, I haven't seen a game like this in years. I'm mostly a Sony fan but this game (Gears of War) is making me change my mind PS3 is good but is too expensive and besides they don't have that many good titles anyways, Gears of War is more addicting than drugs I tell you that. By the way , my gamertag is Juan9969. Great game Microsoft .!!!

5th_element
5th_element

Great game and the extras are great !!!

budspuds
budspuds

Awesome game Epic. Thank you for the free Extras, they kick tail!!!

Xrm150
Xrm150

Everyone should thank Epic! THANKS EPIC!!!!

0dazubeN
0dazubeN

Raven Down is a great map for the fact that it is fast paced and arena like...there are only grenades and that makes for less of a mad rush to good weapons and just more of a sratagy. Old Bones is okay but unless you are hosting a 4 V 4 it turns into a hide and seek on both ends.

SAGE_OF_FIRE
SAGE_OF_FIRE

Raven down should have been bigger but besides that they're great.

PoopTete
PoopTete

these maps are sweet. but everyone is hating on raven down, but they dont realize that its the easiest way to get the 10,000 kills achievement. both maps are outstanding, regardless of your style of play.

jedipy
jedipy

this is what downloadable content should be - FREE :)