As we covered previously, Gears of War 3 will be getting a DLC Season Pass. The pass includes the first four pieces of DLC for the game for the low price of 2400 MSP. This means that players will be able to download the DLC for no additional cost as soon as it is released onto the Marketplace. If players choose to buy these four pieces of DLC separately, it will instead cost them 3600 MSP.
The four DLC packs will include new content for Beast Mode and Horde Mode. There will also be content for the campaign, and this will not simply be a deleted scene like that released for Gears of War 2 ; it will be completely new content. There will also be multiplayer maps, characters and weapon skins included.
As for the availability of the Pass, Fergusson had this to say:
...there's no limited time on it, so it will be available probably until it doesn't make sense, where all four [DLC packs] are already available, or whatever, but it's not like you have to get it on day one.
The pass will allow players exclusive access to the Liquid Metal weapons skin, so that you get something for your money on launch day. However, the first included piece of DLC will not launch until November, with the second piece of DLC following shortly after that.
The weapon skins are a cosmetic addition; they will not affect the way that the weapon works at all. Skins are available for five of the game's weapons: Lancer, Retro Lancer, Hammerburst, Gnasher and Sawed-Off. Seven skins can be unlocked for each weapon by doing certain things in-game. MTV managed to get themselves a list of the criteria for these unlocks, some of which have been confirmed previously. The criteria for the Crimson Omen Lancer and the Team Insignia Sawed-Off are yet to be confirmed.
• Lancer - own the Gold Lancer in Gears of War 2 OR play a multiplayer match in the first week of release.
• Retro Lancer - got 100 kills with the Gold Retro Lancer in the Gears of War 3 beta.
• Hammerburst - own the Gold Hammerburst in Gears of War 2 OR play a multiplayer match in the first week of release.
• Gnasher - unlock the Veteran Gear achievement in Gears of War 2.
• Sawed-Off - unlock the Commando achievement in Gears of War.
The skins for all five weapons will unlock when players reach level 100 in Gears of War 3.
• Lancer - unlock the Don't Hate The Player achievement in Gears of War.
• Retro Lancer - unlock the Domination achievement in Gears of War.
• Hammerburst - unlock the Dirty, Dirty Horde achievement in Gears of War 2.
• Gnasher - complete the campaign in all three Gears of War games.
• Sawed-Off - unlock any single achievement in Gears of War (PC).
• Lancer - played a match in the second week of the Gears of War 3 beta.
• Retro Lancer - will be tied to a future event, but no details yet.
• Hammerburst - played a match in the first week of the Gears of War 3 beta.
• Gnasher - played a match in the fourth week of the Gears of War 3 beta.
• Sawed-Off - played a match in the third week of the Gears of War 3 beta.
• Retro Lancer - unlock the Welcome to Horde Mode achievement in Gears of War 3.
• Hammerburst - unlock the Welcome to Beast Mode achievement in Gears of War 3.
• Gnasher - unlock the Welcome to Versus achievement in Gears of War 3.
• Sawed-Off - unlock the Welcome to Arcade Mode achievement in Gears of War 3.
• Lancer - earn the bronze Veteran medal in Gears of War 3.
• Retro Lancer - earn the silver Veteran medal in Gears of War 3.
• Hammerburst - earn the gold Veteran medal in Gears of War 3.
• Gnasher - earn the onyx Veteran medal in Gears of War 3.
• Lancer - earn the onyx Lancer medal in Gears of War 3.
• Retro Lancer - earn the onyx Retro Lancer medal in Gears of War 3.
• Hammerburst - earn the onyx Hammerburst medal in Gears of War 3.
• Gnasher - earn the onyx Gnasher medal in Gears of War 3.
• Sawed-Off - earn the onyx Sawed-Off medal in Gears of War 3.
Rumours have been drifting around about Weapon Skin DLC Packs that would be available for purchase on launch day. Fergusson confirmed that there will be a total of 21 weapon skins available for purchase for each of the five weapons. These weapon skins will be divided into two types - static and animated. Here are videos of the animated Plasma and Rainbow skins:
The launch day Weapon Skins will be sold in a variey of ways. Firstly, the skins will be sold in individual 'sets' of five skins. These 'sets' comprise of one type of skin for all five weapons. They will have two price points; the static skin sets will cost 240 MSP each, and the animated skin sets will cost 320 MSP each.
Alternatively, players can choose to buy skin packs for individual weapons. These packs will include all 21 skins for the weapon. There will be four packs - Lancer, Retro Lancer, Hammerburst and Shotgun - each retailing for 1200 MSP. The Shotgun pack will include the skins for both the Gnasher and the Sawed-Off.
Finally, there will be the "Launch Collection" which will include all 21 weapon skins for all five weapons. This will cost 3600 MSP.
Those of you who pride yourself on your position in the leaderboards will be concerned over the lead gained by those who have managed to get their hands on the game early. You need worry no longer; the Gears of War 3 leaderboards will all be reset at 6PM BST / 1PM EST on September 19th. This will work out as 5AM on September 20th in New Zealand - the time of the first sale in the first country to get their hands on the game on launch day.
Those of you who were lucky enough to get your hands on a copy of the game early will not have your personal progress erased; it is only the leaderboards that are being reset.
Play the campaign first
If you were one of the players who tried Horde mode out in Gears of War 2 before trying anything else, you would have come across certain species of Locust, such as the Sires, without having already met them in Gears of War. These were intended to be introduced during the Gears of War 2 campaign, and some players considered this to be a spoiler for when they later tried the campaign. Gears of War 3 has a similar situation, so those of you who want to encounter your new Locust nemeses in the correct context will want to play through the campaign first.
Mutators can be used to add different gameplay variables in Horde mode and Arcade mode - they can not be used in every competitive game mode. Some mutators will increase the difficulty level, but will increase the player's score as a result. Those that decrease the difficulty level will decrease the score too. There are also 'Fun' mutators that have no impact on gameplay or score at all. Here is a full list of mutators, and the criteria need for unlocking them:
• Comet - earn the gold Shock Trooper medal.
As you roadie run, you'll build up energy, letting you ram into enemies.
• Instagib Melee - kill 200 wretches.
Melee attacks cause enemies to explode.
• Super Reload - earn the bronze Master-At-Arms medal.
More damage and clip size for an active reload.
• Infinite Ammo - earn 100 Combat Engineer pins.
Infinite ammo for all weapons.
• Big Explosions - earn 100 Hail Mary pins.
Bigger explosions, but you didn't need me to tell you that, did you?
• Enemy Regen - earn the silver Aficionado medal.
Enemies will regain health over time if you don't kill them.
• Vampire - earn 100 Executor pins.
Your health does not regenerate automatically, but you do earn health for dealing damage.
• Must Active Reload - earn the silver Active Reloader medal.
The only way to reload is to perform an active reload.
• Friendly Fire - complete the campaign in four-player co-op.
Teammates can cause damage to each other.
• Big Head - earn the gold Horder medal.
Giant heads in the style of NBA Jam.
• Pinata - earn the gold Investor medal.
Tokens drop from every kill, and picking them up earns you points.
• Flower Blood - earn the silver King of COG medal.
All blood effects are replaced by flowers.
• Headless Chicken - unlocked from the outset.
Enemies attack each other for several seconds after they lose their heads.
• Laugh Track - earn the bronze medals for Tour of Duty, For the Horde, I'm A Beast and Warmonger.
Adds an audible laugh track to the game.
There are five COG and five Locust characters unlocked from the outset on the disc, as well as the Adam Fenix bonus character included in the Limited and Epic Editions of the game. There are another 32 characters that can be unlocked as players progress through the game - here is a full list:
• COG Gear - reach level 2.
• Samantha Byrne - reach level 4.
• Dizzy Wallin - reach level 7.
• Jace Stratton - reach level 10.
• Clayton Carmine - reach level 14.
• Classic Dom - reach level 17.
• Classic Cole - reach level 23.
• Classic Baird - reach level 30.
• Benjamine Carmine - reach level 34.
• Civilian Anya - reach level 45.
• Colonel Hoffman - reach level 50.
• Anthony Carmine - reach level 75.
• Classic Marcus - earn the silver Veteran medal.
• Superstar Cole - earn the gold MVP medal.
• Golden Gear - earn the bronze War Supporter medal.
• Chairman Prescott - earn the silver Allfathers medal.
• Unarmoured Marcus - finish the Gears of War 3 campaign.
• Aaron Griffin - earn the onyx Big Money medal.
• Cole Train - completed ten matches as Thrashball Cole during the Gears of War 3 beta.
• Locust Miner - reach level 3.
• Beast Rider - reach level 5.
• Locust Hunter - reach level 8.
• Theron Guard - reach level 12.
• Locust Spotter - reach level 20.
• Flame Grenadier - reach level 26.
• Locust Grenadier - reach level 39.
• Locust Hunter Elite - reach level 60.
• Golden Miner - earn the gold Rifleman medal.
• Locust Golden Hunter - earn the gold Master-at-Arms medal.
• Locust Sniper - earn the bronze Headshot medal.
• Locust Kantus - earn the gold Medic medal.
• Savage Theron Guard - earn the onyx I'm A Beast medal.
Weapon executions weren't mentioned in the live stream, but here is a full list of weapons that have associated execution moves, and the number of kills that are needed to unlock the executions:
• Lancer - 200 kills.
• Hammerburst - 200 kills.
• Retro Lancer - 200 kills.
• Gnasher - 200 kills.
• Sawed-Off - 200 kills.
• Gorgon Pistol - 40 kills.
• Boltok Pistol - 40 kills.
• Boomshot - 40 kills.
• Digger - 40 kills.
• Hammer of Dawn - 40 kills.
• Mulcher - 40 kills.
• Mortar - 40 kills.
• Oneshot - 40 kills.
• Scorcher - 40 kills.
• Torque Bow - 40 kills.
• Longshot - 40 kills.
• Cleaver - 40 kills.
We covered the avatar awards back when they were revealed in July, but we didn't have any unlock criteria for them. These weren't mentioned in the live stream either, but I thought that I'd include the unlock criteria for those of you who are interested:
• Marcus' Doo-Rag - complete the Gears of War 3 campaign.
• Horde Shirt - unlock the Welcome to Horde Mode achievement in Gears of War 3.
• Locust Drone Mask - unlock the Welcome to Beast Mode achievement in Gears of War 3.
Gears of War 3 will be released worldwide on September 20th.