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Gears of War 3 ‘Horde Command’ DLC is now released, free ‘Versus Booster Map Pack’ this month

First of all: false alarm. Reports this morning that the release of the Horde Command DLC pack for Gears of War 3 were true at the time, but the cited “temporary delay” has amouned to considerably less than a day: the Horde Command pack is now available for download over Xbox Live. It’s free to all Season Pass holders — you can pick that up for 2,400 MS Points to bulk buy four upcoming Gears DLC packs for a net discount — or you can buy it a la carte for 800 MS Points.

The Horde Command pack adds new fortification options to the game’s Horde mode, as well as three new maps for use in both Horde and Beast modes, and some new character and weapon skins. The new maps will also be part of the just-confirmed Versus Booster Map Pack, a free DLC release that’s coming on November 24. This pack will add the Horde Command DLC’s three maps — Azura, Rustlung and Blood Drive, to public matchmaking playlists in Versus multiplayer along with two newly remastered vintage maps, Swamp and Clocktower.

The Booster pack will be followed a few weeks later by Epic Games’ first campaign-focused add-on for Gears 3, RAAM’s Shadow, on December 13. This is another Season Pass-inclusive pack, but you’ll be able to buy it a la carte for 1,200 MS Points. The add-on’s story focuses on events that precede the first game in the series. Not only will you get to take command of Zeta squad, you’ll also step into the oversized boots of General RAAM, the principal antagonist of the first Gears of War.

There may be other free DLC releases to come, but Epic’s Season Pass plan calls for at least two more paid DLC releases, both of which are coming next year.