Canadian nights in early April are usually temperate and hover around the freezing point (0°C or 32°F for our US friends), but last night things got significantly colder around here. I’m talking about Jade hosting the Gears of War 2 Canadian Gamer night featuring the Snowblind Map Pack (referred to as the “Great White North Gears” in the Xbox forums) DLC. A great time was had by all… now lets get down to the business of reviewing these maps.
Gameplay will be one you’re already comfortable with, nothing much has changed in the way of sound effects, weaponry or controls. What you are going to find is visually you will see a light but continual snowfall slightly obscuring your vision and an even more grey environment.
The Map pack is extremely small in size – only 83MB for all 4 maps, compared to the 116MB for Halo 3 Cold Storage Map (yeah 1 map) and the 485MB for the Halo 3 Heroic Map Pack. For 800 MS points these maps will not disappoint.
Courtyard is perfect for massive gun fights, chainsaw duels and grenade tossing. This wide open map provides lots of cover locations, but very few that cover you from more then one side, leaving you open to flanking and attacks from higher ground. Featuring an underground bunker with two openings that can be defended by a team of players working and communicating well together you will find yourself protected from the high lob of a grenade and the pounding of mortar shells. Your team can easily triumph from this position. But stand back if your targets force you into the open as you be in for an all out blood bath resulting in high casualties on both side of the war.
Under Hill presents you with what looks like an abandoned parking lot. With tons of cover from parked cars, guard rails and elevated walkways (in the tunnels). Keep your head down and move quick all while trying to pin your opponents and prevent them from moving in on you flank. Finding your way to the high ground can be reward in itself, but beware of damage to your exposed skin… It’s cold out there and doesn’t offer much in the way of coverage.
Grindyard places you in an heavy industry recycling park with elevated walk ways and several place to local your team sniper. A central tower and two elevated platforms, one on each side of the map, give good map coverage for defensive purposes but beware the are only two ways out of the tower – the way you climbed up and dead. Likely my favourite map in the pack because of the design and layout providing you plenty to work with and a huge area to station your team for a strategic win.
Last but not least, the fan-favorite Fuel Depot. Your going to find youself running through the warehouse, the hanger and even across a helicopter landing pad. Understanding the layout of this map is essential as it’s likely the smallest map in the pack. Making matches played here fast and vicious. Find power weapons like mortars or the Hand of God to quickly eliminate your opponents on this level.
- Download size amazingly small
- Great designs and 3 huge maps and 1 small fan favorite
- Grey, grey and more grey
- No snow trails or accumulation effect
Big thanks to Jade, Buckstop, Sgt Degandi and the Xbox PR team for hooking us up with maps and a great evening!