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Gears of War, Forces of Nature : posted on Buttonmasher

Posted over at I take the latest GOW maps for a spin.

End of the beginning?

The final installment for owners of the Gears of War Season Pass certainly improves over the Fenix Rising pack, but does it match the lofty heights of Raam’s Shadow?

This is essentially a collection of three new maps and a re-imagining of two old favourites Raven Down and Jacinto. The theme is about extreme weather, although the Razor Hail of Gears2 does not make an appearance, the maps do offer some variety in environment structure, but there is only so much excitement to offer when yet another cloud of fog rolls through.Something else that occurs to me and while it may be a minor thing which I totally understand why, but the mirror image layouts are getting a little old now. In fact the handy overhead map that splashes up before spawning just serves to highlight these map designs are actually quite ‘samey’. In fact in the course of trying out the selection, there were times sat in the dark of night when I couldn’t discern which new map was up without a second look at the name.

The maps themselves offer a fair mix of variety, the majority hold extensive outside areas although a couple of them feel claustrophobic enough to be held internally. Then of course there is Raven Down, which although a classic small scale skirmish map that has been beautified by the addition of snow still descends into a chaotic fragfest.

Read the complete review here.