A recent post to Xbox Wire has revealed the contents of Microsoft’s September Gears of Wars 4 update. Microsoft announced two new battleground maps coming to the game, twenty new achievements, and “major improvements” to matchmaking. Cumulatively, all of the achievements add up to 500 Gamerscore, and several should unlock upon installing the update.
The first of the new maps is one that Gears of War veterans should be familiar with. The map is called Mercy, and it’s set in the hometown of Dominic Santiago’s wife Maria, a locale in Gears of War 3. Microsoft included a couple of details in its post, adding: “Now set in the end stages of winter, the fights you know and love are all here – including the close-quarters pew battles inside the church and the fight to dominate the high ground in the center of the map – playing just like you remember.”
The second of the maps is Harbor Haze, a version of Harbor set during the day, and introducing a couple of new mechanics, including mist. Harbor Haze’s description reveals “the mist can roll in from the sea at any time, dramatically reducing visibility and providing the perfect opportunity for surprise attacks or sneaky flanks. The mist changes the dynamics combat drastically – if you’re brave enough to find out how.”
The matchmaking improvements to Gears of War 4 involves switching from Region Locked matchmaking – making matches solely on the player’s choice of region – to a “Quality of Service” matchmaking system. At the same time, improvements are being made to the game’s Skill-Based matchmaking component. The change should better pair up players with a similar connection quality in the game as well as similar skill levels. The goal is “fairer and better quality matches every time you play.”
Additional releases this month include two new gear packs, one containing the returning Locust Sniper. In terms of the future, new maps, gear packs, gameplay improvements, achievements, and seasonal events have been teased for players to look forward to in the coming months, as the game receives ongoing support. Microsoft has not given a date for the update, only confirming that it will be coming to Gears of War 4 later this month.