Gears of War: annex, respawns, and more coming directly

The goodies included in the latest free update for Gears of War have been revealed, and not only will you get a completely new mode, bug fixes, and an easier method to unlock your “Seriously…” achievement (assuming you haven’t already), but anyone who bought the Collectors Edition of Gears within its first hour of release will also receive a Carmine mini-helmet and a Cliffy B plush doll. Alright, maybe I made some of that up. Hit the jump for the official announcement.

Gears of War™ Gears Up With A New Game Type

What’s old and new and red all over? That would be Gears of War, once a new multiplayer game type is released by way of a download from Xbox LIVE® on April 9. Read on to get the specs on the new way to enjoy a game you already love, and then hop online to experience multiplayer all over again!

Annex

Objective: Capture and hold key locations to collect enough points to win the round.

Description: In Annex, you win by keeping control over key map locations, or objectives, long enough to collect a winning number of points. Every map has two to five identified objectives available for capture, with one objective active at a time. Objectives are based on map weapon-spawn locations and have a potential value of 60 points toward either team’s score. Teams collect those points by maintaining ownership of an objective until all its 60 points have been distributed. Every second that a team controls an objective, the team gets one point. When an objective falls to zero points, the next objective is selected at random.

On the HUD, the current objective appears below the team scores at top left. This indicator contains several pieces of relevant information. The weapon icon inside the circle indicates which weapon-spawn location is being used as the objective. The compass along the outer edge of the circle shows the relative direction to the objective. The number inside the circle indicates how many points remain at that objective and the background icon color indicates which team currently controls it. No color means the objective awaits capture, a red icon means the Locust Horde hold the objective and a blue icon means the COG hold it. When the icon in the indicator circle fills, the corresponding team’s score also changes color, the team begins collecting points from the objective, and the point value of the objective drops.

On the map, a projected ring marks the physical location and boundaries of the objective in the world. The ring’s color indicates the current captor: White means neutral, blue COG, and red Locust. To capture an objective, players must stand inside the glowing ring uncontested for a short period of time. How long depends on how many teammates stand in the ring at once. One player can capture an objective in eight seconds, two players in four seconds, three players in two seconds, and four players in one second. Once a team takes an objective, they are not required to remain inside the ring to maintain ownership. The captured objective’s points drain until an opposing team member enters the ring, or until its points fall to zero.

Round scores can be set as low as 120 points or as high as 480 points. The first team to reach the target score wins the round.

Respawns: Infinite, wave-based every 15 seconds.

Options:

Selected Map: Which map or series of maps to use.

Number of Rounds: Number of rounds required to win the match.

Bleed-out Duration: Amount of time before a player dies while DBNO.

Round Score: Number of points required to win a round.

Friendly Fire: In a player match, whether teammates can damage each other.

Private Slots: In a player match, number of player slots reserved for friend invites.

Weapons Swapped: In a player match, whether the person who sets up the match can determine whether weapons that appear in the maps are replaced or removed.

This comes directly from the official Gears of War Web site, but has since been taken down. Epic did confirm however that the news, while a bit premature, was the real deal but that the alleged availability date of April 9th was not written in stone. Still, the update is already going through the Microsoft certification process, meaning it can’t be much longer now. 

Thanks to Dtoid loyalist and origami extraordinaire Jason for the tip. 

Haley