Microsoft is continuing its torrid pace of improving Gears of War 4: This month, the Xbox Play Anywhere title picks up new maps, achievements, and matchmaking improvements. Additionally, Microsoft has explained how it will support this game past its one-year anniversary next month.
First, here’s what’s coming in the September update for Gears of War 4:
New maps. Gears of War 4 is getting two new maps this month, Mercy, a classic from Gears of War 3, and Harbor Haze, a new take on the Harbor map. Both are available currently in the Developer Playlist, but they’ll hit the public playlists on September 12.
New achievements. New to September are 20 new achievements and 500 gamerpoints, all based on the introductory parts of the game. So if you’re new to Gears of War 4, you can start earning achievements more easily right away.
Matchmaking improvements. Microsoft is switching the matchmaking experience in the game from region-locked to quality of service-based, meaning that it will “match you on local data centers with players of similar connection quality more often, resulting in fairer and better quality matches every time you play.” The firm is also improving the game’s skill-based matchmaking so that you will get better quality skill matchups too.
As interesting, Microsoft has also explained how it will support Gears of War 4 going forward. As you may remember, the game first arrived in October 2016, so next month is the one year anniversary. That month, Microsoft will provide its final two new maps, meaning that it will achieve its goal of releasing 24 new maps in the first year.
After October, Microsoft doesn’t plan to release any more new maps. But it will still provide new content, including most critically an Xbox One X Enhanced Update that will provide support for 4K, HDR, Dolby Atmos and new graphical enhancements. There will also be new Gear Packs, monthly Versus and Horde events with exclusive challenge-based rewards, major seasonal events, continual balancing improvements to Versus and Horde, more refinements to the Campaign’s “Casual” mode, and more new achievements, Microsoft says. It is also more vaguely promising additional benefits for Season Pass holders in Year Two.
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