Gears of War 3’s Forces of Nature map pack is the fifth and final map pack for Gears of War 3, bringing the game up to 2000 Gamerscore. This map pack brings three new maps into the Gears of War Universe as well as reprising two maps from the previous games.
Forces of Nature is all about, you guessed it, the forces of nature. Each map is hit or has been hit with some type of natural disaster or event that will play out in front of you or leave you to watch the aftermath.
The first map in this lot is Aftermath – a university style map that’s been hit with a destructive earthquake. There are multiple sniper nests as well as hidden back alleys for you to fight in, as well as plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with others. The Force of Nature on this map is a destructive earthquake which you’re still feeling the after effects of. As you’re playing tremors will rip through the map creating a deafening shake as well as shaking the scopes of everyone trying to aim, giving everyone a short period of time to run from cover and dodge the snipers who are no doubt watching over you.
Next up in the pack is Artillery. Artillery is a military base that was prepared to fire warheads before the war. This map is completely symmetrical and has plenty of the most powerful weapons at your disposal. This maps force is an amazingly beautiful tornado that rips through the background of the map and picks up a huge dust storm covering your entire map. This is certainly the most beautiful map Gears of War has ever had, and my personal favorite of the pack.
The third and final new map is Cove. Cove is a large pier area filled with shops and stores you’d expect to see at a pier as well as roaming chickens that are there simply for kicking. Cove is also a completely symmetrical map but is split down the middle. Cove is one of the trickier maps to manage, as you’ll find yourself getting caught in the middle or flanked by an enemy. Fans of horde will love this map, as it’s my personal favorite game type for this map.
The last two maps are faithful recreations of Raven Down from Gears of War and Jacinto from Gears of War 2. Raven Down will blanket players with a fierce snowstorm while you run around this close quarters map. Raven Down was the worst map of the pack, giving only four small areas to fight in and spawn kills are very problematic, especially in single death game types like Warzone and Capture the Leader.
Being one of my favorite Gears of War 2 maps, it was brilliant to see Jacinto brought back. This version of Jacinto shows the beautiful ocean turned to rock hard imulsion as stalks rip up through it in the dark and cold rain. Very little is changed except for a few gameplay tweaks and the map very much draws a lot from its original.
Besides the maps, the Forces of Nature map pack brings back a fan favorite game type – Guardian. Gears of War 2 players should fondly remember this game type, where players are tasked with defending a randomly selected leader. When the leader dies, the players are no longer able to respawn. This is certainly my most favorite addition to Gears of War 3, and truly brings the game full circle.
When all is said and done, the Forces of Nature map is another amazing addition to Gears of War 3 and well worth the 800 Microsoft Points. Season Pass owners need simply to boot up the game and download the content for free.