Gears of War 3 'Horde Command Pack' gets defensive Nov. 1 [update]

Gears of War 3's first DLC pack, "Horde Command," will enter the fray on November 1. Available for 800 MSP ($10), or through the game's "season pass," the DLC includes three new maps, a few characters (Onyx Guard, Big Rig Dizzy, Bernie), weapon skins and, most exciting, new fortifications for Horde mode.

The new fortifications include a command center that allows players to call in support from snipers, mortars or Hammers of Dawn. A decoy upgrade that can create a fighting Onyx Guard bot, a sentry upgrade that adds a fire bolt for more damage and is really helpful against berserkers, and a Silverback upgrade with rockets and repair cost reduction.

Update: Contacted Microsoft about "Horde Command" compatibility with non-DLC users. Answers after break.
Questions regarding DLC compatibility:

Will those with "Horde Command" pack be able to play with those who did not purchase DLC?

"Yes, players without the new content can still play with players that have it. In fact, they can even play together on the new maps if the player who purchased the Horde Command Pack hosts the game. Even though players can play together, players without the Horde Command Pack cannot build beyond the current fortification level caps."

Does the person with the Horde Command Pack have to initiate the first creation to upgrade the decoy, sentry, Silverback to its highest level?

"The player with the Horde Command Pack is the only one that can build beyond the current fortification levels, but are not required to start the building at lower levels."

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The Battle Rages on with the "Gears of War 3" Horde Command Pack Available Nov. 1
First game add-on for the biggest blockbuster of 2011 introduces spectacular new maps and playable characters, along with an arsenal of Horde fortification upgrades"

Brace for impact! With more than three million copies sold in its first week, "Gears of War 3" is the biggest game of the year, and today Microsoft and Epic Games announced the acclaimed title is about to get even bigger with the Horde Command Pack game add-on, launching Nov. 1.

Taking you deeper into the fight with three explosive new maps, three new playable characters, two new weapon skins, and additional achievements worth 250 Gamerscore, the Horde Command Pack also includes new fortification upgrades to help you mow down the Lambent and Locust threats in the fan-favorite Horde mode.

Available for 800 Microsoft Points or for download automatically to consumers who have purchased the "Gears of War 3" Season Pass, which entitles you to the game's first four game add-ons at a 33 percent discount, the Horde Command Pack includes:

· Three spectacular new maps:
o Blood Drive – The Jacinto Medical Plaza was overwhelmed by evacuated citizens after the government-sanctioned Hammer Strikes, and the ensuing riots quickly turned this safe haven into a dangerous inferno. An abundance of high ground and funneled choke points make this map a returning favorite to Horde.
o Rustlung – Once the pride of the Royal Tyran Navy, the foredecks of this decommissioned battleship are now riddled with bullet holes. Any team with the fortitude to hold the exposed central torpedo bay will find that the ship's Loader has been replaced with a battle-ready Silverback mech suit.
o Azura – This island resort was once the exclusive domain of Sera's educated elite, but the tranquil water gardens and lush foliage have become a hotly contested combat zone. Dual snipers overlook a powerful explosive weapon, while the defensive central platform may be your last resort of retreat.
· New fortification upgrades:
o Command Center – A brand new type of fortification that allows you to call in fire support from sniper teams, mortar strikes and even multiple Hammers of Dawn.
o Decoy Upgrade – A new fortification level that turns your decoy into an Onyx Guard bot that will fight in your defense.
o Sentry Upgrade – This upgrade adds a fire bolt sentry that deals much more damage and is very effective against Berserkers.
o Silverback Upgrade – This advancement allows you to upgrade your Silverback exo-suit with devastating rockets and extra levels of repair cost reduction.
· New characters:
o Onyx Guard
o Big Rig Dizzy
o Bernie
· New weapon skins:
o Team Plasma
o Jungle Camo

Also playable in Beast mode and privately hosted Versus matches, the Horde Command Pack promises to extend your "Gears of War 3" experience with countless hours of multiplayer mayhem on Xbox LIVE. Stay tuned for future game add-on announcements including new campaign and multiplayer content, bringing you more of the year's biggest blockbuster later this winter. To download the first four game add-ons as soon as they are available at a discounted price, be sure to pick up the "Gears of War 3" Season Pass today for 2400 Microsoft points on Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

Developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by Epic Games, "Gears of War 3" is available worldwide in three distinct editions – Standard ($59.99 USD), Limited ($79.99) and Epic ($149.99). For a limited time only, the custom-designed Xbox 360 Limited Edition "Gears of War 3" Console is also available worldwide for a suggested retail price of $399.99 USD, and features a copy of the game, two specially-designed Xbox 360 Wireless Controllers, limited edition downloadable content, built-in Wi-Fi and a massive 320 GB hard drive. The Limited Edition Wireless Controller is also available separately for a suggested retail price of $59.99 USD. For additional details on the game, custom console and controller, please visit:

This article was originally published on Joystiq.