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Gears 2 'Snowblind Map Pack' coming March 31, title update on March 24

If you tire of brutishly halving your enemies in the same boring Gears of War 2 locales, a recent Epic Games announcement will likely thrill you to death -- on March 31, the title's second batch of downloadable arenas, titled the "Snowblind Map Pack," will find its way onto Xbox Live, bringing four new maps to the chainsaw party: Grindyard, Under Hill, Courtyard and Fuel Depot, a remake of a map from Gears the First. No price has been announced -- we're assuming it'll be around the same 800 price point of the "Combustible Map Pack."

Arguably more exciting than this, however, was Epic's announcement that the oft-discussed retooled ranking system will be coming to the game the week before "Snowblind" drops -- a title update on March 24 will (mostly) eschew the criticized TrueSkill system in favor of a more intuitive, experience point-based system. Players will earn experience points for scoring in public matches, rising up to level 100. They'll even unlock achievements at set levels (5, 15, 25, 50 and 100) -- we also hear that "Cole Train" evolves into "Cole Barge" at level 60. Gotta curb stomp 'em all!

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