The Gears of War 3 Season Pass: How Good a Deal Is It?

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So…unless you’ve been in a coma for the past few days (and after PAX, we clearly understand why you would be), you might’ve heard that Microsoft and Epic Games were prepping a special Season Pass for the upcoming Gears of War 3, which will invade your Xbox 360 September 20. Similar to what Rockstar Games did for its L.A. Noire Season Pass, this will offer the four upcoming DLC packs in one price. In this case, it’s 2400 Microsoft points—yep, thirty bucks.

According to Microsoft, this discount comes at a savings of 33 percent off the suggested price for the four DLC packs by themselves. In addition, will also include a special “liquid metal” weapons skin pack that will only be offered to Season Pass subscribers. This pass is set to release on the same day of the game, on September 20.

It’s true, the Season Pass is a savings over buying the four DLC packs by themselves. It isn’t a limited time offer, either, unlike the Mortal Kombat deal; players can purchase it at any time.

Still, the question is if it’s going to be worth it. There are a few things to consider.

First of all, you’re already paying a bundle for the game. The regular version costs $60, while the special editions will run you $80 to $150, depending on which one you get. Then there are the extras, such as the awesome Vault system container, the limited edition Gears controllers (now available), and for the hardcore, a 320 GB system with two controllers and the game for $400. On top of all this, it is $30 for the Season Pass. Granted, seasoned vets will have no problem dropping that kind of cash, but those on a budget will be hard pressed just to get the game itself. It can be purchased anytime, but it’s kind of a bummer to those who can’t afford it right away.

Then there’s the DLC itself—we know NOTHING about it. Our guess is that the four downloadable packs are similar to what was offered in the first two Gears, including some new multiplayer maps and skins. There’s nothing wrong with that; this franchise was build on the foundation of a strong campaign and ferocious multiplayer, but would it hurt Microsoft to at least let us know what kind of DLC pack we can expect in November, to get us all excited for it? We’re in the dark on the details here. It’s like trying to buy a car in a pitch black showroom.

Next—hard drive space. Yup, some folks out there really do sweat the small stuff, and without details of any sort, it’s hard to figure just what kind of hard drive space they’ll need to save for their multiplayer romps. Yeah, you could delete data or upgrade to a better hard drive (like the 320 GB that comes with the Gears system), but it would help to have an idea of what you’re working towards.

Finally, there’s pricing. Most Season Passes go for a somewhat reasonable rate, like L.A. Noire’s $9.99 and Mortal Kombat around the same area. But Gears 3 goes for…$30? For that kind of cost you could buy a physical Gears of War Triple Pack set with all of its pre-existing maps, along with the first two games! Outside of the enthusiasts, not everyone will be happy to dump cash on product that isn’t there.

We’re speculating, of course. Epic Games knows what it’s doing, and when all four DLC packs arrive, we’ll have the quintessential Gears of War experience that we’ve been hoping for. However, it’s being left without much information that leaves us a bit frustrated at the Season Pass set-up. Microsoft’s quick to tell us a cost, but not a value as of yet, outside of the Liquid Metal skin pack. C’mon, guys, spill the beans somewhere and make this worth our while!

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Robert Workman
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