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Gears of War 4's new update ushers in two re-imagined maps

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Gears of War 4 is getting a new update some time this month, alongside a Valentine's Day themed event. The update introduces two new maps, which are both riffs on previously available maps: Impact Dark is a nighttime version of the existing Dark map, while War Machine is a "drastic new take" on the map from the original Gears of War. The maps will be available to season pass holders.

"The new nighttime setting for Impact doesn’t just bring a new ambience," according to The Coalition's update post (opens in new tab). "For the first time in Gears of War Versus, visibility is permanently reduced by smoke that has settled over the battlefield, forcing you closer to the action. Every weapon swap has been changed to alter the flow of the map – Snipers are now replaced with Boltoks, Dropshot replaces Torque/EMBAR and the Overkill now sits where Incendiaries used to."

Meanwhile, on the topic of War Machine, the dramatic changes are as follows. "Moving away from the old abandoned train station locale, War Machine is now set in a new COG Settlement, standing out with its pristine appearance and gleaming grandiose features. Compared to the original, signs of life are everywhere – from the active DeeBee security bay, to the train sitting at the end of the platform ready to depart."

The update will also introduce Guardian improvements, which involves tweaks to respawns – now you'll respawn closer to your Leader, rather than at random. 

The Valentine's Day event kicks off on February 10 and brings new Gear Packs, Valentine's themed bounties and a new Cupid-themed Torque Bow Tag. But arguably of more interest is what The Coalition has in store for future updates: a new "Inconceivable" difficulty is incoming, as is an IronMan mode, level 6 skills for all classes, new achievements and more. You can read the full update over here (opens in new tab), and watch the trailer below.

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.