Another month, another batch of Gears of War 4 cosmetic goodies if you’re into that sort of thing. I don’t give a damn what my weapons look like as long as the bullets work. 260+ new weapon skins will make folks even easier to see across the map.

Gears 4 Series 2 cosmetic items

The cosmetics don’t stop with weapons. 13 new characters are here as part of the Series 2 Cards. Ok, I’m not the biggest fan of cosmetics – but Zombie Minh with Raam’s blade-sized hole in his chest is pretty damn cool.

Zombie Minh Gears 4

Enough of the small stuff, most of us are here for the new maps. The Coalition is tapping two more fan-favorite maps. Before you get excited, Canals, River and Avalanche aren’t included. For January, we’ll be pounding our way through Clocktower.

First debuting in Gears of War, it received the fan-favorite treatment in Gears of War 3. In Gears 4, Clocktower is getting the usual visual bump. It looks fantastic at night as the Swarm takes over. The folks at The Coalition know how to make a damn good looking map.

Gears of War 2 fans will be happy to see Blood Drive. It was another one also showed up in Gears of War 3. For Gears 4, Blood Drive “brings back intense, center-map pillar fights with the improved flow of its refined sibling.”

Both classic maps will show up in the Developer Playlist today along with Double XP and 20% more Credits. Don’t have the season pass? The two maps go free for everyone in Public Play on January 17.

Quit penalties that are reasonable

Title Update 3 lands as well today and brings a much-requested feature – quit penalties. We all hate quitters, and The Coalition is joining many other developers by instituting penalties for those who quit. The penalties do have a little wiggle room in case your connection drops temporarily. The Join in Progress feature gives you a five-minute window to rejoin the game.

Here’s how quitting will be handled moving forward. The devs also say this is just Phase 1. More action will be taken as needed.

– Players leaving a Core/Competitive game early will now be suspended from matchmaking
– Players can rejoin a Core/Competitive match within 5 minutes of being dropped or quitting from an option in the main Versus menu
– Rejoining and completing a match will remove the matchmaking suspension time
– Added functionality to display matchmaking suspension time (including to your Squad Leader). You will not be able to matchmake if your Squad contains a suspended user until their suspension has completed.

Another improvement coming today centers around the Spectator Mode. A small portion of the dev team has been working on making the spectator experience better for viewers and casters.

And a few smaller fixes are coming too. Check out full patch notes here.

Now, how about Canals in February? Perfect maps never get old. Let me know which maps you want to see in the comments.

When I’m not playing Rocket League (best game ever), you can find me writing about all things games, space and more. You can reach me at alex@newsledge.com

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