Gears 5 is soon preparing to step into its second season of updates, leaving behind Operation 1: Launch to dive into Operation 2: Free For All. The Coalition announced today that the new season is slated to kick off on December 11, but it's still going through the certification process so it might change. The massive update will carry brand new modes, maps, characters, and Tour of Duty improvements.
The Coalition is adding the biggest versus mode in Gears of War history with the new Free For All mode, which will host 14 players as they battle it out without any teams to back them up. Arcade Blitz is another new mode, which combines the casual and character-driven nature of Arcade with the familiar king of the hill Blitz gameplay. 2v2 Gnashers is also returning as a mode, and the name should be pretty self-explanatory.
Three new maps, Pit, Core, and Nethercutt, are being added supporting Free For All matches while 2v2 Gnashers mode can be played using two new maps of its own, Boxes and Foundation Mid. Two new Arena maps for regular modes are incoming to Gears 5 too, them being Allfathers Arena and Lift. The former has a unique twist, where the map's cover structures will change configurations to offer a fresh experience every time.
As for the new characters, Lizzie Carmine and Damon Baird are entering as Heroes while Jermad and Locust Drone scutters in from the Villains side, all with unique abilities for use in Horde, Escape, or Arcade modes. Kantus was also confirmed as an upcoming Villain character, who will be landing in early 2020. These characters can be earned in-game or purchased using real money.
Elsewhere, the Tour of Duty progression system overhaul has higher quality items being added as rewards from the early stages to the late. The objectives players can accomplish to level up faster have been broadened as well, but deeper details of these changes will arrive with the full patch notes next week.
There's a lot more to sort through in this update, so head over to the Gears 5 Operation 2 landing page straight from The Coalition to see it in full.