IGN: So what's the new plan?
Rod Fergusson: First, we decided to make Dark Corners available for 1200 points on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, a reduction from 1600. Don't get me wrong, Dark Corners is the biggest Game Add-on we've ever released, and it was a good deal at the old price, but based upon community feedback this just felt like the right thing to do. Also, we've decided to release the All Fronts Collection on Xbox LIVE Marketplace in order to make it available to the widest audience possible. The All Fronts Collection will be priced at 1600 Microsoft Points, and both offers will be available July 28th at 12:00 AM GMT in twenty-five countries around the world.
IGN: As a 1200 Microsoft point download, will Dark Corners offer more achievements than a typical add-on?
Rod Fergusson: With Dark Corners, we've raised the total gamerscore available in Gears of War 2 to 1,750, the maximum amount available for a single title on Xbox LIVE. The Dark Corners Add-on includes 13 new Achievements for a total of 325 new gamerscore.
IGN: Where in the story does Road to Ruin fit? What questions will it answer?
Rod Fergusson: "Road to Ruin" takes place immediately following the death of Maria. We initially intended to give players the choice to don the Theron armor and sneak around the Locust Hollow, or go in guns blazing. But for pacing reasons, we ended up cutting that chapter last summer. It didn't feel quite right for the flow we were going after, and since so much of the game was taking place below ground already, we decided to focus on the other chapters. That said, there's some great gameplay moments in there, and even an old friend to find along the way. We really hope that fans enjoy returning to the campaign, getting a look behind the curtains and seeing what might have been.
IGN: About how long will it take players to complete Road to Ruin?
Rod Fergusson: As with all campaign content, the time it takes to complete it will vary based upon the difficulty setting and the player's skill. We're not going to put an hour/minute designation on "Road to Ruin" but it's on par with other campaign chapters. Also, with two totally different ways to approach the content (both playable in co-op) it should have some great replay value, especially if you want the three Achievements for completing it.
IGN: How will the new stealth mechanics work for the campaign mission?
Rod Fergusson: We can't share any details just yet, but look for more information to be revealed at E3.
IGN: Will any new enemies appear in Road to Ruin? If so, what will they be?
Rod Fergusson: You'll have to wait and see what we have in store for new the scene.
IGN: Are any new multiplayer game modes or weapons being included with this add-on?
Rod Fergusson: "Gears 2" shipped with ten different game modes, including favorites from the original and all-new modes like Horde, and from a gameplay variety standpoint we've been very happy with how they've been received. So for the post-release updates, we've focused on things like gameplay tuning, balancing, and the addition of things like the Experience System in our third title update. With Dark Corners, we focused on the new maps themselves, such as 'Nowhere,' which features a new desert environment and weather effects.
IGN: Are any further improvements to matchmaking being made to coincide with this download?
Rod Fergusson: We're constantly seeking to improve the multiplayer experience in "Gears of War 2." In fact, we have a fourth title update in the works, but we don't have any specific features to confirm just yet beyond the addition of earning multiplayer experience in Horde mode.
Have you guys & girls noticed that despite the Double XP weekend and the Old School Weekend (removal of ragdoll for smoke nades), Gears 2 has not climbed out of their fourth position on the weekly XBL most played chart? Hmmm, desperate times mean desperate measures. Perhaps Epic applied some pressure to MS to show the fan base some good faith. Oh well, at least that's five Washingtons back in your pocket after spending twenty on the previous map packs. Hey, it's a start...