Next week will be a busy one for Gears of War 4's [official site] scarred soldiers. First, its ever-popular Horde Mode is getting a big update, and second, those who haven't yet had the joy of chainsawing through a DeeBee's face will be able to do so for free as part of a time-limited trial.
The Rise of the Horde update will introduce three skills for each of the five classes, two maps and new loot drops (see all the grisly detail here).
It will also add new difficulty levels: Inconceivable, which is naturally one step up from Insane, and Ironman, which will be an option for the game's campaign. As the name suggests, when you die you'll have to restart from the beginning. So, yeah, don't die.
But what about this free stuff I mentioned? Well, between 9 and 15 June you'll get access to ten hours of gratis gameplay including the first act of the campaign, the improved horde mode and the versus mode, which is cross-playable with our friends on the Xbone.
I may well jump on for a few hours — I played the camouflaged pants off of the Gears of War 2 horde mode on my Xbox 360, and I'm interested to see if the magic has lasted. One of the new maps is Avalanche, a returning location from that game set in a snowy mountainside resort, which I have many a fond memory of. The other might appeal to Gears of War 3 veterans because it's the return of Rust Lung, a claustrophobic indoor arena with plenty of flanking routes.
Here's the official trailer for Rise of the Horde, which drops on Tuesday: