Gears of War: Judgment has left quite an impact on players since its release last week, between some smart new additions to single player (which we looked at with our Declassified Missions special) and multiplayer (which was discussed in last week's multiplayer tips).  But, as you could probably tell, People Can Fly and Epic Games are looking to expand the experience with multiple maps as well as a new mode.  But what you might not expect is the price tag, as the first batch of downloadable content will be free of charge.

Maxim Magazine, a publication that caters to men with pictorials and plenty of lifestyle articles, are footing the bill for the first Maxim Gears of War pack slated for release early next month.  Included in it are two maps – Capitol and Haven – as well as a new mode, Execution, which were first unveiled to the public this past week at the Penny Arcade Expo East in Boston.

Though Capitol still remains a mystery, we've got a general overview of both Haven and Execution and you'll want to get your practice in now if you feel like mastering them both.  (Yes, even if you're already at a high level.  This content means business.)

Let's start with a look at the Haven map…

It's hard to imagine an ancient monastery as a tropical oasis but that's exactly what you get with this tundra-like setting, which has now been settled over with a huge sheet of ice.  (That's due to the tectonic shifts that have taken place on the planet of Sera.)  Here you'll find yourself in a circular shaped map, one that has paths that go from the outside back in again, so you can stay on the round and remain in the thick of the action.  There are some small spots where you can set up a sniper, but honestly you could be setting yourself up to be a killed if you're not careful – it's best to stay on the move if you can.

This map is mostly ideal for Domination because of the three points that can be placed throughout – one in the center and the two surrounding it, depending on the random placements.  As for the best weapons to use, it really depends on your vantage point.  Long-range shooters may want to stick to the Breechshot, but if it's close quarters combat you're after, it never hurts to have a Boomshield on hand to fend enemies off as well as a Booshka, which can do some major damage before someone gets a chance to snipe you.

Movement is pivotal in a map like this, just because of the enclosed space and the possibility that someone could easily be perched for a potshot.  If you're not well armed with a Boomshot, you better have a good weapon on hand to finish off anyone chasing after you.

And if that's not enough, you'll also have access to a new mode called Execution.  Here's how that works…

In Execution mode, you'll find yourself in a team-based match where all of the members of the rival squad need to be eliminated before the time limit runs out.  There's a catch –unless a really powerful weapon is on hand to blast them to bits on the first try, the enemy doesn't necessarily die.  They simply crawl around, just waiting to be finished off, and gunfire won't kill them.  You literally have to take them out with a close-up Execution, usually by running up to them and holding down the B button to shoot them in the head.

Now if you manage to have the whole squad crawling around on all fours, this can be pretty easy to wipe out a team. If someone's still up and around, however, they can revive their squadmates with ease while laying down some defensive fire to get you as you move in for the execution.  Also, if you don't manage to execute these enemies before time runs out they automatically revive and the match continues.  This is one of those modes where you can show your aggressive side against enemies, or else deal with having to put them to an incapacitated state over and over until you do get to set up the kill... or they kill your first, which is quite possible.

It sounds a bit tricky, but it's really a mode catered to those who don't mind getting up close and personal with their kills – and considering this is Gears of War, who wouldn't be up for that?

Gears of War: Judgment's Maxim DLC pack will release on April 2nd on Xbox Live Marketplace.  Again, it'll be free of charge.