Gears of War 4 (opens in new tab) will decorate series veterans with a unique emblem and give them an extra helping of loot to boot. Developer The Coalition revealed on the game's official forums (opens in new tab) that any Xbox Live Gold member (or Silver member who has logged in within the last 12 months) who has previously played a Gears of War game will get these special goodies:
That's the "First Wave" emblem, which shows an old COG soldier silhouetted against a new dawn, and a bonus Operations pack. The emblem is just for decorating your multiplayer profile, but the Operations pack will include one extra customization item and four more "cards" of any type (which include XP-granting bounties and bonus Horde mode equipment).
If you've started any Gears of War game while connected to Xbox Live, you're eligible for the rewards. The emblem will be unlocked automatically, while a code for the Operations Pack should arrive via Xbox Live Message by the end of the week.
Gears of War 4 is a new beginning for the series, but it's still paying plenty of homage to what came before. Though I'm not sure it's totally appropriate to call a pre-order exclusive Zombie Dom skin (opens in new tab) "homage".
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