Canals is a multiplayer map in Gears of War and Gears of War 2. It returns in Gears of War 4 as part of a free map DLC that Season Pass owners could play exclusively from August 1st, 2017. It became available to all players on August 8th, 2017, but is only available for private play if the Season Pass has been purchased or the map is separately downloaded.
The map is long, narrow and linear, consisting of three bridges that connect the hallway on one side with the pathway that contains the pistol spawn on the other. The outer bridges house a Longshot Sniper Rifle, whilst the middle bridge houses frag grenades. Underneath the middle bridge, in the canal, players can obtain a Torque Bow. With it being a smaller map, it is recommended that you keep your Gnasher Shotgun with you, as close quarter combat is to be expected.
The best strategy for this map is to explore the eastern hall and pick up a Longshot that is conveniently located. Be quick in this endeavor, however, for if the enemy team gets to their Longshot first, it is a painfully easy shot from the other side of the map into your cranium. Then, head towards the canal part, making sure to stay out of sight. Once reached, all you need to do is to carefully peek out and see the enemy. If there are any alone, aim for them first carefully to keep on the head(s). Once they're sniped, then aim for the other enemies. Keep the Gnasher, however, as enemies might sneak up on your position, and the shotgun would be useful in that situation. The middle bridge is also an ideal location to take over.
Gears of War 2Edit
Canals has been remade, along with Tyro Station, Gridlock, Subway, and Mansion for Gears of War 2, available only in the Flashback Map Pack *DLC* for 400MP. The following is a list of the subtle changes to Canals.
The afternoon hue has been replaced by a nice winter blue, thanks to sunlight reflecting off an icy sheen of the ground, walls, and canal. The center and the outer bridges have been more aligned, allowing grenades to be thrown from one to another. With the canal itself, there are more rocks covering it, making it more difficult to traverse, along with the blocks on either side of the center bridge being larger and spaced closer together, eliminating the need to swat turn.
Like every other remade map, Canals' arsenal has been updated as well. There's a new pistol spawn in the middle of the sandbags, down the stairs of the center bridge. There, a Gorgon Pistol and a Boltok Pistol alternate every other round. Above and underneath the middle bridge, changes have also been made too. On top, the Bolo Grenades are replaced by the Ink Grenades every other round; and below, the Torque Bow and Boomshot alternate.
A good Horde tactic is to hole up at the starting spawn, as there is usually an ammo box right outside the spawn. This is good for two or more players, usually utilizing one person up front at the bridge near the ammo box, another at the set of stairs near the spawn and one in the back at the spawn. As long as the rear person stays at the spawn, no Locust will appear there. Once Maulers start coming, have the front people fall back, blocking the stairs with the shield and killing the Locust before they reach the shield. This is a great tactic when used with one person using the Scorcher and another using a Mulcher perched up on top of the shield.