Following on from Gears 5's biggest multiplayer update with Operation 5: Hollow Storm, the single player expansion Hivebusters is arriving on December 15.

Gears 5: Hivebusters will be free to download for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members, to stream through Cloud Gaming or available to purchase separately a $19.99. Additionally, a Gears 5: Game of the Year Edition will also be released on December 15 for $59.99.

Based on the Gears of War: Hivebusters comics, the expansion marks a first for Xbox Game Pass Studios as the first to be added into Game Pass on the day of release. It's also said to feature 16 new achievements, for a 210 Gamerscore total.

Players on Xbox Series X and S will naturally benefit from the extra horsepower of those consoles, as detailed in the official description for Gears 5: Hivebusters:

In the new expansion, play as Lahni, Keegan and Mac – the heroes introduced in Gears 5’s Escape mode – in their first mission as part of the secretive Hivebuster program. Thrown together and dubbed “Scorpio Squad,” their suicide mission to destroy a Swarm hive may hold the key to saving Sera and their own redemption.

- Enjoy a new, 3-hour campaign set on the volcanic Galangi islands. The island lava flows and sandy beaches are crawling with Swarm and a deadly new predator.

-Use and upgrade Ultimate Abilities in a campaign story setting for the first time.

-Up to 3-player co-op, split-screen or online.

-16 new achievements to unlock for 210 Gamerscore.

-The expansion supports Gears 5 Xbox Series X|S optimizations, including reduced load times, quick resume, variable refresh rates and 4K HDR Ultra visuals on Series X.

It's looking like a high octane campaign and the trailer above shows a slightly more tongue-in-cheek approach than we're usually accustomed to with the Gears of War series. All in all, it's looking like good old-fashioned Gears fun and a great treat for the holidays.

Will you be jumping into Gears 5: Hivebusters? Let us know in the comments below.