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A fanstastic anthology of 9 great new maps
on 16 July 2005
Okay, before I write this review, I would like to say that I am putting aside the fact that they will all become free later this year, and that they are cheaper if you download them from Xbox Live.
SO! This is the time all you Halo 2 fans have been waiting for. New maps to expand the gameplay of, in my opinion, the world's greatest online game. The map pack will cost you a small fee of £12.99, contains the 9 maps you've been waiting for (Warlock, Sanctuary, Containment, Turf, Elongation, Backwash, Relic, Terminal, Elongation and Gemini), and a few extra bits and bobs, like a 'making of' featurette and a short animation.
Lets have an in-depth look at the maps:
A small, dark, claustrophobic map ideal for games like slayers, ctf classics, and oddball, Warlock is a map you'll be seeing a lot of in matchmaking. It plays an integral part of the double team, rumble pit, Team Slayer, and Team Skirmish playlists. Perhaps not the greatest map graphically, but great for a quick blast with your mates. Warlock is a 4-way symmetrical map with 4 bases and ramps leading up to a central structure which houses a useful invisibility power-up. Players will find no real power weapons on this map, so grab one of the 4 battle rifles placed on this map, use a plasma rifle - SMG combo or nab a handy shotgun and you should be okay. Rating: 8/10
A huge map, about the same size of Waterworks, which is best played with 16 people. On xbox live, this is only found in the Big Team Battle playlist. Taking place on a vast, icy landscape (perhaps taking a leaf out of Sidewinder's book), the map is symmetrical, has two bases, and is ideal for assault and CTF games. In order for vehicles to gain easy access to the opponent's base, you'll have to press the switch in the middle of the map, which is conveniently placed next to the exit of a teleport that you can gain access to from your own base. There is an intricate maze of trenches in the middle of the map, ideal for sneaking your way into the opponent's base. Vehicle wise, this maps is great. Banshees, warthogs, and scorpions: you name it, the map can support it. Watch out for the mines scattered around the map! If shot, or driven into (trust me, it happens a-plenty) then it will immediately explode, causing an instant, painful death for any poor soul stupid enough to get in its way. Rating: 9/10
A great looking, New Mombassa style feel to this map. Good for team slayers, and 3 plots. Has a good, varied weapon set, and introduces the brute plasma rifle into multiplayer. There is a chaingun warthog that is useful for scouring the streets. The two brute shots play a big part in this map. Rating: 8/10
Possibly one of the best maps, graphically, because of the great water effects. Again, a symmetrical map with two bases, a room in the middle of the map holds the sword, a big fight usually happens at the beginning of the game for this. This map is good for slayers, and multi-flag CTF. The bases have a good texture to them, with sandy looking brickwork in all its splendour. Rating: 8/10
Elongation: Based on the Halo map 'Longest', this map is a blast - literally! It is a small map, with two conveyor belts running lengthways, for speedy getaways. These conveyor belts are littered with boxes, ideal for cover. Again, this map has little or no power weapons, so grab a battle rifle, chuck some of the plentiful grenades, and pop a few caps in their head and watch the bodycount pile up! This map is ideal for slayers and ctf classics. Great for a 2v2 match. Rating: 9/10
Gemini: A map that should only really be played for team slayer. Has a nice, covenant, purple theme, and a big prophet statue with an overshield at the bottom. I really like the colours and graphics of this map. There isn't much to say about this one, really. Rating: 8/10
Relic: A map ideal for 1 flag ctf. It's a big like Zanzibar, really. There is a big structure which the defending team have to hold, housing the flag. The main attraction of this map is the 2-way teleporter, which is situated at the attacker's starting point, and in the defender's base. This must be activated by hitting a switch in the defending team's base. This map can be a bit dominated by snipers, but I still think it's amazing. Rating: 9/10
A map ideal for slayer, or 'Rumble Pit.' It has great fog effects, meaning that you can only see about 10 feet in front of you. The sword is the weapon you really want on this map, and the sentinel beam that makes a welcome debut can also be handy for picking off people with no shield. This map is really tense, and has great little features, like a 'guilty spark' (although that's not exactly what it is) wandering the map, singing to itself. This map is one of my favourites. Rating: 9/10
The best map of all. It takes place in a train station. Ideal for 16 players, it's great for 1 flag ctf, as it is A-symmetrical. There is a massive railway going through the map, in which a bullet train speeds past every 10 seconds. Don't get in its way - you will die. There is a sword and an overshield on the tracks, adding a risk element to the gameplay. Loads of cool weapons, and the defending team get a wraith. This is what we've been waiting for. Rating: 10/10
So, in conclusion, get the map pack. You won't regret it.
Thank you for your time.