Close quarters combat
The over-emphasis on vehicles and the concept of giant new maps on top of over-saturated giant maps from the base game was really frustrating, and didn't do any favors for old-school Halo fans who were seeking that classic arena-based feel.
If you were one of those frustrated people, you should definitely pick up the Majestic Map Pack.
Halo 4: Majestic Map Pack (Xbox 360)
There's really no bells and whistles here -- you're getting three eight-player-centric maps: "Landfall," "Monolith," and "Skyline" -- and ... that's about it.
They're all fairly symmetrical and highly reminiscent of the original game -- and that's a good thing.
"Landfall" is an indoor/outdoor map that centers around a small production facility. Layout-wise, it reminds me of a more simplistic "Turf" from Halo 2. In fact, it's so simplistic, that I picked up the layout in less than a minute, and was already plotting schemes for objective based modes.
This map has potential for lots of mid-range rifle fights, thanks to the numerous openings and tunnels you can sneak your sights down into. In the end, it's not the flashiest level ever, but I have a feeling the competitive community will love it.
That's not to say the entire experience is plain: if you look into the background, you'll see a pretty cool war going on in a faraway city. This attention to detail is basically a staple of this pack, as all of the backdrops are absolutely gorgeous.
If only this amount of effort went into every FPS map pack.
"Monolith" is the most intimate map of the collection, featuring a large battleground in the middle, with tons of tiny nooks and tunnels to get lost in around the edges.
It's shaped like a square, it's symmetrical, and it's very reminiscent of Halo 1. You can get into some pretty nasty close-quarters combat underneath the spires, which brought on some of my favorite moments. Snipers will love it as well, as the openness lends itself very well to long-ranged combat.
Somehow, 343 was able to capture simplicity and complexity of the Halo series in one location. This is easily my favorite of the bunch and possibly the best map in the entire game.
Like the other two, "Skyline" is a beautiful-looking map. Given the multiple height levels, it's perfect for FFA games and Capture The Flag, but really, it can accommodate anything.
Expect to have people sneak up on you all the time on this map, as it has so many hidden alcoves and ramps that it almost feels like an M.C. Escher painting.
In the end though, it all comes back to the center, which will be a hot area for modes like Regicide -- playing without radar makes it all the more fun.
Like "Monolith," I also think this one of the better maps in the game from both a competitive and casual standpoint. Although people may feel like "Landfall" isn't anything special, the other two manage to meld the concept of interesting, exciting visuals with great layouts.
343 has proven itself to be a quick learner in terms of what the community really wants out of its Halo maps. This is a much better effort than the somewhat forgettable Crimson Map Pack, because it allows for faster, more intense matches without having to wait for long, drawn-out vehicle wars.
From an aesthetic standpoint, all of the backgrounds look amazing, which isn't normally something you'd expect. If Halo keeps going beyond the new trilogy 343 Industries has planned, I guarantee you you'll see at least one of these in a "legacy" pack down the road.
|7:30 PM on 06.04.2013|
PSA: Halo 4 weapons and playlist updates now live
Yesterday's Halo 4 War Games update has brought more than a few new additions. From weapons, maps, and gametypes, there's a good amount of tweaking here. Chief among them has to be the laundry list of overhauls to the weapon ...more
|2:30 PM on 05.24.2013|
Impressions: Awakening: The Art of Halo 4
Art books have been around for a long time, and they take on many different styles and formats. Titan Books, in conjunction with Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries, has put together a fantastic addition to any Halo fans&rsq...more
|5:00 AM on 04.27.2013|
New Halo comic series will follow Spartan IV Sarah Palmer
Dark Horse has announced a new Halo comic mini-series called Halo: Initiation and is set to follow Spartan IV Sarah Palmer. The comic is being written by Halo 4 writer and comic veteran Brian Reed, while the artwork is being ...more
|8:30 AM on 04.12.2013|
Halo 4 downloadable content discounted today
Still playing Halo 4's multiplayer but haven't gotten any of the downloadable content yet? Well lucky for you there's a sale going on today where you can get them at a small discounted price. The War Games Map Pass is running...more
|5:00 PM on 04.09.2013|
Impressions: Halo 4: Castle Map Pack
343 keeps things simple with its Halo 4 DLC. Three map packs, three maps each, no frills, bonuses, or extras involved. After the fairly underwhelming Crimson Map Pack, which was littered with sprawling vehicle maps that ...more
|2:00 PM on 03.27.2013|
GDC: Voltron, T1000 major inspirations for Halo 4 enemies
If there's been on criticism of Halo over the years, it's the relative sameness of the experience. Earlier today during a discuss of the new enemy designs in Halo 4, Scott Warner of 343 industries mentioned that some of their main inspirations for the development of the Promethean units were highly advanced, amorphous foes.more
|11:00 AM on 03.25.2013|
New free Halo 4 Forge Map on the way
343 Industries will be bringing a new Forge World map to Halo 4 on April 11th. Titled "Forge Island," the map will allow players to use the in-game map editor to create something using this island themed map as a base for th...more
|5:00 PM on 03.11.2013|
Halo 4's 'Castle Map Pack' is all about vehicular combat
The next set of maps for Halo 4 is less than a month away. The Castle Map Pack will be dropping on April 8, which should be plenty of time to continue playing the recent Majestic Map Pack. This third add-on emphasizes vehicl...more
|1:00 PM on 02.19.2013|
Halo 4's Majestic Map Pack details released
In addition to these new videos detailing Halo 4's upcoming Majestic Map Pack, set to drop on February 25th, we now have some new info, compliments of 343 Industries. Firstly, it appears as if the pack itself will favor "tig...more
|7:00 PM on 06.15.2013|
It's Deadfall Adventures Time!
UPDATE: Deadfall Adventures will be $39.99 on PC and $49.99 on X360, not $60. Deadfall Adventures may seem like an Indiana Jones or Uncharted rip-off, however the game is doing the exact opposite: it is engrained in the ...more
|6:00 PM on 06.15.2013|
PS4's DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2 won't need PS Plus
[Update: Seems there was a bit of confusion and PlanetSide 2 will NOT be cross-compatible between PC and PS4. DC Universe Online is a still a go for cross play, however.] As amazing as the PS4 conference was, Sony was able to...more
|8:15 PM on 06.14.2013|
My teammate shot me in Takedown: Red Sabre
Takedown: Red Sabre should make tactical first-person shooter players happy. I'm not one, I've come to realize, but I gave it my best during a demonstration of this squad-based PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 game from S...more