Sector 7 → Multiplayer Map Pack Review - Part 1
Multiplayer Map Pack Review - Part 1

Posted: July 11, 2005 |  Printable Version | Rating: 6.47 out of 10 (15 total votes)
Author: Spartan Jag | Back to Article Listing

I recently bought the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack Disc, and I’m reasonably satisfied. For the small price of $20, you get 9 new maps (provided you haven‘t downloaded the first four on Xbox Live), 2 all new ‘movies’; a cinematic cut-scene called ‘Another Day at the Beach’, and a mini-documentary on all of the new maps dubbed “Halo 2: Killtacular’. In addition you get a small manual type booklet with a few tips and insider information about the maps, and an overhead view of each one labeling the ‘power weapons’ and vehicle spawns. And it all comes in a standard Xbox game case, meaning you won’t have to fumble with annoying paper disk cases.

Killtacular Pack

The Killtacular pack was the first four maps, that debuted in May. The maps were: Turf, Sanctuary, Containment, and Warlock. The latter two maps were ‘bonuses’ and were free over Xbox Live, while the first two were available as a pair for $4.99.

Turf

Turf is a medium sized a-symmetrical map staged in Old Mombassa, taking place in a small street and a few alleys. A few of the main landmarks on this map are the wreckage of a Scarab (remember those huge spider-walkers from single player?) a UNSC medical tent, complete with ‘Battle Bunkers’ (The little metal shields you saw on Cairo Station, and on The Pillar of Autumn in Halo 1) and a Warehouse that has an interesting feature - two large, metallic swinging doors, that open when a player or object hits them, creating an interesting twist.

The map features a large variety of weapons, and one of my personal favorites - the Brute Plasma Rifle - makes it’s debut as a weapon that appears on the ’map default’ weapons setting. There is also a small ’ammo cache’, which is a deposit of ammunition for almost every weapon on the map, in a small pile, often aiding a passerby low on those shotgun shells or sniper bullets.

This map also supports one ‘light’ vehicle, be it either the Warthog, Gauss Warthog, Ghost, or Spectre. The map default vehicle is the Warthog, and it spawns on the street, and it fits in nicely, and adds a little random fun to the map. What isn’t more random then a Warthog barreling down a tiny alley, tossing garbage cans and dead bodies everywhere? This map supports two turrets, one taking it’s place as a defense for the Marine tent, and another located near the entrance of the Warehouse,  but they don’t appear there by default, so don’t expect to see them in matchmaking.

Overall, this is a great map, and it really shines with game types such as Territories (which it was coincidentally designed for) Oddball, and Slayer. CTF and Assault game types don’t fit my tastes, since the defenders have quite pathetic bases to defend, and it takes about 8 seconds to get across the map, meaning games my be a little too frantic, and the scores will be significantly higher then normal.

Rating:
1 2 3 4 5 4.5/5

Sanctuary

Sanctuary is also a medium sized map set on Delta Halo, and overall, it’s a great map. It is almost completely symmetrical, the only difference being a few rocks strewn about, and the fact the Blue Base has a pond. It’s a rather calm and serine looking map - for a game like Halo 2 - with the quiet atmosphere, and the sloshing water, the silent Forerunner structures…

…But don’t let it’s innate quietness fool you. It is one of the best maps if you’re looking for carnage in a smaller arena! This map even manages to work with 16 players despite it’s relatively small size. It was designed for medium range combat, evident by the Sniper Rifles, Battle Rifles, and Carbines strewn about. Don’t worry - there is still a Sword in the center and a couple of Shotguns located in side-tunnels near each base.

This map also supports two light vehicles, one spawning in each base. They come in handy for flag-rushes, or simply as mobile turrets.

This is another great map, and it’s simple, meaning anybody can learn in quickly. It shines in large group CTF matches, but it is still good for smaller groups, and is also suitable for 1 on 1 games.

Rating:
1 2 3 4 5 4.5/5

Containment

Containment - what can I say?  Largest. Map. Ever. It has huge, symmetrical, sprawling bases, and large battle field in the center, and some interesting mountains in the background providing the scenery. That being said, the hugeness is perhaps one of it’s draw backs - and that is quite the drawback. In all of my matches of Assault on this map in the last two months, I’ve only seen the bomb planted three times. Twice when the opposing team quit and we only had to battle two or three people, and once when the other team started trying to attack our base when we were in theirs (I think they didn’t realize they were on defense.)

Honestly, it’s a great map, but unless you have 16 people, and re-spawn times are shortened, and more methods of transportation are included - you won’t have much fun. The bases are too huge, there are too few vehicles in Matchmaking (can you believe all you get is a Gauss Warthog and a Scorpion? How are 16 people supposed to ride around like that?) If I were Bungie, I would have added in a Banshee, and maybe another Warthog. There are Teleporters, but they only take you a 10 second distance from the base.

But enough with the flaws: Containment is a pretty innovative map. You have two huge bases, and they are well suited to 8 vs. 8 CTF matches. You also have those amazingly explosive ‘mines’, which make huge pink firestorms, causing anyone within short distance to perish. There is also a gate leading into each base, but don’t worry - this isn’t Zanzibar - the gate actually closes after about a minute. There are also plenty of weapons laying around, and the re-spawn times are rather short save for one weapon: The Sniper Rifle. (Back to the flaws!)

This is a major issue for me, being the fact I enjoy pulling the trigger and sending a fin stabilized Sabot-round through someone’s head. The Sniper Rifle takes 4 minutes to re-spawn. Yes, 4 minutes. Unless you waste it right when you pick it up, you won’t see it for the entire match. What makes it even worse, is that there is no Sniper Ammo boxes laying around, meaning you have 12 rounds for the entire match. Heaven forbid, someone horrible picks it up… This could have been an amazing sniping map, yet the designers severely limited the amount of it.

Granted, if there was too much sniping, it would be impossible to traverse the map without getting your head shot off, but if they added in the extra vehicles like I mentioned above, it would balance out.

I had high expectations for this map, and very few of them were satisfied. The designers simply didn’t test all of the possibilities. Great idea, but not fully explored. It’s good for 2 Flag games, if you add in more vehicles and put weapon re-spawn to ‘Half Time’. But sadly, in Matchmaking, it falls behind.

Rating:
1 2 3 4 5 3/5

Warlock

Ah, Warlock. The nearly completely identical conversion of Wizard, one of my old favorites (simply because we had about 3 people to play with). It’s almost the same as the old version, except for a few key differences. Gone are the ladders; they have been replaced by air vents that lift you. Gone is the over-shield in one of the bases. The level has undergone a re-skinning, instead of taking place on some sort of UNSC ship, it takes place somewhere on Delta Halo.

But everything is pretty much the same. 4 bases, 4 Teleporters, 4-way-symmetrical. The only thing that keeps you from getting disoriented is a strip of coloring leading to each base; red, blue, yellow, green. Some weather effects have also been added it - rain often quietly and gently falls onto the bodies of fallen Spartans and Elites, and sometimes there is even thunder and lightning.

Warlock is a simple map, very much like Foundation, but even more balanced, and designed for a small amount of players. It is well suited for games like 2 v 2 Slayer, or 1 v 1, or small games of Oddball. Even games of CTF Classic, or Assault with shortened timers play well here.. But remember one thing: Unless you are into dying every 3 seconds and spending most of your time re-spawning, play with less then 8 players. Any more and it will start getting crowded.

Rating:
1 2 3 4 5 3.5/5


~By Spartan Jag
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