With just only a month under its belt, Halo 4 has brought along some pretty good content to keep aspiring Spartans entertained. The Spartan Ops episodes that have been released for free have been a wonderful addition, and now 343 brings us the first of many planned map packs for the competitive multiplayer in the form of the Crimson Map Pack.
The new pack brings three new maps and a new mode to the Halo 4 multiplayer. Each map is fully capable of handling objective game types as well as deathmatch.
The new game mode, Extraction, is a different take on King of the Hill that has teams rushing to areas to download data. The difference is that team members can go to multiple download points with the possible risk of having the enemy team taking over the points. The mode itself is fine, but isn’t really game changing in any way. It’s a nice distraction if you’re looking for a more frantic King of the Hill.
The first map, Shatter, is a rather large area with two buildings in an open space. There are tons of cover opportunities both outside and inside the structures. There are also multiple caves and other small buildings around the main installments that may serve as objective points. This generates a “mad dash” to those points. The map also has a variety of vehicles to use including the mech armor. It is a large map, but never feels like it takes too long to get around, even on foot.
Harvest is the next offering, with a more compact feel than Shatter. For the most part, if you were to take out the complexity and expansiveness of Shatter, you would have Harvest. It may be a tighter area, but that doesn’t stop it from having some vehicles to drive. The buildings are more vertical than in Shatter, and there always seems to be a different way to get from one building to the next from the middle of the map. There are some rather narrow corridors that can give some surprise to incoming flag carriers. By far, this is my favorite map, and it’s a blast to play Capture the Flag on.
Wreckage is the largest of the maps and is perfect for big firefights with foot solders and vehicles alike. Unlike Harvest, the area is largely flat. Like the name suggests, Wreckage is basically a warzone that has been through some fights already. Traversing the area is a little trickier, due to things being scattered everywhere. There are some small hills and vertical places to get the high ground, but for the most part, this will be a map where you will be able to see your opponents relatively easily.
Every map is fully customizable in Forge, and after some time, I’m sure there will be some really fantastic ideas from the community. They all have the classic Halo feel, and while these maps may not stand out of the pack, players most should enjoy having them in rotation. The new game mode is serviceable, but it doesn’t add much to what was already there. For $10 (800 msp), you get some above average maps and a new game mode along with eight new achievements. If you still play Halo 4 multiplayer, or are looking for a reason to come back, the Crimson Map Pack has something for you.
Review copy of DLC provided by publisher.