Saturday, December 4

Jimmy Jangles assesses the Noble Pack Maps

Seems familiar?
Jimmy Jangles assesses the Noble Pack Maps

So, what a surprise that Bungie (Microsoft) release the two best multi player Maps they've designed for Halo: Reach as downloadable content. I have no doubt Tempest and Breakpoint will prove to become some of the most popular Halo maps of all time. Still, I miss Turf.

Here's my assessment of the three maps after a few hours playing on them:

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, rounded with a little sleep

What a ripper! It feels like we're back on Halo. Kinda feels like the Silent Cartographer sections of the original Halo. It's kind of like a spiritual cousin of the map Relic as well but wayyyyy better.  There are many rocks, caves, crannies, trees and structures in which to duck and weave. This makes for excellent short range combat Slayer type games and also long distance Sniper / DMR antics.

Tempest is self has an almost circular feel (in an abstract kind of way as it's not like you can day trip like John Lennon around the thing) so this means a good Warthog driver and Gunner can get some good map control going. Another tip is that a good sniper can easily wreak havoc from the sides of the middle of the map on the mountain side. Not too much action appears to happen on the seaward side, so that could be a safe place to take pot shots with a DMR from too...

The name Tempest is probably a reference to the Shakespeare play and the map being an island and by implication, the shit storm of fun that this Halo map will provide players. Easily one of the best maps that Bungie have sprung on their fans for Halo: Reach, sure to rise to the top as an  all time favourite.

Beam me over, Chiefy?
Anchor 9

Deep Space 9. District 9? Is this map a  Halo movie? Either way, in space they can't hear you scream. And you'll be screaming blue murder (as a red team member) when you run amok in the giant play space of doom. In terms of innovation goes the game allows you to play a little bit directly outside in space and the rockets are hidden out their so expect lots of low gravity duels.

8 a-side multiplayer on Anchor 9 is a frenzied affair, with grenades from  above trip you up as you storm stairs, cannons bringing the rain from across the map and  did I mention rockets? With all the nooks and rooms, those babies can come from anyway.

The attention to detail in this map is fabulous. The warbird resting its hangar is cool to observe. I kinda wish the missile trolleys would blow up if they saw too much heat!

Overall, Anchor 9 is a solid map, superior in many ways to a lot of the Halo 3 series, though not coming close to The Tempest or Overlook or the revamped Pinnacle. You may have your own favorites!

Things go boom!

Let's be clear, this map is not Pointbreak. You can't swim all the way to New Zealand if you are about to get swamped by a tide of Blue Team. Taken from the Halo: Reach game itself and given a new coat of paint, this is the beginning and end of all big maps for Halo.

Breakpoint has gotta be one of the biggest Bungie maps have ever produced.What a huge playground it is. It has an epic Gears of War kind of flavour to it. It's what the Halo 3 map, Avalanche should have been with its open, wide and an expansive canvas and no bottle necks at the action points. Kind of like your mum when she was 18 before you gave her all those nasty stretch marks.  

The middle of a map has a steep hill that will become a focal point for keen climbers who are handy with a Sniper rifle. Though exposed, you are high up. Teaming up with a fellow player for the double team on the noobs below is a sweet tactic with long range weapons. Beware those who dare to storm the mount, it could easily become your very own Hamburger Hill.

Breakpoint is going to be one of the go to Halo maps for players looking to play big sweeping epic games, kinda like how everyone wants the actual games to play. With Banshees and Wraiths to contend with, no outside quarter is safe on this map. A true challenge for gamers, a true Halo classic. 


So in all two brilliant maps and one pretty solid effort. It's clear to see how Bungie have honed their skills in recent times to make sure that their final Halo offerings sets the standard for all other games to come. They haveput a real challenge up to 343 Industries. Here's the mark, now beat it, for this is Full Halo Glory.

What do you think about the maps? What's the best? What's the worst? Leave a comment!


Anonymous said...

Tempest is definitely my favourite of these maps. It looks great, plays great, and has that classic feel that veterans of the previous games will easily find their niche in. Thanks, Bungie!

Jimmy Jangles said...

Amen bro!