I’d just like to thank 343i for finally releasing a Community Map playlist (that we actually want to play…looking at you, Community Breakout). It’s been nearly 9 months since the game came out, and we have yet to see the full power of Forge implemented in Matchmaking. One of my Top 10 Halo experiences was playing the Double Exp. Weekend in Halo 3 in the playlist “Maptacular”, which featured multiple gametypes on something like 60-80 Community maps. So much fun!
I’ve seen some positive feedback on these maps, and some negative feedback as well. I feel like constructive criticism will always be welcome for community maps, but some of the feedback is simply ludicrous.
I’ll start by saying I’m not a fan of Optic Prison (the map with power ups, not weapon pickups). I don’t think the movement flows very well, especially from one side to the other, and if you get stuck or spawn repeatedly in the overshield corner, you basically have to go one route. I’ve tried crouch jumping up from overshield to the little room, but haven’t made it. Maybe I’m doing it wrong? It just seems like a huge choke point and placing a spawn point there gives a team who may be losing a lower chance of getting some kind of map control back.
I’ve played almost all of the other maps.
Cobalt was alright, if not a little confusing on the first time playing it. I’m not a huge fan of Halo CE style maps anymore, and one enemy quit, so I can’t really comment on it.
I haven’t played Hangar, the yellow one.
Hazard was good, but I thought it focused too much on the room with the SMG and Plasma grenades, as well as the long sightline from the black cubby hole thing. Overall, we didn’t really use the other half of the map unless we spawned there and had to maneuver out.
Malta is probably my favorite. It has a great balance of vertical levels that aren’t too overpowered if someone is below them. Maps like The Rig make it easy to stand up higher and just pick people off, but there aren’t many sightlines directly down on Malta. The power weapons are a good balance, and OV makes map movement a little better.
I have not played Purple Reign, but it looks pretty unique.
I have not played Shurima, but again, I love the aesthetic.
Community maps not only provide a breath of fresh air (do we really want to play Overgrowth again?), but they show how much you can do with Forge this year and implement maps made solely for the gametype at hand. I mean, every one of the maps in this playlist are unique and look like they could be their own full-featured maps, as far as aesthetics go. How much different is Hazard or Hangar from, say, Countdown? Same aesthetics - we aren’t in the “Forge is just ugly blocks that have no texture” phase anymore, and it’s about time we capitalize on that.
Playing maps that are actually made for 2v2 is great, and the fact that it isn’t ranked is even better, at least for now. Please, implement more Community maps in the future - especially 4v4 and objective maps.