it doesn’t matter how flawless the gameplay is, how powerful the graphics are, or how fun the gamemodes can be. If Halo 4 does not have a strong map selection then the game will have trouble.
Honestly, when i look at halo multiplayer and try to distinguish which part is most important, I say the maps.
Everyone praises Halo 2 for its gameplay and how awesome it was, and they are correct. But you know what? Halo 2 also had by far the best map selection in the Halo series. In fact I believe Halo 2’s maps were probably the best group of maps in gaming history.
The starting maps were amazing, the map packs were amazing. You didn’t have to veto a map because every map in that game ( aside from maybe 1 or 2) was awesome.
So when we look at Halo 4, the idea is to not remake Halo 2 maps. In fact I believe remakes need to be kept at a minimum. but I believe halo 4 should follow Halo 2’s map pattern.
First of all Halo Reach shipped with 8 maps not including Forge World. Halo 2 shipped with 12. the variety within those 12 maps were substantial. You had small competitive maps like lockout, midship, beaver creek, and ivory tower. You had interesting mid sized asymetrical maps like ascension, and zanzibar. And you had the awesome BTB maps like Coagulation, Headlong, and waterworks.
Those are some very popular maps in the Halo franchise and every single one of them were shipped on disc. Thats not including the fantastic DLC maps like sanctuary, turf, relic, containment, and terminal.
All vastly different and filled a different role, but all very fun and exciting.
now lets look at the 8 Reach starter maps.
Powerhouse = boring. nothing special.
Sword Base= Fun, but no scenery.
Zealot = broken zero g, bleh rest of map.
Countdown = ok map, boring scenery.
Reflection = fun map, but its a remake. We’ve seen it before
Boardwalk = terrible map, terrible scenery. terrible
Boneyard = ok map. really not that special. Its big though.
Spire = Best map of the bunch. Actually was unique.
FW maps = all looked the same. none were any good. BG remake is worth mentioning but not as good as originals.
So lets see what we have here we have 6 meh 4v4 maps and only 2 btb maps that are honestly too big in order to make room for invasion. And no mid sized maps like zanzibar or Ascension. Jus a terrible in box map selection. Embarassing even. Except for Spire, i love that one.
So in Halo 4, first of all we need more than 8 maps. Second of all we need a variety of maps. 3rd of all the maps need to be interesting and offer something that seperates them from one another.
I say we go with this set up.
Have 6 maps that are basically your 4v4 arena maps.
- These are the maps like the Pit, Midship, Lockout, Gaurdian, and Sanctuary.
Have 3 medium sized maps that can be used for both 4v4 and btb.
- These are maps like Zanzibar, Ascension, Hang Em High, and High Ground. Notice how maps like High Ground and Zanzibar are both very playable with a 4v4 match, but they are also large enough to support vehicles and big team battles.
Then have 3 large btb maps.
- These are your valhallas, Blood Gulch, Terminal, Headlong. huge vehicle combat maps.
That is a total of 14 maps.
Now we get specific. Every Halo needs to have at least one of a specific kind of map. Everybody wants a 2 base canyon style map like blood gulch. And everyone wants a small asymetrical map like lockout. Most people just want these 2 maps remade, I say have them reimagined. For example, in Halo 2 you had Coagulation, and Lockout. In Halo 3, instead of straight up remaking those maps, they had spiritual successors that resembled them but didn’t copy them. You had Valhalla which was in the vain of BG and Coag, and gaurdian which was the successor to Lockout. They had similar styles, but different layouts and visuals. Halo 4 should follow the tradition. Halo 4 needs its own Blood Gulch. And it needs its own Lockout.
Next Halo 4 needs a few competitive 4v4 symetrical maps. Maps like the Pit, and Sanctuary, and Midship. These maps are very fun, and intense in competition.
Next, each map needs something that seperates it from the pack. A competive symetrical map doesn’t need one nearly as badly but it wouldn’t hurt for them to have a spicer uper. What i mean by this is something that makes it stick out. For example the spinning wheel on Zanzibar. The man cannons on Narrows (which is an amazing map). The gate on Highground. The satelite on Ascension. The zero g room in Condemned. Just something that adds a unique twist. These are more necessary in BTB maps because it may disrupt the comp nature of the small 4v4 maps, but reach didn’t really have any of these aside from the Spire.
Next we discuss remakes. Halo 4 should have a max of 2 remakes. 1 btb, 1 small. My picks go to the Pit because its popular, competitive and symetrical. And waterworks, because it is a unqique setting, hasn’t been remade, and is an awesome layout.
Finally, it needs awesome scenery. In past Halo games everything was new and mysterious and interesting. Reach’s scenery was boring and bland. I wanna see awesome skyboxes, mysterious installations in the distance. And in the maps themselves they need to be decorated. Highlands from the map pack is honestly the perfect example.
Highlands has a fantastic skybox, the always awesome 2 base layout. It has vehicle carnage. it has fun areas, it has decorations with streams flowing through, a big waterfall, and a crashed pelican. It has teleporters, and airlifts and great weapon variety. It gets everything right. Halo 4 maps can follow its lead when thinking about skyboxes and decoration. And btb maps can pay attention to its fun layout and overall design.
I think this about wraps it up for me. i hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you. In a nutshell, we need more maps, more variety of maps, and more overall interesting maps. Because it doesn’t matter how great the gameplay is if we dont have anywhere worth playing in.