Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2005-06-15 Xbox FPS M (Mature) Microsoft / Bungie

Since Microsoft first announced the new map packs, Halo 2 hasn't been the same.

Xbox Live users got the chance to try out a few of the new maps for free already. This first set of downloadable maps has been available since April 25th, and it includes both Containment and Warlock.

The Killtacular Pack includes two other maps, Turf and Sanctuary, and you can buy them through Xbox Live for $5.99. However, it is said they will also be available for free download later this summer.

Starting June 28th, subscribers will also be able to download the other 5 remaining maps for $11.99. These maps will be available pretty much right away in custom games and Matchmaking.

Bonus Map Pack Description

  • Containment - Inspired in the old Sidewinder map from Halo, Containment takes place on a frozen tundra somewhere in Delta Halo, and it's huge, obviously built for Big Team Battles. The two bases are separated by a deep trench, but it's possible to cross it with by activating a switch in the center of the map. There are also many ridges, tunnels and caves providing stealthy access to the enemy bases.

  • Warlock - A medium-sized indoors map taking place in an ancient Forerunner temple ruins, it's a good map for Territory and Slayer matches. There are tons of little hiding places and a series of platforms that you can use to cross the map without touching the ground. Some might recognize its resemblance to the map Wizard, but completely rebuilt to accommodate Halo 2's graphics.

Killtacular Map Pack Description

  • Turf - Set in the streets of Old Mombasa, with plenty of dark streets and narrow alleyways to lurk in, this map is basically all blind spots. There is a Warthog available, but you better be a good driver to fit it through the tight corners. There are a few breakable windows that allow access to higher ground, and in the center portion of the city block is loaded with weapons, enemy bases, and spawn points.

  • Sanctuary - A two-story tower in the center, with multiple bridges radiating from it, connecting it to a series of platforms and raised walkways. Twin bases face each other at either side of the map, each with a central stairway and side entrances, and equipped with turrets and Sniper Rifles.

Simultaneously, a retail version of the Map Pack will be released. The suggested retail price for Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack is $19.99. It will contain all nine maps plus two new videos: an animated short movie from the single-player story in New Mombasa and a mini-documentary that includes interviews with the map designers, combat strategies, and fly-throughs of the new maps. The retail pack also allows gamers who prefer offline play via System Link and split-screen to upgrade their Halo 2 experience with new maps.

Bungie has also implemented a patch system (the auto-update) with the intent to fix major bugs, cheats and exploits. "We truly feel like our matchmaking system in general has been compromised. The integrity of it has been shot." said Brian Jarrard, community development manager at Bungie.

Although there are many cheats out there and it's pretty much impossible to control and filter them all, this is a big step to make online gameplay a lot more enjoyable for those of us who prefer to play the game as it was intended to be played in the first place.

As a consequence, worldwide rankings had been completely wiped, and for players who have spent countless hours working on their rankings, this is sad news indeed. But at least everyone gets a fresh start and with the knowledge they didn't have before, making for better rankings this time around!