We take a look at the recently released Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack which will set players back 800 MSP. Fans will no doubt have lapped up the maps from the offset, but for anyone else is it 800 points well spent? Check out our video review for the full lowdown.
Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack review text version:
Master Chief and Halo may be getting caressed by all new hands under the development table, but little has changed multiplayer wise after the departure of long-time creators Bungie; and that’s a very good thing. The game is out in the wild and fans are now hunkered down into Halo 4’s multiplayer delights. Naturally, it’s not long before the DLC starts trickling out, and the Crimson Map Pack is the first of the bunch and is available now.
Wreckage, Harvest and Shatter are the three maps contained within and they’ll set you back 800 points, or you can pre-buy the full-set with the War Games Map Pass which contains a further two map packs to be released next year for the discounted price of 2000 points.
Wreckage: This medium sized map is no doubt the most pleasing on the eyes, with a misty, fog-like sand slightly emphasised throughout amidst the crashed and scattered debris of the UNSC ship. There’s handily placed vehicles and well placed weapons to attempt to control the map with. Perhaps a deceivingly open locale for rifle encounters, the actual wreckage provides not only cover, but acts as inner structures for close encounters, and more importantly to avoid fire from the perched up hill that looms amidst the wreckage – much to the dismay of long-range gunners who are afraid of close encounters of the first-person kind. King of the Hill, Slayer and Oddball work particularly well for this stand-out Crimson map.
Shatter: The largest of the three maps, Shatter pits you in the dark and moody outdoors where vehicular play rules the roost. The Mantis mech dominates, and with one at either base, and other vehicles filling this playground, you’d be mistaken for assuming that it’s a solely vehicular dominated map. This is countered with narrow passageways and a central bridge for those on foot to get around with ample opportunity for close skirmishes to get stuck in whilst the others battle it out in their vehicles. It makes for entertaining play on not only Slayer, but also objective based CTF and King of the Hill game types proving to be a highlight.
Harvest: While perhaps the smallest map of the trio, this is deceived by how narrowly lengthy this map actually is. There’s a central structure running the length of the map in the centre which offers a few passageways and inner smaller structures for close skirmishes, with either side acting as the red and blue base. The vehicles otherwise provide a quick and efficient means of getting around with greater ease. An excellent romp for CTF, King of the Hill and Slayer enthusiasts.
With a further 250GS worth of Achievements to acquire, with some unique, and not so unique requirements, there’s certainly reason – not that one’s needed – to enter the multiplayer space. There’s a dedicated playlist up and running just for Crimson Map Pack owners where you play nothing but the new maps, and as the lobby system traditionally allows, this enables users to vote on the maps and the game-type that’s about to be launched.
As far as value and DLC are concerned, Halo 4 continues to lag behind the competition. Halo map packs over the years have stuck with offering three maps for 800 points, and the Crimson Map Pack follows this tried and tested pricing structure, and naturally it’s a hard sell as with recent times, big-name rivals offer multiplayer packs that work both competitively and co-operatively. While long-time fans of Halo will buy the maps regardless, and as such the discounted War Games Map Pass offers the best value to keep up with Halo 4’s progressive multiplayer offerings.
The Crimson Map Pack certainly does not scream of value, though it gives you what you pay for as each map within the Crimson Pack feels unique and spices up the multiplayer gameplay considerably. These three are amongst the elite of Halo 4’s map offerings, as the quality of the maps and the traditional gameplay go hand-in-hand to create a fine addition to the Halo 4 multiplayer suite.
Score 7/10 – Review by Wayne Julian