D0410 T2325 Y2008DLC Combat Briefing

Welcome to an Official Warfare Briefing from the Tied the Leader Institute of Combat Excellence.

What you are about to see is Classified – Access Level: tango-tango-lima.

Prior to the release of the Legendary Map Pack, Bungie Studios welcomed a delegation of crash-test dummies from the ranks of the gamer-centric media. Having conned ourselves a press pass, TTL sent our man on the street – Combat Correspondent L Askan – to conduct advanced reconnaisance on the impending DLC. Below the line, you will access full tactical analysis and file photos for the next three theatres of combat to host the Battle of the Halo Nation.

Blackout!

We may think we know everything about this map from our storied exploits on Lockout, but there is bound to be a surprise or two hidden away among those elevated ramparts. Perhaps the most oft-requested rebuild from Halo 2 is finally being given its due treatment in Halo 3. The Halo Nation is about to learn if they can ever go home again.

TTL: What games did you play on this map?

L Askan: Team Slayer, 1-Flag, Team Ball, 2v2 Slayer, and Free-For-All.

TTL: What was the most striking difference about Blackout that prevented you from porting your Lockout playbook to Halo 3 gameplay?

L Askan: Games on this map were very similar to games on Lockout in H2. In a match of Team Slayer, setting up crossfire between Sniper Tower and Battle Rifle Tower was still the key to victory – with the Sword playing a large role in close-quarters engagements.

We didn’t see any Final Boss-esque Team Ball setups or Carbon-inspired dominance from Battle Rifle tower. But, it did seem that coordinating fire from a position on one side of the map often led to victory. Team Ball is still an absolute blast to play on this map.

TTL: What were your favorite modifications? Which ones will take the most effort to get used to?

L Askan: The small changes made to the ledge areas [around the center] are a welcome change, as well as the removal of some of the jumps that exploited geometry in the original iteration. Some jumps, like the shortcut from top-center to the flag-plant atop the old Battle Rifle tower, are more difficult. Other jumps, such as the one that led from the top-center to the Sniper spawn, have been simplified.

As small a change as it seems, respawning energy cores will also take some getting used to. Lockout had some choice placements for cores. Now that they respawn on a timer, you will need to pay close attention to them [as well as where you’re standing in relation to them] throughout the entire match.

[Editor’s Note: Killing Snipers who camp next to the cores that spawn next to their favorite weapon is still as satisfying as it ever was.]

TTL: Assuming that gamers can ever really be satisfied; will the lads at MLG be pleased with Lockout’s facelift?

L Askan: Pleased? Yes. Satisfied? Never.

Bungie really did us a solid by giving us the most popular H2 map in H3. It would be a shame if this remake was used as an argument to have Midship revived or Warlock remade.

TTL: What was the most effective tactic you observed during your day of playing on this map?

L Askan: The use of grenades and equipment to control doorways and halls. The effective radius of the power drainer makes it an absolute monster on Blackout. Halo 3 equipment adds an entirely new dimension to this map, and should be prioritized as power weapons in an initial rush. The difference between a flag-carrier and a flag-carrier escaping through a bubble shield is one we’re all too familiar with.

Avalanche!

Lesser known but equally revered, Sidewinder is finally being given the Xbox Live treatment. Multiplayer memories from Halo: Combat Evolved include endless flag matches and vehicular battle royales set in the deep freeze. Two games later, the icy horseshoe is back in our arsenal.

TTL: What games did you play on this map?

L Askan: Team Slayer, 1-Flag and Multi-Flag.

TTL: The screenshots for this map absolutely dwarf the vehicles. Is it as big as it looks?

L Askan: As big, and as beautiful.

[Editor’s Aside: Thanks for the brevity, Jerk! That’s what I get for sending a Sqaud Captain, instead of a Poet.]

TTL: Will vehicular dominance be unquestioned? Are there enough countermeasures strewn across the lanscape to stop the motorpool?

L Askan: Unfamiliar with the term “vehicular dominance”. Please explain.

[Editor’s Retort: You know, that’s when ‘Hog Pilots like me splatter the ever-loving life out of field grunts like you, over and over and over and…]

Vehicles will undoubtedly play the biggest role on Avalanche. The absence of Missile Pods means that the Spartan Laser is of the utmost importance. It will likely be the most sought-after item on this map. Gamers who remember where the Rockets spawned on Sidewinder will know exactly where to go to find them on Avalanche – and there are teleporters in each base to enable a shortcut. Expect many very memorable vehicular battles on this map.

Also, in one-sided objective games, the team on offense has Human vehicles while the defending team has Covie vehicles. It’s a great twist!

TTL: Tell me all about my Snow Hog! Does it really handle differently? Or is it just decorated with new winter camouflage?

L Askan: The snow hog may or may not have a fully automatic Gauss Cannon mounted on it… Kidding, kidding.

While it is sporting a new paint job, it does not seem tp handle differently than on Valhalla or Sandtrap. Avalanche, however, is a cold, snowy place. Where there’s snow, there’s ice… While the ice does threaten a momentary loss of control [and brakes] it is not the skating rink we knew on Sidewinder. Wheelmen are less likely to splatter flag-carriers who choose the wrong patch for dust-off.

TTL: What was the most effective tactic you observed during your day of playing on this map?

L Askan: Air support. The Hornet has been gentled for matchmaking, but it is still an absolute beast. Tanks are important, and hogs are still the best way to transport troops; but air support is going to make or break a rush.

Ghost Town

This is the only true mystery to behold in the Legendary Map Pack. Ghost Town is the new guy that your two old friends bring to the party. Introductions all around, as we start from scratch on this one.

TTL: How would you describe this map in relation to other environments from Halo multiplayer?

L Askan: Ghost Town has a “Sanctuary-ish” feeling to it in terms of the limestone-style buildings, but is infinitely more detailed in its state of decay. The light shading alone is mind-blowing.

Much like Zanzibar, it’s a perfect one-sided objective map, and carries with it the distinction of being equally playable by 16 gamers as it is by 8 gamers. That’s not an easy feat to pull off, but it was mastered through what must have been countless hours of design and test.

TTL: What was the preferred method of negotiating this map? Is this a vehicular scene, or an on-foot engagement?

L Askan: Ghost town is certainly an on-foot affair. A skilled mongoose driver may be able to assist in negotiating a flag extraction from time to time, but the way to “do work” on this map is going to be with your boots on the ground, grinding for a toe-hold and earning your positions.

TTL: What do you foresee being the most popular gametypes on this map?

L Askan: 1-Flag and 1-Bomb first. Because of the numerous routes and defensive positions, one-sided objective games are going to be favorites on this map. It shouldn’t be overlooked for Slayer either, as it played very well in both Team and Free-For-All. You may even reconsider your Auto-Veto-Reflex after playing VIP on this map. It’s just that good.

If you haven’t played Team Duel in DLC slayer yet, I suggest spending some time in that playlist. That gametype would also be barrels of fun on Ghost Town.

TTL: What can you tell us about this map that we don’t know to ask, since we haven’t played [something similar to] it?

L Askan: There is a strong emphasis on multi-level combat in Ghost Town. High-ground advantage is going to be crucial in both Objective and Slayer games. In more than one of the structures on this map, there are three levels. Access between them are fast, fluid, and intuitive.

I suspect that there are going to be new grenade bounces discovered on this map for years.

TTL: What was the most effective tactic you observed during your day of playing on this map?

L Askan: On offense, be sure to use all of the assets you’ve been given. Leaving Rockets or Active Camouflage could come back to haunt you halfway through a round. You’ve got plenty of choices on a route to take, so if you’re encountering a solid defense one way, work another angle.

On defense, keep your head on a swivel and don’t think you’re safe because you’ve got one access point covered. Be prepared to fortify a different position if a teammate goes down. Camping could cost you a ten-second respawn or a lost flag.

Thanks to Bungie Studios for a chance to preview thier latest round of downloadable content. Cheers on a job well done, and keep up the great work. Good games on these new maps are sure to be a slam dunk.

[Editor’s Final Note: The above screenshot is a joke, and in no way meant to imply that Legendary DLC will be host to a basket-odd-ball gametype.]

See you 04-15-2008!

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Any Questions? 18

  1. #LINK D0411 T0012
    Tortacular wrote...

    Who’s up for a game of basketball?

  2. #LINK D0411 T0015
    XerxdeeJ wrote...

    The basketball is a lie.

  3. #LINK D0411 T0032
    Jironimo wrote...

    Wow! It’s nice to hear that Ghost Town will also be a gem. I can’t wait.

  4. #LINK D0411 T0037
    Monte wrote...

    dunkin deej FTW. Great write up captain. I’m a bit excited. :)

  5. #LINK D0411 T0054
    Hoovaloov wrote...

    Amazing write-up, guys! Good tag-team effort on this informative and intriguing story! I am drooling on my keyboard waiting to play these! :D

  6. #LINK D0411 T0135
    Stuicide wrote...

    Ghost Town has the look of Sanctuary, but plays more like Turf and Ivory Tower merged together, being a square map with lots of paths and levels.

  7. #LINK D0411 T0418
    a lurking duck wrote...

    sidewinder is back? oh, my…. well that definitely assures that i’ll be coming back to halo. thanks for the write-up deej and thanks for the info laskan.

  8. #LINK D0411 T0448
    thrashy wrote...

    ooohhh im so jealous.. I have two days off for these maps cant wait

  9. #LINK D0411 T1040
    TTL Jericho wrote...

    Yeah, I would agree with Stu on the Turf reference. It’s small and tight, the perimeters are extremely porous though. The tag line for this map should be Ambush, as there are so many nooks and crannies where a person can lay in wait.

  10. #LINK D0411 T1114
    Pony wrote...

    Lucky ducks, all of you.

    Nice post.

  11. #LINK D0411 T1120
    TTL Fate wrote...

    I’ll be happy to play Blackout and relive some old memories while I make some new, but Ghost Town sounds like the new hotness. I really, really can’t wait to play this map and the write-up makes it sound even better. Turf mixed with Sanctuary? It makes me as giddy as a fifth grader on field day.

    Great report L.

  12. #LINK D0411 T1200
    goody wrote...

    Great interview and write up. I can’t wait for Tuesday!
    The different color/filters you can put on in Ghost Town look amazing.

  13. #LINK D0411 T1226
    TTL Jericho wrote...

    You’ll feel right at home on the top of Blackout, but on the bottom you’ll feel as lost as an emo kid at a GWAR show.

  14. #LINK D0411 T1238
    TTL zeuz patter wrote...

    Nothing like a map tease top get the blood pumping. Can´t wait to play this on tuesday.

  15. #LINK D0411 T1245
    L0coM0tive wrote...

    These maps look sweet! I am so stoked, I will definitely be marathoning next Tuesday.

  16. #LINK D0411 T1428
    TTL Fate wrote...

    What is a GWAR show? You know this is 2008, right?

  17. #LINK D0411 T1447
    Mondo Titan wrote...

    i cant wait for these maps! unfortunately i will have to, but they definitely look super sweet.

  18. #LINK D0415 T1753
    VoltRabbit wrote...

    Fantastic information gentlemen, keep up the hawt blogginess.

    LMFAO@GWAR

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