Jeff Markiewicz On February 25, 2009 at 11:24 am

I haven’t played Halo 3 in ages but when the early opportunity to dive into the Mythic Map Pack arose, I was intrigued. The logical aspect of my brain yelled no because I have already “played out” Halo 3 and could barely stand multiplayer anymore but a small faction still wondered if my time off and new maps would get me back into the game. The new maps are Assembly, Orbital, and Sandbox.

When I first joined the lobby, I heard laughter and joy as the games have already begun and I was a little late due to some minor technical difficulties. The first map played was Assembly which is an average sized map that takes place within a Covenant scarab factory. If you look up you’ll even be able to see one getting built which is awesome. The map is symmetrical with the middle section being a big circle with two levels. We played oddball, multi capture the flag (CTF) and slayer and it was a lot of fun with about 8-12 players. Any more it would probably get kind of cramped.

The next map up is Orbital which is a human orbital station hovering over Earth, which you can actually see from the windows. This map is asymmetric and may take a couple minutes to figure out the layout because it is so large and has two main paths winding through it. This makes it perfect for territories and assault game types. The vehicles on the map are very well balanced. The size of the space makes it seem like they would be a death trap due to grenades but if used right, can single handedly hold off an attack along one of the paths. This level is suitable for 12-16 players; anything less you might be walking around without action for a while.

The last and most interesting map is Sandbox and like the name infers, it is a forge map. The default layout has a symmetric layout with two bases on either side and is generally pretty good. The look is similar to Sandtrap but it is only about half the size of it. Then when you jump into forge, things start to get interesting very quick. Everything is moveable and interchangeable. If you do not like the surrounding sand dunes you can access a second level (only in forge) that gives you a clean blue grid to build anything your heart desires. The possibilities are limitless and I cannot wait to see what people design. To give us an example of what you can do within forge, we played a map variant called bumper cars. It was essentially a platform high in the sky with warthogs facing each other. Obviously from the name, the objective was to knock each other off the map. And to keep things interesting, after a short period grav lifts appeared which seriously mess up your game if you accidently get caught in one. If you survive even longer, man cannons appear on the outskirts of the platform. And finally if you can outlast that, a giant glowing ball appears in the center that if you touch it you become no more.

To keep those who love forge rewarded as well as get newcomers into it, a skull is hidden in each of the maps for you to find. In addition to that there are several new items to play around with, including the giant ball of doom if you so choose. For those who plan to jump online and dive right into matches, there are also several new achievements to get from just playing the maps. This is all similar to the Legendary Map Pack already released.

The Mythic maps are awesome and will get me to come back to playing Halo 3. I will also keep a keen eye on in the future to keep the awesome map variants people come up for Sandbox. Unfortunately there is still no support for these maps in the standard fare matchmaking so I will need to make some new friends so we can dig into the heart of what makes this map pack so great. Nonetheless these maps compliment the package Halo 3 already offers and they all feel different. I wholeheartedly recommend picking them up and look forward to meeting you online. You can get it early by purchasing the Halo Wars special edition or wait for it to hit marketplace in the following weeks.

Comments are closed.