New Maps Revealed For Halo: Reach
It's clear that Bungie is capable of recognizing the strengths of its previous work while still innovating. Evidence of that was on display when the developers brought us out to Bungie headquarters for some hands-on time with their newest multiplayer maps.
The first two are straight up remakes of fan-favorite maps. Zealot is modeled after Midship from Halo 2. However, unlike the relatively tight confines of that classic environment, Zealot takes advantage of some new features in Halo: Reach to amp up the action. Two floors of indoor combat are joined by a third major area outside. Shields guard the roof of the interior, preventing the passage of weapon fire and grenades, but allowing players to pass unimpeded. Once outside, you emerge into a low-grav outer space combat situation, where battle continues as you leap vast distances across the roof of the station. Jetpacks enable passage to the exterior, but there are also five man-cannons placed around the board that also aid in reaching the top.
Reflection is a pitch-perfect recreation of one of Bungie's greatest 4-on-4 maps ever: Ivory Tower. A spiced up visual flair, shinier wooden walls, and adjusted perspectives to match the new physics alter the map slightly, but otherwise Reflection should still offer the same great combat that Ivory Tower was known for.
Amid the old favorites, Bungie also showed off a new potential classic -- Spire. The new battlefield is built as a showpiece for Invasion, the latest announced multiplayer game type. Spartans assault Elites in this scenario, with the Spartans fighting their way through two sections lower down in an attempt to gain ground. Eventually, the Elites are likely to be pushed back to the Spire itself, where they'll have to defend the tower from furious assaults by the Spartan team. Spartans must steal the enemy power core at the tower's peak, and then rush out to a helipad to escape. If that wasn't enough excitement, then the addition of Falcon and Banshee vehicles into the mix ought to keep you happy, ensuring that midair combat becomes as important as the ground assault.
We came away impressed with both the renewal of old scenarios and new arenas. Players don't have long to wait to find out for themselves what they think of the new environments, as Halo: Reach is set to release on September 14th.