Review: Halo 4 - Crimson Map Pack

Review: Halo 4 - Crimson Map Pack

With Halo 4‘s Spartan Ops season 1 going on its mid-season break, 343 have released the new Crimson Map Pack to try and fill the void. The big questions you may be asking are: is how do these maps play out; and is this DLC worth buying into? All questions will be answered just after the jump.

  • Score:

    8.0 / 10

  • The Good:

    Caters to those who prefer Big Team Battle and vehicle-based gameplay.

  • The Bad:

    Not the close quarters battle that have been lacking in the game since launch.

  • Bottom Line:

    A great DLC to expand upon the many large maps in Halo 4 but a disappointment when it comes to more close-ranged battles.

Halo 4’s stellar multiplayer has continued to be successful since the game’s release although many close quarter maps have been lacking from the multiplayer experience. There are only really 3 close quarters maps – Haven, Abandon and Adrift – although Complex is in the rotation with these maps it is much too large and feels more suited to Big Team Infinity Slayer. The Crimson Map Pack does very little to fill this void of smaller maps. All 3 maps for the DLC play well in the 6 vs. 6 Crimson DLC  playlist they have currently been found in but are a slight let down for those gamers who wanted more close range engagements.However since playlist numbers for Big Team Infinity Slayer are about the same for those in Infinity Slayer many players may find this DLC very enticing.

The DLC includes 3 maps: Shatter, Wreckage and Harvest.

Shatter: Shatter is a symmetrical map with two Mantis’ and four ghosts allowing for a lot of vehicle based gameplay, however the addition of bases, flanking corridors and plenty of cover allow for soldiers on foot to have a large impact on the battlefield. Shatter currently supports the gametypes – Extraction, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag and Infinity Slayer. Extraction is the new addition here, a gametype that was previously only available in forge Extraction features bases which must be held to earn points. Enemy players can converge on these bases and convert them within a time period and can then hold off forces for themselves til the site is extracted. The gametype is a nice change but as many players do not play the objective many of these games feel lacklustre and often end very quickly. Competition for the Mantis is also another problem, with the DLC achievements – Bigfoot (especially), David and Goliath and Pump Yer Brakes – placing a large emphasis on the Mech.This often leads to people camping out the Mantis spawn and disgruntled betrayals between teammates often ruining the experience. I personally felt that the achievements should have been centered around the Extraction gametype which would take the focus of the Mantis and onto the objective. The maps works well with the other modes as well and splattering Spartans with Ghosts on this map is pretty damn fun.

Wreckage: Wreckage is a medium to large-sized asymmetrical map which supports the gametypes – King of the Hill, Infinity Slayer, Capture the Flag and Oddball.The skybox on this map is incredible but unfortunately it is only visible from the back of the map. In contrast the ‘wreckage’ around the map is not particularly stunning making the map feel pretty bland. Man-cannons on either side of the map are a fun way to get on a higher perch to look down upon your enemies and the two warthogs allow for some awesome strafing runs. Oddball on this map is my particular favourite, co-ordinating with your team to throw the Oddball when your about to die adds a level of complexity to the gametype and enemy teams always have multiple flanking routes on the map to try and get the jump on you. The centre of the map is a hectic spot in King of the Hill with frantic grenade throwing and close quarter melee battles.On the whole the map is fun to play out but long sight lines usually cause the pace of the game to slow down or else you get crossmapped very quickly.

Harvest: Harvest is the smallest of the maps and features the gametypes King of the Hill, Capture the Flag and Infinity Slayer. The map is symmetrical and four Warthogs and four Ghosts tend to make the map feel very vehicle-focused, with most vehicles doing laps around the map or darting into the centre for the quick splatter. The buildings in the map run straight down the centre which helps focus the action and allows for close quarters engagements but with many players duking it out on the outskirts of the map or going for the “Now they Fly?” achievement, Capture the Flag can often end quickly and without much resistance from the enemy teams. King of the Hill however is great on this map, the hill points utilize the entire map and help focus the action along the outer side of the map and along the centre. The outer hills allow for vehicles to have a significant effect on the game whilst the central hills lead to skirmishes on foot and strafing runs from warthogs and ghosts.

Overall the DLC is good for those willing to dive into some more Big Team Battle fights, but is very lacking when it comes to small, confined gameplay. Ultimately, if you are a fan of larger scale battles then this is the DLC for you. If you were looking for some close range action, you’re going to be left disappointed.

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