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First look at new 'Halo' maps, 'Wars'

Feb 26, 2009

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Halo 3A gigantic swirling sand dune dotted with arcane temples from an ancient civilization that has come and gone. A deserted space station with level upon level of sleek hallways and dizzying catwalks. A Covenant Scarab factory with crisscrossing hallways and gleaming control rooms.

What better reasons do Halo fans have dust off their spike grenades and energy swords than the new  'Sandbox', 'Orbital' and 'Assembly' maps? The 'Mythic Map Pack' will launch with Limited Edition of 'Halo Wars' on March 3.

But, let's face it. The Halo fandom has never really holstered their weapons since 'Halo 3' was first released in 2007 because of the game's unsurpassed online multiplayer component.

With 'Halo 3', Bungie really did redefine the term "replayability".

At a recent 'Halo 3' fragfest hosted in downtown Toronto by the folks at High Road Communications, the G4 Canada staff had a chance to amass a huge virtual body count and not only try out the 'Mythic Map Pack' but we also got a sneak peak at 'Halo Wars' itself.

SandboxSandbox Map

A wide-open, massive map, 'Sandbox' could encompass any type of online warfare you are looking for in 'Halo 3'. The desert terrain dotted with stone structures, features two rising temples on either end. Parked around the temples are a few Mongooses and Warthogs that open the map up to ranged or close-quarters combat. Snipers will love the high sand dunes that surround the temples. Since they overlook almost the entire map, snipers will have a field day scoping out targets down below. With 'Sandbox', the gameplay possibilities are endless but we had great fun setting the game mode to "rocket launcher", camping out at opposite temples and firing at each other across the gigantic map.

OrbitalOrbital Map

The long-winding hallways and cargo bays of the space station in 'Orbital' favour close-quarters combat, although you can have some fun zipping around on Mongooses on the lower levels. Perfect for a game of 'Infection', 'Capture The Flag' or 'Territories' as the map is long and contains many strategic nooks, crannies, low and high ground nesting positions. Aye, aye, Captain. There is even a control room or bridge to take cover in.

Assembly Map

AssemblyWhen it comes to eye candy, 'Assembly' has the others beat with its violet walls and polished metal walkways. There are plenty of ledges and corners to creep around. The cramped map is geared mostly for up close and personal battles and fast-paced action. Undoubtedly, it will become the favourite map of any 'Halo' tournament. You gotta love the descending elevator located in the middle.

'Halo Wars' First Impressions

There is detail and lots of it. Reminiscent of 'Command and Conquer', you build bases, control troops and swarm your enemies. The storyline takes place well before the first 'Halo' game and there are some really neat parallels such as your troops can jack enemy vehicles. We played a creepy 'Flood' level where tentacles burst out of the ground and gigantic, creepy plants sprung to life. Again, lots and lots of minute detail in all the graphics.

Halo 3Look for a full review of 'Halo Wars' in March.

For more info on the 'Mythic Map Pack' and 'Halo Wars' event itself, check out the 'Made in Canada' video on Xbox Live.


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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see