IMO: Halo:CE Anniversary Map Pack

I’m using this to start another trend here. “In My Opinion” will be popping up here when I want to give you guys my opinion. You care. Don’t lie.

This IMO is coming to you on a special day and is brought to you by 343i; Climbing in your playlists and snatching your Reticule Bloom up… It was lame… Don’t laugh.
Today is the 343rd day of the year, which is very special to 343 Industries. I do hope you see the correlation…

So, despite the fact that I told Sick that I would not play CE until she was ready… and her not having the time to do so, I took to the Anniversary Maps in Reach. From seeing that they included Headlong, I was SO excited. It is quite a bit fun to run through this map to see what has been improved on, but that was CRUSHED oh so painfully by the fact that you DIE in three shots. Yes. That pistol with the zoom… and its power is back from CE Multiplayer. It is awesome that they put the Original Magnum and its 3-shot magic crap in the game as an option, but I DO NOT want it.

When these maps are fully integrated into matchmaking without the Magnum, THAT’S when I’ll be happy to play them.

I came here to tell you my opinion on the maps themselves, not the crap that came with them… so…

  • High Noon/Hang’Em High– I absolutely HATED the remake of this map for Halo 2. HATED IT! Know why?… the long range “I keeeel you” from EveryWhere. Yes the stupid Battle Rifle from across the map. Of course, now we have the CE Magnum, which is NO better. BUT, this remake has added tunnels connecting the upper and lower areas to the towers. It makes it a tad bit easier to sneak around. There’s still the “Boom, Pow, Dead” thing if you don’t sneak from tombstone to tombstone, but I learned how to do that in Halo 2…

    Let’s just say that I will no longer be dreading this map in Matchmaking.

  • Ridgeline/Timberland– I NEVER had the opportunity to touch this map until now. This was the first map I ran around in Custom Games when I DL’d this Map Pack. I was like, “Meh.” I wasn’t impressed with the layout. It just seemed…. Meh. But, when I got the opportunity to play this map in Big Team, my outlook on it changed, BIG TIME. There isn’t too many Big Team maps that I can say that I “love”, but this one just made that list.
  • Solitary/Prisoner– I played the original map once… and a fan re-creation of it, but I was unimpressed. This is a vertical map. There are four floors, and NO space to run. Smallest. Map. EVER. It’s like the upscaled volume of L-shaped Tetraminos laid on its side and stacked four high. I do not like this one. I can say they added a bit to make it better, but I can see this being the unpopular kid that no one wants to play with. Add Jet-Packs and forget having fun.
  • Penance/Damnation– This map will definitely get the most play-time out of me. It is fun as a Slayer map, as well as Objective-based matches. This is the ONLY instance where I’d prefer the Objective. Yeah, I said that. This map’s improvements have made it easier to traverse and more balanced. It still may be a pain to get in on a team that holds the Objective room, but it now has more routing options. I will choose this map 90% of the time when playing Team based Objective games.
  • Breakneck/Headlong– Headlong is my all-time favorite Big Team map, and a playlist with this and Ridgeline/Timberland in it just straight wins. This map will always have the most hectic battles on it. Not once have I played this map and been bored. And Sniping? OH, so much fun. I have nothing but kind words for Breakneck.
  • Battle Creek/Beaver Creek– This is THE most pain in the ass map I have ever played. Don’t get me wrong, it is probably the most balanced for Slayer AND Objective types, but it’s still a PITA. It’s a love/hate thing. We all love this map, but then we hate it when we’re done with it. Either we’ve played it until we’re sick of it, or the other team stomps us so hard we look at it in disgust. Though, Battle/Beaver Creek can give you some of the most fun matches as well. Again, balanced. Zen-like almost.

Along with these Multiplayer PvP maps, 343 has included another FireFight map. This one is different, though. You actually have the ability to play with AI controlled Allies. Freaking Awesome.

  • Installation: 04 With the addition of AI allies, this FireFight map may actually create a bit of Nostalgia straight out of playing Halo:CE. That’s if you’re playing alone, of course. Now if you have a team of SPARTANS going in, you won’t get the Marines’ help. I think every FireFight that takes place on this map will be dominated by the Warthog. From playing HALO:CE over and over… and over again in the past, it’s just muscle memory at this point.

343 has impressed me every step of the way with their “Remakes.” They’ve definitely raised the bar on what we should see in remakes in the future. We can’t forget Certain Affinity, they deserve much of the credit as well. These maps are much more vibrant, better balanced, and a decent improvement on those from the past. I did not find ONE alteration I did not like. But if you DON’T like the aesthetic changes, they’ve also given the HD version of the original maps as well. Of course, certain things HAD to be changed to fit the Reach engine. Don’t bitch. You got the maps.

We’re gonna do something else here. For those of you who did not get Halo:CEA or purchase this awesome map pack, We’re going to give you a chance to win these maps right here!

Anniversary Map Pack Contest:

I’ve linked each map’s Heading with a Gameplay/Flythrough video. Take a look at each one and share with us which map you think has had the best makeover. You could also share which map you are most interested to get down and dirty in.

This contest is reserved for those who do NOT have the maps yet.
We will choose a random winner on Monday, Dec. 13th at 10pm EST. You have until then to comment. Your comment MUST have the content requested.

Good Luck! And Happy 343rd day of the Year!



  1. Ken Raves says:
    12-09-2011 at 10:45 pm

    We need to play some matches together, guys! 04 Alone is no fun.

  2. justin gulley says:
    12-10-2011 at 12:48 am

    Anniversary Map Pack FTW!! sadly im too broke to buy the mp need to download. winning would be nice

  3. PsychoVandal says:
    12-12-2011 at 10:53 pm

    Well, Congrats Justin! You are our winner! I’ll be sending you the code via Email.


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