The Halo franchise first launched way back in 2001 and since that time has become a first-person shooter behemoth. Like all good FPS games, the series has a compelling story and great gameplay. But what keeps people coming back day after day is the fantastic multiplayer.
An important factor in Halo’s multiplayer being so good is the excellent maps where the action takes place. Every entry in the franchise has included a selection of maps that became instant classics. Whether they are designed perfectly for objective-based modes or are just ideal for huge battles, Halo is known for great maps. With Halo Infinite just around the corner, these are the remastered versions that the upcoming title should include.
Zanzibar was famous before Halo 2 even released, largely thanks to the fact that it featured heavily in marketing material. By the time players got to experience it, they were already familiar with the main aspects of the map. It is unique in several different ways. There are interactive sections, such as ramps and gates, and a great variety of weapons. However, the best thing about it is that it is purposely built for objective games such as Assault and Capture the Flag. Players either have to defend the base or attack from the beach, forcing players to switch up strategies every round.
Anyone who has played Halo 3 will instantly remember the map Guardian. Somehow it manages to successfully mash together Ascension and Lockout from Halo 2 to create one of the best small-sized maps in the series. In the center of the level is a wide-open arena. Yet, the rest of the map can feel quite claustrophobic. These contrasting elements help to ensure that you have to quickly adapt on the fly. Guardian also has a distinctive appearance and atmosphere that hasn’t been replicated in any future Halo map.
Headlong is one of the best maps in the entire series for attack versus defense variants. Unlike most other large maps, it is asymmetrical. That means that it works great in terms of forcing one team to defend while the other goes on offense. Host to a wide variety of vehicles, it also has lots of tight and confined areas. Essentially it has something for everyone. The result is an experience that never seems to play the same way twice. There are simply so many different approaches that can work so things never get stale.
The 2010 game Halo: Reach didn’t quite have the same popularity as its predecessors. But that doesn’t mean that Bungie’s last entry in the sci-fi franchise didn’t have some great multiplayer moments. Chief among them was Sword Base. This is an indoor map that is narrow and tall. There are multiple levels to both sides of the map, which are littered in pieces of cover. That makes Sword Base ideal for objective games where you have to control specific areas. Best of all, though, was that it made a great map for the Infection game type.
Ivory Tower was one of the standout maps from Halo 2. It was so popular that it has been remade several times in subsequent sequels. A varied arena, Ivory Tower features multiple levels, a basement, grav lifts, and even multiple bomb arming spots. All of this allows players to plan out attacks and keep the opposition guessing as to where they will come from next. While it is not suited to larger matches, it is a fantastic setting for small slayer and objective game types.
Turf was a DLC map that was released several months after the launch of Halo 2 in 2004. The level takes obvious inspiration from the early parts of the game’s story, set in the streets of New Mombasa. The Earth setting is not the only thing that helps Turf stand out from other Halo maps. The medium-sized level is great for slayer and asymmetrical objective game types. The tight corridors and elevated positions always ensure tense gameplay.
Ascension is another Halo 2 map that became a fan favorite as soon as the shooter released. Like many other levels in the series, it is not symmetrical, giving it a distinctive shape. That helps make sure there are lots of different strategies players can utilize. It also focuses on one of the main strengths of the franchise. That means players have to carefully control both the power weapons and certain important areas to be successful.
First featured in Halo: CE, Battle Creek is one of the most popular maps in the series’ history. Although it might seem too small at first, the limited space produces intense matches. Knowing that you might run into an enemy around every corner certainly keeps you on your toes. Throw in a rocket launcher and several teleports and Battle Creek is an action-packed map. Things can get even more frantic during Capture the Flag games.
Despite being one of the most successful titles in the series, Halo 3 doesn’t have many standout maps. One of the most memorable was The Pit. This small arena was ideally suited for close-quarters combat, yet players always had to be on the watch for grenades. A carefully-timed explosion could spell doom for an entire team thanks to the narrow passages. The range of power weapons available throughout the level is also a nice feature. The Pit never fails to produce an exciting and dramatic match.
At first glance, Sanctuary might not look anything special. But it is the simplicity of the map that helps it stand out. It strikes a careful balance between not being too open and also not forcing players into cramped areas. You can never just stay hidden and wait around, to be successful you have to remain on the move. This makes it arguably the best-suited map for frantic 4v4 slayer and objective modes.
Any list of maps that need to be included in a Halo game would not be complete without Blood Gulch. This is pretty much the map that helped propel Halo into mainstream success. Unlike most other FPS games, Halo features lots of different vehicles and larger battles. Blood Gulch, and its variants in sequels, shows off this distinct form of gameplay perfectly. Jumping into a Warthog and charging towards the enemy base is exactly what Halo is all about. No wonder, then, that this map appears in practically every Halo game.
Halo effectively has two different philosophies for maps. Either they are big sprawling environments for massive battles or smaller arenas for focused fighting. Lockout is firmly in the latter category and became a classic for the series from its introduction in Halo 2. Impressively, the map works for practically every game type. Whether it is Slayer, team-based objective matches like Assault, or even Oddball, Lockout always produces fun matches. That versatility makes it a must-have in Halo Infinite.
Which remastered maps do you want to see in Halo Infinite? Sound off in the comments below!