Halo 3 Legendary DLC Hands-On - New Maps, Old Maps, and New Goodies

Microsoft and Bungie join us for a test-drive of the upcoming trio of maps coming to Xbox Live Marketplace.

The Halo 3 multiplayer train will be getting some more gas in its engine next week when Microsoft and Bungie release the Legendary Map Pack, a trio of new maps that are all but guaranteed to find themselves in heavy play rotation. The new content adds one original map, Ghost Town, and two reimagined fan favorites, new takes on the classic Sidewinder and Lockout maps, into the mix. On top of that, the new maps come with some very cool new content to play with in Forge mode. We took a trip to Bungie's Kirkland offices last week to try out the goods and are excited by what's coming.

Get ready for more Halo 3 action on Xbox Live.

Our visit consisted of play sessions kicked off by overviews of each of the maps by Bungie staff, who offered some choice bits of information on their design and, more importantly, weapon placement. The first map we tried out was Blackout, an update of Lockout from Halo 2. The claustrophobic map hasn't changed that much--it was already solidly designed. Fans who clocked in chunks of time on the level will be pleased to know that, for the most part, the map plays pretty much the same. You'll still be running around the tightly laid-out vertical map with upper and lower areas prime for carnage. The slight tweaks that have been made--offering a bit more room to sneak around and the addition of Halo 3 weapons such as the bubble shield, power drain, and regenerator--don't change the feel too much. You're still going to be racing for the sword and shotgun, which the team made sure to keep in their usual spots. Staying true to the familiar feel of the original Lockout map was one of the team's priorities, given how popular it originally was. However, as cool as the update is, we're actually more excited about the possibilities open to the map in Forge mode, thanks to the addition of some new items you can use to tweak the map to your liking. You'll get access to large, immovable objects such as crates and a door you can place to actually carve up the already-tight space.

The second map we checked out was the original map Ghost Town, an evil, complicated addition to the Halo 3 mix. The level is set a ways from the jungle area you explore on Sierra 117, which is where you kick off Halo 3's single-player campaign. The battleground is a bombed-out water facility that's seen better days since being abandoned 50 or 60 years ago. The level is a quirky mix of tight quarters, some open areas, and multiple entrances, which makes it quite a chore to defend. The weapon placement keeps things even more interesting with a brute shot, sniper rifle, and active camouflage laying about. Bungie even threw in a mongoose which, despite the often-tight quarters, can be pretty effective at stirring up trouble. You'll be able to further tweak out the area in Forge mode with objects that let you create sniper perches that will ensure you'll be able to cause all manner of trouble for your foes.

The third and final map, Avalanche, is a reimagined version of the original Halo's Sidewinder map. The level is set on a forerunner construct with bases on each side that Bungie has tweaked to allow for more mayhem. You'll find ramps and multiple paths to reach the top of each base, two-way teleporters, man cannons, and snowy versions of the hornet, warthog, mongoose, and scorpion tank. You'll find bubble shields, rockets, Spartan lasers, active camouflage, and brute shots peppered around to make life interesting. A new side path and tweaked exits should help keep veteran players on their toes for a while as they get down the level's nuances. We both love and loathe the fact that you can use a man cannon and zip right up to the top of an enemy base (if you don't get shot out of the air on the way up) to snatch their flag in capture-the-flag matches. Finally, the level's unique items in Forge mode make it possible to craft a crude minibase on the snowfield, which is cool.

The new pack features an original map, plus two revised versions of old favorites.

While we've touched a bit on the new content for Forge mode for each of the levels, the coolest for many is likely to be the new filters you can use. As you're tinkering away with creating the perfect level, you'll get access to a handful of "special FX" objects that, when dropped, will put a unique color filter over the whole map. While you'll be able to use the new objects only on the Legendary maps, they offer an interesting way to change the look of a level, which should make for some slick movies.

Based on what we played, the Legendary Map Pack content should be well worth its 800 Microsoft point price tag. The two old-school maps are a welcome addition to Halo 3's stellar multiplayer, and the original map offers a fun challenge to master. The additional Forge items and their effects bring some very cool flair to map creation as well. We're interested to see what the community does with them in the long haul, considering the creative stuff we've seen already. If you're a fan of Halo 3, the Legendary Map Pack is more than worth a look. Look for the pack to hit Xbox Live Marketplace next week on April 15.

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Discussion

246 comments
GodLike500
GodLike500

What about adding some achievements to go along with the new maps?

UKS_Dragunov
UKS_Dragunov

So now that theyve used the titles Heroic AND Legendary, whats the next map pack gonna be called? Normal? Casual? Easy?

sebs3
sebs3

I'm wondering, did we somehow set the demand for these maps as equal to $10, with premap surveys or something? Or did Halo just take take a stab at 800 points, and the sick Halo-addicted nation swooped it up as soon as they could get access to a credit card (all you youngins)? Yeah, the latter is probably true, so people like YIMIMOTO, stop complaining. May be a "rip-off", but something tells me I could find you in the new map cycle.

StupidCarnie
StupidCarnie

I know i don't care anymore about halo, seeing that Call of Duty has a much more rewarding multiplayer experience.

mrtweed2
mrtweed2

yimimoto says: "$10 for three maps is a rip off." I say : $40 to see "Prom Night" is a rip off , $10 for a game that I'll get months of fun out of, reconstruct the maps in forge, send clips of me curb-stompin' my friends and massive triple kills is a small price to pay!

yimimoto
yimimoto

$10 for three maps is a rip off.

jubai_5
jubai_5

It is nice that bungie is getting new maps out faster then what the did for halo 2. I can't wait to see what they come out with next.

deadlynatas
deadlynatas

love the lockout remake its about time :p personally i would like to see ivory tower too.

king_halo_king
king_halo_king

These maps r so cool, cant wait until i get back from France

ciaxhieu
ciaxhieu

meh all this hype is making me wanting live even more

darthzew
darthzew

I'm very sorry, but I can't help but say this: MajorBrian - Are you sure you're a college student? Really sure? Oh, I'm sorry you're a collage student! You're learning how to make collages! I'm sure they're very nice.

xXHackettXx
xXHackettXx

I cant wait to play them but I have an essay to write tonight, so i'll have to download them tomorow. Glad they remade sidewinder and lockout for halo 3.

durge666
durge666

Dude, they're fantastic. Avalanche is like so freaking FERPECT!! Seriously awesome. I made this giant like 8 story base with turrets and sniper towers out of those watchtowers!! It's freaking awesome. And the visual effects are so oddly sweet. I haven't checked out Ghost Town or Blackout, but Avalanche is so damn awesome.

auto2112
auto2112

I was really not impressed with the first set of maps for H3 so i'm going to wait until they go free. Only 3 maps doesn't seem that big a deal either, especially when two are remakes.

durge666
durge666

I'M DOWNLOADING THEM!!!!!!!! I'll be able to play them in a few hours cause I've got work now. :)

CrazyRabbi
CrazyRabbi

"It's only $10 and hardly a drop in the bucket. Well worth it even if you're playing the maps for one night only." Are you retarded? Halo 2 gave us 2 maps free, 2 maps for $5 which is 4 maps for $5 then gave us 5 maps for $10. Halo 3 only gave 6 maps for $20 in 2 parts! I'll wait til these are free too cause I'm sure glad I didn't waste $10 on the first 3 maps.

VendettaIV
VendettaIV

It's only $10 and hardly a drop in the bucket. Well worth it even if you're playing the maps for one night only.

MajorBrian
MajorBrian

When are these going to be free!!!! Since Im a collage student...im poor. Yeh! So I dont have money so I hope these will be free eventually like the other maps.

deadlynatas
deadlynatas

Cant wait for lockout im so excited! hehhe well blackout lolz this might ya know be a good addition to halo3

Aidan1993
Aidan1993

These maps look brilliant , as soon as i get some cash im gonna get them =D

diddyj
diddyj

alright great...a map pack that actually sounds worth paying for...i like!!

chunkygut1
chunkygut1

Am I the only one who can't find these legendary maps which were supposed to be released today on the marketplace?

G0dsRightNut
G0dsRightNut

sry 4 the double post but.....WOOT, BLACKOUT ^ ^

G0dsRightNut
G0dsRightNut

valhalla was "INSPIRED" by blood gulch genius

hiccup87
hiccup87

Valhalla is Blood Gulch Smart Ones.

bugsy153
bugsy153

Okay now... but wait, where's my Blood Gulch/Coagulation remake?

anti-viper
anti-viper

Halo 3 is much better than Call of Duty 4, in my opinion. Even though it's not very fair to compare them, as they are very different games. I all ready have my points for the maps. And for everyone who still somehow doesn't know, Bungie doesn't charge for the maps in free will, Microsoft makes them, and Microsoft is also probably not going to let the maps become free, considering how many people apparently didn't buy the last pack, and just waited for them to become free.

frogaude
frogaude

i'm with strawberry9 hang em high was awesome

Nehine
Nehine

rather spend my $10 elsewhere- these maps may be worth it but i'm highly dissapointed with the previous 3. only worth it for the forge i'd rather spend my money on COD4. good point buffdaddy69. COD you can get good with any gun where as in halo3 you can use 'combo's' to kill people. once i started playing COD4... halo3 just wasn't fun anymore.

dannyboy2443
dannyboy2443

They need to redo Blood Gulch. That was the ULTIMATE CTF map. Period.

strawberry9
strawberry9

I WANT A REMAKE OF HANG EM HIGH!!!!!

Jatt_Warrior
Jatt_Warrior

man i want the original bloodgulch in HD lol. it was nice and sunny :D

TravMaster666
TravMaster666

10$ isn't that much i wipe my A** with 100$Lol anyways its really not that much

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

"n3ck What has Cod4 got to do with Halo3, totally different games. Both games are fantastic, but if you prefer one over the other than so what! I prefer Halo3 as it has more varietY. COD4 has too many grenades and the helecopter going round auto killing SUCKS hard, Martyrdom SUCKS HARD, too much of a noobs game. People like it cos as a noob you can get shot, die, then with a martyrdom grenade get 4 kills, that would never happen in Halo3, crap players can get kills in COD4 where as on Halo they would get owned 50-0 againts me, no AUTO KILLING every kill is your own. 3 grenades perk is too much, Martyrdom is too strong, Helecopter ruins game, backgronds dont blow up at all." Do you even know what a grenade is? What its ment to do? Its ment to cause and explosion and the metal fragments that explode with it, spread out and hit anyone thats close to the grenade, ether killing them or severly injuring them. So...killing four people or hurting four people with a grenade is pretty realistic. Where in Halo, you get to throw a plasma grenade at people and they STICK to the person that it got thrown at. Granted, yeah. Its a Sci Fi setting and all, but if your going to ***** about someone getting four kills with a grenade in a game like Rainbow Six or COD because the grenade was created the way how it was intended to be simulated, then that doesnt make it a....*insert beyond *** word that should cease to exsist* game at all. Sorry if our governemt or anyones goverment can't come up with plasma grenades or bubble shields

iamBenG
iamBenG

Halo 3, while it lasted, was very fun. But they really should have added the maps sooner, with CoD4s innovative multi player and GTA 4s upcoming multi player that seems to have outdone any expectations for what would come out of it, i don't see this as being highly profitable. I personally don't have points to spare with all the new RB songs that are coming out and the presumed DLC that i think GTA 4 will have.

btstlouis
btstlouis

lockout=best halo map ever cant wait for blackout

benboz
benboz

Well I will wait for it to go for free like the Heroic map pack did. :)

jordan1
jordan1

of course it comes with a price... I don't really care, I played halo 3 mabye 3 times and now it just sits there and I don't play it... not really a big fan, but glad there adding to it...

Goo4You
Goo4You

agreed.... if u dont wanna pay for them then dont wine about it just dont pay for it.... if u like halo then buy them... there u go.. i personally will buy them because i am a fan and i feel like it helps them out

HD360gamer
HD360gamer

none of u people will play halo anymore by the time the maps r free it willl be at least 3 months. last time u had to wait 4 for example GTA 4 is coming out besides ten buck isn't that bad if u play halo often enough by the time they are free i will probably have played on tthe maps enough to make them worth 5 cents an hour now thats pretty cheap Basically, if u play halo often buy otherwise don't anyone who plays COD4 even just half the time should defintely not buy them

grim676
grim676

i know not many people actually check the bungie website, but they haven't released any timetable for free release. While I seriously doubt it, they might never free release.

ShadowBass88
ShadowBass88

sounds pretty interesting too u have to pay huh.

jknight5422
jknight5422

When they're ready to give 'em away & put them in rotation, I'll be ready.

xl9xl9
xl9xl9

these maps r a rip off

illini1010
illini1010

icedfacekilla- within a month?? wow u need to get ure facts straight... try 4 months. the old map pack came out early december and was free in early march...

icedfacekilla57
icedfacekilla57

there honestly is no point in buying maps from Halo, they get released for free within a month and the maps arent included in the regular cycle of maps.