Whether you are a member of the 7th Column, an achievement completionist, or an indomitable Halo 3 brawler, Bungie broke into new territory with the April release of the Legendary Map Pack. While I was at San Diego Comic-Con, one inquisitive attendee asked a Halo-centered panel whether the Mythic map pack was coming. At the time it hadn't been revealed and the panel was nothing more than cryptic. When the most recent Halo 3 update landed last week, few expected 750 achievement points, 29 achievements, hints of many more maps for Halo 3, and the symbolically priced Legendary map pack getting more incentive for download; the map pack is available for download at a price of 600 Microsoft Points ($7.50 for you seven-hunting readers). Whether we expected it or not, it is here.
It's no secret Bungie speaks in sevens, but I wasn't really prepared for the jump in points, the play that comes from new scoring in the online competition, or the Legendary maps that are inspired (or ripped off, depending on how jaded your personal paradigm) by classic Halo maps. The last time I played Halo 3 was probably before the Legendary maps even hit the marketplace. For some reason I am being drawn back into the game and thought I'd share a bit about the maps and my experience.
Theoretically the recent update was intended not only to improve online connections but also to break out ranks for individual online competition modes. The ranks are broken out nicely to allow players to level up to a General in Lone Wolves matchmaking, but still be a Private in Team Doubles Social matches. Unfortunately, the solutions implemented for speeding up the matchmaking practices have not delivered for me on all promises. I have waited in a lobby that was connecting to a match for more than 10 minutes before the remaining players (since multiple players disconnected due to an unacceptably long wait) all got to mix it up.
In the beginning I played scores of matches, but got to play a Legendary map less than a handful of times. Random matches served up Blackout a couple of times so I could unlock two of the new achievements, but the others were not forthcoming. While Lockout remains one of the beloved battlegrounds from earlier Halo releases, the reimagining into Blackout wasn't as impressive to me. I enjoyed the UNSC posters and other decor, but I wasn't really getting into playing the level since I am clearly an outlier with my lack of love for Lockout.
If it wasn't for a loyal GameSpot user, I would've been running around Avalanche, the redux of Halo: Combat Evolved's Sidewinder level, all by myself. Despite my lack of love for Lockout, I have nothing but affection for Sidewinder. I thought it couldn't get any better when I saw the Hornets available for flying and the repainted warthogs waiting to be driven all around the frozen horse shoe.
Finally, if anybody would like to play some Ghost Town, let me know. Matchmaking doesn't serve it up. I am interested in seeing more of what xbox.com describes as "a battle-scarred maze of narrow passages and dangerous ruins." The one time I played it, the room was focused on helping one another get Oddball kills and splatter sprees.
For those keeping track, September 25 was possibly the first day to get that achievement for completing four-player coop over LIVE on Legendary difficulty with the iron skull engaged. That achievement should be worth 100 gamerscore on its own since the iron skull makes you restart the level if you die. Oof!
If I hadn't already dropped $7.50 on the maps to write this blog, I'd be more inclined to wait until the Legendary map pack invariably is reduced to a price of free. Of course, I like my points and I haven't played much Ghost Town. It could end up being my new favorite Halo 3 map to play.
What are your thoughts on Bungie's new support for their Legendary entry in the Halo franchise? Are the points worth it? Is Halo 3 so 2007? Or, is this the best new thing to come to the Xbox 360 since Combat Evolved?
You can always count me in as well Don; I only started dabbling with the new achievements at the weekend, where Ghost Town was part of one of the special double exp playlists.
If you want to play Ghost Town, send me a friend request (carstairs22) and I'll join. I bought the pack when it hit 600.
I think it was smart on their part, considering new achievements always draw fans back into the mix. As for the Vidmaster challenges, I have a gut feeling that completing them will eventually net you a shiny new set of recon armor.
Yeah the Vidmaster achievements are dumb especially because I won't be able to get them until november now bungie banned me from getting exp because I was apparently boosting.
I have recently finished Halo 3,and I have to say that Combat Evolved is so much better.But Halor 3 is still a great game.