Q&A with Brian Jarrard,
Community Lead at Bungie
What makes Avalanche unique from all other Halo 3 maps?
BJ: For starters this map is set in a snowy, frozen canyon. This is the first map in Halo 3 to feature snow and ice. It's also fairly enormous and features several very large, built-in man cannons that play a pivotal role in pedestrian transit. Avalanche also features a newly tuned Hornet which has been tweaked and balanced for better integration into multiplayer. Lastly, most of the familiar UNSC vehicles have received a wintery paint job.
What weapons and vehicles tend to dominate this map?
BJ: Air superiority is often the key to victory on Avalanche. The Hornet has been re-tuned and is now a default vehicle on the map. Using it to ferry flag carriers back for the score or pin down opponents is very effective. The heavy vehicles like the Scorpion and Wraith can really turn the tide of battle and the Spartan Laser is the best counter to an enemy aerial assault.
What game modes play best here?
BJ: Avalanche is best suited for large team games. Due to the symmetrical vehicle-centric nature of the map, it's awesome for big objective games like Capture the Flag or Assault. In games of 1-Flag CTF, the default configuration is for one team to have USNC vehicles while the other team gets Covenant vehicles. Of course it's also great for large team slayer battles.
What's your favorite strategy for Avalanche?
BJ: It depends on the specific gametype but overall it's always in your interest to gain air superiority. The Hornet can be an unstoppable force with a skilled pilot and even more with some well armed team mates on the skids. If you can't control the skies, at least keep your opponent from doing it. Also the man cannons are an extremely useful way to quickly move across the map... especially for a sneaky flag carrier who is skirting around the perimeter.
VIDEO (below): Bungie's Expert Guide to "Avalanche"
Avalanche is a party and everyone's invited. Unlike Blackout, you don't need to have played the inspiration for this remake to enjoy it. We don't care if you started playing Halo last week or way back in 2001 - you will have an absolute blast.
Fans familiar with the original Sidewinder map will be blown away by the quantity and quality of transformation here. Everything feels BIG and EPIC in a way that just wasn't possible in the first Halo. Structures loom, horizons stretch and you'll find yourself frantically searching for a "run" button as you try to traverse the massive battlefields. Luckily, Bungie has made some really smart choices to improve mobility. Two-way teleporters and man cannon stations have been strategically dropped in just the right places.
Or you could grab a Mongoose. Or Warthog. Or Scorpion. Or Hornet, Wraith, Ghost and Chopper... all of which spawn frequently and conveniently below each respawn point. Seriously, this map is a vehicle lover's paradise, with a set of wheels or wings for almost any participant at any time. If you've ever wondered why the blockbuster, Star Wars-esque action of the single player campaign was missing from the multiplayer, you will finally be satisfied. And with so many turrets and side seats to occupy, newcomers will never be left behind.
Tons of freedom. Tons of variety. Tons of fun. Avalanche is the epitome of what makes Halo special.
VIDEO (below): "Avalanche" Gameplay Footage