Dec 7, 2007
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Tired of Valhalla? Getting a bit bored with The Pit? Not to worry. Less than three months after the game's release, Halo 3 is due for a major expansion. Earlier this week, we gave you a tantalizing glimpse at the three new multiplayer maps - Standoff, Rat's Nest and Foundry - with over 30 explosive screens. To see them, gohere (opens in new tab).
But with the downloadable release still days away (December 11), and costing a fair chunk of change (800 MS points or $10 US), we wanted more information. What exactly are we buying here? Steve Cotton, Multiplayer Environment Artist at Bungie, spills the details.
GamesRadar: Can you describe how this map looks?
Steve Cotton, Multiplayer Environment Artist: Standoff looks hot. Seriously, Africa hot. It also looks big but it's not as big as you might think with the sprawling savanna and rolling hills. The skyline is broken up by the massive radio telescopes in the distance, some close enough you can actually see them pan across the sky and hear gears turning.
GamesRadar: Can you describe how Standoff plays?
SC: It's symmetrical for starters. It plays like a small war with lots of vehicular casualties. Your team can work its way across the battlefield between two bunkers by taking positions atop hills and behind rocks.
There is a lot of creative use of Mongeese to try to flank your opponent. And the Warthog at each base has several circuits it can run to try to control the middle of the map. Of course the fight over the Spartan Laser in the center is intense and you always need to keep an eye on the two invisibilities at the top of each hill outside the bases.
And make sure you guard the switch that unlocks the perimeter entrance to your base.
GamesRadar: What size and type of games work best?
SC: Just about any 4v4 game is excellent. But because of the unique visibility of the map, it can support anywhere between 2v2 to 8v8 well. Multi-Flag is awesome.
GamesRadar: What vehicles and weapons will dominate?
SC: The Warthog will have its moments. Although with turrets, invisibility, rocket launchers and power drainers around each base, and a Spartan Laser in the center, its domination may be short lived. Also, there are no sniper rifles, so outside the battle rifle is king and the shotgun can dominate the base.
GamesRadar: What Halo, Halo 2 or Halo 3 map is Standoff most like?
SC: That's a tough one. A great potential 2v2 map with awesome Warthog and Mongoose action. Has there been one yet? I'd say it's like a really intense mini Blood Gulch, maybe part Sanctuary.
GamesRadar: How is the map totally unique from anything else in Halo's history?
SC: Visually, it's wide open. We haven't really pulled that off this well on a terrain before. Design-wise, it's a unique blend of infantry and vehicle combat that is more intense (in a good way) than what we've done before.
GamesRadar: What will surprise fans the most about Standoff?
SC: The visibility. The fact that you can see the other side, as they stream out of their base, and they can see you. They can see you strategizing, whether it's going for the hill, or getting in the Warthog, or getting the rockets. But at the same time, you can surprise them.