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New Halo 2 Maps April 25th 41 has word that the first set of new Halo 2 maps will be available for download on April 25th, with a second set being made available on June 28th. From the article: "The two free maps are titled Containment and Warlock. Containment is a massive level blanketed with snow, and Warlock was influenced by the Halo: Combat Evolved map Wizard. The Killtacular Pack will include Turf and Sanctuary, and it will sell for $5.99."
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New Halo 2 Maps April 25th

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  • by larsoncc ( 461660 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:40PM (#12283658) Homepage
    According to Bungie [], the Killtacular map pack will be free just two months after its release.

    (I have a vacation in May, so I think I'm waiting!)

    As for the update [], it's already been pushed to everyone (yesterday). It's changed the game dramatically, encouraging a lot of grenade play.

    Other items of note:

    Videos of the maps [], and a 3D [QuickTime] rotating picture of Warlock here [].
    • There's more to the story...
      • April 25th: Bonus pack free (2 maps), Killtacular pack $5.99 (2 maps).
      • June 28th: Killtacular pack free, third map pack $12 (5 maps), DVD $19.99 (all 9 maps and offline extras).
      • "Late summer": All 9 maps free over XBL.
  • Cool, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Fred Or Alive ( 738779 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:40PM (#12283662)
    I hope when they add the new maps to matchmaking they have a bit of a spring clean of the existing game modes. The same old gametypes gets boring after a while, especially as some are just crap anyway (any objective game on Midship, 4v4 games on Coagulation[1]). Some more variety would be nice, I hope they don't just stick the new maps in and leave all the old setups in place.

    Now, I'm planning to get the retail disc version, now should I buy the first two premium maps anyway? Decisions, Decisions...

    [1] Starting with something a bit meatier than an SMG would help as well.
  • They are selling new maps??? Is this a first, other than (real) expansions? At least expansions usually include new features, as well.
    • Re:Sell? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by larsoncc ( 461660 )
      Actually, no, this isn't new even for XBox. Some titles that have pay content are MechAssault, XBox Music Mixer, Live! Arcade, and some others.

      Don't worry though, they've said that the maps will eventually be free, either in late summer or later in the year.

      They got a sponsorship from Mountain Dew. I do wonder how that will shake out - it could be that you're presented with some manner of banner ad before you're allowed to download the maps.

      On April Fool's, Bungie had a pretty funny update about how th
      • In typical fashion, people freaked not realizing it was a joke.

        I don't blame them, what with "the great taste of Sprite" invading Anarchy Online (great title Zonk!). Or with in-game advertising considered to be such a fast-growing opportunity right now.

        There are things that are irrational to get freaked about, and then there's this. What with everyone and his brother in the game industry falling all over themselves to brand game elements (even Nintendo put branding in Pikmin 2!), I'm not surprised it's
    • Yeah, SC: Pandora Tomorrow had some content that had to be payed for too. A real bummer, I couldnt get onto my live account before i bought it. Seems kind of unfair, really.
    • Yep, they're selling the new maps (although they'll eventually become free, assuming you subscribe to Xbox Live[1]). We are talking about Microsoft, they're in it for the money, and know a certain portion of their market will indeed pay for new maps. They seem to want to do more of this with the next generation. Of course making maps isn't free, but some other companies do seem to absorb the cost of their free addons.

      Personally I'm planning on getting the disc version of the maps, seeing as I do play a lot
      • So is Microsoft a bunch of money-grubbing assholes for charging for these maps...

        Or is Microsoft a monopolist, who is using their bankroll by under-writing the cost of the Xbox.

        Just trying to get the story straight...god knows I want to be up to date on my groupthink!
  • This is a much needed expansion. The old maps do get a bit boring after playing on them so long. I think I might just wait out the maps that aren't free, especially if they're going to become free anyway.
  • So thats why... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Irashtar ( 836973 )
    Halo2 is Xbox only. Just keep releasing maps and mods until the cows come home. If it was on PC, they would have alot more trouble getting more revinue from the game.
  • Well I could buy the 2 maps for $5.99 a piece and then later buy the other maps for $11.99 totaling $23.97, or I could wait two months and get a cd with everything on it (therefore if my box went down or i mess something up i still have the cd) for $19.99, or just buy the map pack and download the rest for $11.99... I don't think they have thought this one through. Sure they are going to squeeze some money out of some people with that kind of talk, but I'm sure most people can wait. I mean $6 for a map that
  • by LordNimon ( 85072 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:46PM (#12284461)
    ... is if you're not a frequently player of Halo 2 online. Memorizing the map is a great way to be a better Halo 2 player. Infrequent players, like myself, have no chance against the hard-core players, because we'll never memorize all the maps. Chances are, the more advanced the player, the more likely he'll get the new map, because he'll be bored with the current ones. This means that if you don't have the new maps, you won't be able to join games with the players that do. This improves your odds of playing against people who know as much as you do about the map you're on.

    (For those of you who don't play Halo 2: when you play online in a random game, you can't choose the map.)

    • Also, in order to use the new maps in online matchmaking play (i.e. ranked games or training games), Bungie would have to add gametypes that use the new maps to the default playlists. Which I gather they won't do until they're pretty sure the new maps are in wide distribution. News is forthcoming "shortly" on the update of the matchmaking playlists.
      • Well, sorta. The two free maps will soon be in the regular matchmaking playlists, but there will also be a 'premium only' playlist for people who payed for the maps. Eventually, by the end of summer, they'll all be re-merged into the same playlists once the mapps are all available for free.
        • Sounds reasonable to me (and a good reason for me to go ahead and get the new maps right away), but I'm hoping to see some confirmation of this soon on

          (Of course, I still pretty much suck at multiplayer Halo 2, so whom am I kidding? :-) )

          • There already was confirmation in the weekly update [] that announced the new maps. I was pretty much paraphrasing:

            We're still finalizing our plans but we can give you a general idea of what to expect. The existing core playlists will remain intact. The first two free maps, Containment and Warlock, will be integrated into the appropriate existing playlists. Since the 2 premium maps are "premium" and won't necessarily be on everyone's Xbox right away, we can't add them to the core playlists without creating

            • OK, that's the basic info, but looks like there will be more details later. Good deal. (Apparently, they're doing more than just integrating the new maps into the existing playlists...they'll be adding a new 2-on-2 playlist, among other things.)
    • For those who can bear waiting, the Killtacular Pack will be free on June 28.

      Unless you plan on canceling your Xbox Live subscription before June 28, you're going to get 4 new maps whether you bother to learn them or not. (The first 2 are free immediately, the other two become free on June 28 if you read the report.)

      Unfortunately, it doesn't say whether the last 5 will eventually be free as well.

  • "Containment is a massive level blanketed with snow"

    A massive level blanketed with snow, huh? Hmmm... sounds a lot like Sidewinder to me.
    Let's hope this new winter wonderland turns out to be a Sidewinder equivalent.
  • You may not like the Counter-Strike gameplay, but boy, giving the SDK away does WONDERS to increase the amount of content. It's not just Source -- there are some good things for Doom 3 and UT'04 as well.

    But, naturally, on a console, you get a tiny little trickle of upgrades and maps, all "official".

    I'm sorry, but if you've got the hardware, HL2 is just a better deal.

    Half-Life 2, for $50, gets me:
    - five or ten great games
    - free online gameplay
    - free upgrades
    - two official maps a month
    - custom content
    - cu
    • Re:Compare to CS:S (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rhuntley12 ( 621658 )
      I won't argue that HL2 isn't good, I don't have it, but you forget to mention on Halo 2. -Couch and coffee table to hold beers for comfort -Stereo system I spent several thousand on -Large screen TV -Ability to just plug it in and almost instantly play with friends/relatives
      • TV/Sterio can be hooked to a computer, too. That's what a TiVo is, after all.

        Using Hibernate, I would argue that it's almost as fast for me to get into a CS game as it is for me to get into a Halo 2 xbox live game. I think my xbox live takes way longer than normal to sign in, but that wasn't my fault, so it's still no excuse for all the logos and crap and bad networking that go into it.

        Plus, I can upgrade the computer to make it go faster. I can't upgrade the xbox, except to buy a new one later.

        I supp
        • The problem with hooking a stereo upto your PC is, your sort of limited on the surround sound, as I have mine in my living room, be awkward having a PC setup in there for the surround sound and what not. Also some audio snobs claim PC will ruin the sound, my ears aren't that good.

          I'm not saying I don't like PC gaming, I love it. Most of my time is spent playing on PC. It's nice to just lounge on the couch and be a bit more comfortable. While controller isn't as accurate as keyboard/mouse, it's much more co
          • I see most your other points, but the audio argument is weak.

            For maybe one year's worth of xbox live if you're a REALLY poor shopper, you can find a Sound Blaster Audigy. Surround is built in.

            I got an sblive awhile ago. Sounds good on some surround PC speakers I got at the same time. It was ridiculously easy -- color-coded and everything. It'd be somewhat more complicated with a real surround setup with an amp and all, but not as much as you'd think.

            Ditto with the HD video out. My monitor resolution
    • Bear in mind that, for that $5/month, you get access to play all Xbox Live-enabled games, not just Halo 2. That means things like Project Gotham Racing 2, MechAssault, ESPN NHL 2K5, Tetris Worlds Live, and World Championship Poker (to use examples from my own game collection), all for one price.

      Pretty good deal, if you ask me...and, the more games you have that are Live-enabled, the better a deal it is.

      • Halo 2 is the only game that it's worth having an xbox for, or that it's worth playing on xbox. All other games at least have PC versions, and most games on the PC or PS2 have no subscription fees at all.

        It's only a good deal if you don't have the gaming computer, or if you play Halo 2 professionally.

        For my money, I'd rather put that $5/mo into a new game every year -- say, one of the UT line. Unlimited online gameplay, tons of kick-ass mods, and native Linux support -- and they release a new version ev
        • I'll pay the extra money for a much higher overall quality of connection, an integrated friends list in every single game, and voice chat in every single game. The PS2's online play is a joke. There are no standards, so it's up to the company making the game to put in online play to it's own satisfaction, and a good percentage of the time it's not so hot. And "Most games are on PC anyway" Have you taken a look at the XBox's all? Sure, a few of them get PC ports, but a quite sizable major
          • There are no standards on the PC, either. I mean, standards are nice, but xbox live has problems, at least in Halo2. Takes something like two minutes for it to find and join a game, and standby glitches still work. The lack of custom servers means you are depending on Bungee to eliminate cheaters.

            I'd rather not support Microsoft's monopoly on the games which are "only on xbox". I guarentee that not a one of those developers made the choice for any reason other than money from Microsoft.

            There are plent
            • There are no standards on the PC, either. I mean, standards are nice, but xbox live has problems, at least in Halo2. Takes something like two minutes for it to find and join a game, and standby glitches still work. The lack of custom servers means you are depending on Bungee to eliminate cheaters.

              Two minutes to join a game is a small price to pay to ensure that the entire community doesn't go the way of Halo PC (BLOOD GULCH CTF 24/7) or Unreal Tournament (Instagib CTF on Facing Worlds 24/7) And while s
              • Yeah, lots of games have more popular maps. CS:S is dust and iceworld 24/7, but you can still find a good game, and the steady flow of "official" maps makes it always possible to find a good server with good ping.

                I like being able to find a server playing a map that I want to play.

                I also like being able to create a server with negative gravity, or unlimited redeemers, or... See where I'm going with this? Halo 2 has some interesting custom options, but not even close to what you get with even the tamest
                • Microsoft's monopoly? Absolutely. I don't want to put money into a company that has a monopoly over anything, and I really don't want to give them an edge in the console market -- if anyone has a monopoly on that, we'll all be subscribing to play single-player games at MMORPG-like prices. This is one of two things I have issue with. You can't really concern yourself with stuff like that. Do you really know who you are supporting when you are doing any given thing? There are so many people who are involv
                  • There's a huge difference between not supporting things I don't agree with, which are obviously bad, and scrutinizing every single product to make sure no one involved was evil. And if more people thought the way I did, we'd still have plenty of bad things in the world, but the bigger ones (Microsoft, for one) would fall.

                    I like being the karma. Or, as Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

                    You'd rather see Bungie stick around. So would I. And they have been assimilated, hav

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351