I've spent a lot of time in a number of virtual places but now I'm thinking about legendary (heh) moments in the Halo Universe. What are they?
I think the most memorable experiences in Halo had to do with the first time I saw a Scarab in New Mombasa. It was the largest, most unbeatable looking beast. The way the scene was setup so that the Marines around you were crapping their pants and it took several minutes to beat this monster was rather outsized for Halo. It was a boss battle that didn't seem like a boss battle.
I thought it was very dramatic the first time I played 'Truth & Reconciliation' with the sniper rifle at night, crawling among the Covenant and trying to remain quiet all the while working my way actually up into the alien ship.
In Halo3, coming out of the jungle to the enemy installation and watching Sgt Johnson fighting against a brute through the scope of my sniper rifle. Heart pumping.
One of the craziest co-op moments were in ODST when you played the guy with the rocket launcher and you hod to fight with vehicles to destroy Wraiths all over this mountainous terrain. Running around in the warthog and trying to beat the enemies on that map was a real hoot.
Seeing UNSC ships in atmosphere is always super dramatic as are the large-scale invasions. So the cut-scene when the In Amber Clad drops the Master Cheif a Scorpion. Awesome. Also the first time I ever got to pilot a Banshee had to be a stellar moment.
The rest is like trying to come up with the Top 10 maps, each of which had a special conflict or types of conflict that were designed into the gameplay. So let me remember maps - and I'm going to do this alongside this squeaker's video.
- Everybody desparately wanted to get the shotgun in the underground grotto of Snowbound. Crazy grenade battles in that room.
- For Tempest and Ridgeline, the best thing to be was an invisible sniper.
- Sword battles on The Pit were awesome. Getting gunned down by the turrets was always a big frustration. This was a great place to have a needler and a pistol.
- Countdown had epic CQ battles at the top of the big lift in back. I could almost always get first strike at the beginning if I got the needler first on the other side of the map.
- The Exile map from Halo4 is simply a masterpiece. Best map ever for Domination, and that includes similar gametypes across COD and Ghost Recon.
- Last Resort: What can I say? Sniping from the sniper hole. Gunning from the turret. Ghost splatters and warthog domination. De in the top 5 most memorable maps.
- Settler is a great map, one of the first in Halo that makes you think about actual infantry tactics. The high ground is a bottleneck, so you have soldiers streaming in from all over the map just to get that one place. I think this map has seen more destroyed Warthogs than any other.
- On Guardian, everybody wants the hammer, or to snipe down the tunnel where the hammer is found. Plus, exploding walls!
- Battle Creek would probably not fare well against more recent Halo maps, but the invisibility and the rocket launcher made for some crazy exchanges on this tiny map. It's Halo 101. Hang 'em High, I hated.
- Vehicle battles abound on Sandtrap. Best vehicle map ever. If you don't have one, you won't last long.
- Lockout is a fan favorite. Blackout and other reproductions don't quite cut it, so it's greatness has been lost.
Interestingly enough, I do agree with the squeaker's top three choices, Valhalla/Ragnarok, High Ground and Blood Gulch. These are legendary maps in the Halo franchise. I cannot sing enough praises to High Ground for map design and weapon & vehicle placement. When I think of Halo's promise of 30 seconds of high energy fun and then you die and come back for another 30 seconds, High Ground is that map. It is the map that matches weapon finds with the territory - you basically *must* get to the lookout and grab the Spartan laser, or you *must* run for the dual weilding SMGs or get the bubble sheild and shoot the guy trying to get the SMGs. Or you *must* get inside the bunker and use the spikers, or get around to the backside and grab the energy drain, or get to the turret. It was a very deterministic map with guaranteed action.
Valhalla and Blood Gulch on the other hand were wide open spaces that really leant themselves to being exploited by player skill and team coordination. If you couldn't call an audible and marshal your forces to one stronghold or another on these maps, you were doomed. I have to say in all fairness, One Bomb on Blood Gulch became a little tiresome in the way it was predictable, but for the Big Team Battles, these exemplify greatness in a way that no other maps have. I'm giving the nod to Valhalla/Ragnarok whose longevity into Halo4 makes it the best.