Halo 4: Crimson Pack DLC Review
Halo 4 may have had a few issues getting its first multiplayer DLC out the door, but the Crimson Pack is finally available for download.
With Spartan Ops now experiencing its mid-season break, heading back to our screens early next year, it’s down to Halo 4’s multiplayer to keep us entertained.
If you haven’t purchased Halo 4’s season pass then the Crimson Map Pack will set you back 800 Microsoft Points. 343 Industries has said that it has planned for Halo 4 to have a continuous flow of content over the next few months (and this is the first real taste of things to come).
Continuous content has been easily achieved with the free Spartan Ops missions and animated series keeping players busy, but what about competitive multiplayer fans? Well, now we have the first DLC for Halo 4 and it’s got a high quality bar to live up to.
Right now, you have the chance to choose the Crimson pack as a mode within Infinity all by itself. Do that and you’ll be thrown into matchmaking and given the choice of three maps and you’ll be randomly placed with three different game types:
- King Of The Hill
- Capture The Flag
- Odd Ball
They’re all heavily focused team-based modes that require groups of players to work together. But, do these maps really offer a battleground that can compete with the quality maps already part of Halo 4’s multiplayer experience?
Here’s a breakdown of Crimson Pack’s maps:
In keeping with the theme that 343 seems to have adopted for this first batch of Halo 4 DLC, Shatter, though set on an alien world, combines open spaces with plenty of cover with a few tight corridors and the odd building.
Shatter is big enough to house both the Mantis and a few Ghosts, though, so you can expect things to get explosive right from the off. Like Harvest, Shatter is a medium sized map that offers a few excellent places to hide as well as a few strategically placed turrets.
The alien landscape offers a moody backdrop to the usual colourful explosions that are offered by the bulk of Halo 4’s multiplayer maps, but unlike the other maps found in Crimson Pack, Shatter offers a much more compelling environment for multiple gametypes.
It’s unlikely to ever become your favourite map, but its focused design often forces players together and keeps matches flowing and that’s all you really need from any Halo map.
Wreckage is reminiscent of the Chief’s second campaign level. The one that sees him exploring the mess of twisted metal that is the remains of the Forward Unto Dawn and other Covenant ships.
Wreckage is a much smaller map than the other two that appear in Crimson Pack, despite still managing to get a few Warthogs on board. With small open spaces and an indoor structure that’s a complete nightmare to defend, this is definitely one of the more enjoyable maps.
The remains of a UNSC ship forms the main central ‘building’ and it has plenty of places to enter and exit if you’re getting chased by a bunch of red guys. One thing that none of these maps seem to really focus on is elevation, which means anyone with a jetpack will find little opportunity of using it to their advantage.
Wreckage is small, fun and an easy way to wrack up tons of kills in a short space of time.
Harvest presents itself as a vehicle-based level but with only a few open spaces and mainly confined areas for Warthogs and Ghosts, it can be difficult to really gain the upper hand with a vehicle.
This provides on-foot soldiers with a good opportunity of avoiding those tooscared to leave the safte of a Warthog. Not only does it present wide open spaces with enough cover to make running about on foot a viable option, but the vehicles become much more suited to covering bases and ensuring area dominance for a team.
Harvest is a collection of small rooms, occasional high walkways surrounded by the cover-based ground level. It’s not a huge map by any stretch and offers two seemingly symmetrical bases at either end, making this the favourite for Capture The Flag.
Harvest’s roads seem focused around the outer edges of the central buildings with a slight figure of eight set-up. Inside the central buildings a few corridors interlink and it’s a bit of a maze. Players on opposing teams either tend to run past each other oblivious to the enemies around them, or run right into each other causing a big fight.
Either way it produces some exciting Capture The Flag moments, but it’s hard to see how well this map truly fares with the other gametypes. It seems very focused on this one particular gametype at the cost of all others.
This is the first of many DLC packs, though, and maybe a tighter focus on how the maps work with certain gametypes will be enough to keep things interesting. With so few maps in this initial pack, that might be the way 343 is planning on structuring its future DLC for Halo 4.
Right now though, Crimson Pack doesn’t offering anything you can’t already get from the standard maps already on the Halo 4 disc.