Halo 4's developers at 343 Industries will supplement the game's competitive multiplayer mode, War Games, with three map packs starting in December that can be pre-purchased for 2,000 Microsoft Points ($25), Microsoft announced today.
The "War Games Map Pass" confers access to all three packs — Crimson, Majestic and Castle — which are set for release in December, February and April, respectively. Halo 4 players who buy the pass will also get three pieces of bonus content: two helmets, "Scanner" and "Strider," and a unique emblem called "Falcon." Here are the details on the individual packs, which will each contain three maps:
Crimson Map Pack (December release timeframe)
- Maps: Wreckage, Harvest, Shatter
- Description: Witness the chaos of a clash of civilizations in Wreckage, with its blend of claustrophobic spaces and dangerous exposures and venture into the human colony environs of Harvest, and explore a human foray on an alien moon in Shatter.
Majestic Map Pack (February release timeframe)
- Maps: Landfall, Monolith, Skyline
- Description: Landfall's emphasis is on infantry battles against a glittering ocean on a distant world, while Monolith exposes you to the naked vacuum of space — and the firepower of opposing teams, and Skyline's distinctly industrial feel provides new challenges in somewhat familiar, but occasionally confined spaces.
Castle Map Pack (April release timeframe)
- Maps: Daybreak, Outcast, Perdition
- Description: Daybreak is set in a military facility against the backdrop of an idyllic mountain range, while Outcast plunges you into the warrens, canyons and arches of an alien edifice, and Perdition takes players into the heart of an urban sprawl, with tactical speed and situational awareness its key features.
Microsoft has not yet announced individual pricing for the map packs, but said that the Map Pass' $25 price represents a discount of "more than 15 percent" off the total cost of the packs when purchased separately. The entire War Games Map Pass is included in the Limited Edition of Halo 4, which will be available for $99.99 on Nov. 6 alongside the $59.99 standard edition.
War Games, Halo 4's competitive multiplayer mode, is separate from its Spartan Ops co-op multiplayer component. Spartan Ops will receive five new missions for free, every week, for 10 weeks after launch. Read our E3 preview of both modes here, and check out 10 pieces of concept art for the nine maps above.