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What makes a Halo map Iconic?


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Special Agent

Special Agent

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So I was playing some infinite and I started thinking about some of the maps in the game. I mean Infinite has some great maps but for whatever reason they don't feel the same as some of the more iconic halo maps. Unlike some maps in the Bungie era days and even some 343 maps they just don't seem as memorable. So what makes a good halo map? So I looked back at some of the old maps and here are some common trends I found in maps deemed iconic or just well received.

Alien Aesthetic: I notice the majority of beloved halo maps are either forerunner or covenant themed. (Yes I know the forerunners are technically human but their structures are alien like) Yes there is some exceptions like Plaza from Halo 5 and Zanzibar from Halo 2 but most maps are alien structures. I think because Halo's alien structures are so unique that when you see the purple colored walls or the ancient looks walls lined with blue lights you just know it is a Halo map. Maybe that is why the forerunner and covenant redesigns were so hated because then the two races became just like every other alien.

Wide open spaces: Most of the iconic halo maps have a design that makes the maps feel open instead of in confined rooms. Take maps like Lockout and Guardian. Yes there is many rooms and hallways on the map but there are places that open up and reveal the world outside of the map. Also it gives the player some area to breath and have tons of different movement options instead of being confined to a hall. That is why  a map like Chiron TL-34 and boarding action failed because the map is just a bunch of corridors or the movement is very linear. Now some iconic maps are closed off a bit but they still have a way of feeling wide open like the pit for example. 

Simple Level design: Most Halo maps that succeeded had a simple design you could learn quickly and had easy indicators that let you know where you were. Like how some maps utilized red and blue to represent sides or how other maps used special designs on each side that let you know. All of the maps where simple or usually both sides where identical or close enough that the game was fair. Maps like Warlock prove this point.

The map wasn't in rotation constantly: What can make or break a map is how often it is in rotation. Even the best of maps can get annoying when playing them over and over because the smallest imperfections will show up the more you play and it may ruin a map. This is what I heard on Halo waypoint about Bazaar. A couple of people said they like the map until they got it multiple times in a row on multiple occasions.

Compatible with most modes: Most iconic Halo maps where compatible with all or almost all game modes. Maps with only a few game modes usually are looked down upon because peoples favorite modes were not available with a certain map.

Easy movement: Most maps in Halo that were viewed fondly had good movement let you take shortcuts to places or give you an escape route. Maps with Grav-Lifts, Portals, Holes in the ground you can drop through, vehicles, or Grav-Launchers were viewed more fondly because maps with those features were easy to get around. 

Not to many layers: Most iconic halo maps usually had 2 layers (or floors) the player could access. This allowed gameplay to be smoother and more straightforward. Sword Base was one of my least favorite reach maps because it had some many floors.

Now of course there is other things like good weapon/power-up placement, good objective spawns, good spawns, and more but I want to make this post brief. Though I want to know what you guys think. What makes a map memorable for you?

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