Halo 2 [2] xbox system link xbox live

Halo 2 Secrets Multiplayer Map Pack Campaign Walkthroughs Weapons Basic Training Intro Halo 2 Xfactor at Xbox Halo 2 Tips and Tricks

Developer: Bungie Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studio
Game Rating: M (Mature)
[Blood and Gore, Violence]
Release Date: November 9, 2004
(1) $49.99 / $14.99: Video Library GV
(2) $12.99: GameStop - Vacaville: December 27, 2008
Players: 1 - 4
Multiplayer Versus
System Link: 2-16 xbox system link
Dolby 5.1 Surround, HDTV 720p, Custom Soundtracks, Xbox Live xbox live
Playable on Xbox 360

First Encounter

Recently, a handful of lucky journalists and Microsoft insiders got some trigger time with Halo 2. The event took place deep within Bungie-occupied territory, where a once-stodgy meeting room had been converted into a gamer’s paradise.

Fourteen Xbox video game systems, earth-shaking speaker systems, flat panel TVs, Xbox Live® headsets, and plush chairs awaited the chosen few. For the rest of the, we found ourselves firmly planted in front of our screens, enjoying a first encounter with what may be the most anticipated game on any console to date.

The fortunate crew included folks from 1UP, GamePro, Games Domain, GameSpot, GameSpy, IGN, MSN, TeamXbox and yours truly from Xbox.com. The event was hosted by Bungie’s Community Guy Brian Jarrard and Bungie.net Editor Frank O’Connor. Jarrard and O'Connor took time out from their busy schedules not only to talk to us about Halo 2, but also to play with us and demonstrate some of the new game types and maps. (By “demonstrate,” I mean, of course, “repeatedly shooting us in the head, while chatting about the new features.” These guys are good.)

New Blood
So, what’s new in Halo 2? That’s a big subject (and the topic of many future articles), but here’s a quick taste.

Weapons
You've probably heard about the new ability to dual-wield smaller weapons. It’s exactly as cool as you've hoped it is, and it's perfect for fighting in close quarters, when grenades are too risky to use. You will also find new tools of the trade, like the Battle Rifle, and tweaks to classics like the Pistol and Needler.

Game Types
Old friends like Slayer are joined by new varieties, such as Assault, where you need to plant a bomb in the enemy base, and one-flag Capture the Flag (CTF). Factor in downloadable content, and Halo 2 is going to have some serious legs!

Maps
Quality maps are the backbone of any shooter, and the maps in Halo 2 are positively sublime. This time, there is a greater emphasis on asymmetrical team-play maps, like the amazing Zanzibar map that Bungie debuted at E3.

Online Play
Halo 2 has full Xbox Live support, including some of its own online features you won’t find in any other XboxLive-enabled game. “Parties” of friends make it easy to stick together from game to game, and the matchmaking features ensure you'll find the best possible opponents, according to skill and connection speed. As Bungie told us, matchmaking can be a "real nail-biter" because you'll always be playing against people who are close to your skill level.

Vehicles
There will be some new vehicles, such as Warthog variants, but what really stood out was the way you could damage the vehicles. Battlefields will now be home to smoking wreckage, just as nature intended! You'll also be able to jack an inattentive driver and take their ride. (I witnessed an impromptu demo of this when Jarrard casually ejected the MSN rep from his Warthog during one of our first Slayer matches.)

That’s just scratching the surface of what Halo 2 has to offer. Everyone attending this special event was blown away—no pun intended—and yours truly never had so much fun getting shot, run over, stabbed, bludgeoned, and exploded. Launch day can’t get here fast enough for these itchy trigger fingers.

Halo's secrets must be unlocked if humanity is to survive the Covenant onslaught.

Introduction

With the Covenant weapon dubbed “Halo” destroyed, you'd think that the universe might be safe. Think again.

Welcome back to Earth, Master Chief. Please go shoot those aliens.

There's no rest for the Master Chief, and again you'll escort your Marines around the galaxy in an effort to squelch the Covenant's retaliatory attacks. This time around, Master Chief is equipped with new armor and new abilities, opening fresh facets of gameplay that require mastering.

Basic Training

ENEMY STRATEGIES
GRUNT (Unggoy)

The Grunts are notoriously weak, but that doesn't mean you should ignore them. In numbers, Grunts can be pretty dangerous, especially when left alone. They'll die to most weapons with just one shot to the head, and the Battle Rifle will take them out with one burst at pretty much any part of their body. Grunts are also prime targets for sticky plasma grenades—since they're less likely to dodge than Elites, it's easy to land a sticky on 'em and watch them run into their commrades to rack up more kills.

JACKAL (Kig-Yar)

Jackals are often equipped with powerful weapons, though they're relatively slow to fire them. Because of their shields which they almost always keep up, it can be difficult to fight them at medium range. There are methods of attacking them that are most effective, depending on the weapons you have equipped. If you've got a gun with a zoom feature, you can zoom in and shoot around their shield for quick kills (they're pretty weak). If you're stuck with close and medium range weapons, don't be afraid to run up to them (assuming there are no other enemies around). Because they're so slow to attack, you can often melee attack them to death without fear of taking any damage. Also, energy-based weapons such as the Plasma Pistol and Rifle can work well to destroy the shields—when the shield is down, attack with a bullet-based weapon to seal the deal.

ELITE (Sangheili)

As the main leaders in the Covenant force, the Elites are always a force to be reckoned with. They can take a significant number of hits before dying, making them especially fierce opposition when in close range combat. Elites have about the same vitality as Master Chief, so if you know what it takes to kill enemies in multiplayer you know what it takes to bring down an Elite. If you are forced into close-range combat, your best bet is to quickly bring down their shields with plasma weapons and instantly come at them with a quick melee attack to finish the job.

DRONE (Yanme'e)

Though their flight patterns can be confusing and make them difficult to target, the Drones are hardly any more dangerous than Grunts. They have about the same vitality as Grunts (they'll die to headshots and quick Battle Rifle bursts), though they're slightly more intimidating with their mobility. If you're having trouble targeting them while they fly, just wait a while—they'll eventually land on the ground, giving you an easy shot to take 'em down.

HUNTER (Lekgolo)

Hunters make an interesting opponent. In mid range combat, they're very difficult to attack as they use their shields to block your shots while coming at you with your own. Your best bet is in either close or long range combat. If you can target them from afar, you can often get a good position to aim for the soft red spots on their body. Zoom in and nail those spots to damage the beasts (Sniper Rifle rounds work great, and the Battle Rifle is also effective). In close range, the best way to defeat them is to lure them into lunging towards you. As they swing their shields at you, jump and dodge the attack&dmash;they'll expose their very vulnerable back side as they whiff the punch.

BRUTE (Jiralhanae)

What makes the Brutes so devastating is how aggressive they are. If you get the attention of a group of Brutes, expect them to come rushing at you together...and don't expect to get away easily. The best way to deal with Brutes is to pick 'em off singularly. If you can lure one Brute away from the group (without attracting the attention of the others), you'll have a better chance of dealing with their speed and power. Sniper Rifle fire and the Battle Rifle are both very effective, but you'll still have trouble unless you carefully execute them one at a time. A group of Brutes is nothing you want to deal with.

GENERAL STRATEGIES
Stay mobile! Even when shooting.

This is pretty obvious to first person shooter vets, but new blood playing Halo 2 might not realize the importance of constantly staying mobile. It's vital that you learn how to accurately fire your weapons while running and strafing about. If you just stand still and fire you'll be dead-meat in both the single player campaign and (especially) multiplayer battles.

Pick your weapons wisely, on a level-by-level basis.

As you can see in our weapons ranking list in this guide (check the Weapons page), some weapons are most definitely better than others. However, just because the Energy Blade is absolutely nasty in close range combat doesn't mean you should pick it up whenever you see it. Consider the level you're on and what range of combat you're most likely to encounter. In most combat situations (assuming the skill level of both players is somewhat equal), the player with the best weapon for the situation is going to win.

Don't reload in the middle of a fight.

About the worst situation you can get yourself into is emptying your weapon's ammo clip in the middle of a firefight. Reloading your weapon should always be a last resort. You can avoid the situation a couple of ways (most include dual wielding and using both weapons singularly), but you'll never be able to avoid it entirely. It's important to make sure you have a secondary weapon equipped (even if it's the same as one of your dual wielded weapons). When you spend all your ammo, switch to your secondary weapon instead of reloading. You'll have more shots to bury into your opponent much more quickly than if you had reloaded. Even if the weapon isn't the best for the job, you should have dealt enough damage with your previous gun to be able to finish the job with your secondary weapon.

Use stealth to your advantage.

Going face-to-face with enemies is always a gamble, and even if you get the first shot on your opponents the win in combat isn't guaranteed. When possible, use stealth to your advantage and come up on your opponents with instant-kill melee attacks to the back of the head. All enemies die with one melee attack to the rear of the dome, which is especially awesome because it allows you to kill them without getting their attention. If you start a fire fight they'll be able to react before dying (usually), but an instant kill melee strike is guaranteed to leave you safe.

Weapons

Battle Rifle

For those familiar with the original Halo, the Battle Rifle is your new Pistol. Though it doesn't quite match the deadly power of Halo 1's Pistol, the Battle Rifle does pack in the accuracy and well-roundedness. The Battle Rifle is effective at any range, especially in medium and long range gun battles. Use the weapon's zoom to pinpoint your target and tear at 'em with with bullets—when they're shields are almost down, target the head for an instant kill.

Magnum

The Magnum is the bastard child of the much-revered Pistol from the first Halo. On its own, the Magnum is pretty worthless, though it's still accurate at long range. However, combine the Magnum with the SMG and you've got one deadly combination—in fact, one of the deadliest.

SMG

As the weapon you most commonly spawn with, the SMG is a tool you'll want to get familiar with. It's relatively weak but has a decent clip size and a quick melee strike. Used singly, the SMG is definitely bound to lose out to most other weapons, but combined with other dual-wield weapons (especially the Magnum and Plasma Pistol) the SMG becomes a significantly powerful force.

Plasma Pistol

Even though the Plasma Pistol has lost its stun properties from the first game (and therefore lost its ability to be even remotely useful as a single weapon), it's still a very formidable weapon when dual-wielded. If you charge up the Plamsa Pistol, it's single shot will drop your opponent's entire shields—combine that with SMG fire or a single Magnum shot to the head, and you've got a very, very quick kill.

Plasma Rifle

Much like the Plasma Pistol, the Plasma Rifle has lost much of its usefulness as a stand-alone weapon. However, not all is lost—a quick burst of fire to drain your opponent's shields followed with an ultra-quick melee strike can be enough to kill them. Combine the Plasma Rifle with another dual-wieldable weapon (preferrably not another Plasma weapon) and you've got something to talk about.

Brute Plasma Rifle

So you've got the Brute Plasma Rifle, which is almost exactly like the regular Plasma Rifle...but way worse. What makes the Brute Plasma Rifle so terrible is how quickly it overheats. It doesn't deal any more damage than the regular version, making its only advantage the fact that it's red (which isn't even a real advantage—red is just cooler).

Rocket Launcher

The Rocket Launcher has always been the bane of vehicles, and this time around it is even moreso. Put your crosshairs over any vehicle being piloted by an opponent and hold the trigger to acquire a lock—on—most vehicles will go down with just one rocket. Versus human opponents, however, you'll need to be a bit trickier. Hitting an opponent head-on is always difficult, and the best way to kill them is to fire the rocket at their feet. Even if you miss the feet, the splash damage from the nearby explosion is almost always enough to kill them.

Shotgun

The old-school master of short range combat is back in almost exact form. Up-close and personal, the Shotgun is capable one of one-hit kills. At any other distance, however, it's pretty impotent as its shot spreads out way too much. Any time you approach an opponent, don't bother popping off shots when you're out of range. Instead, make sure that you don't have to wait for the one shot that can kill them instantly—hold your fire until you're close enough to take 'em down with just one pull of the trigger.

Sniper Rifle

It's back, and just as good as ever. The Sniper Rifle is still the premiere choice for long range combat, and is still useful at far medium ranges. Two shots to any part of the body will kill anyone, and one headshot can do the trick as well. Don't rely on it in close range, though—with such a small hit radius, targeting opponents so close is pretty hard unless they're confined to a narrow corridor.

Brute Shot

Despite its menacing name, the Brute Shot is actually pretty useless. With a clip of only four rounds, it still takes three direct shots to bring someone down (four indirect shots will also kill). Where the Brute Shot is effective, strangely enough, is in close range combat. Hit an opponent with just one grenade (directly) and follow up with a melee strike for a super quick kill. Also, two melee strikes from any angle are enough to take down an opponent.

Needler

They said it would be useful in Halo 2...but they lied. The Needler still blows, though it has uses at medium range. It's tracking ability works decently on wide open levels, but it's still slow and completely ineffective versus vehicles. Still, if you've got nothing else, dual-wielding a Needler with something else is never a terrible idea.

Carbine

As an alternative to the Battle Rifle, the Carbine succeeds in most ways. It's accurate at all ranges and has a decent zoom, making the Carbine more effect than most other weapons at medium and long ranges. However, its power is severely lacking—it takes at minimum seven shots to kill someone (the last shot must be a headshot).

Beam Rifle

A Beam Rifle is the next best thing to a Sniper Rifle at long ranges. With a powerful zoom, it's almost perfect for sniping, though its tendency to overheat easily forces restraint when using it. It benefits from not having to reload like the Sniper Rifle—however, even just two shots in rapid succession can overheat the gun, kicking you out of your zoom.

Energy Sword

Nothing beats an Energy Sword at close range. Nothing. With the ability to lock-on from a fairly safe distance, the Energy Sword is most definitely something to fear—one lock on strike will kill, and two regular melee slashes will also do the trick (slashing with the trigger is faster than with the melee button).

Sentinel Beam

On the surface, the Sentinel Beam may seem like a decent idea, but it's really not. The Beam has a relatively short range (though it's still effective at medium range) and doesn't deal a whole lot of damage. In fact, if you just hold down the trigger the weapon will overheat before killing anyone. To use it effectively, you'll have to let off the trigger briefly while you attack to let it cool down. It can be useful, though you're still better off dual-wielding something.

Campaign Walkthroughs

Secrets

More Hints, Tips, and Glitches
Two Guns, One Target

As we all know from the 2003 E3 demo, Master Chief gets to dual-wield guns. This is not just an aesthetic upgrade, though. Dual-wielded weapons have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are the two major ones:

  • If you use your melee attack while dual-wielding (press the B button), you'll immediately drop the weapon in your left hand, so keep this in mind before picking up a second weapon. Pressing the B button also works great for dropping that second weapon to throw a grenade.
  • An energy weapon in one hand and a ballistic weapon in the other is a good strategic choice. This way, you can knock out the shields of an enemy quickly with the energy weapon and then follow it up with bullet fire for a quick dispatch.
Getting Boarded

Master Chief can now board someone else's vehicle (and evict them in the process). Not only can he leap up and take over a vehicle, but he can do this while the enemy is barreling down on him. There are a few things to note here:

  • Time your button press to board the vehicle to a half-second or so before the vehicle gets to you (if you're trying to board a vehicle that's bearing down on you, otherwise just run up alongside the vehicle and press the X button). Also, make sure you press the X button down for a second or so. Don't just tap it.
  • Make sure your first target after commandeering a new ride is the Covenant freak you just took it from. Otherwise, they'll board you right back, which is no fun at all.
  • (SPOILER ALERT) Here's a third bonus trick. When you fight the Covenant's prophet Regret, don't sweat trying to gun him down. Instead, jump up and use the X button to grab onto his little hovering mechanism. You won't be able to actually get him off of it, but while you're attached, you can use the B button to pound him into oblivion with your armored fists.
Damn Brutes!

The Brutes are savage enemies. They come at you as much with fists (and a well-placed shoulder charge) as they do with their guns, and it only takes a hit or two to take you out. You've got three best bets to take them out.

  • Snipe them from afar with the human or Covenant sniper rifle. A couple shots to the head ought to do it.
  • Get into melee combat with them when you have the energy sword. Wait till they charge you, and then jump over or around their charge and come at them from behind with a couple swipes of the energy sword.
  • One plasma grenade stuck to their hide will kill them outright.
The Hunters

Many may have fond or not-so-fond memories of their first encounter with the huge green-armored Hunters in Halo: Combat Evolved. Well, they're back, and the same rules for killing them apply. For the uninitiated, they are:

  • You have to hit the exposed orange fleshy areas. You'll find them under their chin, along their ribcages, and on their back.
  • If you can, use the sniper rifle from afar. If you can't, try to use the scope on the battle rifle.
  • Like the Brutes, the Hunters can be killed by a well-placed plasma grenade, but it will take more than one.
  • Don't bother with inaccurate weapons like the plasma rifle or the SMG. Also, don't use the energy sword on these fellows; it just won't work.

There's no rest for the Master Chief, and again you'll escort your Marines around the galaxy in an effort to squelch the Covenant's retaliatory attacks. This time around, Master Chief is equipped with new armor and new abilities, opening fresh facets of gameplay that require mastering.

Halo 2 Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack

Developer: Bungie Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studio
Game Rating: M (Mature)
[Blood and Gore, Violence]
Release Date: July 5, 2005
$5.99: GameStop - Sacramento: December 27, 2008
Players: 1 - 4
Multiplayer Versus
System Link: 2-16
Dolby 5.1 Surround, HDTV 720p, Custom Soundtracks
Playable on Xbox 360

The Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack, the first true expansion pack for a console title, adds nine all-new and highly detailed multiplayer maps to the most popular Xbox® game to date. Additional bonus content showcases previously unreleased footage including an animated feature highlighting an unseen battle in Old Mombasa and a mini-documentary showcasing the creative process behind the new multiplayer maps. In addition, the map pack disc contains the Halo 2 Auto-Update which provides gamers who do not use Xbox Live™ with the ability to enjoy recent gameplay enhancements and improvements. The map pack, from developer Bungie Studios and publisher Microsoft Game Studios, is Rated M.

The Extras

Along with the nine brand new maps we’ve just explained, the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack comes with a few extra features including exclusive videos, the required Halo 2 update and a couple classic trailers. The alternative to buying the $19.99 Map Pack is to download the new maps via Xbox Live for a fee. Either way, gamers will have easy access to all the maps, but the Map Pack disks adds the value of being able to keep the maps stored as a quick backup in case you need to reload them for some reason. The disk also comes with the extra exclusive features that aren’t available online, so the price along with the packaging and ability to keep hold of the maps as a backup in case of emergency is well worth it.

Halo 2 Update

Already available as a free download, the Halo 2 update patch is included in the Map Pack since it is required in order to play the new maps. To sum it up quickly, the update patch fixes just about every known bug, cheat and glitch while also tweaking some of the gameplay settings based upon gamer feedback since Halo 2’s release. After comparing the game before and after the update, it’s great to see Bungie paying attention to the feedback in order to make vast improvements to both the gameplay and the bugs that allowed some users to exploit a number of cheats. For a detailed look at what the update has to offer, check out our detailed Halo 2 Auto Update Overview article.

Another Day at the Beach

In this cinematic created especially for the bonus disk of the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack, players are treated to a sequence that shows what happened to the lost unit of the ODST team on Old Mombasa. This scene, complete with 5.1 surround sound, helps give players a look at some of the action taking place during the campaign mode of Halo 2 that transpired in another area of the combat from where Master Chief was fighting. The scene is very well done and has a couple cool sequences involving a Covenant Elite and the members of the lost ODST as they square off in a deadly face off. A bit on the short side, but nonetheless an interesting addition that fits into the story of Halo 2. It’s nothing mind blowing, but it’s great to see Bungie putting forth the effort to create something exclusive to the bonus disk gamers can pick up, helping add value to the $19.99 purchase.

Halo 2 Killtacular Featurette

Adding even more value to the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack is an in depth behind-the-scenes look at the making of the content for the map pack. Here gamers can go behind the closed doors of Bungie’s studios as they are given a detailed overview of each of the new maps by the creators who made them possible. Anyone who considers themselves a hardcore Halo fan will definitely want to check this video out for insight into the process from which the new maps were born. Again, this is simply something Bungie took the effort to create to help extend the value of the Map Pack, and it’s very much appreciated.

Multiplayer Maps

LOCKOUT

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Lockout

(1) The sniper rifle is here, and people are often on this ledge sniping. If you shoot out the canisters that are tucked in the corner, anyone sniping on the ledge will instantly die.

(2) There's a good hiding spot on both the left and right sides of the ramp that connects the southern section of the map to the rest of it. This is a good place to hang out with the ball in Oddball games.

(3) You'll want to learn the map's vertical structure well—if you see blips on your motion tracker but don't see an enemy, they're likely right below you—you'll get them by surprise almost every time if you drop down behind them.

(4) Atop this perch with a Battle Rifle is the location of the blue flag. This is a popular spot for players to pass through as they move around the level—if you jump on top of the walls surrounding the perch, you can see enemies coming up the walkways on either side letting you drop down and kill them before they know you're there.

ASCENSION

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Ascension

(1) The highest point in the level is at the very tip-top of this strange tower. You can run up the backside of it without falling, though the only way to get there is via the Banshee. It makes a great sniping spot, and clever players can hide there with an Oddball.

(2) In the southeast corner of the map, far below the rest of the walkways, is this circular platform with an air lift on it. The only way to reach it is to drop off the ledge above, making it often forsaken among most players. It's a great place to hide with the Oddball, and it has two easy escapes—a teleporter and the air lift.

(3) The quickest access to the Overshield is this cut-off platform at the south end of the map. You can jump to grab the Overshield, cutting in half the time it usually takes to reach it.

MIDSHIP

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Midship

(1) You can get on top of this dome with some tricky jumping (useful for sniping or hiding with an Oddball). To reach it, first jump downhill onto the purple strip/ledge along the wall, and then turn around to crouch-jump onto top of the dome.

(2) The Energy Sword is located in the center of the map, at the top-most level. Getting to it, though, is somewhat difficult. The platform below it reacts to your weight, dropping low as you jump on it. Use the momentum of the platform moving back up (after you land on it) to catapult yourself onto the platform with the Sword.

(3) Unless an objective forces you to do otherwise, always stick to the outer ring of walkways in Midship. If you step into the center of the room you're going to be the target of everyone around you!

IVORY TOWER

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Ivory Tower

(1) The waterfall in the center of the map is home to one of the deadliest weapons in the game—the Rocket Launcher! However, it's not always the best idea to run straight for it, as just about everyone else playing will probably do the same. Toss some grenades into this narrow passage to kill anyone else that's trying to go for the Rocket Launcher and only go for it when the coast is clear.

(2) If you're facing the waterfall, to your right is this ledge that gives a great vantage point for anyone trying to kill players in the center room. You can easily reach the platform that's across the gap to your right by jumping onto the planter that's hanging from the ceiling—being able to skip from platform to platform without falling is vital to your maneuverability in this level.

(3) In general, you want to stay on the upper levels of the map. You'll have a better view of the map, will be able to reach opponents on other levels more quickly, and have plenty of options of dodging enemy fire if someone catches you off guard.

BEAVER CREEK

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Beaver Creek

(1) The best sniping position in the map is atop this ledge in the center of the map. To reach it, run up the hillside ramp to the post with the Sniper Rifle and then step outside of the small cave, turning left onto the ledge. There's actually a pretty big area to walk on that'll give you the mobility you need to track targets below.

(2) Normally, to get the Rocket Launcher you have to run up the length of the rock archway in the center of the map, making yourself vulnerable to just about all of your opponents. To get to the Rocket Launcher more safely, run up the hillside (opposite the one with the Sniper Rifle) to the small cave outpost. From there, you can jump left onto the top of the archway to immediately reach the weapon.

(3) You can get to the top of either base from two different points. Facing each base, there's easy access to the roof on the left side. On the right side of either base is a large boulder you can use to reach the rooftop—perfect for surprising defenders in CTF games.

(4) The areas behind each base (with the teleporters) is always exceptionally busy and well-trafficked. If you don't see someone on your side, teleport to the other base and you'll likely get the jump on an enemy or two.

BURIAL MOUNDS

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Burial Mounds

(1) You can reach a good sniping point with the aid of a Ghost. Run up the western wall using the Ghost's boost and hop off when the hill begins to level out. You can then move around the hilltop to snipe most areas of the map.

(2) Another sniping spot can be reached atop the busted structure shells to the north. From inside the westmost shell, crouch-jump to reach the V-shaped ledge to the left. Once you get there you can jump across to other bits of the shell, giving you a great scope of the entire map.

(3) There are short cave tunnels at either end of the map—one leads to the Energy Sword, and one leads inside the main base of the map. When playing CTF and assault modes, take advantage of these narrow tunnels and equip a weapon that's sure to kill anyone in sight (the Rocket Launcher will do the trick).

COLOSSUS

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Colossus

(1) There are a bunch of crates constantly moving across the conveyor belts of the map. Any of the crates that's glowing blue is very explosive—shoot a crate that's near an opponent to completely drop their shields, and finish them off with a shot or two.

(2) The grav-lift on the lower level of the map is the best way to reach the upper levels of Colossus (the ramps are suicide). But the grav-lift has another purpose—when playing Oddball games, jumping into the grav-lift repeatedly will make you a hard target to hit, and should score you some easy time alone with the ball.↑↑

ZANZIBAR

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Zanzibar

(1) From inside the main base, on the upper level, you can open up the gate on the south end. Just activate this control panel and the gate drops, letting vehicles bust into the base.

(2) On the upper catwalk that runs in front of the giant windmill is this bridge that is, at the start of the match, raised. Shoot the connector to drop the bridge, letting you get easy access to the Energy Sword and to the upper levels of the enemy base.

(3) In CTF matches, either team can benefit from hiding behind the rubble that's on the beach, just south of the flag capture point. The defending team can wait there to kill any flag-bearer that's about the capture the flag!

(4) If you're at the windmill but want to get into the top level of the base, you don't have to muscle your way through narrow halls of enemies. Just hop inside the windmill and wait for one of the blades to pull you up. You can jump off onto the top catwalks that lead into the base, giving you access to the Energy Sword and Rocket Launcher.

(5) You can get on top of this block of the ruins for a great bird's eye view of the map. It's not very useful if you're attacking the main base, but can be a great surprise if you play the spot defensively. You have a clear shot at the flag capture point, and can drop down to kill anyone sneaking around in the ruins.

COAGULATION

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Coagulation

(1) On the red side of the map, you can reach this great sniper spot overlooking the rest of the level. Use a Banshee to fly up there, or drive a Ghost up the side of the cliff (use the boost function).

(2) Here's another great sniper hideout, this time on the blue side of the map. Again, you can reach it with the Banshee or Ghost (with the Ghost, you'll need to boost above it and then drop onto the small platform behind the rock). You have great cover up on this ledge, and can snipe at the tops of either base!

(3) After teleporting from the top of either base you'll reach an area with plenty of cover. On the blue side are large boulders, and on the red side is a cave with a pillar in the center. If you're running away with the flag, use these things to hide behind, letting your pursuers pass you up as you carry the flag behind their backs.

(4) The backs of each base are wide open for the Banshee to fly out. If you're attacking a base, use this to your advantage—hop in a Warthog and drive your teammate into the back of the base. Have the passenger jump up and take the grav-lift to reach the flag, then drop back down to escape into the Warthog. You can then drive 'em out of there for an easy flag capture.

HEADLONG

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Headlong

(1) You can jump over the gap in the freeway that's in the center of the map by hopping onto the platfrom held up by a crane (to the right). This'll let you enter the upper level of the building ahead without touching foot to the ground below.

(2) Get on this ledge for a great sniping spot. The only way to get there is via Banshee, and you can take complete cover if enemies start firing back at you. There's a similar ledge just a bit further east that's also only accessible by flying the Banshee.

(3) There's more to the upper levels of these western buildings that you might think. Learn their insides well—if you know the routes through the buildings, you'll have a much easier time capturing flags. Also note that the teleporter on this ledge is one-way—if you're at the other end and see people walking near the teleporter exit, wait for them to turn their backs to you before warping to 'em and attacking them from behind.

(4) Unless you're feeling cocky, avoid the center floor of the map. Vehicles often meet here to do combat, there's a turret to the east aimed right at the area, and anyone sniping from the rooftops will have some easy pickings on any pour soul that wanders down there.

WATERWORKS

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Waterworks

(1) You can reach a hidden sniper outpost that's on either side of the main structure in the center of the map. To get there on foot, approach the edge of the pit from the west side and drop down onto the slanted beam below. From there you can walk up the slant and to a better post for some good sniping. The only way to get down safely is to drop onto the bridge below, so pack plenty of ammo before taking to the spot.

(2) Scattered around the ceiling of the cavern are these stalactites dangling above the ground. You can shoot them down and they'll come crushing down, killing any opponents below them. The spires fall down at the same relative spot on each side of the map—learn the locations and use them to take out any groups of enemies below, or especially Wraith tanks.

(3) Along the right side of each base (assuming you're facing towards the base) is a large crate that'll let you jump onto the top of the base. This is great for CTF matches, and great for sneaking up on snipers that are hanging out on the rooftop.

FOUNDATION

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Foundation

(1) The Energy Sword can be found at the very center of the map, and you can be sure that someone's going to make a run for it in every match. If you catch someone going for the weapon, target the canisters that surround the Sword and shoot 'em—the explosion is almost enough to kill him.

(2) There are turrets on either side of the map, but they're just about worthless—take control of one and you're just begging to be shot. Just don't use them.

(3) Because the level is so small, it's very dangerous to not be under cover. With that considered, you do not want to approach the center of the level. Stick to the outer ring around the level and duck into the rooms to catch opponents who might run by you. If you step into the center of the map you're just going to be the target of all your opponents.

CONTAINMENT

Map Type: Outdoor, Symmetrical
Default Vehicles: Banshee, Scorpion, Gauss’Hog
Default Weapons: Brute Shot, Carbine, Magnum, Needler, Plasma Pistol, Battle Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Rocket Launcher, Shotgun, SMG
Preferred Game Types: CTF, Slayer
Turrets: Yes
Devices: Gates, Teleporter Power-ups: Active camo, Overshield

By far, Containment is the largest of the new maps with a gigantic valley that is a part of a natural fault dividing the two gated fortresses. Originally designed as a failsafe mechanism that would prevent the Flood from reaching the rest of the Halo, Containment is now a sprawling battlefield firmly stuck within a frozen wasteland. Because of its massive size, Containment is ideal for vehicles and it’s no surprise that all of the Halo 2 vehicles can be used on the map. There are two long passageways along either side of the map that can be covered by foot, but proficient use of such vehicles as the tanks will give one team a very strong advantage over their opponents. The two pathways on the sides are a good way to avoid sniper fire, but the time it takes to walk from one side of the map to the other play a key factor in match types such as CTF. Players will need to communicate with each other and organize small groups to provide cover while moving the flag on foot if they aren’t making use of the vehicles.

Thanks to the custom 5.1 soundtrack for each map, Containment has one of the best ambient atmospheres of all the multiplayer maps. The huge ice filled valley is a place where winds are trapped as they swirl around creating some eerie effects players will notice while fighting on Containment. The additional sound effects provided by the machinery such as the large moving gates and the explosive fusion cores also create some very interesting audio components that make Containment unique.

Containment is a map that is good for almost every type of game, but I preferred matches of Team Slayer over CTF. The number of vehicles made the action just about as intense as it gets, while the vast openness of the map gave snipers plenty of places to hide while taking out enemies from afar. Campers will also be happy as there are endless places within the map to hide, but those who despise the camping strategy may find themselves easily frustrated by this as well. In my eyes, Containment is a much more dynamic and detailed version of Coagulation that has much more to offer than the wide open field that drives me bonkers.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Containment

(1) The Sniper Rifle is extremely important on such a large open map. You can find it here on both sides of the map. If you are an attacking team, you can also use these ledges to scale the wall into the enemy base. This will usually be less well defended than the main entrance or the side tunnels.

(2) Use a Banshee to reach this sniping location. There is one of these ledges on each side of the map, so they can be used offensively or defensively. A good strategy is to drop yourself off on the ledge closer to the enemy base and take out the other players as they spawn below you.

(3) There is a Rocket Launcher under this ledge on each side of the map. They can easily be accessed by taking the tunnel on the right out of your base. If you don't have a vehicle, this is a great weapon. Sit in one of the openings to the tunnels and blast vehicles as they drive by you.

(4) Just outside of each base there is a switch. It will open a gate leading in to the base. This will allow you to drive vehicles in to a base. Driving a tank into your base to use as a defensive turret is good tactic, but driving one into the enemy's base will cause major carnage. Close to the switch is an active camouflage upgrade. Use it to covertly sneak behind enemy lines.

(5) The flag is conveniently located next to a one way teleporter. The teleporter will take you outside of the base to the switch. Hopping through it will make you a huge target, especially for anyone manning the base's turrets. Be sure you have a vehicle ready and back up support waiting for you outside.

(6) Each base has a tunnel on the left and right that will lead all the way across the map to the other team's base. Although it may be a long walk, it beats walking out into the opening and having to contend with vehicles and snipers.

(7) The overshield upgrade is underneath this bridge in the center of the map. It will help you survive any confrontations with the other team as you walk through the tunnels, but hopping out of a vehicle to get it is probably a bad idea.

(8) Littered throughout the field are small pyramid shaped bombs. Shooting them will set off an explosion four times bigger than anything else in the game that is capable of taking out surrounding troops and vehicles.

WARLOCK

Map Type: Indoor, Symmetrical
Default Vehicles: N/A
Default Weapons: Magnum, Needler, Battle Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shotgun, SMG
Preferred Game Types: CTF, Oddball, Slayer
Turrets: Optional
Devices: Steam lifts, Teleporter
Power-ups: Active camo

A mysterious location, Warlock may be a temple or perhaps a prison, but whatever it is one thing is clear. As it stands today, Warlock is a place of combat and its original purpose is long forgotten. Halo fans may be able to notice the structural similarities to the original Wizard map, as much of Warlock’s geometry is identical with only a few minor changes designed specifically to take advantage of the advancements of Halo 2. Some of the additions include gravity lifts and subtle adjustments to the layout that help make the map more effective for particular types of multiplayer game modes. Warlock is a four-way symmetrical map, meaning it works perfectly for multi-team matches including CTF and Oddball.

Visually, Warlock is very nicely done with advanced lighting effects that dramatically increase the contrast between dark and light areas. Players will most definitely make use of the darker areas to hide themselves within the shadows while players moving around in the brightly lit areas will become easy targets for the campers. However, because of the map’s small scale, campers will quickly get washed out as their locations are easily revealed before long.

Players who suffer from claustrophobia might want to steer clear of Warlock as its narrow pathways and tight corners give the impression that the map is closing in from the outside.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Warlock

(1) From inside the main base, on the upper level, you can open up the gate on the south end. Just activate this control panel and the gate drops, letting vehicles bust into the base.

(2) On the upper catwalk that runs in front of the giant windmill is this bridge that is, at the start of the match, raised. Shoot the connector to drop the bridge, letting you get easy access to the Energy Sword and to the upper levels of the enemy base.

(3) In CTF matches, either team can benefit from hiding behind the rubble that's on the beach, just south of the flag capture point. The defending team can wait there to kill any flag-bearer that's about the capture the flag!

(4) If you're at the windmill but want to get into the top level of the base, you don't have to muscle your way through narrow halls of enemies. Just hop inside the windmill and wait for one of the blades to pull you up. You can jump off onto the top catwalks that lead into the base, giving you access to the Energy Sword and Rocket Launcher.

(5) You can get on top of this block of the ruins for a great bird's eye view of the map. It's not very useful if you're attacking the main base, but can be a great surprise if you play the spot defensively. You have a clear shot at the flag capture point, and can drop down to kill anyone sneaking around in the ruins.

SANCTUARY

Map Type: Outdoor, Symmetrical
Default Vehicles: N/A
Default Weapons: Carbine, Energy Sword, Magnum, Needler, Plasma Pistol, Battle Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shotgun, SMG
Preferred Game Types: CTF, Slayer, Territories
Turrets: Yes
Devices and Power-ups: N/A

Sanctuary is an intriguing map designed around an even more interesting structure that could actually be older than the world of Halo itself. Many think that this ancient temple has been relocated brick by brick from a Forerunner homeworld, but the reasons for doing so have been lost over time. Initially, Sanctuary appears to be a serene place of worship surrounded by peaceful waterfalls and a relaxing grotto that would make Hugh Heffner green with envy. Despite its appearance and the sound of birds chirping above, Sanctuary is anything but a place of meditation and rest as it has seen the worst that combat has had to offer in recent years.

Because of its relatively smaller scale and symmetrical design, Sanctuary is great for team objective matches like CTF and Assault. It’s also very good for different types of Slayer matches and even Territories and Oddball, making it one of the most versatile of the pack. The various aqueducts and tunnels create some interesting areas for heart pounding altercations between opponents.

Coming in a close second to Backwash, Sanctuary is another favorite of the new maps because of its ability to host a variety of game types combined with its visual beauty and detail. The different areas of the map, including the centralized grotto area and the two bases on either side along with the connecting tunnels, stairways and platforms provide players with a lot of variations in the gameplay surface to explore. Sanctuary is also a great map where players of different tastes can shine. It’s a good spot for everything from sniping to close combat to those who prefer to work alone as well as those who rely on teamwork. Sanctuary does it all.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Sactuary

(1) Each side of the map has an identical base. When looking outward from it, you can find a turret and Sniper Rifle on the left as well as a Battle Rifle on the right. These weapons give you accuracy at long range and should be used for defending the base and lending support to your team when attacking.

(2) The powerful Plasma Sword can be found in the center of the map. Once you have it, stay under cover or else the numerous ranged weapons will shoot you down before you can use it effectively. Use the Sword to control this central area or to attack the enemy base.

(3) This spot is a favorite for snipers. It gives you a view of both bases and allows you to shoot out anyone silly enough to step into the turret. There is also a convenient Carbine here that works well for when you run out of Sniper Rifle ammunition.

(4) You'll find the Shotgun by taking this tunnel. More importantly, it provides access to and from the bases with excellent cover from enemy snipers.

(5) The rocks scattered around the field are excellent cover that you should use when trying to approach the enemy base. If you are defending and someone is hiding behind the rocks, try throwing grenades at them to flush them out.

TURF

Map Type: Outdoor, Asymmetrical
Default Vehicles: Warthog
Default Weapons: Brute Shot, Magnum, Plasma Pistol, Battle Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Brute Plasma Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, SMG
Preferred Game Types: King of the Hill, Oddball, Slayer, Territories
Turrets, Devices, and Power-ups: N/A

Located at the center of Old Mombasa, Turf is an area that was once a busy community with the hustle and bustle of a successful city. Today the city has been destroyed, with nearly all its occupants having been killed if they weren’t able to flee. A fallen Scarab serves as a constant reminder to the war as do the tattered buildings lying in ruins. Players familiar with the Old Mombasa level of Halo 2 will instantly recognize the similarities between the two maps, but they will also be quick to notice Turf’s advancements over the original map. Since Bungie has had more time to experiment with the Xbox hardware, they have been able to more efficiently make use of the console’s memory, which has allowed them to pack even more into each of the new maps. Concerning Turf, the designers were able to add even more textures, enhance the already impressive lighting and add such subtle details as mud splashes along the sides of buildings as well as weather effects such as watermarks left by rain.

Turf is a very tight map that is a combination of open streets that are broken up by large buildings and narrow alleyways. This gives the map a good deal of flexibility that is best suited for a variety of games including Territories, King of the Hill and Oddball, but it also an ideal location for CTF matches. The weapon of choice for this map is the shotgun. Incredibly effective, the shotgun can easily waste an enemy who happens to pop out from around a corner without paying attention. Turf is a very versatile map that allows players to make use of the surroundings for a number of different game types making it one of the most exciting and dynamic within the pack.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Turf 1
Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Turf 2

(1) Several places around the level offer great defensive positions during 1 flag CTF games. By jumping up onto the roof tops, you can shoot down onto advancing enemies from above. Plus, in both of the marked locations, you'll find a Plasma Pistol.

(2) Standing on top of the crates with a Battle Rifle allows you to quickly shoot down any enemies who try to rush in and steal your flag. It also allows you to stay out of the path of anything they fire at your base.

(3) There is a ledge above the exit to the Warehouse that leads towards the base. If you stand on it, you'll have protection on three sides and be able to shoot down at unsuspecting enemies.

(4) The only Sniper Rifle is located here. It is a great weapon for controlling the long, open streets. Use the ramp that leads up beside it by smashing through the glass on the ground floor. It is much faster and less dangerous.

(5) The door to the warehouse can be punched or blown open, but will swing shut again. If someone keeps shooting out of the door as it swings open and closed, try jumping over the wall to surprise them from above.

(6) The Warthog is the only vehicle in the level. Due to the windy backroads, the Warthog works best as a stationary turret. Quickly hop out if a grenade tips it over.

BACKWASH

Map Type: Outdoor, Symmetrical
Default Vehicles: N/A
Default Weapons: Brute Shot, Carbine, Energy Sword, Magnum, Plasma Pistol, Battle Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Sentinel Beam, Shotgun, SMG
Preferred Game Types: CTF, Slayer Turrets: Optional
Devices: N/A
Power-ups: Active camo

Easily one of our favorite maps, Backwash is a throwback to the original Halo level 343 Guilty Spark. Situated on Delta Halo, Backwash is a foggy and dark map where a constant rainfall provides for a dreary, yet intriguing backdrop for the combat to take place. Backwash is the location of a Forerunner structure that is an automated system that glows with spooky looking lights and its low humming noises keep players aware it’s still very much operational. The ambient sound effects create a mysterious setting that is best appreciated in full 5.1 surround as it will fill your room with plenty of noises to keep you on your toes. The dense fog should give players a good deal of cover as it restricts a player’s viewing distance. Players will only be able to make out blurry shapes moving around in the distance, without being able to see the details that signify if they are friend or foe.

Backwash is an open map, but the variations in its surface caused by the hills make the terrain much more complex that it appears at first glance. Players can happen upon each other without notice as they come over the crest of a hilltop, forcing themselves into close combat against the enemy. Quick thinking and accurate shooting will be put to the test as players move throughout this dark, damp map. A fallen tree and the central structure give players a few places to seek high ground, which gives them an advantage over players running around in the restrictive fog below. This is a good place to toss grenades or make use of such weapons as the Carbine or the Brute Rifle. There is also an Energy Sword hidden within the fallen tree that can prove to be one of the most useful weapons in close combat situations. However, keep in mind that its bright glow also makes it easier for enemies to see the player wielding it.

Backwash is a great map and probably our favorite of the Map Pack because of its difference from the rest of the maps along with how unique the gameplay situations its environment creates. The sound effects of the map are also the best of the nine new maps, and together with the sound of gunfire and plasma explosions in the distance make Backwash a real treat to check out. It’s the subtle things about the map that really stand out, such as the inclusion of the red colored Penitent Tangent that is very similar to 343 Guilty Spark, but the reddish coloring makes it easier to distinguish from a plasma grenade as it floats around the map. Other minor details such as the fireflies that flutter about, really give Backwash a lot of flavor you won’t find on other maps.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Backwash

(1) The Plasma Sword is found on top of this downed tree. Since the map is small and dark, this weapon is a must have. Keep it sheathed until you are close to your victim so that you don't give away your location.

(2) The central tower has a room on the second floor that you can access by jumping up onto the ledges. You can quickly get there from the Plasma Sword as well. This area houses the active camouflage which can make the sword wielder even more deadly. On the ground floor, you'll find a Brute Shot.

(3) The Shotgun can be found here. It is a surprisingly effective weapon. Snake your way through the exposed tree roots to get close to your enemy and stay in the dark. Use the darkness and mist to keep an element of surprise and the Shotgun will bring you a lot of frags.

(4) Closer to the Red Team base, you'll find two metal bars sticking out over the field. Jumping and then crouching will enable you to get on top. This works great for getting the drop on opponents or for shooting them from above.

(5) Each base houses a Plasma Pistol and a Sentinel Beam. Don't use the Sentinel Beam as it is extremely underpowered and gives away your location instantly. The Plasma Pistol only works well in tandem with another weapon.

ELONGATION

Map Type: Indoor, Symmetrical
Default Vehicles: N/A
Default Weapons: Brute Shot, Magnum, Plasma Pistol, Battle Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shotgun, SMG
Preferred Game Types: CTF, King of the Hill, Oddball, Slayer
Turrets, Devices, and Power-ups: N/A

High in orbit above the Earth, a human built freighter carries materials and supplies to the military and civilian installations around the globe. The cruiser is equipped with a large conveyor belt that moves heavy packing crates along the central part of the map. At the start of each map however, the belts are clear of any crates, so they can be used as a quick way to get from one side of the map to another if a team is fast enough to hop on them before any of the crates get in the way. Together with the many small passageways throughout the map and the constantly moving crates on the conveyor, Elongation is a dynamic map that has the potential for some very heated battles. Inspired by the original Halo map Longest, Elongation is a much more streamlined variation that eliminates some of the areas players tended to get trapped such as the various pits that tormented players of Longest.

Elongation is a well designed map that works great for matches of CTF and even Slayer, but its symmetry gave us more than a few problems trying to figure out where we were during the game. After playing for a bit we noticed a few visual keys that could be used as markers to tell which side of the map we were on. For example, there is a large burning bulkhead on one side of the map, so this is one visual key players will need to become familiar with or they may find themselves spinning in circles trying to get their bearings while enemies blast away. One of the best matches we got to play was using rockets. Due to the long pathways that are quite narrow, it’s very easy to launch a rocket and take out more than a few opponents who become trapped in the tight spaces with no hope of escape.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Elongation

(1) The conveyor belts supply an endless train of crates moving down the hall and into a pit at the end. Use the crates for cover and as a step up to the walkways above. A big enough explosion can blast the crates right off the moving walkway which can give you even more of a barrier at your base. If you stand behind a moving crate, you can move down to the other side of the map without appearing on a radar.

(2) On the walkway above each base you can find the Shotgun. This weapon works well in big games with lots of people running down the halls quickly. Stay out of the main corridor and blast people away when they come around corners.

(3) Some piled up crates provide protection in your base. Incoming forces will definitely try to throw grenades in to soften you up before trying to capture your flag or plant a bomb. To avoid this, look for little ledges on the wall in the back corner. Standing on them gives you a good view of anyone trying to attack and makes it so that even the best placed grenade won't kill you.

GEMINI

Map Type: Indoor, Asymmetrical
Default Vehicles: N/A
Default Weapons: Brute Shot, Carbine, Energy Sword, Plasma Pistol, Beam Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shotgun, SMG
Preferred Game Types: King of the Hill, Oddball, Slayer
Turrets, Devices, and Power-ups: N/A

Gemini is a map that takes place on the Covenant ship turned city, High Charity. Designed as a place of meditation, Gemini is a refuge for thought for the senior prelates within the Prophet ranks. Today, the ongoing battles have ravaged the once calm surroundings of Gemini. Those who have been longtime Bungie followers will recognize Gemini from its Marathon roots as it is a redesigned version of the Duality map. Duality was a much smaller more limited space, but its foundation gave Gemini’s designers a basis upon which to construct a much more complex and larger Covenant map.

Visually, Gemini is almost identical to what we’ve seen in the High Charity level of Halo 2. The arched purple-ish hallways with doorways that lead into more open areas are directly from Halo 2 with a few additional specific for the new map. At the center of the map is a large tree of unknown origin that has been replanted on the ship, surrounded by a courtyard that provides players with a picturesque environment to enjoy blasting away enemies within.

With is multiple levels, hallways connected by doorways and its open courtyard and upper balcony, Gemini is great for games of Oddball or King of the Hill. The different areas give players a lot of places to move around in while teamwork is the key to success. The only negative thing we noticed about Gemini was that its audio sound effects were not as pronounced as the other maps, aside from the constant sound of doorways opening up. Perhaps the intensity of the action overtook our ability to notice the map’s subtle sound effects, but they just didn’t seem to pop out as much as maps such as Backwash and Sanctuary. All things considered, Gemini is still an exciting map that is a great addition to the lineup of new maps now available.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Gemini

(1) The bulk of the fighting will take place around this tree. Near its base, you can find the Plasma Sword. By taking teleporters, you can get to higher platforms that work well as sniping areas. You can also jump into the tree branches from those platforms for a sniping area that is hidden by tree branches.

(2) The statue across from the tree offers another great place to snipe. Pick up the Beam Rifle near its base, and then use the grav lift to get on top of the statue's head. You'll have an excellent view of the main battle field. Even better, Plasma Grenades won't stick to the statue, so anyone trying to toss grenades up at you will have to have a perfect throw.

(3) The two doors behind the tree will lead outside. There you'll find a teleporter that will bring you back to the base of the statue. This is great for getting to the other side of the map quickly and for use in Oddball games.

(4) There are two doors opposite each other at the top of the ramp near the statue. They both lead to a Brute Shot and one way teleporters. These teleporters will put you up onto platforms above the main field of battle and allow you to access the tree sniping position.

RELIC

Map Type: Outdoor, Asymmetrical
Default Vehicles: Ghost, Warthog
Default Weapons: Carbine, Energy Sword, Magnum, Needler, Plasma Pistol, Battle Rifle, Beam Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Rocket Launcher, Shotgun, SMG
Preferred Game Types: 1-bomb Assault, 1-flag Capture the Flag
Turrets: Yes
Devices: 2-way Teleporter, Teleporter switch
Power-ups: N/A

A battle worn island located on the blue waters of the vast sea of Delta Halo, Relic is the final resting place of a crashed Albatross Dropship that has scattered wreckage materials across the island’s surface. There is also a large Forerunner structure at the center of the island that provides players with an ideal fortress that is both easy to defend and difficult to attack. There are openings beneath the structure that can provide cover as well as access to the teleporter.

A fairly large scale map, Relic does provide plenty of coverage from the fallen wreckage and sandstone formations for players to make use of while traversing the landscape. However, because of the map’s size, lone marines moving from place to place are perfect targets for skilled snipers so making use of the map’s vehicles is most likely the best way to get troops from one place to another quickly and safely. There is also a teleporter that helps assist with rapid transit, particularly during matches of capture the flag.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Relic Map

(1) The only Rocket Launcher on the map can be found here. If the other team likes to use Ghosts and the Warthog, you better make sure you've got yourself one of these bad boys. In fact, get it even if they don't use vehicles.

(2) The Covenant Beam Rifle can be picked up at the base of this sniping platform. You can use the gravity lift to get inside, but everyone will be looking for you there. It is better to take the Beam Rifle and hide out somewhere else.

(3) This is a great place to hide out if you have the Beam Rifle or Battle Rifle, especially if you're on the Red Team. It gives you a great view of the Blue Team base and is right near your flag - perfect for defense.

(4) Ghosts and Warthogs are great in this big level, but be careful not to stray too far out into the water. The shore drops off quickly and you'll fall to your death in the murky waters below.

(5) The Plasma Sword is underneath the large central structure. Although it is powerful at close range, don't stray out onto the main battlefield with it. You'll be an easy target from far away. Instead, keep it inside the central building and slice up unsuspecting people passing through.

(6) Look here to find a switch that opens a two way teleporter. It conveniently opens a quick path that links both of the bases. This is a great way to clear the wide open space between the bases in a CTF game.

(7) The Red Team has its own platform for sniping. Standing on top of this petrified tree gives you a good view of a large portion of the level.

TERMINAL

Map Type: Outdoor, Asymmetrical
Default Vehicles: Ghost, Warthog, Wraith
Default Weapons: Carbine, Energy Sword, Magnum, Plasma Pistol, Battle Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, SMG
Preferred Game Types: Assault, CTF
Turrets: Yes
Devices: Train
Power-ups: Overshield

Situated in New Mombasa, Terminal was once a hub of commerce where the upper-class gathered to shop, enjoy lunch and mingle with friends. New Mombasa has seen those days come and go, and it’s been some time since Terminal wasn’t filled with explosions and death. Splitting the map down the center is a rapidly moving train that speeds by on what’s left of the city’s MagLev commuter system that has been mostly destroyed by Covenant forces. The rails that tower above the ground can be a good way to get from one side of Terminal to the other as well as to reach the level’s Energy Sword, but watch out for the train, or end up a splatter mark in its path.

Terminal is loaded with vehicles such as a Warthog, Ghost and a Wraith, which all can give players an advantage against their opponents. The Wraith can be particularly beneficial as its ability to launch long range Plasma Mortars gives its occupant the opportunity to cause large amounts of damage from just about any spot on the map. We had a good time playing a few matches of Team Slayer, both with sniper rifles and rocket launchers as both weapons are extremely useful on a map like this. The interior areas of the map are great for camping out with either a long range rifle or an explosive launcher, while the wide open areas make for ideal shooting ranges to take out unsuspecting foes.

Terminal is a solid map with a mixture of interior and exterior areas to compete in, giving players a variety of combat situations to take part in. The train also provides a unique aspect of the map that adds a level of dynamics to the gameplay. For example, players looking for a fast way to transport a flag from the enemy base to their own may want to use the train tracks, but they will have to be careful not to do so while the train is nearby. Following the train can also provide some cover as any enemies on the other side will either get squashed or be forced to jump out of the way.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Terminal 1

(1) The Sniper Rifle is vital in a long open level such as this one. Be sure to pick it up quickly to ensure that your team has the long range edge.

(2) This spot is the best for defending the Blue Flag. It sits inside this section and can be guarded by the turret from any incoming vehicles. Sitting in the back with a Sniper Rifle allows you to look to the right and see clear down the train tracks, or to the left and see the green path below.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Terminal 2

(3) The walkway above the train tracks provides more than just a safe way to cross over them. If you knock out the windows and crouch, you can see a lot of the field, making this an ideal sniping position.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Terminal 3

(4) Jumping up from the rock next to it, you can sit atop this light post. If you have a Sniper Rifle or Battle Rifle, you'll be set to shoot out anything that passes below you.

Halo 2: Multiplayer Map: Terminal 4

(5) The Rocket Launcher is hidden in the back corner of the garage in the garage attendant's booth. Pick it up to have some defense against the Wraith and Ghosts coming your way.

(6) The Plasma Sword and the overshield upgrade sit atop the tracks. The only problem is, the tracks have trains actively driving aross them. Most people will only travel on to the tracks to get these items or during Crazy King and Oddball games. From the window indicated here, you can jump to the tracks and pick up the sword without risking your life much. If you do decide to venture on to the rails, stay in on the center platforms. Trains only run on one side at a time. If you take a small step away from them, you can stay in the middle of the tracks without getting hit.

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