The Halo franchise has a long history with map packs - some good, some bad - but ongoing and ever present. These map packs have been important in keeping players engaged with the franchise between new entries in the series. Yes, sometimes they’ve felt like filler, but fortunately for players, the Majestic Map Pack does not. In fact, it feels like some of the most “pure” multiplayer Halo mapmaking in years.
The pack comprises three extremely small maps: Monolith, Skyline, and Landfall, making for great small teams or free-for-all matches.
Monolith - a moon-base-looking map filled with Forerunner architecture - is by far the smallest of the three but provides a nice, nearly symmetrical layout with a multilayer center point that’s great for King of the Hill or single-flag CTF. Its tight corridors make for great closed-space gameplay, but it also opens up for the occasional long-distance shootout. This balance makes it a standout regardless of team size or game mode, perfect for those quick, small team games that don’t rely on vehicles or anything else, but also packing a punch with plenty of power weapons scattered throughout like the Railgun, Rocket Launcher, Binary Rifle, and Needler.
Skyline is another favorite, taking place in a series of tight (though open-ceilinged) spaces high above a busy industrial city skyline. It’s nearly symmetrical with slight differences on each side, each area containing multiple levels that provide different angles and heights to attack from and many different pathways leading to and fro.
Most prominently, Skyline’s open-air design lends itself incredibly well to the jetpack. Even if this leaves you heavily exposed, it’s still the quickest and most effective way to get around, and the environment is heavily populated with objects low enough for jumping to the second level without help from funneled lifts or ramps.
Landfall is by far the largest map in the Majestic Map Pack and is also of open design. It takes place on some alien planet on what seems to be a UNSC installation used for cargo shipping and warthog repairs. There are plenty of containers and vehicle lifts scattered throughout the level, providing plenty of cover and/or jumping platforms, and the inside/outside mix of action is nicely and evenly split.
Its echoes of Halo 2 remind me of the good ol’ days, and though you might not know your way around every secret in the map, you can be sure that someone on your team does. This is important, as Landfall works best on team game modes, fine for things like Regicide but seeming a tad too big for most other free-for-all modes.
If you’re into big team game modes, the Majestic Map Pack probably isn’t for you, but free-for-all or small-team fans will find the perfect complement to Halo 4’s spectacular close-quarters maps. Each of the three maps is small enough for quick, action-packed gameplay, but also open enough to avoid cramping. Everything feels just right, and we can’t wait to see what maps come next.