The Halo series features some of the most fleshed out, compelling universes of any video game that puts a gun in your hand and directs you to kill all enemies on sight. Learning the terrifying origins of the Flood, bravely fighting to the death during the Fall of Reach, and racing against the Covenant to stop the firing of the Halo rings; these are all stories that will always be remembered within the bullet-ridden hearts of Halo fans.
Of course, it’s the hyperactive, adrenaline seizing Halo multiplayer that keeps the masses hooked, and the upcoming Halo Infinite will likely be no different.
One of the most enthralling aspects of Halo multiplayer is the terrific selection of multiplayer maps. These locales, lovingly designed with callouts to human, Covenant, or Forerunner architecture, dictate the style of play for a match and reward imaginative explorers with terrific sniper posts and hidden paths to sneak up on your enemies.
343 Industries urged us to “Discover Hope” in their triumphant Halo Infinite trailer, and so below we will choose our top picks for which maps we hope will make a return to the newest installment in the Halo series.
10. Hang‘em High
The first map on our list is from the first in the Halo series, Halo Combat Evolved. Back in the day, Hang’em High was all about Spaghetti Wester pistol action, quickest draw and surest shot wins the day. The small blocks dotting the lower level provided perfect cover to dart between, staying low while shooters with the high ground pop from above.
The upstairs battlements aren’t safe either, as sightlines were open across the entire upper deck. Battle Rifles were another viable alternative, especially on the Halo 2 remake of this map called Tombstone. In both versions, the map resembles some sort of empty warehouse where military exercises were conducted, like a spiritual predecessor to The Pit.
Hang’em High is a map that deserves a modern face lift. The original was functionally well designed for medium sized skirmishes, but the aesthetic was bland as stale Corn Flakes.
9. Battle Creek
Or as it was known in Halo 2, Beaver Creek. Battle Creek has the two base formula perfected in Blood Gulch, on a more claustrophobic landscape. The simple symmetrical structure made this map an easy pick for vicious rounds of Capture the Flag or Team Slayer.
In Halo CE, Battle Creek was easily one of the most naturally abundant multiplayer maps. A tranquil brook swims through the center of the map, and the landscape is interspersed with trees, tall grass and boulder cover. Bisecting the entire map is a natural rock bridge where the all-powerful SPNKr Rocket Launcher sits. Spartan veterans will quickly nab the invisibility, pick up the sniper rifle, and hop into a tree to smoke the other team from afar.
This doesn’t even mention the thrill of the individual bases, featuring underground tunnels and mysterious fog on the lower level. Halo Infinite could offer a map with a similar layout but updated bases and a reimagined look (Like how the blue frozen Flood lab Lockout became an arctic outpost at sunset in the Halo Master Chief Collection).
Arguably the best Big Team Battle arena available within Halo Reach, Spire is the only map on this list that was taken basically unaltered from the game’s single-player campaign.
In the campaign mission Tip of the Spear, the Spire is grounds for a tense exchange where Noble Team nearly gets vaporized by a Covenant supercarrier. In multiplayer, the Spire is an even more intense battlefield with popular clash zones at the base and peak of the spire, in the Covenant mini-outpost right next to it, and around the boulder field downhill from the structure.
The stinging vehicular chaos in the air and on the ground are a wonderful backdrop for the long and short range battles all around this map. I think this would be a perfect revival if Halo Infinite decides to do a Battle Royale variant in the newest installment.
343 Industries, don’t even bother changing a thing, bring Spire back unadulterated in its entirety.
The Halo series has tried the oval shaped, vehicle centered map design in many iterations, but none is more memorable than the wooded racetrack circuit Exile. A crashed UNSC spaceship serves as the centerpiece for large-scale combat where Spartans can choose to pilot a Banshee, jump in the driver’s seat of multiple land vehicles, or hole up in the fortifications built on either side of the track.
There is no other map in the series quite as exhilarating as this one for Warthog teams. Some other maps prove to be a quick deathtrap for these vehicles, but because Warthogs can retain their speed here while also being in close proximity enemies on foot at all times, they are a high octane force to be reckoned in Exile. Additionally, multiple lanes along the track only increase the replayability of this map for drivers.
Exile is a Halo 4 map, so the visual details don’t need a great amount of rework. But the exhilaration of high velocity vehicular carnage has not been so well replicated since Exile, and is in desperate need of a revival.
The multilevel tower of death Countdown is inspired by the SABRE-launch facility featured in the Halo Reach campaign. This is a medium sized map, with an even balance between open sightlines for midrange shootouts and compact rooms necessitating close quarters combat. Sword or shotgun wielders can be deadly on this map, but these juggernauts can be bested with clever grenade bounces and backpedaling while firing.
Despite the smaller size of this map, it’s remarkable how different each match transpires in Countdown. Conflicts commonly arise on the end of the grav and air lifts on this map, but just as likely are firefights across the open middle, or random encounters in the hallways and stairs around the facility. Countdown provided endless entertainment and a balanced map that would be a welcome addition to Halo Infinite.
The Narrows was a beloved choice in Halo 3, a symmetrical Forerunner causeway spanning a mammoth canyon that gladly swallowed up any player unfortunate enough to fall into it. The center bridge was flanked on either side with man cannons that would spit players across the gaping expanse to the other base.
This map is very well designed for all of the gaming types, and there are few joys more rewarding than sniping a flying Spartan from the bridge, or even better, killing enemies in mid-air combat who use the opposing side’s mancannon at the same time.
4. The Pit
In my opinion, The Pit is one of the most underrated maps in Halo history. It received a weathered sandy remake in Halo 4 after being passed up on Reach, and Halo 5 gave it a similar pass. Fair enough 343 Industries, sometimes players need a break from certain maps to really appreciate their value
I’ll state my case here: The Pit’s maze-like layout of metal fortifications, covered platforms, turret lines and air lifts foster a unique game each match. Many mid-to small maps in Halo multiplayer are designed in a way that inevitably creates central kill zone locations where all the action is centered.
However, The Pit avoids this pattern with a balanced, asymmetrical build rewarding players who can think creatively, and teams who move toward objectives in a steady, tactical manner. The other golden aspect of The Pit is it’s versatility in game modes. Multi-team, Invasion, Team Slayer, King of the Hill, Oddball, all are perfect for this map.
3. Blood Gulch
I had a tough time deciding between reviving Blood Gulch or Valhalla as the designated Big Team Battle throwback map. However, if 343 Industries is announcing Halo Infinite as a spiritual reboot, it only seems right to make a return to the box canyon that started it all.
I’ll admit, after hours spent playing in Blood Gulch in Halo CE, Coagulation in Halo 2, and then Hemorrhage in Halo Reach, the map was beginning to lose it’s excitement. Enter Valhalla, the two-base successor to Blood Gulch which proved to be an excellent replacement until it too was recycled in Halo 4 as Ragnarok, and then again in Halo 5 as Viking.
Now that Valhalla has become overused in the multiplayer scene, Blood Gulch is poised for a comeback. (Although, some additions should be made to provide sniper coverage for Spartans in the space between the bases.)
Pull the trigger 343 Industries, the people are calling for Blood…Gulch.
Midship, also going by the names Heretic in Halo 3 and Truth in Halo 5, is indisputably the most popularly remixed map in the Halo series. Each iteration is an interesting tweak to the consistent formula, which is a small-sized arena in a Covenant cruiser with grav lifts that bounce players around the map.
The tight hallways and open lines of sight across the map guarantee a constant stream of death and an addictive feeling of constantly being on edge. The action on Midship is as hot and messy as a barrage of plasma rifle shots, and like the plasma rifle, it deserves to stay with the Halo series forever.
Lockout is the number one map that deserves a remake in Halo Infinite. It first gained popularity in Halo 2 as a frozen, floating research facility that had a multi-level layout with hidden corners, myriad escape routes and most prominently, a perilous middle arena that was a death sentence to enter.
This map, which was perfect for nearly every type of game variant, received revamps in the form of Blackout and Guardian in Halo 3. Both versions masterfully created an environment where every spot on the map was well equipped for a showdown with the enemy. Plus, the weapon loadouts hidden all over the map lended an element of chaos to any match here.
Halo MCC gifted fans with a Lockout facelift that included a sunset glow, new escape routes, and deadly stalactites that can be dropped on pesky snipers. Halo Infinite can easily one up this by providing the same concept of an asymmetrical labyrinth map with a new aesthetic to excite veterans of the shooter.
All this speculation is only pumping me up more for the eventual release of Halo Infinite, announced to drop around the same time as the Xbox Series X this Holiday season. If you need a lil’ something extra that’s sure to put a full charge into your Plasma Pistol, check out our other list of ten things we are most excited about seeing in Halo Infinite. You won’t regret it, Spartan.
Otherwise, we recommend that you check out this wonderful video of Gyoza the pug making alien noises in the recording studio at 343 Industries. Apparently, this snarly pupper is an accredited voice actor for enemies in Halo Infinite. How cute is that?