It has been almost a year since the highly anticipated and extravagantly successful Xbox game “Halo 2” was released by Microsoft Game Studios. Today , 6.5 million copies later, the game has received reviews and awards that would and did make any die-hard gamer drop everything they were doing, even work, to rush right out and buy one, and “Halo 2” is now offering a little something more to its very loyal fans.
November 9, 2004, is a day that will be remembered fondly by those who fought the midnight crowds to get their hands on what would become the most popular Microsoft Xbox game ever distributed, and a day that would be forever resented by those who camped out and came away empty handed. On this great day in gaming history, a little more than 6,500 well-known retailers opened their doors at midnight in what would become the greatest shopping frenzy in gaming history.
The frenzy was so great, that employers reported that there were quite a few sick days taken on November 10. Some say it was due to the “Halo 2” flu. Well the “Halo 2” flu season is again in full swing as Microsoft recently announced the release of its greatly anticipated “Halo 2” Multiplayer Map Pack on June 28.
The multiplayer expansion pack, which is the first of its kind for a console title, contains nine new multiplayer maps to push gamers’ skills to their limits and will be available in both retail outlets and via Xbox Live(TM). The retail package also features two new videos: an animated short from the single-player story in New Mombasa and a mini-documentary that includes interviews with the map designers, combat strategies, and fly-throughs of the new maps. The retail pack also allows gamers who prefer offline play via System Link and split-screen to upgrade their Halo 2 experience with new maps.
As a special bonus and thank you, Xbox Live subscribers got an early chance to check out four maps from the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack in late April. Two maps, Containment and Warlock, were presented by Mountain Dew at no cost to Xbox Live subscribers. Two additional maps, Sanctuary and Turf, were available for purchase via Xbox Live. The final five maps became available on June 28.
Set in a Forerunner environment on Delta Halo, Containment is a massive, icy, outdoor environment suitable for vehicle combat and large team objective games such as Capture the Flag. Warlock, a small to midsized indoor arena set in ancient Forerunner ruins, offers ample opportunities for a variety of game types such as Territories, Slayer, Team Slayer, and more.
Located in the streets of Old Mombasa near the wreckage of a downed Covenant Scarab, Turf is a midsized asymmetrical urban combat environment with narrow streets, dark alleyways, and easily defendable buildings. The sunlit remains of an ancient Forerunner temple, Sanctuary is a medium-sized symmetrical environment excellent for Capture the Flag, Assault, Territories, and Slayer games.
As you can see, if you’re not one of the many that has been infected by the “Halo 2” flu, you may be missing out on a great deal of gaming fun. Is it possible that I can see a sick day in your immediate future as you catch up on lost time?