Time to get excited, folks: the 2018 Halo World Championship London EMEA Finals will be held right here at our very own Gfinity Arena on February 23rd-25th. As we get ready, allow us to take you on a journey down memory lane as we look back across the history of the Halo series and give you our top 5 favourite Halo maps of all time.
5. Exile (Halo 4)Whilst many regard the first three Halo games as the pinnacle of the franchise's multiplayer map design, there's still plenty of great locales in more recent instalments. Exile is a great example from Halo 4. A map that works with a huge variety of game modes from regular Capture the Flag to Dominion and Slayer, it also features a great variety of vehicles and a mix of outdoor and indoor areas to vary the terrain and tactics. Everything naturally plays at a fast pace on this map, but the options for how you achieve your Killtaculars are endless.
4. Sanctuary (Halo 2)
Also Known As: Asylum (Halo: Reach), Shrine (Halo 2: Anniversary)Like a great pop song, Sanctuary is proof that sometimes a simple structure goes a long way. For a series initially famed for a 4 v 4 arena style of matches, Sanctuary exemplifies it perfectly with a design that eschews the complexity and depth of other maps and allows for balanced gameplay styles no matter what the mode in play. Players can come at every base on this map from any angle, so defences have to be proactive to keep the invaders at bay. Perhaps more than any other map on this list, Sanctuary feels like a map built purely for maximum gameplay enjoyment and replay value, rather than exploration or wonder. And in that aspect, it succeeds wholeheartedly.
3. The Pit (Halo 3)
Also Known As: Pitfall (Halo 4)Perhaps unsurprisingly for a map designed as a UNSC Training Facility, The Pit is neatly assembled with different areas that suit certain combat styles, perfectly contributing to a great feeling of variety and intense melees. The symmetrical layout features sniper rifles at the base of each team's tower for tense sniping duels, a great selection of pickups including Rockets, Camo, Overshields and Swords all along the centreline of the map and open sections flowing into chokepoints to transition gameplay from mid-range gunplay to frenzied melee combat. Whilst not quite as natural or flowing a landscape as other maps, this man-made structure succeeds at its purpose of training new recruits whilst also being a fantastic arena for rookies and veterans alike to do battle.
2. Lockout (Halo 2)
Also Known As: Blackout (Halo 3), Lockdown (Halo 2: Anniversary)Looking like a rejected Lost Planet level, this visually sparse arena is also rightfully regarded as one of the finest Halo maps in history. Because what else are you going to do with an abandoned research facility hanging off the side of a mountain in the frozen wastelands? The maze of rooms and corridors leads to intense close-quarters combat often, but snipers can have plenty of fun on this map from the BR Tower and grenade players can achieve some spectacular angles and bounces once they know the full layout. It all contributes to the Legend of Lockout, deserving of its reputation as an all-time great. Second only to...
1. Blood Gulch (Halo: Combat Evolved)
Also Known As: Coagulation (Halo 2), Hemorrhage (Halo:Reach), Bloodline (Halo 2: Anniversary)Was it going to be anything other than this classic? Yes, call us predictable, but you'd be calling us wrong if we didn't put Blood Gulch at #1. And you'd be right. This map is to the Halo series what De_Dust is to Counter-Strike, and its iconic reputation is well-founded. Blood Gulch laid down the template for not just Halo maps in general, but what the series itself was all about: fast and varied gameplay featuring a great selection of weapons, vehicles and base combat. The fact it is the most remade map in the history of the Halo franchise tells you all you need to know about its iconic reputation, and additionally it inspired the excellent Valhalla map from Halo 3. It even crossed over into the Halo Wars real-time-strategy game and was the setting of the world-famous Red Vs Blue series. For not only its epic design but its lasting impact on the Halo franchise, there's no way Blood Gulch could be anywhere else but #1 on our list.Just don't block the teleporter pads with vehicles. Seriously, don't be THAT person.