Halo 4 received more DLC this past week with the Champions Bundle giving players two more multiplayer maps, new stances and all kinds of other cosmetics upgrades. 343 also has split up the DLC into 3 different bundles players could buy instead, the Bullseye pack ($6.99, which comes with two maps and a new gametype), the Infinity Armor Pack ($2.99, which comes with three new armors variants), and Steel Skin pack ($2.99, which includes all new weapon skins). The Championship bundle comes with all three of those DLCs bundled together and costs 800 points/ $9.99.
I’ll start off with the maps, which includes one brand new map and the return of my favorite Halo map of all time, The Pit. The Pit returns as Pitfall, and is almost identical to the version in Halo 3. 343 made a few changes, incorporating some of the design from MLG’s version, by including steps jumps inside the flag spawn, so players can jump up and move easier. They also added a new lift up to the sword area, which makes it harder for players to camp in sword.
These additions to The Pit are very welcome, and work quite well. The map still flows incredibly well, and is one of the best multiplayer maps in the game. The map plays quicker now with the addition of sprint, and that is often to it’s benefit. The Pit would often become a camp fest as each team waited on their side for new weapons, but sprint allows you to be a bit more aggressive. It works great for Team Slayer, CTF, and the new Ricochet gametype.
Ricochet is almost a mix of soccer and basketball, where the two teams try to get the ball into the other teams score zone. You can earn 20 points by throwing the ball, and 50 points by running the ball in. The ball acts just like the oddball, where it can be thrown between players and allows for some very strategic matches if you have a good team of four. Ricochet is one of the best gametypes I have played in Halo in a while, and I hope 343 puts in a Ricochet playlist soon, as it’s currently the only thing voted for in the Champions Bundle playlist.
Vertigo is an asymmetrical map, which plays best for Team Slayer and Extraction. Its mixture of outdoor and indoor fighting lets players really play how they prefer. Vertigo also features the first dynamic interactive elements on Halo 4, where players can shoot a button on one of its towers, which then takes all players on that tower down to no shields. Using these dynamic elements, you can rack up more assists than on any previous Halo map. Both of these maps add greatly needed elements to Halo 4’s multiplayer, and The Pit alone to me was worth the purchase.
The Infinity Armor pack comes with three armor variants, which sees the return of the ODST and Mark V variants and the all new Prefect armor which steals the show. As you can see in the image below, Prefect is really the highlight of the three, though ODST and Mark V are great for long time Halo fans. The Steel Skin pack gives players a steampunk-esc take on all their weapons. It’s good, but I’m not the biggest fan of paying $2.99 for weapon skins.
Conclusion: 343 knocked it out of the park with these DLCs, and the Champions Bundle is a value for Halo fans. Ricochet is one of the best new gametypes to come to Halo in a while, and I honestly hope to see it return in future Halo titles. Pitfall and Vertigo both add great new small to mid sizes maps to Halo 4’s multiplayer suite, and Pitfall is still one of, if not the best, Halo maps of all time. The Steel Skin pack seems overpriced at $2.99, as does the Infinity Armor pack, though that one (to me) gives you more bang for your buck.
Recommendation: If you just want the new maps, and don’t care about extra customization of your Spartan, than buy the Bullseye pack for $6.99. It gives you the new gametype, both new maps and the Ricochet armor variant. If you enjoy extra customization though, just pay the extra $3 to get the Champions Bundle, which includes Infinity Armor Pack and Steel Skin pack. Buying the bundle also gives you new stances, weapon skins and armor skins exclusive to the bundle.
by, Bobby Marquardt
Full disclosure: I played about 10 games in the Champions Bundle DLC playlist, with about four on Vertigo. I purchased the Champions Bundle on Xbox Live 8-20-13.