Actually, because we’ve been so vague with these and this info is now officially out, this week we’re going to bore the hell out of you with the tiny details of this map. If you want the overview, you should check out Luke Smith’s article over at 1up. This week Frankie, ske7ch and I played just one game but now that the leash is off, that's more than enough to go on about.
ske7ch- “It’s basically a race to see who finds Frankie first.”
FriendlyFrank- Ghost shenaniganist
KayPi- Makes up words, such as “shenaniganist*.”
*Perpetrator of shenanigans
Game: Team Slayer
High Ground, AR start
Game Duration: 19:40
General Tone of Game: Uncomfortably close, like a seven blade razor.
Spawning on the beach, the obvious choice was to head to the right to grab the sniper rifle that spawns in a crevice which can be used to make your way to the base without being seen. On the way up from the beach to the base along the right side, is every grenade available normal, plasma and spike. The crevice opens up into an exposed yet defensible area with a couple boulders and a waist-level wall. Behind the wall you’ll find two stickies and behind one of the boulders you’ll find a pair of spike grenades.
After picking up these items I moved up and walked into the base from the most direct entrance on the right side. When you enter from this way there are a few choices. You can bear right and crouch-walk into a pipe which will lead you into the back of the base. This route is most useful for infiltrating the base during an objective gametype, though it has proven useful for sneaking behind an enemy team during Team Slayer and disrupting their hold on the base, if such is their strategy. At the end of the tunnel is the sword, a decent offensive weapon in a slayer game, but with only two other opponents and a sniper rifle on my back, my best bet was still the assault rifle on this map.
The second choice is to advance along the path on the right which leads to a small set of stairs and then into the same room in which the pipe will lead you to. The advantage to this route is that it leads you over a couple more spike grenades, a Carbine, a pair of Spike Rifles and it’s much quicker. This route is, however, exposed to the base, so stealth is not an option and you’re more than exposed to fire. The third route is to bear left at the right-side entrance and walk through the covered area with the turret and into the bunker on the left or down a staircase heading towards the base. Going into the bunker has its advantages, as it’s a structure with several rooms and many weapons but if you want to get to the base you’ll take the staircase. Right above
that staircase is the panel to open the gate.
Now that you’ve got an idea of the options facing me, know that I chose none of the smart options and instead chose to jump atop the structure covering the turret with my sniper and assault rifle to wait for someone to poke their head out somewhere. Neither of them surfaced for at least a minute, presumably having spotted the genius in white armor standing on top of a dark structure illuminated by the scorching desert sun. I was like Frosty the Snowman trying to hide on a lawn.
After a while I heard fighting and faced the area from which it was coming, by the bunker entrance on the left side (if you’re looking at it from the beach, that is) of the map. After waiting for a bit, one of them finally came out from cover and took a round to the dome piece. I ran over there to see if the other had died and they had, so I looked around for the rockets that spawn in the area and grabbed them.
The next note-worthy encounter never actually came to anything. According to Frankie, I was walking around inside the bunker – the dominion of close to medium-range weapons – with the sniper rifle out. Frankie saw this but also saw the rocket launcher on my back. Knowing that kp m not no-scope mastarz , Frankie knew that I had every intention of breaking out the rockets as soon as someone came into range, so he got out of the bunker before being seen. It’s one of the first instances I've heard of in which someone took careful notice of the visible secondary weapon and it influenced their gameplay.
Someone opened the gate soon after the start of the match so the Ghost was a factor the few times when Frankie chose to get in and go after Sketch or myself. The ghost spawns at the back of the map, just behind the base on the right side. Due to the relatively tight quarters once you’re off the main pathway from base to beach, the Ghost was not effective and cumulatively, he probably ended up getting stuck more times than he got kills.
The bunker visible in the image above is actually an extension of the structure that lines the left side of the map (the entire structure itself is called the bunker). It’s two-tiered, you can use one of two of the staircases on the exterior of the bunker or a ramp on the interior to make your way up to the second level. The top of this ramp are two spike grenades and the ramp is a perfect place for their application. The ramp pivots at the middle so tossing a spike grenade against the wall where it pivots works really well. Because spike grenades stick to pretty much anything (off the top of my head, I can think of one thing which they don't stick to: water), they're very well suited for this kind of task, as you can position the grenade on the wall to project its blast outwards straight into the person on the ramp. Their use has become more and more abundant as everyone becomes more familiar with them. At first I just thought they'd be a slightly more versatile version of the plasma grenade but that is definitely not the case.
A lot of the fighting took place in the middle of the map, around the gate, which includes just inside the bunker, in the area around the ramp, just outside by the staircases and the right-side entrance to the base. Carbines are abundant on this map so there was a lot of Carbine and assault rifle fire being exchanged. There are two Needlers on this map, one spawning on the offensive and another on the defensive side of the map. These factor in significantly, as once the needles are flying you’re pretty much done unless you’ve got some cover to get behind before they reach you. Yeah, we've said it before, but this time we mean it. You will hear someone scream “OH SHEETS HE’S GOT A NEEDLER” at some point during your Halo 3 experience and for once, it will not be sarcasm.
After grabbing the early lead, eventually ske7ch caught up and actually even passed me for a while. Ultimately, it came down to 24-24 when all three of us met up at the base. I ended up caught between the two of them and was taking assault rifle fire from both sides. There wasn’t much I could do, until Frankie gave me an opportunity by jumping on top of a ledge. When I saw him jump, I threw a sticky nade where I thought he’d land. Luckily, Frankie was the last one to get a shot in on me, not ske7ch, so he got credit for the kill. As my body dropped following his kill, he landed on top of the sticky and went boom.
To cap it off, here's a writer-with-no-artistic-capabilities' representation of the Post-game Carnage Report. You'll notice a couple new stats.