On the latest Halo Bulletin post, 343 Industries revealed a tonne of information on the new Champions Bundle, originally announced on the 7th (on Bungie Day, ironically). You can check out the trailer here, and read on for more information about the Bundle.
The Bundle, as the name suggests, is a group of DLC bundled together at a discount price. The individual items include:
- Bullseye Pack (Includes Ricochet, a new game type)
- Steel Skin Pack
- Infinity Armor Pack
- Bonus content (new stances, armor and weapons skins, and a new armor mod)
Each of these DLC packs are available for individual purchase if just one of them interests you more than the others.
The Bullseye Pack includes two maps – Vertigo and Pitfall – and Ricochet, a brand new game mode. While Pitfall is a remake of Halo 3′s classic ‘The pit’, Vertigo is also a brand new experience, and the first Halo 4 map to bring back a “dynamic, interactive element”, such as the bridge from Zanzibar in Halo 2. Below are the descriptions for each map from the Waypoint blog:
“Vertigo is an asymmetrical map that provides a wide variety of indoor and outdoor combat. The map lends itself best to Slayer and Extraction game types and is best played with anywhere from 8 to 10 players. Vertigo also touts the return of a dynamic, interactive element in a Halo multiplayer map: Each base has a trigger point that depletes the shields of all players in range when shot. The map also contains a series of caves on each side as well as three levels of verticality, providing players with several different routes for attacking each base.“
Vertigo features a mixture of long and close range gameplay, with a focus on having each section of the map flow evenly to the next. Game modes to look out for include Team Doubles, Team Slayer, and Extraction. Check out the walkthrough for Vertigo below:
“When we first showed off Pitfall, a remake of Halo 3’s The Pit, the crowd at our panel was pretty excited. Not only will Pitfall add another medium-sized symmetrical map to Halo 4 Matchmaking, but the remake also includes updated features (such as strategically placed crates and ledges) that provide increased pace and flow. Whether you’re playing Capture the Flag, Slayer or the new Ricochet game type, Pitfall will bring back memories of sweet, sweet carnage on The Pit. We’re excited to integrate both of these awesome maps into Halo 4 Matchmaking next month.”
Pitfall is a triumphant return for The Pit from Halo 3, with some obvious wear-and-tear on the inside and the outside of map itself, making for an incredible aesthetic. The classic turrets on top of each base are back, alongside the new addition of the lowest hallway being redesigned for a larger, more accessible part of the map. By funneling players into that central room, as well as the aforementioned hallway below it, Pitfall is taking The Pit’s nostalgic long-mid-close gameplay and adjusting it to make it bigger and better. Check out the walkthrough for Pitfall below:
Ricochet – combined with Pitfall – is lining up as my most anticipated feature of the Bundle, because it completely changes up the way you play game. By taking Grifball’s element of taking a ball to the enemy base, throwing in a Football-style commentator, and having the usual ordnance drops on a famously well-balanced map is a recipe for a great game. The emphasis on teamwork, and even the wild card of throwing the ball long-distance to the goal or a teammate, is what excites me most about the new game type.
“If you checked out our RTX panel, you know that I’m quite excited about Ricochet due to the pacing, strategy and unique mix of attack/defend dynamics. The objective of the game type is to protect your team’s goal (a zone that is similar to a Hill in King of the Hill) while scoring in the opposing goal, either by throwing or running the ball into the goal. Running the ball into the goal earns you 50 points, while throwing the ball into the goal gets you 20 points. The game type will be exclusive to the Bullseye Pack for a limited time of 2 weeks, after which it will become available to all players. The Bullseye Pack also includes the Ricochet armor (pictured above).”
Check out the gameplay from RTX below:
Infinity Armor Pack
As in the announcement trailer, the new Bundle will include the Infinity Armor Pack – which is, again, available as a separate purchase. The three sets of armor revealed were the classic Mark V from Halo: CE, ODST armor and Forerunner armor. Each set of armor looks fantastic, featuring a shout out to fans of the classic armor (with the Mark V and ODST helmets available in Halo 3) with a completely new set of armor exclusive to the story Halo 4 introduced; all backed by perfect attention to detail. Personally I’m going to wear the ODST armor for as long as possible, but each set looks amazing, and will definitely find their way onto my character.
Steel Skin Pack
“Inspired by classic steampunk aesthetics”, the first Skin Pack available for download looks pretty tight, featuring a gold gloss for all the usual suspects. From the picture, the gloss gives the weapons a mean shine, and the fact that they’re introducing a Skin Pack is a breath of fresh air for fans of those already in the game. The Assault Rifle Prime is my favorite at the moment, but that may change…
Available to purchasers of the Champions Bundle, the bonus content includes five new weapon skins, eight new stances for your Player Card, five new armor skins, and the Resistor Tactical Package. Check out the pictures below for more detail:
Resistor Tactical Package
According to the Waypoint blog, the Resistor Tactical Package allows players to “retain full mobility despite taking fire for a few moments”. This type of Tactical Package certainly has the potential to change up gameplay, depending on the scenario – or at least allow players escape when they would otherwise be impaired. This mod will only be available to Bundle purchasers for the moment, but will soon be free for all players.
Armor Mod Update
Last, but not least, the blog details two brand new armor mods – free of charge – for all Halo 4 players, releasing the day before the bundle. The mods are:
- Survivor: Ejects you out of a vehicle if it’s about to explode.
- Recharge: Decreases the time it takes for your shields to recharge.
These new mods look promising, especially Survivor. The ability to continue your streak after your vehicle explodes is invaluable, and Recharge may prove useful for players who are constantly under fire, or using the Mantis (so long as the recharge rate isn’t increased too much – everything in moderation.
So there you have it! 343′s Champions Bundle. Frankly, I think it looks fantastic, and I’ll purchase it as soon as it’s available. With constant weapon/map tuning in the updates, and the Bundle bringing in new content in every field – aside from new weapons or vehicles – 343 is pulling out all the stops to make Halo 4 multiplayer the best in the series.
And if this bundle is any indication, it looks as if they might get there.
The Champions Bundle hits the Xbox Live Marketplace on August 20th for 800 Microsoft Points.
Story, pictures, and quotes sourced from the Halo Waypoint Blog: http://blogs.halowaypoint.com/Headlines/post/2013/07/10/The-Halo-Bulletin-71013.aspx