Pay for it now (800 points), or download it for free later (next spring, to be un-exact). Either way you know you're going to be playing the three new Halo 3 maps at some point in your life. Here are our initial impressions (and direct-feed movies) of Bungie's first batch of downloadable content for the mighty Halo 3.
Can we start off by asking why people are already vetoing the maps? They've not even been out for 24 hours yet and people are egging others in the pre-game lobby to "veto, veto". Sometimes we just don't understand the internet. Does it really get bored and move on that quickly?
Once you've grabbed the new maps there's a new playlist that caters for the 'Heroic DLC'. Select this and you'll only play the three new maps, with varying team-based game modes. Team Slayer, VIP, Neutral Assault, CTF and Territories are the game types we've so far come across.
All you Lone Wolves out there seem to have been looked over with this batch of new content. But if you've come across them in Lone Wolfs, shout up and we'll take note.
The first thing that struck us about the new maps is how bland they all look. Rat's Nest and Foundry fall slap-bang into the "generic base" category, think Crow's Nest from the second level in the campaign.
Standoff is a little more pleasing on the eye with its huge out doors feel offset against a cool backdrop of massive radar dishes. Trouble is the actual 'furniture' does little to impress either.
That said, from a design standpoint they're all great fun to actually play. All three maps have one common theme - symmetry - and that makes them great perfect for team-based action. They're all pretty easy to get the hang of too, thanks to the mirror's image.
We're already loving Foundry for a great, straight up fight of Team Slayer. You spawn and you're right in the thick of it in an instant. Rat's Nest and Standoff are more suited for objective-based game like Territories and CTF. Again, great fun thanks to the level design.
800 points isn't the end of the world but we can't help but feel a little under-whelmed with Halo 3's first DLC offering. We're sure we'll warm more to the new maps as time goes by, or once we've got over the fact that they don't push 360's visuals anywhere near as hard as they should.
In terms of gameplay, Bungie's hit the nail on the head again. Take a look at the movies we've put together and make up your own mind. If you want more on the pack, head on over to Bungie's website and you'll find a huge FAQ about what's what.