Halo 4 fans have had plenty of time to get used to the layout and look of the Longbow multiplayer map, as it was one of the first to be fully revealed by 343 Industries. It was even made playable to the public, due to its mixture of vehicular pathways and mid-to-close range sight lines.
But experienced fans know not to judge a multiplayer map based on the way someone else traverses it, so gameplay video isn’t the final word. We’ll leave that to the latest map walkthrough from the developers themselves, outlining the perks and exploits that the snowscapes of Longbow will make possible.
The icy snow fields of Longbow are one of a kind in Halo 4‘s multiplayer locations, but that’s just the start of the details gleaned from the new video walkthrough from IGN. It’s hard to judge size from a batch of screenshots, but there really is no understating just how much larger the average Halo 4 map really is. Much of that is due to the standard outfitting of the Spartan IVs with increased speed, but it also makes teamwork in traversing large spaces and covering blind spots that much more important.
It also makes the new Armor Abilities like Jetpack and Active Camo that much more useful. We’d recommend using those as your go-to loadouts, but from what’s been shown of the overhauled Infinity War Games multiplayer, there’s a good chance 343 has also thought of ways to counter those advantages.
Longbow’s size and abundance of bases both small and large make it perfect for Halo 4‘s new Dominion Mode. For those who may not know, Halo 4 will be doing away with the Firefight mode first seen in Halo 3: ODST, the wave-based survival challenge that soon spread to nearly every corner of the shooter world. With Dominion 343 is keeping the systems of upgrading and reinforcing bases, but turning to other human players as enemies instead of AI.
The mechanics are simple enough: capture a base, and maintain control to bring systematic upgrades to your defenses, like turrets, shield walls, and even spawning vehicles. The point of the game is to have fun, so even the players who find themselves overwhelmed and without a base to defend are given a unique advantage in the form of Overshields. Longbow may offer enough size to accommodate combat on such a massive scale, but that’s not the case with every location.
There are plenty of maps for those who prefer to stalk their prey in small spaces, like Adrift, Abandon, and to a lesser extent Haven. That being said, there might be something to enjoy about getting hopelessly lost in the endless caverns and structures of Complex, Ragnarok (a.k.a. Valhalla) or Meltdown.
If that still doesn’t look too promising for you to jump right into Halo 4‘s multiplayer, it’s easier than ever to build a level from scratch. So what do you think of Longbow? Is Dominion the game type you’re most excited for, or is the new Flood Mode more in keeping with the current zombie craze?
Halo 4 will be released on November 6, 2012, exclusively for the Xbox 360.
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