Fans of Halo 4 may not be finished learning the intricacies of the multiplayer maps just yet, but plenty more are on the way. The Crimson Map Pack brings classic Halo encounters to three new locations, and keeping with tradition, the developers at 343 are giving avid players a chance to get the inside scoop on what exploits and strategies each location will emphasize.

If the details and screenshots on Wreckage, Shatter and Harvest weren’t enough for you to feel prepared to hit the ground running, take a longer look at the new Halo 4 locations set to go on sale December 10.

As the name implies, Wreckage is a map centered around a massive debris field of both Covenant and UNSC origin. As Lead Multiplayer Level Designer Kynan Pearson explains in the video walkthrough (courtesy of IGN) the map represents a few changes to the traditional layout, with even seasoned players sure to note just how many obstacles and changes in elevation are packed into the arena.

The shorter sight lines and obstructed passageways wreak havoc on vehicular skirmishes, but that likely won’t dissuade the Warthog or Ghost enthusiasts from trying their luck. That combination of open spaces and cramped internal quarters make Capture The Flag and King of the Hill all the more exciting, but for players most interested in the new Extraction game type, Shatter is where it’s at.

The symmetrical mining base acting as the backdrop to Shatter stands somewhat apart from the existing maps from a visual standpoint, even if Halo and ghostly green glow go hand-in-hand. Halo 4 multiplayer enthusiasts know how much damage a Mantis Mech can do against an unorganized team, and Shatter is no exception. As is the case with most large, symmetrical maps, a sniper rifle or long-range arsenal can easily turn the tide in one team’s favor – a fact highlighted in the video walkthrough (teleporting doesn’t hurt, either).

Halo 4 wasn’t exactly lacking large multiplayer maps from the start, but it’s clear that Big Team Battle is a priority for 343 moving forward. Yet the Crimson Map Pack will also bring the small to mid-sized Harvest map, allowing players to do battle on the planet where humanity first met Covenant.

The nod to existing Halo fiction is a nice touch, but the blend of structures and corridors are familiar enough for those not interested in the greater story at work to survive just as well.

The tight corners and smaller scale also make Harvest feel like a proper extension of the series’ roots in carnage-first gameplay, rewarding players who are able to think and react quickly (or find the perfect sniping perch). It’s too early to tell, but from this longer look at the ins and outs of Harvest could become one of the most popular online – sweet Warthog jumps can’t be underestimated.

Which of the three locations are you most looking forward to? Are the larger maps or vehicles what most set Halo 4 apart from other multiplayer shooters, or do you favor the smaller arenas where strategy is even more important?

The Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack will be released for 800 Microsoft Points on December 10, 2012.

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Source: IGN