If the changes being brought to Halo 4 multiplayer locations make one thing clear, it’s that 343 Industries has taken the ‘bigger is better’ philosophy to heart (sometimes, to absurd lengths). With players able to jump higher and move faster than ever before, the potential for parity on larger vehicular maps like the newly detailed Vortex is far greater than in the past.

Running across open spaces at a snail’s pace is a recipe for disaster – as any Halo fan knows – but Vortex packs more than a few surprises to bring a spin on the tried and true formula. The video walkthrough for the darker, grimmer multiplayer map is a must-see for fans awaiting the launch of Halo 4 next week.Vortex is explained (via the latest walkthrough from IGN) to be a faithful entry in the large-scale pedigree of Halo multiplayer. The difference in tone and atmosphere is immediately clear, speaking to great lengths about the variety the developers have pursued within the online components of the game. That’s not even mentioning what kinds of unique gameplay Spartan Ops will offer, or what 343 has coming in the future with the War Games map pass.

Halo 4 Vortex Trailer

Lead Multiplayer Level Designer Kynan Pearson highlights the potential Vortex holds for the new Dominion Mode. The new take on Horde Mode is certainly one of the most promising additions, and given the extremely long sight lines and blind corners, the Overshield ability granted to the losing team will come in handy. But we’ll leave the finer points of Armor Abilities to the pros.

Vehicle fans have reason for excitement, as the open spaces and depressions of Vortex will be put to good use by the Wraith tank, rocket-equipped Warthog, Mongoose and Ghost. The Mongoose was of limited use in Halo: Reach, but the success with which Pearson drives the heavier, sturdier, and faster ATV proves it may be a game-changer for objective game types.

Of course, the Wraith’s plasma cannon is nearly without match. An unstoppable, plasma-firing behemoth may have commanded the battlefield over the years, but 343 has constructed a countermeasure for nearly everything. It’s all in the name of a more complex experience. And we’re more than happy to support a game which lets a Plasma Pistol incapacitate an armor-plated super-tank.

Halo 4 Vortex Map Walkthrough

We’re sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg, but for a full analysis, we’ll have to wait until our review arrives later this week. Vortex marks the very last multiplayer map to be detailed by 343, it’s worth checking back to make sure you’ve seen the rest of the selection:

Halo 4 will be released on November 6, 2012, exclusively for the Xbox 360.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: IGN