Halo 4: Crimson Map Pack launching on December 10

The first Halo 4 map pack has a release date. Announced by Microsoft today, the Crimson Map Pack will be available to download from the Xbox Live Marketplace on December 10.

The Crimson Map Pack has been priced at 800 Microsoft Points ($10) and will contain three new maps for Halo 4 players. The pack will also include eight new Achievements worth 250 Gamerscore.

In addition to the Crimson Map Pack, Microsoft will also be adding a new matchtype, Extraction, to Halo 4’s multiplayer options on December 10. Here’s what you can expect from Extraction:

Extraction is a 5 vs. 5 objective-based game type where opposing Spartan teams are tasked with extracting assets from various sites around the map. Once a team has found a site and is in position, they must plant their beacon and protect it from the opposing team while the extraction process occurs. If the defending team remains in control of the beacon, they receive one point, however if the opposing team overtakes the site before extraction is complete, the point goes to them. Once a site has been extracted, a new site becomes available. The first team to extract five points wins.

But wait, there’s more. A new trailer showcasing the Crimson Map Pack has been embedded above and an overview of all three maps (provided by Microsoft) can be found after the break.

Wreckage: Wreckage is the manifestation of the chaos of war. A medium-sized, asymmetrical map great for accommodating a wide range of objective-based game modes including King of the Hill and Capture the Flag, it is a ravaged environment of crashed debris, where the surrounding destruction creates complex paths perfect for throwing off your opponents, or testing the limits of your Warthog. This devastated landscape provides plenty of cover, and tons of nooks and crannies are at your disposal while fighting for your turn to become King. Wreckage supports up to 16 players in Infinity Slayer and up to 12 players in a variety of other modes, including Capture the Flag, King of the Hill and Oddball.

Harvest: Harvest is a canon concept brought to life – the doomed agricultural planet where humans first made contact with the Covenant. A small to mid-size map, Harvest is ideal for Capture the Flag. Here, you’ll need to get creative to effectively use light vehicles which are limited to the exterior pathways and can’t get into the bases, making this map perfect for infantry firefights and face-to-face skirmishes. Snipers will also feel right at home; long sightlines are broken up by great cover and hiding spots. Harvest allows up to 12 players to face off in Capture the Flag, Infinity Slayer, King of the Hill, SWAT and Slayer Pro.

Shatter: Shatter is themed around natural crystalline surfaces and the huge UNSC factories mining them. This large, symmetrical map is a playground for the Warthog and Mantis – its open pathways make it easy to get around, whether on foot or in vehicles. Shatter is a great fit for Dominion and the new game type Extraction. For some close-quarters face-time, escape the open landscape and duck into a mining facility, or slip through a doorway and hunt unsuspecting Spartans. This map has variety for different types of players. Shatter enables multiplayer mayhem for up to 16 players in Infinity Slayer and up to 12 players in other modes, such as Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Dominion and Extraction.

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John Scalzo is Warp Zoned's Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

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