Two spires glare down one another across a sparsely wooded forest and small river. Cracks in the rocks provide cover and secret passages into the other, but well defended, they are impossible to breach. Countless lives have been lost between these towering gravity lifts over the millions of years of game time put into Halo 3‘s multiplayer. This is Valhalla, Halo 3‘s most popular map, and it’s coming back in 343 Industries’ Halo 4.
Only now, it will be re-dubbed Ragnarok, the mythical epic war to end all wars in the Nordic cultures. Halo 3 veterans are so well adapted to defending and attacking in this hellish battleground that early victories might be a little lopsided while newcomers strive for equal footing.
Veterans, though, will have a new element added to the fray to deal with as well. Behold the MANTIS, a bipedal mech equipped with enough firepower to make mincemeat of the familiar Halo vehicles. No longer stuck on treads or wheels like the other Halo’s ground-locked vehicles, the legs allow the mech to run, dodge enemy fire easily, jump, and as established in the trailer, continue in the fine tradition of Halo tea-bagging.
The return of Valhalla also means a return to the fine sport of Mongoose jumping, taking the pint-sized buggy over the lift jumps on the top floor of the spire and launching as far as possible. I wonder if the MANTIS mechs will fare any better flying through the air.
Halo 4 will be released for the Xbox 360 on November 6th.
Halo 4 Ragnarok Gallery