As initially announced last month, 343 is now kicking its marketing and promotional campaigns into high gear, this time previewing the "ancient and weathered ruins" of the new Arena map Catalyst, and the "expansive, sand-blasted scrapyard site" of Big Team Battle map Breaker.
343 Industries multiplayer level designer Tyler Ensrude explained the vision behind the new maps in a developer blog.
Officially dubbed as an "abandoned Forerunner edifice," Catalyst is described by Ensrude as a "symmetrical arena map nested high up inside of an expansive, tunnel-like Forerunner structure." Players will find "waterfalls pouring down around suspended catwalks," "overgrown cathedral walls" and a "light bridge connecting the sides of the map together."
While some players say they've gotten Halo 5 Coliseum or Halo 4 Haven vibes from Catalyst, Ensrude not only mentioned that there's a ton of subtle "DNA from several legacy Forerunner locations" in there, but also that he believes the biggest influence for Catalyst was Epitaph from Halo 3.
"I really wanted to evoke that architectural style because it left a huge impression on me after all these years," Ensrude said in the blog post.
On the topic of Breaker, a map consisting of "Banished ship breaking yards," Ensrude noted that it is "a pseudo symmetric BTB map" where "each team’s base is a huge chunk of ship debris," divided by the "plasma cutting beam structure in the middle."
"We designed this map to embrace base versus base combat where territorial ownership is key to success," Ensrude said. "We love mixing environmental hazards with the Halo sandbox and Breaker offers an exciting variety of ways to melt your enemies. We’re also big fans of sniper battles, and Breaker’s sightlines and center lane offer risk and reward over key objectives."
Ensrude made sure to confirm that the beam is "absolutely a dynamic element of the map" that presents both "opportunities and challenges in gameplay."
"The central feature of this map is the middle," Ensrude said, "which divides the spaces with ramps over a death pit which has given way to some pretty memorable vehicle runs."
Halo Infinite Season 2: Lone Wolves is set to launch on May 3, 2022, with a new battle pass, game modes, customization options, narrative content and more.
For more on Halo Infinite, feel free to check out our coverage of the Season 1 Mid-Season Update April patch notes.