The Battle Heats Up: Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack Invades North America
Grab your friends and polish up your survival skills...you’re gonna need them. Microsoft Game Studios announced today that the Halo 2® Multiplayer Map Pack is now available in stores across North America for a suggested retail price of $19.99 (U.S.). The Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack is the first true expansion pack for a console game, featuring nine new innovative and intense multiplayer maps that will add hours of fresh, adrenalin-pumping Halo 2 combat. The Map Pack also includes an auto update that improves multiplayer experiences by implementing cheating countermeasures and tweaks to the weapons to further balance Halo 2’s arsenal. The retail Map Pack also includes all prior Live updates to save gamers time and to ensure the best possible multiplayer experience for offline players as well.

Gamers who buy the package will also get special content that no true Halo 2 fan will want to miss: an animated bonus feature that showcases unseen side events during the Old Mombasa mission of Halo 2, and a behind-the-scenes documentary that takes gamers inside Bungie Studios, where they’ll see interviews with designers and get insight into what inspired the new maps.

The maps breathe new life into Halo 2’s award-winning gameplay, and they encompass a variety of environments that will appeal to every type of multiplayer gamer. Set in a Forerunner environment on Delta Halo, Containment is a massive, icy outdoor area suitable for vehicle combat and large team-objective games. Warlock, a small- to midsized indoor arena set in ancient Forerunner ruins, offers ample opportunities for a variety of game types. Located in the streets of Old Mombasa near the wreckage of a downed Covenant Scarab, Turf is a midsize urban combat environment with narrow streets, dark alleyways and heavily defended buildings. Sanctuary is a medium-sized symmetrical environment in the sunlit remains of an ancient Forerunner temple. Gemini is a smaller map set high in space above the lights of High Charity. Relic is a medium-sized map set on a beach littered with wreckage from a dropship. Featuring narrow passageways and a constantly moving conveyor belt, Elongation provides a challenging environment ideal for a variety of game types. Terminal is a large map that is great for team-objective games, and it is filled with hazards including an active monorail that players can move across. Backwash is set within the valley of a large swamp covered with a thick mist. Rainfall and sound effects help evoke the feel of a highly organic eco-system.

Halo 2 is one of the highest-rated and top-selling video games of all time, with more than 6.8 million copies sold worldwide since November 2004. As Xbox LiveTM continues to redefine online gaming, Halo 2 features superior online multiplayer capabilities, evidenced by the fact that Xbox Live gamers have logged a record-breaking 300+ million hours playing Halo 2 since its launch. To date, more than two million unique users have played Halo 2 online on Xbox Live.

Bungie Studios was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced games such as the “Marathon Trilogy,” the first two “Myth” games and “Halo: Combat Evolved,” which have been hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Released in 2004, “Halo 2” for Xbox has achieved phenomenal success and has sold more than 6.8 million units worldwide.

Xbox® (http://www.xbox.com/) is Microsoft's future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in North America, Japan, Europe and Australia.

Now in its third generation of transforming and uniting Xbox game communities, with more than 300 games planned by end of holiday 2005 and now with a presence in 24 countries worldwide, Xbox Live has set the bar for online games entertainment. As the first global, unified online console games service, Xbox Live continues to take online gameplay and entertainment to unprecedented heights. With a rapidly growing global community, Xbox Live offers best-in-class games, intelligent matchmaking, tournaments, unique programming and integration with Xbox.com — there is simply nothing else like it. The service continues to provide more and more ways for members to meet, interact and stay engaged with each other.
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Game: Halo 2 (Xbox)
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