The behemoth has been slayed, literally. Starting this afternoon, you’ll no longer see Halo Infinite’s worst mode (capture the flag) appear on Halo Infinite’s worst map (Behemoth) in ranked playlists. Halo senior community manager John Junyszek confirmed the news in a post over on the Halo Waypoint forums today.
Behemoth, one of the 10 multiplayer maps available in Halo Infinite since its launch last November, has been divisive, to say the least. Like many of Halo’s most timeless maps, it’s symmetrical. A central structure, surrounded by an open area, is flanked by two spires and a handful of vehicles. Behemoth is no doubt a total blast for some playlists; on the fiesta mode, which randomizes gear spawns, the unpredictable array of potential vehicles makes for some truly edge-of-your-seat matches. But in the ranked playlists, apparently everyone just uses the battle rifle.
“We’ve seen enough data to show us that the map is not performing in ranked [playlists] as intended. Most of this data revolves around spawning and effective cover around the map,” Junyszek wrote. “Spawning on the perimeter of the bases with a direct line of sight to the flag stand, in addition to [battle rifle] starts, is creating a more frenetic match pace than desired.”
Junyszek went on: “There also appears to be a lack of viable cover opportunities throughout the map, which is exacerbated when all players are wielding a [battle rifle].”
Seeing as Behemoth is currently not playable via any of the other ranked modes—oddball, strongholds, or slayer—the map is effectively removed from ranked play. That said, developer 343 Industries plans on tweaking and testing the map’s issues and will re-add it to the rotation if they determine it’s working as intended.
This adjustment has been a long time coming. Basically everyone hates Behemoth. Peruse social media, and you’ll see days- and weeks-old remarks from players pooh-poohing the mp, mixed alongside messages from others rejoicing at today’s news. As recently as yesterday, players were flooding the internet-waves with comments like “Behemoth CTF … took 15 years off my life” and “FUCK BEHEMOTH.”
Some of the best Halo players around are similarly over the moon. “Behemoth is finally removed from Halo Infinite ranked!,” the semi-pro player Sylvanic wrote. “From the entire Halo community: So long, Behemoth,” reads a post, complete with a silly meme, on the official Twitter feed for eUnited, one of Halo Infinite’s nine official pro teams. Dan Gaskin, a professional Halo esports commentator, retweeted the news alongside a GIF of Frodo Baggins (from Lord of the Rings) sighing with palpable relief.
Over the past three months, I’ve played a ton of Halo Infinite and consider myself fond of Behemoth, if circumstantially. It’s a solid casual map. (See: fiesta, tanks, boom.) But in my experience, ranked matches on Behemoth tend to overwhelmingly end up unbalanced and un-fun, certainly more than the well-calibrated, edge-of-your-seat matches that comprise so much of ranked play (well, provided a player doesn’t quit). Since capture the flag goes to five points in ranked, rather than the three it does in casual playlists, you’re forced to sit through the whole game, too. It’s excruciating.
Now, if only we can convince 343 to remove Behemoth from tactical slayer, too…