The Year Is 2021 And I Just Played A New Official Halo 3 Map

Illustration for article titled The Year Is 2021 And I Just Played A New Official Halo 3 Map
Screenshot: 343 Industries / Kotaku

The Master Chief Collection’s latest season, Season 6: Raven, launched last week on April 7 for Xbox and PC. I’ve been busy with Outriders, so I didn’t get to check it out until now. This update adds a lot, but the most exciting new piece of content is a new map for Halo 3.


The new map is Waterfall and it was originally planned to be released in Halo Online, a free-to-play Halo title published only in Russia. Halo Online was shut down after beta tests in 2016, before this map and other bits of content could be added. This isn’t the first time some content from that dead game has made its way over to MCC. Last season, some armor from Halo Online was added to Halo 3. But this is the first time MCC devs 343 Industries has cleaned up and ported over a complete new map. And it’s very strange!

Mind you, the map itself isn’t bizarre, but the feeling of playing on a new Halo 3 map in 2021 sure is. All these years after it stopped getting new DLC—that is to say, about 13 years ago—, here is a new map. The map itself isn’t too exotic, as far as Halo maps go. It’s located in a UNSC facility built into the side of a large glacier. And yes, there is a waterfall in Waterfall. You can even hit a man cannon jump through it. It’s very refreshing, I assume, for the Spartans fighting there. Probably cold too.

Screenshot: 343 Industries / Kotaku

Waterfall isn’t currently part of any matchmaking playlists, so I only explored the new location alone. But I could see the potential! I especially love the one-way drops dotted throughout a few locations; feels like a cool way to give players another option during hectic battles. Oh, and I found a naturally spawning silent SMG from ODST in Waterfall. I know ODST and Halo 3 share the same engine and so it’s not that weird that it’s here, but it is also extremely weird.

From what I can tell, this map is probably ready for prime time and I can’t wait to get my ass kicked on it when/if it makes the leap to public matchmaking. I hope other Halo Online maps fly over to MCC too in future seasons. It could be a great way to freshen up MCC’s multiplayer experience without breaking the Halo sandbox too much.

It’s 2021 and I just played a new official Halo 3 map. What a strange world this is.



Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.



What MCC has taught me, time and again, is that I am terrible at Halo 3 multi. Which is weird, because it was a game I played - a lot, and pretty well, as an adult of legal age - when it was released. I finally had to take H3 gametypes out of the running when looking for a game, not to spare myself from the occasional post-game messages from other players letting me know how poorly I played and/or imploring me to kill myself (Cool community!) but because I know that whatever skill I had circa 2009 has simply left my body.