Despite the presence of numerous current-gen titles running rampant on the Xbox Live "most played" lists every week, Halo 2 still remains at the top of the pack. The original Xbox smash hit has managed to stay in contention for three years and one console generation, and it shows no signs of stopping—well, until Halo 3 comes out. While hungry fans await the third and final installment of the series, though, they're going to have some brand new content for Halo 2 to chew through.
As a thank you to fans and in answer to their outcries for more maps, Bungie and Microsoft Game Studios have announced a pair of map remakes for Halo 2 from the original Halo. The two maps have been selected based on their popularity and will be completely remade and tweaked ever-so-slightly. From the press release:
The king of "Halo" maps has returned at last. Hang 'Em High, arguably the most popular multiplayer map for the original title, has been reimagined for "Halo 2" as Tombstone, with all-new graphics, features and a few hidden surprises. Now fans will enjoy the dangerous catwalks and trenches that made this the most requested "Halo" multiplayer map ever, with a modernized "Halo 2" flavor.
The second map, Desolation, is a symmetrical, Deathmatch-oriented map and a beautiful remake of the original Derelict. With new graphics and effects and a massive gameplay overhaul, the old favorite is now faster-paced and more balanced than ever – perfect for intense "Halo 2" combat.
The maps will cost a modest $4 and are set to release on April 17. Judging by the 800 million hours spent by Halo 2 players since the game's launch, I take it that these maps will be quite the hit.