The Countdown Has Begun! Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack Slated for June Release

The Countdown Has Begun! Halo 2
Multiplayer Map Pack Slated for June Release

Four New Maps Set for April
Release Via Xbox Live

Console gaming will never be the
same again, as Microsoft Game Studios has announced a June 28 release date for
the highly anticipated Halo 2® Multiplayer Map Pack. The multiplayer expansion
pack, which is the first of its kind for a console title, contains nine new
multiplayer maps to push gamers’ skills to their limits. The retail package also
contains two new videos: an animated side-story from the single-player story in
New Mombasa and a mini-documentary that includes interviews with the map
designers, combat strategies and fly-throughs of the new maps. The retail pack
also allows gamers who prefer offline play via system link and split-screen to
upgrade their Halo 2 experience with new maps. The retail version of the Halo 2
Multiplayer Map Pack carries a suggested retail price of $19.99 (U.S.).

As a special bonus, Xbox Live
subscribers will get an early chance to check out four maps from the Halo 2
Multiplayer Map Pack in late April. Two maps, Containment and Warlock, will be
presented by Mountain Dew at no cost to Xbox subscribers. Two additional maps,
Sanctuary and Turf, can be purchased via Xbox Live for $5.99 (U.S.). To complete
the Map Pack collection, subscribers can download the five remaining maps on
June 28 for $11.99 (U.S.).

Set in a Forerunner environment on
Delta Halo, Containment is a massive, icy outdoor environment suitable for
vehicle combat and large team objective games such as Capture the Flag. Warlock,
a small to midsized indoor arena set in ancient Forerunner ruins, offers ample
opportunities for a variety of gametypes such as Territories, Slayer, Team
Slayer and more. Located in the streets of Old Mombasa near the wreckage of a
downed Covenant Scarab, Turf is a midsize asymmetrical urban combat environment
with narrow streets, dark alleyways and heavily defended buildings. The sunlit
remains of an ancient Forerunner temple, Sanctuary is a medium-sized symmetrical
environment excellent for Capture the Flag, Assault, Territories and Slayer

More information on the individual
maps and the Multiplayer Map Pack can be found at 

Halo 2, the most popular Xbox game
to date, has sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide since its November 2004
release. Launched to critical and consumer acclaim, the game has earned more
than a dozen awards, including several for "Game of the Year," "Best Soundtrack"
and "Best Shooter."

Pushing the Xbox hardware to its
very limits, Halo 2 expands on everything that made the original game great,
while adding a wealth of technological and gameplay advances. Significantly
improved graphics, enhanced artificial intelligence (AI), an advanced real-time
lighting engine and destructible interactive environments are just a small part
of Halo 2’s evolution of design and technology. Every improvement in Halo 2 is
designed to take gameplay to a new level – and in the end, to tell a more
compelling story.

Utilizing Xbox Live to redefine
online play, Halo 2 delivers superior online multiplayer capabilities. Whether
playing with a clan on a new multiplayer map, boarding a friend’s Warthog,
dogfighting in Banshees or checking player stats, brings the social experience
to a higher level via Xbox Live. More information about Halo 2 is available at

Bungie 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 the real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it
produced games like the "Marathon Trilogy" and the first two "Myth" games,
hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. "Halo 2," its latest
game, has achieved phenomenal success on the Microsoft Xbox video game system.
More information on Bungie can be found at

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading
worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox® video game system and
Windows® and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft
Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows
,  including such franchises as Age of
Empires®, Flight Simulator and Zoo TycoonTM; Xbox ,
including such franchises as Halo®, Project Gotham Racing and MechAssault; and
, the official games channel for the MSN® network and home to such hits as
Bejeweled and OutSmartTM.