Welcome one and all to a world where we no longer have nothing but 2v2 maps clawing at one another for a chance at the top spot in our competition! I bet you're all relieved to get some variety back! Mini-games, 4v4's, Grifball, maybe even a little Big Team will cleanse the palette! Wait, what's that? We're not off the turbulent two-man track just yet? You mean to tell me that 90% of these maps are 2v2s!?
Scratch everything I just said, who's ready for some more pulse pounding, quick-paced, tightly knit action!? We at ForgeHub (just me maybe, I don't actually know) love smaller gatherings. They're more intimate and allow for a much more personal experience no matter what the situation calls for. Sharing your victory with just one other player is a way to ensure a friend for life, forged in the same fire. The same fire. The same fire. The same- wait are these maps all the same from the contest winners..? Almost..? I guess lightning really does strike twice...
Anyways, here are the nominations and winners for the month of February!
At first glance, Night Flight is a map that will make your head spin. After a few minutes of exploratory gameplay, however, well, er- maybe you'll have figured out the lifts. Night Flight is a Top 8 placing submission to our recently ended 2v2 Boogaloo forge competition. What separates this map from other submissions is the obvious unorthodox nature of its design. To describe it in basic English without too much design jargon, Night Flight is a map made up of several floating sections or rooms that are rarely connected with any solid routes. This means you'll have to rely on jumping, clambering, and thrusting to navigate the map as intended. This system already creates an interesting dynamic of gameplay without the signature element of Night Flight’s design; the lifts. Typically, when we see a lift utilized in a map its purpose is to get the player from point A to point B as simply as possible. That would be a generous lie in Night Flight's case, where lifts weave in and out of buildings, creating a designated free-floating path to navigate the map. If you're a fan of less-than-typical gimmicks in multiplayer, Night Flight has a plethora of well-balanced quirks to keep you coming back.
What can I say that hasn't already been said about Xandrith's 2v2 submission? It's 343 Featured, visually stunning, the 1st place winner of our latest 2v2 Boogaloo, and a virtual playground touted for its open-ended design. What strikes me most about With Love is that every detail of the environment is designed with movement and flow in mind. Every rooftop angle, every bannister, every rusted gate, all of With Love's aesthetics play into the gameplay seamlessly. In other words, movement is not restricted. Yes, you can climb that roof. Yes you can clamber up to that window. You won't find yourself disappointed with any restrictive barriers in the form of invisible blockers or countdowns. With Love is a map without fancy gimmicks or learning curves; its simply a well-crafted space. To quote Sethiroth, the contest coordinator of the 2v2 Boogaloo; "The design really allows each player and team to play the map the way they want. With Love gives you all the tools you need in order to find a style that works best for you." In other words, play how you want. Hold down power-up spawns, run-and-gun, leap from rooftop to rooftop, whatever you want! There is no wrong way to traverse or triumph on this map.
I'm so happy I get to write about Node to Joy today, I'm not even kidding. Node to Joy is the latest design by veteran map-maker xzamplez. Its fair to say that Node to Joy bridges the gap between gimmicks and tradition with xzamplez's interesting take on teleportation. The teleporters (earning the map's namesake) adorn each of the three-pronged rooms' far walls, forcing travel between the rooms to be by teleportation exclusively. The only hard route connecting the spawns/side rooms is through the center circle, a madness inducing room with layer atop layer of ledges and bridges to flank from. The difficulty to safely traverse the center is what makes teleporting a much preferable option. xzamples proves time and time again that he can continue to introduce exciting new entries in our library of play spaces. With the design talk out of the way, I want to point out Node to Joy's most immediately striking feature; it's aesthetics. For Node's visuals, xzamples enlisted the help of another household name for any fan of Halo 5's forge scene; WyvernZu. Starting her career as one of the most prolific and defining forgers way back in 2016, WyvernZu has never let up with her aesthetic work. She has come as far as recently finding herself a position on Halo Infinite's forge team. Any quick glance at Node to Joy would prove her deserving of this hire. I could fill an entire article with small "Did-You-Know"s about Node's aesthetic. Wyvern gave me a sneak peak into the map before its publication a few months ago. To say my jaw dropped would be an understatement. Did you know there are scripted waves crashing against the low sea-walls of one of the teleporter rooms? Did you know the map was moved outside of the Tidal canvas specifically to prevent the water sloshing sound from becoming intrusive? With it's Top 3 placement in our 2v2 contest, Node to Joy, xzamplez and WyvernZu have all earned themselves a spot in forge history.
With 2/3 of our Community Favorite winners also being featured in our 2v2 Contest Boogaloo results, these maps are becoming eternally etched into the minds of our users as well as our staff. That being said, while we all know who has come out on top, I urge everyone to please check out some of the nominations that didn't place in our community vote last month. Our users are all capable of some astounding work, whether they be new or old to the scene, and everyone deserves to have their content acknowledged. Congrats to all of our nominations this month and be sure to tune back in next month to check out more Community Favorites.
Be Kind, Help One Another, Don't Betray for Sniper
ForgeHub Community Coordinator