This new Halo Infinite map reminds me of one of Halo 5's best

One of the maps I remember best from Halo 5 is Plaza, a small, asymmetrical Slayer map set on a human colony world. It's rare for Halo maps to lean into neon lights or tight urban spaces, which made me think this newly revealed Halo Infinite map, Streets, was actually a remake of Plaza. It's not, but the two are definitely similar, with side streets that split off and reconnect through a central area and lots of places to jump up to balconies and overhangs. This seems like a good thing to me, because Plaza was one of the most fun 4v4/free-for-all maps in Halo 5.

You can watch a walkthrough of Streets in IGN's video above. I'm pretty sure it's the smallest Halo Infinite map we've seen so far. In 4v4 matches, I doubt you'll be going more than a few seconds without running into an enemy, and if you crammed more than eight players into it in a custom game it would be pure madness. Halo Infinite's developers particularly call it out as a good map for the Strongholds and Oddball game modes, which are about controlling specific parts of the map and running away from the other team, respectively. I expect we'll be playing a lot of Slayer on it, too. 

Layout-wise, Streets is fairly similar to Plaza, but where Plaza has two distinct elevations with a sharp drop down to a lower level, Streets is a bit flatter. It slopes upwards from one side, but the real verticality comes from smaller balconies that players with grappling hook and thruster pickups will be able to use as sneaky shortcuts. Those balconies definitely provide some big sightline advantages, but also leave you exposed; Streets is small enough that even someone with a short-range weapon will be able to harass you out of a perch. 

Comparing Streets and Plaza side-by-side, it's really striking how far 343's art direction has come between Halo 5 and Infinite. Plaza is awash with this murky green haze to give it a nighttime feel, but it comes off a bit drab and makes most of the map feel very samey, even though the signs for restaurants and laundromats try to offer you touchpoints to recognize where you are.

Even in a short walkthrough of Halo Infinite it's immediately obvious how much better Streets pulls off this idea. One side street glows pink with a neon Nairobi sign. One team spawning area is dominated by the subway system's orange striping, whereas the other team's spawn is a blue-tinged police station. There's an arcade tucked away in one corner, and each balcony has its own distinct features or signage. 343's lead multiplayer level designer says they wanted to have "clean edges around different pathways and edges of buildings so you can be precise when landing shots on enemies," which also feels distinct from the curvier corridors of Halo 5's Plaza.

So far I don't think we've seen (or played) a Halo Infinite map that I haven't liked. Hopefully that even holds true for maps built in Infinite's more-powerful-than-ever Forge mode, though unfortunately it's not going to be available until months after launch

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).