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Call of Duty may have taken the plaudits as the biggest console release of the year, but just prior to that, the record – albeit short-lived – was held by Halo 4. Being the first major Halo release post-Bungie, many were apprehensive and skeptical about whether the popular franchise could once again pull in the gamers, but the early sales figures have certainly proved otherwise. Halo 4 fans whom adopted the game early have another treat in store today as the initial installment of the Crimson Map Pack becomes available. It’s the first of three in a series, and will set you back 800 Microsoft Points for three new multiplayer maps. Want details? We’ve got ‘em after the break!

Following the grueling release which saw many gaming retailers open especially early to facilitate a midnight launch, Microsoft and 343 Industries have gotten straight to work on a DLC for the much-lauded title. Publishers and developers are increasingly exercising the option of additional, or in-game purchases to keep gamers interested beyond the initial release, and Hal0 4 is no exception to the rule.

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The Crimson Map Pack is available as of today from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Once you’ve parted with your 800 MSP, you’re treated to three new multiplayer maps to the game, and if you fancy picking up the other two DLCs in future – thus having all three – the War Games Map Pass will enable you to grab the trio for 2000 MSP, which saves you 400 off purchasing them individually.

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Keeping the atmosphere varied is an essential element in maintaining general interest in any title, and with so many new maps set to become available for Halo 4, there’s little danger of monotony creeping in – at least, not for a good while. The second DLC pack, releasing in February of next year, is the Majestic map pack which – as you may expect – brings another three maps to the fold. The Castle map pack will arrive in April, but even though the War Games Map Pack is the only one that has been announced, don’t be surprised to see 343 and Microsoft team up to push out more – particularly if they are selling in high volumes.

Those looking to get involved should head over to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, where the Crimson pack is ready to download.

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