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Anchor Point

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This article contains information about a non-canonical subject that, while official, is not part of the established Halo universe.
Anchor Point
H2 AnchorPoint Screenshot 1.jpg
Map overview

Game:

Halo 2 (Cut)

Location:

Threshold gas mine

Terrain:

Forerunner gas mine

Map layout:

Symmetrical

Gameplay overview

Recommended number of players:

2v2[1]

Recommended gametype(s):

 

Anchor Point[2] was a level created during the development of Halo 2, but cut before release.[3]

Setting[edit]

Main article: Threshold gas mine

Anchor Point would have been set in and around the gas mines of the gas giant Threshold, encountered by the player during the campaign missions The Arbiter and The Oracle and the multiplayer map Colossus. The level would have been set around a camp set up by Sesa 'Refumee's heretic faction. The three support cables hanging from the structure encountered in the campaign served as a skeleton support structure for the level layout, a temporary construction framework resurrected as an outpost by Sesa's troops and cobbled together with nearby debris.[4][5] The view above the map would have been the gas mine facility itself, while the view below would be the swirling vortex of Threshold's atmosphere.[6]

Production notes[edit]

Anchor Point was developed for Halo 2, cobbled together in about a week.[3] The map only reached one step after the initial block-out, with temporary textures, UV unwraps and lighting but no proper art pass.[7] It was intended as a small map for only four players. This 2v2 map would focus primarily on Banshee dogfighting rather than conventional vehicle and infantry gameplay[1], though larger scale was tried out.[8] The map was symmetrical, featuring four outer platforms and one multi-level centre area. One iteration of the level had teleporters, though they were removed as they "weren't good". Each of the four platforms would have a single Banshee spawn, and the centre platform would have a beam rifle spawn - the large "tube" connecting the outer and centre platforms was a "not good" experience for infantry players due to the long sightlines and lack of cover, with grenades employed heavily during playtesting. These tube areas were intended to provide cover from Banshees in the sky, though meant experiences running into an enemy player weren't fun.[9]

The map was cut before release as it "played like crap", and the developers at Bungie found the level to not be very fun, as the game's Banshee combat was "messy".[3][10] Multiple types of gamemode were tested including energy swords-only and snipers-only. However, DeLeon believes the map could have had potential for Capture the Flag gamemodes, if they were able to get round to setting up proper bases.[9] The map was later revealed by artist Vic DeLeon on Twitter on November 10, 2019 for the 15th anniversary of Halo 2.

The map and its files are still playable, with 343 Industries' Jeff Easterling having played on the level fairly recently (as of November 2019).[11] DeLeon also has at least several test maps including a jungle, Old Mombasa and an abandoned Forerunner city.[12][13]

Gallery[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b Vic DeLeon on Twitter: 2v2, 4 banshees. Small map.
  2. ^ VicDeLeon on Twitter: Ok ok I’m sorry, here’s one of four shots of the never-released #Halo2 map we called #AnchorPoint.
  3. ^ a b c Vic DeLeon on Twitter: So, I’m on the fence here. Would today be a good day for me to finally post shots of a #Halo2 MP map I made back in ‘04 that was completely rejected? I had cobbled it together in a week and it’s definitely not pretty (Also it played like crap).
  4. ^ Vic DeLeon on Twitter: Ok so the shots are from an MP map test nicknamed Anchor Point, or Vic’s crazy Banshee duel. The fiction about the level: it was a temporary construction framework resurrected as a Heretic outpost for Sesa ‘Refumee’s fighters prior to taking over the facility directly above.
  5. ^ Vic DeLeon on Twitter: The suspension cables coming from the facility above served as a skeleton support structure for the level’s layout. The idea was the Heretics cobbled together some temp platforms and walkways from nearby debris in preparation for the incursion.
  6. ^ Vic DeLeon on Twitter: The view above was the facility, and below was the swirling vortex of the gas giant Threshold. I’m gonna do a load of laundry now but y’all keep at it
  7. ^ a b c Vic DeLeon on Twitter: Two more shots of the never-released #Halo2 map we called #AnchorPoint. These show the platforms and walkways between the main center base. The UV’s, textures, materials, and lighting were temporary. This was one step after block-in. One more gameplay pic coming later.
  8. ^ Vic DeLeon on Twitter: 2v2, 4 banshees. We tried bigger but eeeesh not good.
  9. ^ a b YouTube: UNRELEASED HALO 2 MAP: Anchor Point (DeLeon provided some additional notes for this video)
  10. ^ Vic DeLeon on Twitter: It wasn’t a lot of fun for most people in the studio. Also, multiple banshee combat in MP was messy.
  11. ^ Jeff Easterling on Twitter: I actually played this not too long ago lol.
  12. ^ Vic DeLeon on Twitter: It’s still in the archive, along with all my Old Mombasa and Jungle tests!
  13. ^ Vic DeLeon on Twitter: and the abandoned Forerunner City