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Overview


Snowbound is a Halo 3 multiplayer map which mainly appears in Matchmaking for Team Slayer, Slayer and Objective games. Two Covenant structures are rooted into the snow-covered landscape, surrounded by mountains and protected by mysterious unmanned guns called The Guardians. No soldiers get in or out of the perimeter. One of the original three maps to appear in the Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta, Snowbound is notorious for being one of the most disliked maps in the game.

Halo 3 Beta

Beta test analyst: "Sir, Snowbound is being vetoed 100 percent of the time."
The Man: "Sounds good, change nothing for the final release. "

                                                                                                                          -GamesRadar, 37 Reasons to Hate Halo 3
A bonus downloadable feature released on the disc of Crackdown, the Halo 3 Beta was one of the most popular public Beta tests of any video game ever released. Of all the maps currently in Halo 3, three were present in the early version of the game for anyone to play. These maps were Snowbound, High Ground, and Valhalla. The latter two were well-received overall, although currently they are less preferable to smaller symmetrical maps by most players. Snowbound, however was very much disliked almost unanimously by the Halo 3 community.

Problems


There were several things to dislike about the map, some of which being:
  • When a grenade was thrown at the ground in the snow it wouldn't bounce.  On paper, this is a no-brainer to anyone who has dealt with or knows the physical properties of snow. This was a bigger annoyance than anticipated, however because players' grenades would almost always explode away from the enemy, as the thrower had been taught to expect the grenade to roll or bounce forwards to an extent on most other Halo maps.
  • The layout above ground was too open.  Snowbound wasn't any more open than Valhalla, in fact it was less so. The problem here however, was players stuck out like a sore thumb with their shining blue or red armor against the ivory white snow. This made it incredibly easy for a player traversing an outside section of the map to be spotted, and since there is literally no cover apart from a few rocks around the edges of the map, it almost assures one's death to stay outside. For this reason, almost all players would funnel into the "basement"  section of the map, an underground linking of two tunnels connecting the Covenant structures. From this a new problem arose.
  • It was incredibly easy to use shield doors with Shotguns or Maulers to get instant kills.  On Snowbound there are two underground tunnels on each side of the map which funnel into the "basement." In the middle of the tunnels, connecting each Covenant structure's tunnels to those of the basement, there are shield doors which can players can move through at their leisure, but bullets and explosions cannot travel through. Since there are fairly-quickly respawning Maulers and Shotguns on Snowbound, most players who grab them simply stand inches away from the other side of the door and wait for other players to attempt to rush them. Since firing the Shotgun or Mauler immediately followed by a melee attack results in an instant kill, the player rushing can never win with the standard-issue Assault Rifle when that situation arises (unless the attack misses), as the whole attack combination takes about half a second. Even if a player was to attempt to run away from this setup, the attacker with the Shotgun could simply step through the door himself and attack. Worse yet, even if the player was to escape this situation, he would be walking into the almost-always chaotic basement, where he'd usually be killed. That is, if the grenade spamming into the narrow and inescapable tunnels didn't kill him first. In short, this doesn't make for a very fun experience.
  • The Service Tags and kill information don't show up well when outside.  Since almost all text in-game is a very light blue in Halo 3, when it appears over the bright white snow it is difficult to read at a glance. Examples of text that would show up would be 'Player X killed Player Y' or the Service Tags of teammates.

Boundless


Due to complaints from the community, Bungie released this special variant of Snowbound for free. Boundless has many shield doors missing, lowering the shotgun camper threat. This was achieved through Bungie's special Forge mode. This has become popular and replaced Snowbound entirely in some playlists. The other major change is that the Ghost has been replaced with a Mongoose.


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