★ The Silent Cartographer
"Silent cartographer" is a level in the first-person shooter video game Halo: Combat Evolved. Set on the Ringworld of halo, it follows a master chief and a group of UNSC Marines as they lead a daylight attack on the coast of an alien Covenant race in search of an ancient Forerunner installation known as the silent cartographer.
The level received critical praise for its visual effects and level design, as well as its use of vehicles to improve gameplay. Called one of the most iconic levels in the Halo series, and one of the best FPS levels of all time by PC Gamer, it is credited as a genre-defining level that changed the way FPS levels would be designed in future games from linear, corridor-heavy structures to open spaces emphasizing the freedom of the player.
1. Level content. (Содержание уровня)
The player, in the role of Master Chief, begins a flight to the island on the Shuttle ship Pelican, piloted by the character Foehammer. Once the Master Chief and his fellow Marines land on the beach, the battle against the enemy Covenant begins immediately. The enemies are too far away to strike effectively, forcing the player to rush up the beach and engage in combat. After eliminating a group of hostile aliens, Foehammer throws a Warthog jeep for the player to drive. The player is asked to drive further along the beach, where they fight with other aliens who were landed by their own ship.
The aliens lock the door of the Forerunner facility, forcing the player to return to the beach to find the unlock system. The player continues until they encounter a new type of powerful Covenant known as Hunters. Once players open the door, they are also forced to fight Covenant elites equipped with active camouflage. After that, the player retrieves the rocket launcher from the downed Pelican. By getting into a new Warthog, the player unlocks a previously locked door and enters an internal area with more vertical combat.
There, the player must make their way to the mapmaker and pass by a powerful elite wielding a sword and other members of their squad. When this is completed, they will be evacuated via Pelican.
2. Development. (Развитие)
According to Markus Lehto, art Director of Halo: Combat Evolved, Silent Cartographers design was first inspired by the" amazing beauty of the Pacific Northwest when developers from Bungie moved to Seattle after Microsoft acquired the Studio in June 2000. The level was created at a time when Halo was still planned as an RTS, so it had wide open spaces that facilitated such gameplay. However, the fact that warthog Was so "fun" to drive led to the team changing the genre of games to an action game. The numerous paths and wide open spaces shown in the level design forced the team to design missions that did not have to be performed in a linear order.
The level was planned to be shown in the canceled movie Halo. This influenced the design of future games in the series, such as the level design of Halo: Reach, thanks to its combination of walking and transport action, forcing players to Board and exit vehicles as they progress through the level. Reach featured a level called The Long Night of Solace, which was said to have been "re-read by the silent cartographer", but which was praised by IGN for being more "epic" and "apocalyptic". The level also received a "spiritual successor" in the Warzone multiplayer mode Halo 5: Guardians, with a level called Raid on Apex 7 that has a similar environment.
3. Reception. (Прием)
GB Burford of Kotaku called the level "excellent", with"a constant sense that you are making progress as you progress through the level". He claims that while the generous use of checkpoints in levels gives the impression that the player is under attack, they are also vulnerable due to being alone for most of the level. Alex Dale of GamesRadar called level one that bucked the trend of cramped, claustrophobic corridors "and" threw the walls wide open", offering the kind of freeform that tactical warfare fans could only dream of at the time. David Houghton of the same site called the level design "a staggeringly nonlinear sheen," saying that 13 years later, a series of free-roaming shooters were still trying to catch up.
Matt Whittaker of Hardcore Gamer called this level "one of the most iconic missions in the entire series, as it combines a Warthog game, labyrinthine interior sections, and a mix of all types of Covenant enemies present in Halo: Combat Evolved," praising the improved visual clarity of the alien hunter as the best level improvement in Halo: the Master Chief Collection. Jonathan Dornbrash of Entertainment Weekly rated the silent cartographer as the best level in Halo: Combat Evolved, calling it an impressively long but rarely tedious mission that uses all the best Halo elements, as well as introduces the brutality of hunters."Speedrunner Andrew" Goatrope "Halabourda noted that in 2004," the Silent Cartographer was the most popular single-level Halo for speedrun.
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