- "Deep in the bowels of Installation 05 things have gotten a little out of hand. I hope you packed extra underwear."
- — Cold Storage's description
Cold Storage was announced by Bungie at MLG San Diego on June 14, 2008. During development, it was codenamed "Smuggler". Bungie has also stated that Cold Storage will be featured in all play lists that previously required the Legendary map pack.
Bungie made an official statement online about the level in their Bungie Weekly Update on June 20. It was first shown in an exhibition game between Bungie members; Lukems and Shishka, and MLG Pros; Karma and Legend, which served as the map's debut.
Cold Storage is a Forerunner Flood Containment Facility—that is, a Flood cryogenic containment and research facility—located on Delta Halo. The facility has had an outbreak of the Flood Super Cell (possibly the origin of the massive Flood outbreak on Installation 05). Being derived from a Halo: Combat Evolved map, many changes needed to be made to Cold Storage to bring it into line with Halo 3's updated physics and graphic design. Many of the jumps and railings have been tweaked, like those on Blackout, but they stay well within the layout of Chill Out.
The Cold Storage Monitor in the ceiling follows players' movements, but will stop once they leave the room. It has been speculated to be a "local caretaker," designated to watch over the facility like a prison guard, similar to a "dumb" UNSC AI. The monitor will even observe invisible players which can be used to your advantage or theirs.
The Tank Form in the cryo-container will sometimes have small spasms in his tube. The room containing the Flood Pure Form is apparently where a handful of containers are brought out of storage to be examined, as several empty containers can be seen behind windows. Beyond the windows, Infection Forms can be seen running free. Being a Cryogenic Containment Facility, the temperature is low, shown by the mist at several places in the map.
The map's mood is considered "competitive", and it is best played with small FFA (Free-For-All) Slayer games or Team Doubles. Combat tends to be rather chaotic, and because of the multitude of teleporters, it is very easy to get from one area to another and smite your opponents. The only noticeable change to the map's weapon layout is that Chill Out's M6D has been replaced with a Battle Rifle.
There are only a handful of new Forge Objects available for Cold Storage, including Energy Barriers similar to the ones on Avalanche and Forge Filters that affect the color and overall tone of the map. The Soccer Ball is once again included, and the Mongoose and Ghost can be placed in as well, though the map is not especially designed for the vehicles. It is the only map that isn't from a map pack that has color filters.
The Flamethrower is available for use, but can only be added in Forge. Teleporters have a new design to them, as they now have a circular base instead of the usual three-pronged base, they also have blue-violet color rather than the usual green aura.
Before the map was revealed, it was known as Smuggler. Two transmissions about it were posted on Bungie.net.
In the 5/30/08 Bungie Weekly Update, the following transmission was shown:
"REPORT: CONTAINMENT FAILURE
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] has experienced catastrophic specimen containment failure. All apertures into facility will be locked until further notice. Atmosphere evacuation and [reduction of ambient temperature] protocols have already been enacted. Request maintenance and security detail [at earliest opportunity]. [8 minutes] elapsed since initial containment failure.
REPORT: CONTAINMENT FAILURE
Waiting for maintenance and security detail. [32 minutes, 9 seconds] elapsed since request.
REPORT: CONTAINMENT FAILURE
Still waiting for maintenance and security detail. [24 hours] elapsed since request.
REPORT: SECURITY BREACH
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] has experienced a security breach via emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits. Emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits have been placed in recursive mode to contain unauthorized hostile life forms. Request emergency security detail. Still waiting for primary maintenance and security detail. [2512332 hours, 14 minutes, 6 seconds] elapsed since initial request.
REPORT: DERELICTION OF DUTY
2401 Penitent Tangent has been lax in the areas of maintenance and security."
A new conversation was given in the 6/6/08 update.
LOG: QUERIED ADJACENT FACILITIES
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility [alpha, beta, gamma, epsilon, zeta, and kappa sites] have all replied [systems normal] within expected constraints. This would tend to signify that the containment failure was purely mechanical in nature; perhaps a manufacturing flaw. As no [outside agent] has accessed [delta site] in the past [874068942 hours, 4 minutes, 46 seconds]—[allowing for a 61360 hour, 54 minute, 2 second margin of error]—sabotage would seem unlikely.
LOG: REQUEST UNANSWERED
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] is currently being held at [.01 atm] / [184K]. Local maintenance and security hubs have failed to reply within expected constraints. [Bumping maintenance and security request up] to [quadrant oversight].
LOG: REQUEST UNANSWERED
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] is currently being held at [1 atm] / [278K] as atmospheric seals were showing signs of stress. [Quadrant oversight] has failed to reply within expected constraints. [Bumping maintenance and security request all the way up] to 2401 [PENITENT TANGENT].
LOG: UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO FACILITIES
LF.Xx.3273 research and containment facility; [delta site] emergency [slip stream space] transportation conduits have been accessed by unauthorized parties.
LOG: FILED COMPLAINT TO INSTALLATION 00
2401 [PENITENT TANGENT], monitor of Installation 05, has been lax in the areas of maintenance and security. Requests for aid in said areas have gone unanswered by both 2401 and [subservient] systems well beyond expected constraints.
- The first time stamp 2512332 hours, 14 minutes, 6 seconds' is the equivalent of 290 years, 7 months, 14 minutes, 6 seconds. The second time stamp is equivalent to 99,779 years, 204 days, 6 hours, 4 minutes, 46 seconds.
- It is possible that the "slipspace transportation conduits" are part of the teleportation grid on the Halos, which were used by 343 Guilty Spark and Cortana on Installation 04, and taken over by the Gravemind on Installation 05. It is also possible that the "slipspace transportation conduits" are referring to the teleporters on the map. That would mean that they each lead to another teleporter on the map because they are in "recursive mode". It would also explain how the flood form from the broken test tube managed to escape and infest the area outside, even though the facility has no openings or exits to escape from.
- Maintaining control of the top of the map is key to victory. But make sure that you have one of your team-mates watching your rear. Due the many teleporters on the map, it is easy to be flanked.
- Having the high ground with the Sniper Rifle is very effective on Free-For-All matches.
- Predicting your opponent's spawn is very important, especially for Team SWAT.
- It is very simple to find, "invisible," aka people who have active camo engaged. Simply follow the large monitor when it switches back and forth between you and the other player.
- The bridge in the middle can be jumped on providing easier access to the other side.
- Don't go to the lower areas unless absolutely necessary, it is easy to get bombarded with rockets or grenades
- Hiding on the platform next to the rockets can surprise anyone that tries to secure the rockets.
- If you jump from the ramp to the wall with all the empty test tubes inside, you will stick to a narrow ledge, here you can be easily killed, but a lot of players don't bother to look up giving you some easy assassinations.
- It was joked about in the ViDoc, And On the Seventh Day, which Bungie had wanted to call this map ‘‘Cold Sore’’. Bungie said, however, that this name wouldn't work.
- This map is also the Seventh map to be released as downloadable content.
- Cold Storage is the second map in Halo 3 to include teleporters by default. The teleporters are blue, however, instead of common green. The Halo 2 multiplayer map, Gemini, also contained blue teleporters.
- A ViDoc concerning Cold Storage was released on Bungie.net soon after the Weekly Update of July 3rd was posted.
- The large Monitor may be a reference to GLaDOS from the game Portal.
- A part of this map's "Walls" were, until recently, used as Bungie.net's wallpaper. They are folded out structures that seem to be power cells of some sort.
- Some thought the level would be a remake of Derelict because in the first message it says REPORT: DERELICTION OF DUTY. This could also be a reference to the map.
- The name Cold Storage may have been derived from CASTLE Base's Level Scarlet's Cold Storage facilities.
- The Large Monitor is one of very few objects that Brute Spike Grenades will not stick to, just bouncing off instead.
- This is the only map in Halo 3 released as a stand alone, not with an entire pack.
- Oddly, this map has tags for the Invincibility equipment in it. The item can be modded onto the level.
- Although the Monitor seems to be on a monorail track, it never moves.
- The Flood on this map will sometimes react to the players. Some of these reactions are:
- If you stand at the Flood Room windows for long enough, some Infection Forms will come over and scrape at the glass as if trying to attack you.
- If you stare at the Tank Form long enough it will twitch as if it's trying to growl at you, then continue to remain motionless leading to the belief that this Tank Form is merely a prisoner and not a dead test subject. In the Q&A on Bungie.net, one of the level developers said, "Don't get too close" to the Tank Form, although this is likely a mock by the developers answering the questions.
- Using the Forge Turret Glitch, it is possible to get inside the Tank Form's cryo-container. Once inside, your player model will pass through the Tank Form, yet when you melee it in the mouth, it will make squishing noises. Shooting it in the mouth will make "Flood blood" come out. Shooting anywhere else will give you the same effect as shooting a wall. Plasma Grenades can stick to the Tank Form as well, with the exception of the head.
- The Turret Glitch can also be used to access the area with Infection Forms; immediately exiting Edit Mode after bypassing the glass windows can in some cases prevent a player from dying.
- The most common custom game played on Cold Storage is an Infection gametype called "30 Days of Night."
- In Red vs. Blue Reconstruction, this map was used as a part of Freelancer Headquarters. The large monitor was used to portray the Director of Project Freelancer.
- The infection forms inside the glassed area flash red when they stray into your aiming reticule.
- Footage of the map from MLG San Diego
- A home video of the MLG Gameplay in Cold Storage
- A quick video walkthrough of Cold Storage shortly after its release on Bungie Day.