Microsoft on Monday said it would release three new Halo 3 multiplayer maps on Dec. 11 for 800 Microsoft Points -- maps will then be offered as a free download in spring 2008.

The "Heroic Map Pack" marks the first of several downloadable Halo 3 maps to be made available over the next year. The second map pack is expected in spring 2008, at which time the first map pack will become a free download.

New maps included Standoff, a symmetrical valley optimized for objective and slayer game types; Rat's Nest, a labyrinth of corridors and vehicles ideal for big team battles; and Foundry, a warehouse which Microsoft calls "the ultimate Forge map."

The maps will be available as a download from Xbox Live on December 11.