In Mid-November, 2008, Game Informer broke the news that the Halo 3: Recon release in Fall 2009 would provide a more accessible route to Recon armor - up until now, that armor has only been available from Bungie directly, in exchange for actions or events that made them happy. However, this information brought its OWN questions to the table - so in the interests of clarity, we went to the source: we spoke to Brian 'SketchFactor' Jarrard about the Mythic Maps, achieving Recon, and the meaning of life. (Well, not really that last one.)
HBO:The Game Informer article makes it clear that it will take seven Achievements to unlock Recon armor - the three Vidmaster Achievements available now (Annual, Lightswitch, 7 on 7), plus one more from Halo 3 (the Brainpan Achievement), plus three currently-unnamed Achievements attached to Halo 3: Recon. Just to be clear: this implies that acquiring Recon via Achievements will NOT be possible before Halo 3: Recon is released. Is this correct?
SketchFactor: Yes, you are correct. The complete Vidmaster chain of achievement can't be attained until you actually have the Halo 3: Recon retail game next Fall. You can certainly make headway towards completing them but since the last few achievements are only available in the Recon campaign, there is no way to unlock the armor prior to its release.
HBO: The Brainpan Achievement seems to be causing the biggest confusion. Its description is "Find all the hidden skulls on the Mythic maps." However, while the icon for the Brainpan Achievement contains six skulls (and other Achievements make it clear that there are skulls on all six currently-named maps), recently-released information about the Mythic Map Pack suggests that it contains only three maps - Assembly, Orbital, and Sandbox. Does this mean that you can finish the Brainpan Achievement by finding just three skulls - or are the three maps that haven't been formally announced yet also considered 'Mythic Maps'?
SketchFactor: You can't complete the Brainpan achievement until the remaining three maps are released since as you say, it does require finding six skulls. Long ago, all six maps were considered the "Mythic Collection" but now we're in a situation where three of them will be released early as the "Mythic Map Pack." Technically all six are still "Mythic" though. A little confusing, eh? The reality is that these maps and plans originated long ago and a lot has changed since then, creating a little bit of a convoluted situation but the upside is that three of the maps are coming out before the Halo 3: Recon retail release.
HBO: Are there any plans at this stage to release the remaining three maps (Citadel, Heretic, Longshore) before Halo 3: Recon hits the shelves?
SketchFactor: There are no plans that we are aware of to release any further maps beyond the Mythic Map pack before the release of Halo 3: Recon.
Thanks, Sketch! We hope this clears up some confusion.