Plugging Halo 3 Purple Reign into your favorite search engine will link you to almost every major message board ignited by the discovery of an image used in a NY Times article from October 2007. Halo fanatics are adamant that the image (above) is the first real look at the upcoming Halo 3 map, Purple Reign.
Based on the description from Bungie on the recently delayed map this image could be a section from Purple Reign. Skeptical message board users claim the image could be a stock photo from Bungie's Halo 2 Midship days, pre-destruction photos of the Cortana level or even shots from the High Charity section of Halo 2's campaign mode. One commenter is sure he heard former community lead Frank O'Connor and Luke Smith talk about this image claiming it wasn't the new map but we couldn't find a source to validate that point.
Be it Purple Reign or not one thing is certain, gamers are still itching for more Halo action. The official description of Purple Reign, which adds weight to this image being true, after the jump.
Originally from a Bungie Weekly Update:
Decorators and detail have brought subtle differences to each of Purple Reign's symmetrical bases. One base of this open-air arena could end up getting called "Energy side" and another call-out could end up "Hunter side." Geometrically, Purple Reign is built on a bowl, with some gentle concavity on the floor space, dotted with columns for cover. Four elevated walkways converge in a small bi-level center structure that sports a cache of important items.