Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack

8.5 Overall Score

Written by on March 18, 2011 in

For those of you who live and breathe Halo I bring you good news. This past Tuesday marked the release of the Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack, brought to us by 343 Industries.  Detailing more aspects of Halo: Reach history, including areas from Halo literature, the Defiant Map pack is three brand new levels, two multiplayer levels, and one Firefight level.  In addition to the maps are 3 multiplayer achievements netting gamers an additional 150 gamerscore.

Condemned

Condemned is my favorite map of the bunch. The map is set on a damaged orbital station overlooking the desolate planet of Reach. Condemned is structured as a giant circular map with a middle room connecting the four wings together (Repair Bay, Generator, Tram Station, and Communications). The aspect that makes this level the best is the fact that the middle room (turbine room) is low gravity and players will fight to the death around a magnetic turbine. Situated on the top of the turbine is a rocket launcher, a powerful weapon when it comes to controlling this side of the map. The map is deceptively small, but walking the full circle around the map is quite a daunting task. There are a lot of hallways, walkways, small rooms, and pressure points designed for close quarter combat. Playing through the level for the first time I was lost and confused, naturally gravitating towards the familiar center of the map. I feel like this map took elements from Anchor 9, as far as the outer space feel, and made a more dynamic multiplayer map that in my mind outshines any other DLC map so far.

Most of the action will take place in the turbine room itself as this room is a choke point for other rooms around the station. There is nothing more intense than people getting assassinated in midair all around you. The developers made shield doors to seperate the low gravity middle room with the other sections. However, unlike in previous levels where you were unable to shoot through these shield doors, you now have the ability to shoot the people inside the turbine room from the outside. This makes for fun target practice, given you’re the one on the outside. Condemned is the map fans have been clamoring for. This map wasn’t designed as a Forge map, but instead as a standalone multiplayer map for online play and is perfect for 4-8 players.

Highlands


Out of the multiplayer maps in this pack, Highlands takes the cake for size. Set outside on Reach in a Spartan training facility, Highlands is an assymetrical map that gives you multiple levels in one. Want to race Warthogs? Highlands has a race track built into the map. Want to play a game of Snipers? Grab your gun and take cover in one of the many hills and buildings. There are two bunkers on this map, a red and a blue, that provide a safe haven away from the chaos in the middle of the map. My first experience with this map was playing Team Snipers online and getting my butt handed to me because I wasn’t familiar with the map and didn’t know all the hiding spots yet. Highlands seems to be a map that encourages players to hunker down and camp one spot. This map still is big enough though that players have many opportunities to take the road less traveled whether it be through a cave, or several connecting buildings.

The thing I really enjoy about playing on Highlands is the beauty surrounding the map. While the facility is overrun and there is leftover shrapnel and vehicular remains, there is still a sense of peace with Highlands. Lush trees and grass surround you, as well as a beautiful view of the mountains. Look even farther into the distance and you will actually witness Reach being glassed by the Covenant. This can be distracting as I catch myself gazing at the level’s features rather than paying attention to the bullets flying by my head.

Highlands is a map suited for everyone’s play style, whether it be on-foot or in a vehicle. Situated on the map is a Ghost, as well as a Mongoose and a Warthog at each base. Highlands is best suited for larger team battles ranging from 8-16 players.

Unearthed

Unearthed is the first DLC exclusive Firefight map. Set in a mining facility the map has many tiered levels which comes in handy when the Covenant is out for blood. The level allows for vehicles, a much appreciated feature, allowing players to circle the perimeter of the map. The use of vehicles is essential on this map and your only chance of survival is with good driving and a steady aim with the Rocket Hog. I love using vehicles in Firefight, something that has been lacking in the other Firefight levels included with Halo: Reach. The inner part of the map consists of platforms and walkways which provide protection from danger, but each area has multiple entry points making it hard to find a good “last stand” area.

This map didn’t wow me, but I still feel like it is a good map to play on as long as you have 3 friends to play with. I felt vastly outnumbered going it alone and the enemies kept spawning on opposite sides of the map making it difficult for me to not get sandwiched into a chokepoint by groups of enemies. The ordinance pods drop on the perimeter of the map where there is little to no cover making it a risky maneuver to grab that rocket launcher when the Covenant start spawning.

The achievements included with this map pack seem all too easy to earn. You receive 35 gamerscore for returning two flags in Capture the Flag, 45 gamerscore for getting three kills with the Oddball, and a whopping 75 gamerscore for capturing 2 enemy flags in Stockpile, all things you would normally do in a Team Objective match.

The Halo: Reach map pack is out now on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 Microsoft points, roughly $10.

The Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack was provided to The Married Gamers for review and evaluation.

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Author: Loren Nikkel View all posts by
Hardcore Xbox and occasional PC gamer. I love to play multiplayer and co-op games where strategy is key.

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