After screens leaked for what was sure to be the next map pack for Halo: Reach, players instantly began counting the days until its unveiling and inevitable release. Now, Microsoft and 343 Industries have officially announced that the Defiant Map Pack is indeed coming very soon, and released a new trailer for all to enjoy.
Set for a release some time in March, the Defiant Map Pack features three new maps for gamers to play in either multiplayer or firefight mode. Each map is set within its own interesting locale amidst the Covenant invasion, but they all carry with them that signature Halo aesthetic.
Playable in many of Reach‘s wonderful multiplayer modes, from Big Team Battle to Team Objective matches, each map in the Defiant pack favors larger scale warfare, but will still support smaller team numbers. To get just a small taste of what that warfare will look like, check out the first trailer:
While the video released to hype the map pack favors a more cinematic than comprehensive approach, quick summaries of each map were thankfully released alongside the trailer. See below if you want to get to know Unearthed, Highlands, and Condemned a little better.
Condemned takes place aboard Orbital Station Gamma, a massive space station high in orbit above the planet Reach. Prior to the Covenant’s overwhelming invasion, Orbital Station Gamma provided long range communications for UNSC fleets and a vital lifeline between Reach and Earth. During the Battle of Reach, the station suffered terrible punishment at the hands of the Covenant but a few fortified sections remain intact, fully pressurized, and ready for combat. Condemned supports 6 – 12 players in a variety of action-packed game types, including Team Slayer, Team Objective and Free for All.
Highlands takes place on the top-secret Military Wilderness Training Preserve on Reach. The Preserve is a large, wooded area where Spartan super-soldiers trained long before the war with the Covenant began. During the Battle of Reach, the Preserve was the site of key battles between the alien invaders and a group of Spartans who used their familiarity with these UNSC training grounds to significant tactical advantage…but not everyone who enters these woods makes it out alive. Highlands expands the fight with massive-scale engagements for 8 – 16 players in Big Team Battle, Team Slayer and Team Objective.
Unearthed takes the battle for Reach to a large Titanium mine and refinery located in the Viery civilian sector of the planet. This particular mine was built to take advantage of the exposed titanium inside a massive meteor crater. The titanium produced here is used in much of the UNSC hardware, from the chassis of the Warthog to the metres-thick armour plating of capital ships like the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. While this facility was quickly abandoned when the Covenant arrived on Reach, it still has significant tactical (and economic) value and it won’t be long before both humans and Covenant return to battle for control. Unearthed allows up to 4 players to launch a counterassault against the Covenant in Firefight and Firefight modes such as Generator Defense.
Just like its major competitor Call of Duty, Halo: Reach is spacing these map packs releases just far enough apart to keep anticipation up, but not so far that players become disinterested in the franchise. On top of that, at $10, these maps will make a much less sizable dent in your wallet than some of the other map packs out there.
Unfortunately, just like the Noble Map Pack before it, this pack doesn’t to much to change the online experience of Halo: Reach aside from adding a handful of a achievements, and achievements aren’t really what Reach players are looking for. As long as Bungie continues to deliver solid maps of various sizes, each set in a new locale, players will continue to come back to one of the most popular multiplayer experiences on the Xbox 360.
What do you think of the three new maps of the Defiant pack? For how long would you like to see Bungie continue to roll out DLC for Halo: Reach?
The Defiant Map Pack for Halo: Reach is set for a March 2011 release on Xbox Live.