On March 15, 2011, Xbox LIVE ushered in its second wave of downloadable content for Halo: Reach. The Defiant Map Pack arrived, and it features two multiplayer maps, and one firefight map. Condemned and Highlands seek to cater to those who need to get their multiplayer fix, and Unearthed is a welcome addition as the first downloadable Firefight map. But, how do they stack up to the long list of DLC that can be easily brushed off? Are these three maps worth the 800 Microsoft Points ($10) price tag? Let’s find out one map at a time.
The first thing you will notice about Condemned is the scenery as you look out into space. Planet Reach is in disarray, and all you see is the epicness that is the Halo universe. You get a real sense of immersion into the heat of battle as the map floats in space. When you actually finish scoping your surroundings, playing on Condemned is quite a bit of fun. The map is fairly small, and forces a lot of intense close range battles. The map does feature sniper rifles, and these are complemented by some of the long range parts of the maps.
Also, one of the defining features of Condemned is its center where the gravity is low. This would be great, but we’ve already seen this sort of thing before. The map Anchor 9, from the Halo: Reach Noble Map Pack, had areas that had low gravity, too. With that said, although Condemned isn’t exactly the most unique map to play on, it certainly is action-packed and exciting to play.
Highlands is the bigger of the two multiplayer maps, and it…you know what. Scratch that. Highlands is MUCH bigger than Anchor 9, and it has everything you would want in a map. There is a large field, teleports, bridges, multileveled buildings, lifts, and even a waterfall. This map is absolutely huge, and it should offer up some exciting big team games. The only disappointment, aside from the amazing scenery (again), is that this map easily looks like many of the other maps the game already offers. It would have been nice if the setting was just little more different than the likes of Tempest and Forge World. Without question, Highlands will be a forger’s favorite new toy.
The last new map is the Firefight map. Unearthed offers both open desert area and close range combat as you fight off multiple waves of covenant enemies. Nothing really special here, and it’s safe to say that this is the weakest point of the Defiant Map Pack. If you’re seriously looking for some new maps you and your buddies can enjoy, then the Defiant Map Pack is right up your alley. However, if you want the best bang for your buck, and an expansion on the Halo: Reach experience, then it might be best to wait until something better comes along. The multiplayer maps are solid. The Firefight map? Not so much.
Title: Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack (DLC)
Release Date: March 15, 2011
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points ($10)
Review Copy Info: A download token was provided to DualShockers Inc. by the publisher for the purpose of this review.