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Halo: Reach "Defiant Map Pack" Announced For March

And Bungie didn't make it! But don't fret, it's in good hands.

Oh, hey, another Halo: Reach map pack is on the way! This morning, publisher Microsoft announced the “Defiant Map Pack” for a March release. It'll be an 800 Microsoft Point download that’ll add a total of three maps and another 150 achievement points to the core game.

Interestingly, it appears as if Halo: Reach's online component will continue to grow without the skilled hands of Bungie doing the work. The press release announcing this content doesn't mention Bungie at all, at least. Instead, the creation of the DLC is attributed to the dudes over at Certain Affinity, a Texas-based developer that specializes in supporting competitive shooters. Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: World at War are the last two games the studio lists under its credits, but it has also spent some with the Halo series before, having done some work on Halo Waypoint and a few maps for Halo 2’s “Blastacular Map Pack.” The company was even founded by longtime Bungie alum Max Hoberman. They've got the chops, in other words.

Here’s a rundown of the three new maps with images, the latter of which is via Major Nelson:  
 

 
== TEASER ==CONDEMNED
"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 
"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 
 
"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 meters-thick armor 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."  
 


 
So, are you ready to dive into Reach again or does another game's multiplayer have its hooks in you?
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Posted by BradNicholson

Oh, hey, another Halo: Reach map pack is on the way! This morning, publisher Microsoft announced the “Defiant Map Pack” for a March release. It'll be an 800 Microsoft Point download that’ll add a total of three maps and another 150 achievement points to the core game.

Interestingly, it appears as if Halo: Reach's online component will continue to grow without the skilled hands of Bungie doing the work. The press release announcing this content doesn't mention Bungie at all, at least. Instead, the creation of the DLC is attributed to the dudes over at Certain Affinity, a Texas-based developer that specializes in supporting competitive shooters. Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: World at War are the last two games the studio lists under its credits, but it has also spent some with the Halo series before, having done some work on Halo Waypoint and a few maps for Halo 2’s “Blastacular Map Pack.” The company was even founded by longtime Bungie alum Max Hoberman. They've got the chops, in other words.

Here’s a rundown of the three new maps with images, the latter of which is via Major Nelson:  
 

 
== TEASER ==CONDEMNED
"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 
"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 
 
"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 meters-thick armor 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."  
 


 
So, are you ready to dive into Reach again or does another game's multiplayer have its hooks in you?
Posted by RJPelonia

Rad.

Posted by LordCrew

great

Posted by ThePhantomnaut

Certain Affinity has a good track record and has strong relations to Bungie (former members). They made a good port of Left 4 Dead on Xbox 360.

Posted by stringbacon

That skybox on Condemned might be too impressive. People are gonna get killed while staring out the window.

Posted by adoggz

awe, only 2 multiplayer maps.

Posted by DonPixel

Nice can´t get me out of my Halo

Posted by mozzle

Stellar

Posted by WJist

I'm never going to S-rank this game because of the multiplayer achievements :(

Edited by big_jon

 Super duper. 
 
Edit; 7th!

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff
@RJPelonia said:
" Rad. "
Congrats! 
 
I need to get back into Reach. I only played the last map pack for about a day, too.
Posted by Diablochicken14

I thought the blastacular map pack was very well done in halo 2 so ill be interested to see how they do again. 

Posted by RJPelonia
@Vito_Raliffe: Thanks!
Posted by Superfriend

boo! Just 2 regular maps and another firefight map for 800 points? This sucks. Reach already has plenty firefight maps. What it needs are more maps for invasion and another completely forgeable map.

Posted by OtakuGamer

Nice, hopefully they provide us with more DLC in the future. Firefight packs are nice too?

Posted by teh_destroyer

I haven't even been able to touch the Noble Map Pack yet, but regardless I will still pick it up.

Online
Posted by Dudacles
@ThePhantomnaut said:
" Certain Affinity has a good track record and has strong relations to Bungie (former members). They made a good port of Left 4 Dead on Xbox 360. "
They made the 360 version of Left 4 Dead? I never knew that.
Posted by RoxasXIII

Does anyone else get chills listening to the song that plays? Right about halfway through when the melody picks up is when I get it.

Posted by Mystyr_E

I stopped playing this game like, end of October or so, first map pack didn't look interesting so exchanged game for something else. How's the online population now? I remember it was like 700, 000 when I left

Posted by wh1terav3n
@stringbacon said:
" That skybox on Condemned might be too impressive. People are gonna get killed while staring out the window. "
If you watch the trailer for this map pack, the ships are actually fighting too. I'm sure I'll load up a private match and just stare for a while.
Posted by ptc

I'll plunk down for this one.  Noble was OK, but the new achievements are the things that really keep me playing.  They need to do  a 2x credit weekend or something to get folks sucked back in...

Posted by skinnyman
@WJist said:
" I'm never going to S-rank this game because of the multiplayer achievements :( "
Right? I got my S-rank on the retail version and bang, there's a bunch of multiplayer achievements.
 
I might not even pick this one up, I was pretty disappointed in the Noble Pack.
Posted by Bloodgraiv3

ooh finally, new maps. 
Posted by Belonpopo

Unearthed looks very Halo 3-esc.

Posted by AngryRedPlumber

Cool!  I still haven't bought the first map pack because I'm poor, but I love me some Reach.

Posted by csl316

As much as I'm looking forward to new maps, I really wished these looked a bit different.  Condemned looks like Anchor 9, and Unearthed sort of reminds me of Boneyard.  
 
Visual variety, ftw.

Posted by Waffles13

I thought that the Noble Map Pack had some of the best visuals I've ever seen.
 
This trailer for these makes that last pack look like poop from a butt.

Edited by iDarktread

Sorry Bungie, but with lack of any real ranked playlists, I'll pass on any map packs that are released.
 
I'm still recovering from the 60 I spent on Reach in September, a game I purchased almost strictly for competitive multi-player, and was let down almost immediately by a poor match-making system. The Major League Gaming playlist that was released some time after launch failed miserably due to incredibly unfair matches, most notably going in as a full party of four and getting matched up against those going in by themselves, and vise-versa. Bungie claims that there is still "true-skill" behind every playlist, but that just seems impossible for when going in as a party, I honestly cannot remember losing a game in any playlist, aside to Arena, which caters to those who crouch around with shotguns and rocket launchers.
 
Ranked, competitive multi-player, something that Halo 3 did very well, ended up failing due to unpunished cheaters. Halo 3 match-making is basically unplayable online now, with people hitting me offline repeatedly with no repercussions whatsoever. 
 
I will not purchase any DLC for Halo: Reach until they fix the currently broken match-making system.

Posted by NekuCTR

"Defiant" map pack? Is anyone even trying with these map pack names anymore? now that I think about it why do they even need names at all?

Posted by Zecriah

If only I still owned Reach.. NOT 
No, but these do look like great maps.

Posted by Xpgamer7

map attack.

Posted by Rehehelly

Do not want firefight maps in my map packs. Reach already has tons.. 800MSP for 2 MP maps means I won't be buying it :\ 

Posted by XenoNick

Nice.

Posted by Wuddel

I do not dig Halo so much (more of a Battlefield-kinda-guy) but these maps are amazing.

Posted by Skytylz
@Tarsier said:
" i find the maps to be kind of bad in this game.. a lot of them seem really half assed.. the only thing worth playing seems to be some of the stuff in forge world. "
I've noticed the same thing, I can't really get into this game because of this.  3 had far better maps, and the community slayer playlist probably has the best maps right now in reach.
Posted by hisTALLness117

This is not good.  The Blastacular map pack contained Tombstone and Desolation, which went down as two of the worst maps ever.  They both looked great, but featured some of the worst gameplay i've ever encountered.   I do not have high hopes for this.

Posted by Rawrz

I look forward to this. The Noble Map pack had some of Reach's best maps in it  and these maps as well look great so i cant wait to try them out. Im interested in that firefight map since it has a warthog! One thing Reach is missing is a good vehicle firefight map since right now there isonly 1 map that has any vehicles on them.

Posted by FluffyPillow

One Firefight map is one too many Firefight maps. Reach still shows up in my disc tray quite often because of the competitive multiplayer, and I feel like this map pack doesn't contain enough multiplayer maps to warrant the price. Throw in a third, and I might be willing to consider spending some points.  
 
@iDarktread:
 Great job posting something that's completely off topic. And putting things in italics really just makes you sound even more douche-y. 

Posted by HairyMike87

I just purchased the Nobel Map Pack and love it! I don't think I'll go for this pack because it only has 2 competitive maps. Hopefully they won't force you later on to buy this pack to play multiplayer. If anything, I'll wait until they discount this pack at some point and will happily pick it up.

Posted by CandiBunni

I'd love to see some truly impressive maps. The Noble is alright, but I want something different. These just look like variants of Anchor 9, Tempest, and Boneyard.

Posted by RYU/BATMAN

Sign me up for that!

Posted by MightyJ77

Count me on on these.

Edited by dagas

I'm ranked at Commander and have lost most interest in playing Reach. It's starting to take too long to level up and I've gotten all of the achievements except for some hard Noble DLC achievements. 
 
I still like the game, but I played almost every day for a couple of months and I have so many other games to play. 
 
The problem isn't the lack of maps in Halo it's that people just want to play the same ones over and over. When playing rumble pit it seems like everyone always pick Sword Base, it's like the de_dust of Halo Reach.

Edited by iDarktread
@FluffyPillow: Posting my feelings about Bungie and their latest game doesn't seem very off-topic in a thread about downloadable content for Bungie's latest game, bro.
Posted by jakob187

I refuse to purchase any of Halo's map packs until they can learn to stop locking out playlists for those without the map packs.  Call of Duty was capable of figuring it out, and if anyone behind Halo can't do it as well, then I have no interests.

Posted by FluffyPillow
@iDarktread: I'm pretty sure this thread was about the maps and not the playlists, guy.
Posted by iDarktread
@FluffyPillow said:
" @iDarktread: I'm pretty sure this thread was about the maps and not the playlists, guy. "
Hey
 
I'm just sayin'. 
 
:3
Posted by 9w4Ns

What happened to the days when game devs would release updates for free? I feel like I may as well rent new releases instead of buying games like Halo because in a few months I won't be able to play online anyway without paying out 25% of the original release price for what is usually the same textures and models arranged differently on a pre-set world. . .

Posted by MightyJ77

Any word on the achievements coming with this map pack?

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