Review: Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack DLC

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With 343 Industrial being the new owners of the highly acclaim Halo series, does 343 Industrial, with the help of Certain Affinity live up the exceptions set by Bungie? Does this map pack sets a good path for 343 Industrial and their future?

Our gaming editors, Adrian Cajili and Gabriel Huynh, gives you what’s new, and their verdict are just after the jump.

  • Score:

    8.9 / 10

  • The Good:

    Adrian: Condemned and Highlands bring back past Halo memories, layout and details are fantastic.

    Gabriel: Firefight, great graphics and background story.

  • The Bad:

    Adrian: Unearthed least favourite map because of Firefight games.

    Gabriel: Highlands slightly big.

  • Bottom Line:

    343 Industries first map pack means Halo can live without Bungie

As this is a the first dual-review, Adrian with be in blue and Gabriel will be in red. The scores is an average of what the editors have provided. Their scores can be found in the Conclusion section of the post.

Condemned

Orbital Station Gamma, an abandoned space station that served for the UNSC that oversees the Fall of Reach. Once a communication station between planet Earth and Reach, now one of the last remaining UNSC buliding. This map allow 6 to 12 players and support Capture the Flag, Stockpile, and Slayer game types.

Adrian: Being modeled after Lockout/Blackout from Halo 2 and 3, the elements of the map make Condemned a very spacious fighting zone that contains a number of rooms which can easily confuse players that are new to the map. Despite the large amount of camping spots, this map is great for Slayer, Stockpile and Headhunter, and games which include player running around like crazy. The low-gravity central area, the detail of the map as well as the view from a space station (looking down on the glassed planet Reach) are magnificent, and show how Certain Affinity have taken their time to create a detailed map which fits into the Reach era.

Gabriel: The roundish nature of the map makes it good for close quarter combat. With a anti-gravity region in the centre of the map and the multiple connecting rooms, this map can get anyone lost in a matter of minutes. However each of the rooms contains signs and are colour-coordinated to help the player to get a sense of location. With the scenery of the Fall of Reach, the graphics are just breath taking and just lovely to watch.

Highlands

A UNSC training ground located on the a preserve located on Reach. Before the invasion by the Covenant, this training group trained upcoming Spartans. Now it is just a battlefield with the glassing of the planet in the background. This map supports Big Team Battles, Slayer, and Team Objective gametypes.

Adrian: Highlands is a great map for Slayer games like Big Team Battle and Multi-team, as well as team objective gametypes such as Capture the Flag and Assault. There are a large amount of weapons and vehicles on the map and are spread evenly across the wide open spaces and team bases. Also having a blue and red base on either side, it slightly resembles previous Halo maps like Valhalla and Battle Creek, and contains many cover and bases which can be useful for tactical team objective games. This map is very big and it takes a while to find enemies, and can be very frustrating when the opposing team obtain all the power weapons before your team gets the chance to. Being my favourite map in the Defiant Map Pack, this surely brings back memories from Halo 2 and 3, and give Halo players a different environment to play in with covenant ships glassing the area around you, the detail in the map is extremely well done.

Gabriel: Just the size of the map is amazing. The detail in graphics are just amazing. With the inclusion of a crash Pelican, reminiscing of the crashed Pelican on Valhalla in Halo 3. With the range of vehicles in this map it is easy to get to Point A to Point B, especially in Capture the Flag gametypes. With many structures to fight in, such as caves, building structures; players can easily be reminded of other beloved Halo maps from older generations.

Unearthed

With the fortification of Reach, the UNSC began to use the discovered Titanium from the a site of a meteor crater. This discovered Titanium is used for many UNSC equipment manufacturer. As the Covenant began their invasion of Reach, the Covenant quickly gained control of this mine. This Firefight map allows three to four player teaming up together to fight against the Covenant forces.

Adrian: This map differs from the other Firefight maps as it is set in an abandoned UNSC mining facility. The map is fairly small and includes a Rocket Hog which just brings a whole lot of carnage whilst fighting the Covenant (Muahaha!) but also has to be used wisely against dodging, grenade-throwing, Covenant enemies. The map contains a little circuit for the Warthog to drive around, and buildings which can be used to an advantage to attack enemies below. Despite the frustrating lag whilst playing online, the map contains warm colours and a large background (titanium spikes and mining plateaus) which are greatly effective, and show how the designers know how to maintain the feel of Halo Reach throughout their maps.

Gabriel: As this map is different from the usual maps released in DLC map packs, I applauded 343 Industrial and Certain Affinity for originality and thinking outside the box. Now for my review. This Firefight map takes a different approach to any Firefight map with the inclusion of many vehicles. The earthy colours and the high metal structures give the player a feel of a mine. With the background showing the titanium being exposed I thought it was a nice touch.

Conclusion

Adrian: The designs of the map pack are highly detailed and extraordinary. The maps not only show how Reach was glassed but gives the audience an insight on the look and feel of Reach getting destroyed (which is in fact pretty sad). The elements of the map have been taken from previous Halo maps and have been used to create such little memories of playing Halo 2 and 3, I applaud the creators for their magnificent work. Not only does it show off their creative, map designing skills, but also shows how Certain Affinity and 343 Industries have done a great job in making maps as good as Bungie. A 8.8/10 for me.

Gabriel: Despite Bungie not making this map pack, 343 Industrial and Certain Affinity have done a superb in designing and adding content in the Halo Universe. With including a Firefight map 343 Industrial shows that they are not living in the shadows of Bungie. I give it a 9.1.

The Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack is currently available on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points. The game Halo: Reach is require for playing the DLC.

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