Review: Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack

As many of you may have noticed, we haven’t had many reviews lately here on XLN, so when the opportunity arose to review the Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack, Mechanical R jumped at the chance, and we were all more than happy to hear what he had to say. The Defiant Map Pack is the second DLC map pack for Halo: Reach and was released on March 15th, for a cool 800 Microsoft Points. The map pack includes 3 new achievements that would amount to a total of 150 extra Gamerscore and two multiplayer maps, Condemned, Highlands and a Firefight map Unearthed. Well, enough from me, lets hear what Mechanical R thought of the DLC.


Now ill admit, I haven’t played Halo Reach since Black Ops was launched. I enjoyed Reach a lot, but once a new shooter came out, it quickly diverted my interest. Though two games into reviewing this map pack and I had found myself in a Big Slayer Match, which had quickly turned into me fighting for a team three players down due to connection issues. We then 3v6’d our way through five more minutes of game play resulting in me being killed quite often, being enthusiastically tea bagged each and every time. Oh Halo Community. How I’ve missed you.

Frankly, I’m sad that I ever got out of Halo Reach, when Reach first hit the shelves I routinely found myself playing the game, checking for challenges on a daily basis and doing all I could to get those precious credits for my Spartan, however the steep upgrade hill shortly became a mountain and after awhile other priorities, and most notably, games took over my time.

So, ideally, I’m the perfect candidate for a Map Pack. Map Packs are generally released for such games for two major reasons. For those gamers who still haven’t taken Reach out of their disc drive yet, to keep multiplayer fresh and players gaming for more and me, I’m one of the games who have lost interest in the game over time, yet the enticement of new maps give me the excuse to dust off the old box and pop the game in for a few more blasts, usually. Almost always in my case, it works and grabs me back in the game for another good couple of months.

So with the Defiant map pack, our Halo Multiplayer experience is richened by an entire three maps. Two if you don’t play Firefight. But who doesn’t play Firefight? Sheesh.

Set on a space ship above the planet Reach, the map Condemned sees us running around a rather small circular map perfect for some objective based mayhem, or even a few slayer matches, it’s easy to get lost, so bring a fellow team mate.

Probably the main feature about Condemned is the central area of the map. This large area is in low gravity, causing most things to move a lot slower and you to jump a lot higher. This area is perfect for some good tactical play, but just don’t go in there alone, as there are plenty of places for enemies to hide and wait for you.

The last competitive map is Highlands; probably the latest best excuse to go for a cruise with your homies in a Warthog, the wide open central area promotes some good small vehicle combat, with tall buildings and large scenery for snipers to hide up in.

All the big players are involved, with the Rocket Launcher, Sniper Rifle, Grenade Launcher and the Spartan Laser appearing all in surprisingly easy to find locations, allowing for everyone to get involved in causing a little bit of Halo havoc. A good thing about the size of the map is that whilst it’s a large map, it’s not cluttered, allowing you to see the majority of the action wherever you may be. Providing you’re not cooped up in the bases on either side of the map. Meaning if you’ve got a Sniper Rifle or even the DMR, you’re big trouble for those trying to sneak about. Or if you’re having a mess about in a Warthog and someone stumbles over the Spartan Laser, then well. Yeah, you’ve pretty much had it.

The third map in the pack is our Firefight addition, known as Unearthed; it bares a similar resemblance to a map already on Reach called Holdout, with familiar structures. The only major difference between the two is in Unearthed we get a good bit of open area to go nuts with the provided Warthog with Rocket Launcher attachments. A perfect way to go a little crazy on those final few kills to make, or even when the harder enemies are around. All jump in and go for a firing session out in the sun. The firefight map boasts some new tactics worth trying out on when teaming up with friends.

Overall the map pack displays hints of something that might have been a little rushed. With lack of imaginative three achievements, compared to the seven for the Noble pack, these days 800 Microsoft Points can go a little further than that with a firefight map that’s a little less imaginative as I’d hoped and just two more maps. This second map pack doesn’t quite deliver as much of a punch as we may have hoped. But there is always room for some more improvement. But if Halo Reach is your video game idea of heaven, and you’re immune to the ‘oh too familiar scent’ of space marine junk, another map pack may just be what you need.


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