Last week, Microsoft announced that its Xbox 360 flagship shooter, the critically acclaimed Halo Reach may be expecting a new map pack but refused to comment any further on the matter.
Now, fanboys, spartans and gamers worldwide can rejoice as the secrecy has been lifted to unveil three new action-packed multiplayer environments bundled together as the Halo: Reach – Defiant Map Pack which becomes available for download today on Xbox LIVE.
The Halo series has gathered worldwide success with its intuitive gameplay and engaging storyline and has received a positively high Metacritic score of around 91%.
Halo: Reach, a prequel to the original series, is set in the year 2552, where humanity is locked in a war with the alien Covenant. Players assume the role of supersoldier Noble Six, as they battle to save the the world of Reach from the clutches of the Covenant.
The Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack introduces three new competitive multiplayer environments: Condemned, Highlands and Unearthed as well as a brand new Firefight level. From what we’ve seen from the trailer as well as a behind-the-scenes video from the the Halo Waypoint blog, the levels look awesome and highly engaging. The official Halo: Reach blog provides a further synopsis:
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 pressurised, 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.
The Defiant Map Pack will be available for 800 Microsoft Points and will feature all new Achievements worth a total of 150 Gamerscore. In addition, players who have yet to experience the epic blockbuster can now also purchase and download Halo: Reach on Microsoft’s Games on Demand.