Second ‘Halo: Reach’ Map Pack Called Defiant, Coming In March

Earlier this week some leaked images floated out purporting to be pulled from the upcoming, then-unannounced “Halo: Reach” map pack, Defiant. Now there’s been an official announcement and Microsoft’s Major Nelson has confirmed it: three new multiplayer maps are coming to “Halo: Reach” next month in a pack that is indeed called “Defiant.”

As previously reported, the three maps are called Condemned, Highlands and Unearthed. Those first two are for competitive multiplayer, supporting 6-12 players and 8-16 players, respectively. Unearthed is a Firefight-specific map, taking the battle beneath Reach to a large titanium mine.

The maps were created in partnership with Certain Affinity, the same studio that collaborated with Treyarch on the recent First Strike map pack for “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” The Defiant map pack will be out in March for 800 MS Points. New Achievements will be packed in too, worth a total of 150 Gamerscore. Keep reading for Microsoft’s official description for each map and check out the trailer right here. You can also check out some official screenshots on Flickr.

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.