Tag Archive: reach

Originally Published: March 21, 2011, on Original-Gamer.com

It’s always a big deal whenever a new map pack is released into the Halo universe, but the new Defiant Map Pack for Halo: Reach carries an extra bit of weight to it. Defiant marks the passing of a torch, as 343 Industries takes over Halo from Bungie. This is 343’s first major playable content for the franchise, made with the help of developer Certain Affinity.

With the slogan “Defy the Covenant” at its heart, you can download three new maps, Unearthed, Highlands, and Condemned now for 800 Microsoft points ($10). But except for the Halo hardcore, are three new maps worth the steep price?


Superb Level Layout – The biggest strong point for the Defiant Map Pack for Halo: Reach is the terrific layout and variety of the new maps. If you are a fan of Firefight, then you will love the multi-tiered desert base and scattered vehicles that Unearthed provides for you and three friends. If you are looking for a wide-open Slayer level with plenty of hiding spots, then Highlands might be a dream come true. My personal favorite was easily Condemned, which is set aboard a damaged Orbital Space Station. A circular map with clear landmarks at the compass points, Condemned also features a damaged zero gravity cross point in the middle that usually features a top tier weapon for whoever can fight to the top of the generator first. This can make for a lot of great matches from Oddball to your traditional Slayer.

Crisp Graphics – Each map is absolutely beautiful looking and has unique features, but they all fit in perfectly within Reach. Unearthed takes place in an abandoned base that provides an interesting dichotomy against the golden desert sand as grunts pour in from all angles. Highlands is the largest map in this new pack and also the most diverse looking. It features waterfalls, lush vegetation, dark caves, and this is all book-ended by a pair of marine bases with Covenant ships blasting away just over the horizon providing a previously unseen color palette all at once on your screen. And Condemned is the icing on the cake; the massive wall sized windows of the Orbital Space Station allow you beautiful looks into deep space and the planet Reach itself.

Vehicular Manslaughter – Compared to the other maps, Unearthed and Highlands provide some of the best opportunities for vehicular combat of any map due to there being plenty of vehicles and weapons to counteract those vehicles. In Highlands, Mongooses, Ghosts, and Warthogs are bountiful on one end of the map and used to cross the lush expanse to reach the other side. On that other side are laser cannons and missile launchers for the opposing team to use to counteract any blitzkrieg that their foes may try to unleash and is especially effective in Capture the Flag style matches. The Unearthed map features Rocket Warthogs and Ghosts. With no true corners for the Covenant to back you into, you can run rampant in the desert blasting away deep into Firefight mode with your buddies.


Unearthing a Flaw – One of the most interesting and risky aspects of this map pack is that the Unearthed map pack is exclusive to the Firefight mode. For a game where the majority of its online action deals in the versus elements instead of the cooperative, this was a huge risk and might turn off a lot Slayer and Invasion mode fans since this makes it seem more like two maps for $10 instead of three.

Steep Price to Pay – One of the biggest problems with DLC in general and not just this pack, is the over-inflated price you pay compared to the amount of content you receive. With three maps, one exclusive to Firefight, and only three achievements for 150 points, the Defiant Map Pack does not make me feel like I am getting the full bang for my buck. Ten dollars is a bit too much and will probably only be worth it to hardcore Halo: Reach players. Otherwise, I recommend waiting to see if it goes on sale or gets bundled with the Noble Map Pack.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to how long your Halo: Reach disc has been in your Xbox 360. If you haven’t played it since two weeks after the launch date, then you may not have even realized a new map pack was released. If Halo: Reach is your go to online multiplayer shooter right now and you’ve racked up enough credits where you could buy and sell every noob out there, then you will be very satisfied with these new maps even with its steeper than necessary price.

-Ray Carsillo

Originally Published: November 29, 2010, on ClassicGameRoom.com

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed the Halo: Reach Noble Map Pack for Xbox 360 from Bungie.

Originally Published: September 13, 2010, on ClassicGameRoom.com

I had a chance to give a full review of Halo: Reach set to some amazing game footage.

Originally Published: September 13, 2010, on ClassicGameRoom.com

On August 24th, I had a chance to sit down with Halo: Reach’s Executive Producer Joe Tung to talk about one of the most anticipated titles of 2010!

Reaching for the Brass Halo

Originally Published: July 26, 2010, on ESPNNewYork.com, PlayerAffinity.com, Original-Gamer.com, Lundberg.me, Examiner.com, and Newsday.com

My bad play on words aside, it is easily one of the most anticipated video games of not just the year, but possibly all-time. It is a prequel that takes a more in-depth look at the start of what has become one of the greatest video game canons to have ever been conceived. And with this being Bungie’s last official foray into this space-age realm they’ve created for us, they wanted to make sure they went out with a bang.

Of course, I am talking about Halo Reach. We are about seven weeks still from this being available far and wide, but I had a chance a couple of weeks ago to sit down with our old friend, Brian Jarrard, the Community Director for Bungie, to talk about what they’ve done specifically to make this the biggest and baddest Halo yet.

And so with no further delay, I am going to help start your mouth watering a little early for this sweet piece of gaming goodness by imploring you to check out my Halo Reach preview with Brian Jarrard, the Community Director for Bungie, below!

Videos by Jared Bodden and Lee Elias

-Ray Carsillo

Originally Published: June 28, 2010, on ESPNNewYork.com, PlayerAffinity.com, Original-Gamer.com, Lundberg.me, and Examiner.com.

I had a chance on the second day of E3 to speak with Joseph Olin, the President of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, an organization whose primary purpose is to promote computer and video game entertainment.

Joseph and I talked about everything from the current and possible future states of the gaming industry to the influence sports and casual gaming has nowadays on gaming.

Check out my interview with Joseph Olin, the President of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences below!

E3 – Monday, June 14th, 2010

Originally Published: June 15th, 2010, on PlayerAffinity.com and Examiner.com

I give my rundown and unique perspective on the Xbox 360 and Ubisoft pressers, and the Activision concert showing off DJ Hero 2, Tony Hawk Shred, and Call of Duty: Black Ops.