After the dissappointment of the Noble DLC, its time for the new kids on the block to pick up where Bungie left off, and instill confidence that there is Life After Bungie (LAB). After a stalling start of being able to download the map pack, but not actually play it till Thursday, I have finally been able to put a fair few hours in, and get to grips with the new battlfields.
First things first, these are 3 gorgeous new levels, and an additional 150G,in keeping with the format of the series DLC. Coming in at 800 Microsoft Points it still begs the question as to whether this really represents value for money, when only 2 true multiplayer levels are included. The maps themselves include a sprawling mountain military facility (Highland), a doomed orbiting space station (Condemned) and a titanium mining facility closely resembling Launch (Unearthed), which is solely used in Firefight mode (so not that often at present).
Highland and Condemned offer some new twists on the Forge world style, with Highland being the snipers paradise, Condemned will suit those better equiped for close quarters combat and flanking teams to take the win. As with the Noble pack, at present you do not appear to be able to play SWAT on either of these maps, which is something of a dissappointment, and hopefully will be ammended with future updates. The weapons and spawn locations are very well balanced, with control over one point in any of the maps almost impossible given the number of routes into each location, further aided by the loadout selections. Verticality plays a huge tactical role in all the locations, and should be exploited to gain strategic advantage, even inside the low gravity chamber of Condemned you will frequently suffer death from above should you not check the ceilings upon entry.
The Defiant DLC is an improvement on the Noble Release, but if you didn’t enjoy the original maps shipped these will not do much to convince you to throw the disc back in. If you are a die hard fan, or simply tired of playing lagging lobbies in COD and want a fresh game, then Reach and Defiant DLC could be the break you are looking for, if not a slightly pricey affair.