So Halo: Reach came out in September. A lot of us liked it, and continue to like it. Three new maps were released just last month in the aptly named ‘Noble Map Pack’.

Yours for the price of 800 Microsoft Points. The three maps are quite distinctive, and aren’t based on the Main campaign either. We have Breakpoint, Anchor 9, and Tempest. 

Breakpoint

Breakpoint gets your little Spartan boots back out into the snow. As an Invasion map it is quite large. You can see it has two distinct sides, with two main routes to get to either side (as well as the more hidden route).

One of those routes is a tunnel that got really chaotic for me during a Territories match. I attempted to capture this particular territory, only to get run-down by a Ghost again, and again.

The other is a series of bridges, which are quite open to the odd air attack.

This is actually quite common, what with Banshees and Falcons flying overhead, as well as the ground-based Wraith. It truly is awesome mayhem during a big team game with most of the vehicles at play.

"Breakpoint offers multiplayer mayhem for 8-16 Players, and supports the Invasion and Big Team Battle game variants." – Bungie.

Anchor 9

Anchor 9 is high above the planet Reach, indoors aboard a space station. And a much smaller map than Breakpoint and Tempest. Which is good for those close-up encounters.

It’s also got a bit of height with two-storied rooms, where you can reign down bullets at the people below. Obviously you need stairs in order to get to these places. Though there are more than enough other ways to get up there.

It makes a good capture the flag map with two identical bases on either side of the map. But the short distance between the two bases makes it a pretty hard match.

The bit that stands out most to me is this little area where you’re out in space, with low gravity affecting your jump height. Just walk through the shield and you’re there on the edge of nothingness. 

 

"Anchor 9 allows 2-8 Players to face off in game variants including Free for All, Team Slayer and Team Objective." – Bungie.

Tempest

Tempest takes place outside near the ocean. Very coastal with cliff sides as the backdrop. Lots of big rocks, trees, and some man-made structures with several Man Cannons to jump you across the map.

As for driving, there are some ground vehicles including Warthogs, Mongooses and Scorpions. From what I encountered, there were no flying vehicles.

I played quite a few rounds of  Infection here. God I love Infection.

"Tempest supports 8 – 16 Players and offers a variety of modes including Free for All, Team Slayer, Team Objective and Big Team Battle." – Bungie.

Closing Comments:

The three maps are great fun to play on, and show off Bungie’s incredible craftsmanship. There’s also those new Achievements worth a total of 250 Gamerscore points.

If you’re like Taniwha (a competitive Halo gamer & fellow Masher), you’d probably want the Noble map pack.

If you’re just a casual player, playing online every once and a while, you probably don’t need it. And can sustain yourself on the existing maps and new Forge creations.

These map packs force us to make these decisions, but in the end it’s all down to the one important question: Do you play Halo: Reach enough to warrant a purchase?

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Released on 30/11/10 for 800 MS points.

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