The second Halo: Reach DLC, the Defiant Map Pack, will be released via Xbox LIVE in March, Microsoft has announced.
As with the Noble Map Pack, 800 MS Points will net players three new maps and all-new Achievements - this time worth a total of 150 MS Points.
The new maps have been created in partnership with Certain Affinity, a studio formed by ex Bungie employee Max Hoberman.
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 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 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 armour 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 counter assault against the Covenant in Firefight and Firefight modes such as Generator Defense.
Before Halo fans go into a mass panic over the creation of new maps by a studio other than Bungie, you should know that Certain Affinity has previously worked on the Halo franchise. More recently the studio completed Halo Waypoint, but its first work was the creation of the Halo 2 maps Tombstone and Desolation.
The Texas-based developer has also worked on multiplayer maps for Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty: Black Ops.