Published on December 4th, 2010 | by Ben Gray1
Review: Noble Map Pack (Halo Reach)Release Date: 30th November 2010 Genre(s): First Person Shooter Publisher(s): Microsoft Game Studios Developer: Bungie Rating: Mature
[Rating:5/10]Halo Reach’s launch was undoubtedly one of the biggest console exclusive launches of the decade, but in the following months after its release has suffered slightly from the wave of retail releases such as Black Ops, taking away some of its fanbase. Less than three months after its release, the Noble Map Pack hits Xbox Live, adding in three new maps to the mix. Will this be enough however to bring players back to Reach? So, here we have three new maps to check out; Anchor 9, Breakpoint and Tempest. Now the first thing to say about all three maps is that they have some fantastic settings and backdrops. Anchor 9 has a battlefield of space carriers and Sabres flying about in the far distance, with the planet looming below. Breakpoint has stunning ONI structures, a highlight being the complex pipes leading up one of the bases, with a hint of plasma blue glow. Tempest has massive towers with spiralling clouds looming in the distance; this map being set on one of the Halo rings, so you can see the terrain in the distance slowly curving up, which is magnificent. Although they have beautiful aesthetic features, not many players are going to care about a small flying aircraft in the unreachable distance when they’ve got a Spartan equipped with a Shotgun coming round the corner any second. So, let’s get down to the stuff that counts. When you first set armoured feet on Anchor 9, fans of Halo 3 will instantly establish that it has a layout reminiscent of The Pit. What sets this battlefield out in particular is that there is an outside area to the docks that allows you to drift into space, with little to no gravity pulling you down, allowing for some massive jumps to get from platform to platform. Annoyingly, you can only go so far – which is not far at all – before you get the friendly “GET THE HELL BACK INTO THE BATTLEFIELD OR YOU WILL DIE IN TEN SECONDS” message pop up. Why this may not be much of a problem at all in Matchmaking, as there is much incentive to travel further afield, this is frustrating in Forge mode, where you can’t exactly use this unlikely terrain to your advantage when creating maps. The turrets on this map caused me some problems and seemed to dominate slayer matches especially. But, offering a play area where you aren’t too far from your objective but still not spawning with spitting distance of opponents makes it a nice change of pace from the maps that came on disc with Reach. The Forge palette is another problem that will ponder on map creator’s minds; although there are more objects such as walls than usually on offer in standard, on disc maps, it is still not enough to create unique, interesting maps on, and is a shame with a zero-G area on offer.