Last week, a French Halo fansite published--and then pulled--details and screenshots supposedly showing a new Defiant Map Pack add-on for Halo: Reach. The site's original report proved true today, as Microsoft officially confirmed the map pack and set it for release next month.
Like the Noble Map Pack before it, the Defiant Map Pack adds three new levels to Reach's multiplayer mode: Condemned, Highlands, and Unearthed. Condemned is a space station level supporting 6 to 12 players, while Highlands takes the fight outside for 8- to 16-player battles in the wilderness of Reach. Finally, Unearthed is set in one of the planet's mining operations and supports up to four players in the Firefight mode.
The Defiant Map Pack was created with the help of Certain Affinity, an Austin, Texas-based studio founded by Halo 2 multiplayer team lead Max Hoberman. The studio has also contributed to shooters like Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty: Black Ops, as well as creating its own game in Age of Booty.
The Defiant Map Pack will cost 800 Microsoft points ($10) and adds achievements worth 150 Gamerscore to the shooter. The pack is set to bolster the franchise's already popular multiplayer offering. Halo titles have clocked 3.3 billion hours of playtime across the 40 million copies of series entries sold since the franchise debuted in 2001.
A chart of the top Xbox Live games of 2010 from Xbox Live director of programming Major Nelson, based on activity in the week following a game's launch, placed Halo: Reach second, with Black Ops in first place. For more on Halo: Reach, check out GameSpot's review.