Posted: March 17, 2011 in Meta

Our Daily Updates sometimes get a bit crowded with announcements, Endertorials, all sorts of crap — so, we’ve decided to skim off the gunk, package it in its own semi-daily feature and pass it off to you for more than it’s really worth. Got a news item? A righteous vid-clip? Something you want to say? Hit us up with an email. We’re looking for News, Views, Reviews and Singin’ the Blues. The mic is yours, people: Plug it in.


We’ve only ever paid for an Avatar item once — but hot damn, that lightsabre was cool — since it means you’re coughing up real dough for something that doesn’t actually exist. (Then again, I did get the Flaming Helmet Legendary Edition, so maybe I should STFU.) Anyway, these both actually look pretty cool — especially the Scarab, which your Avatar can go all Godzilla on.


Never seen Halo Action Figure Theater? OH, you’re gonna like this.


Personally, I don’t have time to make Machinima, though I sure wish I did. But if you’ve got the time, these guys have the contest.


We mentioned it in our News items yesterday, which is why we’re mentioning it again here. Bungie is donating to quake victims, and you can help.

We save Earth from fake threats on our Xbox every day; this is your chance to actually do something about a real threat.

Okay, then, that said, back to the fake world stuff: What’d everyone think of the Defiant maps? I’ve always thought that, counterintuitively, Bungie’s launch maps have always been the weakest part of Reach, especially for a franchise built around the appeal of its multiplayer.

Breakpoint gave Big Team a desperately needed improvement, but…Tempest? That’s just another bad shootout in the woods. And, though you may not realize it, Anchor 9 is little more than a Standoff remake, set in outer space.

So, I’m surprised to say, I was actually glad that the second Map Pack went to a third-party developer; most Reach maps feel a bit like Season 4 of Heroes, not quite understanding what made the first three so great. Certain Affinity previously delivered some of the best expansion maps for Halo 2, so they seemed like a smart choice for the Reach maps here.

And I have to say… I’m impressed. Condemned looks great, plays great, and seems incredibly versatile in handling big teams, smaller squads, slayer games and objectives alike. Its one weakness is a lapse into style over substance: what exactly is the point of having low-gravity in the map center, when using it (jumping) turns you into a lumbering, unmaneuverable bullet magnet? Apart from that, I think it’s great.

Highlands is one that I had my doubts about while first taking a quick tour in Forge — another shootout in the woods? Yeesh — but as it turns out, this one plays great too, and that’s coming from someone who’s been righteously pwned on it by people who figured out the team movement strategies and sniper lines of sight much faster than I did. Two team bases, a neutral center base, tunnels, cliffs, teleporters, air lifts, vehicles, and an overstock of power weapons — this one’s great fun too.

There’s usually not much to say about Firefight maps, and Unearthed is no different…though I think Certain Affinity has done a great job in recapturing some of the glory of ODST‘s best maps, with a wide variety of terrain and defensive positions held together in a compact space that actually makes logical sense. Plus it’s got a Rocket Hog. ‘Nuff said!

Worth 10 bucks? Yeah, I’d say so, and certainly more than the Noble maps. It’s still a huge disappointment that they continue to offer only limited Forge options, but as exciting, playable battlegrounds, they’re standouts.

–Ender Xer0


By ender4449

A recap of yesterday’s Daily Challenges and how well they went down. Want to post a Carnage update? Send us an email and we’ll send you a date.


Kill 100 enemies in any game mode in Reach.

I didn’t even pay attention to this one, a single round of Firefight got me the Challenge.


Complete 10 Rounds in Firefight Matchmaking without dying.

I had to play about 10 games of Score Attack (stupid Covie ‘nades) and one game of Arcade for this one. A perfect game of SniperFight in Arcade netted me 4 complete rounds. Was it worth the time for just 1750 cR? Still not sure.


Complete Winter Contingency on Legendary without dying, with Mythic, Thunderstorm, Tilt and Tough Luck on.

Ran this three time (twice with friends); nearly completed it with one run, but again needed to use the Checkpoint/Cutscene glitch thanks to those trigger-happy Grunts. Once we were in Co-op, of course, there’s no glitch available, but it’s easy for friends to hang back out of danger while you help them score the Challenge.


Earn 10 sprees in Multiplayer Matchmaking.

I went with Invasion and Big Team Battle for all of the many spree choices: Sniper, Spawn, Laser, Sticky (very difficult), Killing, Wheelman, Assist, Sword, Shotgun and Splatter are all possible. It didn’t take long, but I must have also be very lucky on some of those.

  1. Ender Xer0 says:

    A couple of things about Tempest drive me absolutely batshit. What is with this “dynamic spawning”? It pretty much defeats the whole idea of map control, since even after taking territory you can have the entire enemy team spawn right behind you.

    What actually bothers me the most, though — and I know this is meaningless to many people — is the map just doesn’t make any sense. What are these structures doing here? Why are all their guns and man-cannons pointed at each other? It’s just, I dunno…kinda retarded. But, like I said, that’s just me.

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