Gears of War 3: RAAM’s Shadow DLC Review

RAAM’s Shadow was released as downloadable content for Gears of War 3 yesterday on the Xbox Live marketplace for 1200 Microsoft Points. The DLC is around 3 hours in length, 2GB in size, and adds 250 Gamerscore to the retail game across 10 achievements that are unlocked over multiplayer, campaign and a mixture of the two.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Escalation Map Pack Review

The Escalation Map Pack was released exclusively on Xbox 360 on the 3rd of May 2011. It features 4 new multiplayer maps, Zoo, Convoy, Hotel and Stockpile. It also introduces a new zombie game mode, entitled “Call of the Dead” in which up to 4 players battle against the increasing odds and waves of zombies sent at you by the legendary horror Director, George Romero. He’ll be roaming around the map with a lighting prop. Try and stay clear of him, and whatever you do, don’t shoot him.

The multiplayer aspect of the map pack has been implemented into the game’s playlist rota, with there being an Escalation mode in the hopper with sub-categories of Team Deathmatch, Domination, Search & Destroy and Mosh Pit. The four maps will eventually be added to the main Core, Hardcore and Barebones playlists as were the First Strike maps.  Continue reading

Call of Duty: Black Ops – Escalation Map Pack Preview

The Call of Duty: Black Ops Escalation Map Pack is currently downloading on my Xbox 360. The map pack features 4 brand new multiplayer maps; Zoo, Convoy, Hotel and Stockpile, and an all new Zombie experience in “Call of the Dead” which features an all-star line up of horror genre veterans. I’ll be playing the online multiplayer aspect during the days ahead and will have a review dedicated solely on the multiplayer maps tomorrow, and Call of the Dead will be reviewed as soon as I have a team to go shoot some zombies. Feel free to contact me through the sidebar on the right. In the meantime I’m gonna sit back, hook my Skullcandy Agents up to my iPod and watch the percent bar fill up. It’s 23% as I write this. On my download speed, this may take a while…

Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack Review

The Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack was released today and is available for download on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 800MSP. It can be queued up for download here. The Defiant Map Pack consists of 2 competitive maps, Highlands and Condemned, and a brand new firefight map, Unearthed. The map pack also adds on 3 new achievements for Halo Reach, with it totaling 59 achievements for 1440 Gamerscore overall.

On a side note, I’d just like to point out that some gamers are encountering problems with the maps being loaded and recognized in-game. Bungie addressed those issues earlier with the resolve of going into your Xbox’s System Settings, finding a file called “Bungie Pro Confirmation” and deleting it. From that point on the game will be able to load the maps without any more issues. Deleting this message will not cause any problems with Bungie Pro, as it just a placeholder file that does not impact on the game. I can confirm that this works as my Team Impact teammate had this problem that was fixed by following those steps. If any problems persist you can read the full post at here.

Let’s start with Highlands, an objective oriented map set on Reach in the midst of the Covenant glassing the planet. I think canonically this is set near Castle Base, up in the mountains, but that’s just a personal opinion. Highlands is a great map, it has touches of Valhalla, Blood Gulch and Avalanche to it. Two bases either side of a stream running down the mountains. The palette in Forge is where the Valhalla feel really comes into it. There’s a mix of vehicles available, with Banshees and Falcons able to dominate the airways and Wraiths for Heavy variants. I could see a lot of these implemented into matchmaking in months to come. In matchmaking games however, Ghosts, Warthogs, and Mongooses default set on the map. To counter the vehicular slaughter that could take place, Certain Affinity have placed a Spartan Laser, a Plasma Launcher, two Sniper Rifles and a Grenade Launcher inside the crashed Pelican.

DMRs are placed in perfect positions around the map, up high and down low, at points where you may be lacking ammo or reloading, normally in an open placement with two grenades, with either fragmentation grenades or plasma grenades. Playing Stockpile on Highlands was a joy, as getting the Warthog to run the flags from one end of the map was so easy, I can imagine that Multi Flag CTF is amazing, and would bring a classic Halo feel back to it.

Condemned takes place on a partially destroyed UNSC base set high in orbit around Reach. This is a map oriented around Slayer gametypes, but does work well with Stockpile and Oddball gametypes. The main feature of Condemned that Certain Affinity have put in is a low gravity centre, that has been exposed to space from the oncoming Covenant Cruiser’s onslaught. The map is on a circular structure, with high and low parts, and nooks and crannies that can be explored along with gravity lifts and a beautiful sky-box. There’s a great amount of weapons, if a little overpowered. A rocket launcher, a pair of Sniper Rifles, shotguns, an energy sword. It just seems a little too much. I’d say that was the worst part of Condemned. A great feature is a Sabre docked in the repair bay. Unfortunate timing, as the facility seems to have been deserted. It was just 2 days away from retirement…

Unearthed is the final part of the Defiant Map Pack. A firefight map, it takes place on an abandoned mining facility during the Covenant invasion of Reach. This map has the same feel as Lost Platoon, an original firefight map from Halo 3: ODST. This map is great, I would love for more firefight maps to be added in DLC. It makes for great custom games, especially when another Impact teammate of mine insists on playing Firefight Versus. This map should take centre stage when talking about the Defiant Map Pack. It plays great, has a brilliant looking sky-box and scenery and the Phantom dropships and Drop pods enter the play area seamlessly.

There are two ways that Unearthed can be played. Either you can play it defensively, get a DMR from spawn, stick to the high ground, pick the grunts off as they progress to you, just make sure you watch each other’s backs when playing cooperatively and use your motion tracker at all times. No doing an Emile and getting stabbed in the back by an Elite. The second way that you can play is by grabbing the Rocket ‘hog that’s in the garage grab a gunner and meet the Covenant head on. Grab a person in the triple kill seat with a shotgun and another person in a hijacked Ghost or Wraith and you’re set, especially until you encounter a Hunter or two. Those Hunters, even on Normal, can wreak havoc on an unsuspecting team, on either play-style.

In one word the Defiant Map Pack is amazing. Well worth the price tag of 800 Microsoft Points. Certain Affinity and 343 Industries should be proud with what they have done with Bungie’s swansong to Halo. Definately deserving of a download in my eyes. I’ll see you on the battlefield.

Defiant Map Pack Preview

Tomorrow is the release date for the much-anticipated 2nd DLC for Halo Reach. The Defiant Map Pack consists of 3 maps, an objective oriented map, Highlands, a Firefight map, Unearthed and a Slayer oriented map, Condemned. These maps were made by Certain Affinity, in association with 343, no input from Bungie whatsoever. Rooster Teeth posted a look through the maps earlier on today which can be viewed below. I’ll be downloading these maps as soon as they become available and will hopefully be writing a review on them which will be posted on here. Check back here for the review tomorrow.
♥ rollo.

I’m sorted for the rest of the night…

“I’m Mickey Cantor, HIYO!”
I’m sorted for the rest of the night now.
Some Halo: Reach, Joe and Dale in party chat with me, and some MONDAY NIGHT COMBAT!
“You said it wouldn’t hurt but it does!”
The Spunky Cola Special DLC is out today, meaning more maps, improvements to the gameplay and new ProTags.

Just incase anyone missed it, here’s the new trailer for Spunky Cola Special DLC.
“Feel free to shoot it, it goes to a good cause”

“Did you see that? Amazing! Amaziiing!”

Halo: Reach Noble Map Pack Giveaway

Chat2394 is giving away a free code for the Noble Map Pack over on his YouTube channel.
To enter into the comptition and be eligible to win the code, follow his Twitter, subscribe to his YouTube and leave a comment on the video with your favourite armor ability in Halo Reach and why.

You can follow Chat on Twitter @Chat2394
and Subscribe to his Youtube channel: Chat2394
Good Luck 🙂

Noble Map Pack Out Today!

The day is finally upon us. The Noble Map Pack is to be released today. Breakpoint, Anchor 9 and Tempest will be available to download today along with 250 Gamerscore added onto Halo: Reach for 800 of your Microsoft Points. You can follow the link here to queue it up from your PC, or log into Xbox Live to download it straight from the Marketplace. For updates on when the map pack goes live, follow my Twitter stream over at
Until then, please enjoy the Trailer for the Noble Map Pack.

– rollo out.