Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Reaching for a New Halo

Game: Halo Reach (MP Beta)

System: Xbox 360

Release: Finished Game is due Nov. 2010.

Halo has stuck to the same formula over four games. Minor adjustments and additions have occurred with each release, but the thirty seconds of fun remains the same. All Halo games consist of the following.

Grenades and melee supplement standard gunfire.
Shields regenerate.
Vehicles a plenty.
Aliens aka Covenant.
Space zombies aka Flood.
Space marines.
Campaign supports co-op, but story is meh.
Multiplayer is fun with a variety of game types.

Recently Bungie and Microsoft launched a beta multiplayer test for Halo: Reach. I have never experienced a Halo like Reach. The controls have been changed for the better. No longer will you have to remove your thumb from the right analog stick to melee. Right bumper is melee. “X” is finally reload/use. Left bumper activates armor abilities—more on that later. “B” changes grenade type, and everything else is unchanged. This minor tweak does wonders for the gameplay, and is a welcomed change to the traditional, and outdated, control scheme. Armor abilities are the most exciting addition to gameplay. Players can select between various load outs before spawning in. This dictates your weapon selection and armor ability. Four different armor abilities exist for Spartans, and two options are given to Elites. The later can utilize invisibility and a handy dodge move. The former is given sprint, armor lock, jet pack, and invisibility. Armor lock temporary makes the Spartan invincible and releases a EMP shock wave. The others are self explanatory. These new moves really spice up the battlefield, and create an extra layer of strategy to an already fantastic franchise. New moves are not the only add on for Halo Reach. Players will get to experience a variety of fresh game modes. Headhunter, for example, puts a new spin on King of the Hill and Deathmatch. Kill an opponent so they drop a skull. Turn the collected skull(s) into the nearest objective point before someone kills you. Stockpile is a capture the flag (CTF) game. Three or more flags spawn across the map. Gather up the flags and return them to your base. Keep the flags in your base until the count down is over. Rinse and repeat.

The most original Halo game type is Invasion. Spartans defend key objectives as Elites attempt to capture said objectives. Three separate zones provides different armor abilities and weapon load outs. Vehicles come into play, and up to twelve players can participate. Fans of Big Team Battles will love this new mode. ODST had me worried that Bungie's day in the sun were over. The Reach Beta has decimated those concerns. New game modes. New abilities. New maps. New weapons and more that I didn't even mention in this post. I am officially excited about Halo Reach, and if your a fan of MP FPS action so should you.

No comments: