E3 10: Halo: Reach getting improved Firefight mode

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Halo 3: ODST’s Firefight mode was worth the purchase of ODST alone. The mode is fantastic and it’s coming back in Halo: Reach with a ton of improvements. The biggest — and most important — change is the implementation of online matchmaking. Just like the regular multiplayer, you simply go to Firefight’s matchmaking, pick a gametype and jump in.

Another addition is the ability to create custom Firefight game modes. You can set what skulls appear, make custom skulls, what type of enemies attack, loadouts, weapons and more. Imagine playing Firefight at 200% speed! These custom gametypes can also be shared with others.

If you’re not about custom matches, Bungie will of course have their set of gametypes available. On top of the classic mode (where the match ends when all lives are gone), there will be the default gametype where Firefight last for just a set for those looking for quick Firefight action. Also, the Black Eye skull is removed … thank God. Generator Defense will also have a home in Firefight and there’s a mode called Rocketfight where everyone will get unlimited Rocket Launchers.

Hit the break for more on the enemies, new weapons, new armor abilities and just more Halo-ness.

As this was Firefight, I got to see the new enemy types and how the old ones have been tweaked. Most notable are the Elites and they are nothing like they were in any of the other Halos. You thought the Brutes were fierce? Just wait till you have to deal with Elites. Gone are the Drones in Firefight but in their place are the kirmisher and they are insanely fast. You almost don’t want to blink as they can disappear from view within that fraction of a second. Lastly, you can now shoot the methane tanks on Grunts causing the poor little creatures to fly around like a balloon and explode. The two levels that were shown — Waterfront and Beachhead — saw no signs of Engineers and it’s not confirmed yet whether they’ll be back or not.

On to the weapons! On the UNSC side, there’s a weapon called Paint. Point at a target, wait for the meter to fill up and then sit back and watch as a rain of hell falls from a UNSC spaceship. You can get hurt if you’re too close to the target’s location. Over on the Covenant side, the Fuel Rod Gun is back and Covenant forces have a grenade launcher like the new human version called the Concussion Rifle.

One new armor ability was also revealed called the Drop Shield. It’s a deployable shield that acts like a Bubble Shield from Halo 3. People can hang out within the shield and the shield will heal players as long as it’s up.

All in all, this is basically Firefight 2.0. The original Firefight was great, now it’s just perfect. Halo: Reach will be out on September 14, 2010 for the Xbox 360.


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