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Published on June 16th, 2010 | by Cameron Woolsey

Halo: Reach hands-on FIREFIGHT MODE

For most people, they won’t be able to play Halo: Reach until September of this year. In fact, most editors who are at E3 won’t even play this game for some time, but not this editor. That’s right, earlier today I was picked out of the crowd (plus two others) by Bungie’s Brian Gerrard to get some downtime with the updated Firefight mode for Reach.

For those who have played much of ODST’s own Firefight, you should know the drill: Covenant come in via dropship in endless waves and you and three of your brothers in arms must fight back and defeat each wave using the many weapons scattered around the level. There are, of course, some differences from ODST’s Firefight and Reach’s.

First thing I noticed is that my team and I played as one of the heroes from Noble Team. The man next to me was Kat, the Bungie member was Noble 6, and I ended up with the only original Spartan II on the team, Jorge.

Starting up, you can choose your armor ability. All the ones from the Reach beta are in there plus a couple more; a new one I noticed was the medic. I didn’t get to see that one in action but I’m hoping it will make it into the multiplayer as well. I went with my favorite from the beta, the sprint ability.

I won’t bore you with the details of Firefight mode since most people who are waiting for Reach are well aware of it. A brief recap may help however. In Firefight, you will be assaulted by endless waves of Covie forces until you are finally killed. The waves start off small–usually grunts and jackals–before heading into the heavy stuff such as elites and Wraith tanks. Your survival depends on getting the right weapons always doing your part as a team member; that cowboy BS won’t cut it here.

Special weapons such as rocket launchers and sniper rifles are delivered from the sky as armament drops and can be found on the map via a small glowing green diamond in your viewscreen. The Bungie team member playing with us went ahead and grabbed one of the newest Firefight weapons, the Target Locater (lame name, great gun). This beauty was a small handheld device that focused a green beam at a target. Holding the beam down long enough at a target will cause one of the orbiting ships to drop what I believed to be missiles down on the target. It made a helluva mess and quickly took care of any Covenant that was sorry enough to be below when the strike hit. If you want, think of it as Reach’s Hammer of Dawn. Brian Gerrard was quick to note that this little baby could also damage your own team, so be careful where you aim that thing, OK?

I was playing pretty well through the demo, racking up more kills than the rest of my team (playing a lot of the beta helped), when I stumbled on the weapon for myself. Now, something was going to die. Whether that would be the Covenant, my team, or even myself, I wasn’t sure. But the weapon was going to be used one someone. And it will be great.

It wasn’t long before I happened to find myself next to a Covenant dropship releasing some Grunts onto the field. Perfect. Taking aim, I happily sent those little freaks back into space where they came from. I found a new friend.

Overall, the feeling I took away from the playthrough was that this is still Firefight but much bigger and better. Even the level design felt more like a real level from the campaign instead of some arena. I’m really looking forward to the new Firefight and hopefully it won’t be too long before you can play it too.
Check out some footage below. I was the top right screen.
[coolplayer width=”550″ height=”319″ autoplay=”0″ loop=”0″ charset=”utf-8″ download=”0″ mediatype=””]
Halo Reach Firefight

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About the Author

Video game journalist since 2006, and gaming since he was old enough to use an Atari joystick. Follow me: @Cam_is_16bit

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