1) Forge & Theater – These two features continue to separate Bungie’s Halo franchise from all similar games. Reach contains a massive forge map of forest, shoreline and mountains that provides players with an endless canvas. Create custom maps and games and let your imagination take control. Theater allows players to save high definition screenshots and videos of epic moments.
2) Special Abilities – New for Halo Reach is the option to choose your special ability at the beginning of a multiplayer game and after each death. Three examples of the special abilities are sprint, armor lock and jet pack. Each ability provides a certain advantage depending on the map, game type or player’s strengths. It does seem to me that armor lock is slightly too powerful.
3) Firefight – Basically a holdover from Halo 3 ODST, firefight allows single player or multiplayer fights against AI controlled covenant forces. Firefight can be a fun way to practice, earn medals and earn credits. Unfortunately, little to no teamwork is necessary. It’s more a competition to see who can kill the most enemies.
4) Credits – Crazy as it may seem to make players earn credits to unlock features of a $60 game, Bungie has introduced a system that encourages loyalty. Credits are earned for finishing games, getting kills and reaching commendations (milestones). Use your credits to buy visual armor upgrades and special firefight voice quotes. Quitting is discouraged because credits are forfeited in regular multiplayer games and rank is lost in arena games.
5) New Medals – Assist, Stick Sprees, Assist Sprees, Wheelman Sprees and Assassin. The Assassin medal is awarded for performing a special animated assassination on an opponent. This animation is risky for a player because it leaves you vulnerable, but sometimes its really hard to resist.
1) The Campaign – The Halo 3 campaign was very disappointing. Halo Reach was even worse. Halo campaign game play has gotten steadily worse since Halo 2. The campaign was easy to finish with a friend on the legendary difficulty level. No bosses to fight again, no interesting storyline revelations, no scary Flood to fight.
2) Multiplayer Maps – The multiplayer maps included with the Halo Reach game are disappointing. Other than Countdown and Reflection, I’d rather play on Forge World maps.
3) New Weapons – I don’t like the Concussion Rifle, the Plasma Launcher, the Grenade Launcher or the Focus Rifle.
4) Invasion – While I don’t dislike the Invasion game type, there is no reason why it can’t simply be an option in Big Team Battle. And I doubt it would get many votes if that were the case.
5) Worthless Medals – Does anybody really care about these medals? Revenge, Reload This!, Avenger, Killjoy Do they mean anything? I’d like to see a medal for blowing up a vehicle while using Armor Lock or for surviving a stick by using Armor Lock.]]>
- jet pack!
- new weapons similar to the sniper rifle and battle rifle
- a new type of “X weapon” bubble
- you can roll! (think Gears of War)
- it seems you can run
- lots of new game types like Headhunter and Spartans vs Elites
- new melees and assassinations
1) Forge – Bungie continued to stay ahead of the pack with never before seen features like forge. Allowing anyone to be a modder without getting kicked from Xbox Live, forge allows players to create maps of any design imaginable. Yes, your imagination is your only limit. I’ve seen excellent remakes of Halo 2 maps, a pirate ship, fun race tracks, coliseums – to name a few. Forge also allows you to “escape” Halo 3 maps – something that usually required sword-cancelling in Halo 2. Last but not least, forge enables some excellent game-play value itself with the god-like abilities players posses.
2) Theater – Another Bungie innovation, the theater is the first of its kind. YouTube videos of gamers showing off their best moments or explaining how to find something like a skull were popular with Halo 2 players. Apparently Bungie took careful notice of this and built the theater service into Halo 3. The theater allows anyone to go back and watch any finished multi-player game or campaign level. On top of that, you can save clips from your previous games or capture a high-resolution screen shot of any moment.
3) Weapon Improvements – There was an obvious need to adjust the strength of certain weapons. The sniper rifle and sword were the two most obvious weapons that were too powerful. In Halo 3 the sniper rifle has a slight kickback. You cannot lunge nearly as far with the sword as you could in Halo 2. The sword performs multiple lunges and swings at a much slower rate. A really nice update to the sword is that swings are cancelled out when two players swing swords at each other at the same time. In Halo 2 I believe the host usually won during such an occurrence. The plasma pistol has also undergone a necessary overhaul with a significantly weaker tracking effect. The plasma pistol will also lose its strength as you keep it powered up. The needler is more enjoyable and more powerful. The SMG is significantly improved with more power and a nicer sound. If only we started with this SMG in Halo 2.
4) Multi-Player Experience – Even after more than two years of Halo 3 multi-player matches, the addition of experience seems to have greatly reduced the frequency of players quitting matches. In Halo 2 it was possible to play 20 games in a row with a least one player quitting. Need I say anything about Halo 2 de-ranking?
5) More Powerful Melee – One punch disables a player’s shield. This encourages more hand-to-hand combat situations and makes them more enjoyable. Who remembers when a player would go flying across the map when there was a deadly melee strike? That garbage is now gone. Bungie has also improved the simultaneous punching so that players with equal strength will both die. This went from bad (you’d obviously punch the other player first but die) to worse (both players would always die during punches that were closely timed) to better than the original (both players die only when players with equal shields punch simultaneously).
Honorable mention: The ability to play campaign with friends over Xbox Live. The addition of extra medals. Certain equipment like bubble shields and power drainers. Cloaking is improved and actually makes you invisible. The Mongoose. The Chopper.
1) The Campaign – The Halo 3 campaign was very disappointing. I’ll guess that Bungie new multi-player was most important to the continued success of their franchise and chose that area to devote the majority of their resources. The campaign was short, boring and lacked almost anything new or exciting. The storyline was bland and hard to follow. The levels were much more restrictive than Halo 2. In Halo 2 you could wander off and explore the country side for hours. There were no bosses to fight. There were no interesting revelations about the Halo universe. There were no scary moments deep beneath the surface surrounded by Flood. The campaign would have been even shorter if they didn’t make you often backtrack through large portions of certain levels. I guess I’ll stop. I know I could complain more if I felt like it. The ability to play the campaign with friends over Xbox Live would have been a major improvement if the campaign wasn’t so awful.
2) The Campaign Ending – This was so bad that I had to give it special attention. The biggest cop-out I have experienced in a trilogy finale. Bungie chose one of the worst possible endings I can imagine.
3) Multi-player Host – I think Bungie tried hard to fix this one. The host in Halo 2 was far too powerful. In trying to fix this problem, it appears that Bungie created annoying glitches (see number 5 below) and game-play choppiness/shifting. I would prefer the ultra-powerful Halo 2 host.
4) Weapon Mistakes – The magnum has been ruined and shoots far too slowly. The spiker is worthless. The missile pod is a very disappointing anti-vehicle replacement for the rocket launcher in Halo 2 that could heat-seek. The rocket launcher has mostly been turned into a short range weapon. The SMG is the only weapon worth dual-wielding. Dual-wielding was a nice upgrade for Halo 2 that is now obsolete in Halo 3.
5) Multi-player Glitches – Have you ever shot someone in the head 4 times with a sniper rifle and watched them walk away? Have you heard yourself being shot and not been affected? Have you stuck someone with a plasma grenade and then watched it disappear? Have you been sniped through walls? Is there constant shifting? Been shot and killed through a bubble shield?
Honorable mention: The gravity hammer.]]>
1 ) Splatter a Ghost: Face the front of a Ghost. Now move to the right side of the machine where you will find a circular “power source”. Just a few shots with any weapon will bring the Ghost down when hitting this weak spot. One shot from a Sniper Rifle will blow the Ghost apart.
2 ) Undermine the Overshield: There may come a need to put someone with the Overshield – six feet under. In maps such as Beaver Creek or Ascension, and especially in Head to Head games, it may become necessary to rid your adversary of his perpetually equipped Overshield. Now would be a good time to pick up a Plasma Pistol. One fully-charged shot will have the same damaging affect on the Overshield as it would have on a regular Energy Shield and allow a quick kill. To put it simply, one charged shot from the Plasma Pistol renders an Overshield useless.
3 ) Underwear: The following technique is most useful in Energy Sword games or whenever two opponents with Energy Swords are battling. However, it can be utilized in any situation when you are up against someone wielding the sword. When approaching someone who has the Energy Sword, wait until right before you think they will lunge at you – and then duck. Very often the attacking player will lunge right over top of you. If you are swordless, this will give you a chance to turn around and finish your shooting. If you also have an Energy Sword, remain ducked as the person lunges at you and then press the right trigger button and lunge at the opponent. This should increase your success.
Bonus Tip! To defend against or counter the above technique, simply aim low with your Energy Sword crosshair when you see the opposing player ducking or duck yourself. This will give your melee attack a low center of gravity.
4 ) Overhead Slash: If you have seen Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, recall the final light-saber battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Obi-Wan begs the more powerful Anakin to give up at the conclusion of the fight. Why? The future Darth Vader’s chances are hopeless because Obi-Wan has the higher ground.
Although Master Tip #3 discusses ducking as a technique in energy sword battles, attacking from above is just as effective. When two players with swords lunge at each other, the person who is lunging from a higher point will usually win. Timing is still important when jumping and lunging so that you attack when you are at a higher point in your jump than your opponent. Jumping down at someone and attacking with a sword from a higher position on a map is even more effective. Especially when you add the fact that your incoming leap may not even be seen.
5 ) King Over the Hill: Personally, a King of the Hill variation on Xbox Live is my second favorite game type, directly behind Slayer battles. The action is fast and furious throughout the entire game. I hate to give this tip away as it has allowed me to win almost every King of the Hill contest on the Warlock Map.
Not many players seem to know this trick yet, but it is extraordinarily beneficial and easy. During Crazy King games on the Warlock Map, the Hill will move to the structures on the outside. The Hill will either move to the bottom of the structure or to the second story or roof. When the Hill is on the bottom, you can stand on the top and still earn King time! While everyone else is blowing each other up below, you can squat on the roof and earn an easy 20 or 30 seconds as King. This will almost guarantee a win. This is a great way to boost your player rank.
Bonus Tip! Don’t worry if you are occasionally spotted and fired upon, just fire back and act dumb – as if you have no idea what you’re doing. The opposing player will probably just hurl a grenade at you as he runs towards a quick death below.
6 ) Hijacker Splattacker: So you flew your Banshee too close to the opponent you were attacking, and suddenly find you are losing your aircraft to a hostile hijacking? We’ve all found ourselves in the embarrassing situation above at least a few times. Yet the potential exists to turn this unfortunate event into a medal. Most likely you have been shooting the person who is boarding your bird and this opponent’s shields are down. If you are lucky enough to be anywhere near something that you can run into and your enemy’s shields are low enough, quickly ram the Banshee into the nearest object and you will kill the hijacker with a splatter. This of course must be done during the few seconds between the hijacker boarding the top of your Banshee and actually throwing you out.
Bonus Tip! This same technique works with the Ghost but your enemy’s shields must be at the lowest level possible. It is much harder with the Ghost.
7 ) Footsteps from Behind: This master Halo 2 tip may seem a bit expensive, but if you truly want to become someone to fear on Xbox Live… Surround sound speakers are a notable advantage when playing Halo 2. You will actually hear explosions, gunfire and even footsteps from the direction that they are taking place. Imagine the advantage of suddenly being shot and hearing the direction the shot came from. Imagine hearing the boom of a sniper rifle and knowing the general direction from which the shot was fired. Imagine your fear as you hear the sudden twang of a energy sword unsheathed directly behind you…
Bonus Tip! A surround sound speaker system will also enable you to hear the location of a flying Banshee or the direction of an oncoming Warthog or Ghost.
8 ) BXB: You may have heard a few gamers squealing with glee after making a kill on Halo 2 multi-player, while proclaiming that they just “BXB’d” someone. You sat there wondering…”What the filthy, stinkin’ dirty crap is that?” Let’s keep it simple. This trick, or “glitch” as some call it, is as simple as it sounds. Just push the buttons B, then X, and then B again. You will quickly punch twice. Have you ever wondered how someone could possibly have just punched you so fast? This is how they do it. If you “BXB” too fast, it will have no affect on your enemies. Learn the timing and you will be able to rapidly punch your way to much more success in close combat.
Bonus Tip! This trick is not limited to just two punches. Swing away at will. Just remember that if you swing too fast, you miss every time.
9 ) BXR: Similar to the BXB trick, BXR is a Halo 2 glitch that will help greatly in your close combat struggles. Your gun must be fully loaded for this to work. Push the buttons B, then X, and then quickly push R (the right trigger button). There you have it – a punch and then an immediate gun shot. When this technique is performed with something like a battle rifle shot at the head, it can be very damaging.
Bonus Tip! BXR works with any gun.
10 ) Pro Combo: You’ve used the Newb Combo. You hear swears and insults. If there were only some similar and acceptable technique that took more skill.
Although self-proclaimed Halo professionals would deny it, the grenade and battle rifle combination technique is very similar to using a plasma pistol and a battle rifle. Instead of shooting an opponent with a powered up plasma pistol, followed by a battle rifle shot to the head; throw a grenade near an opponent and follow it up with the same battle rifle shot to the face. Granted, accurately throwing a grenade is potentially far more difficult than simply connecting with a “heat-seeking” plasma burst. But the Pro with his grenade does have advantages over the Newb and his plasma. The pro combo can be more successful from a distance and more useful in tight spaces. You don’t have to wait for a plasma pistol to power up and you don’t have to switch your gun after you throw a grenade.
Bonus Tip! The Pro Combo is a great last resort strategy if your opponent has more energy. Many near death experiences have resulted in kills.
11 ) Double Shot RRX: Learn this technique and you will be unstoppable. You can shoot twice as many bullets with the Battle Rifle – and the shots are more powerful. This button sequence will take some practice, but is well worth the advantage gained. Grab a battle rifle. Press R, then R, and then the X in rapid succession. Keep practicing until you master the timing. You’ve got it when the battle rifle fires twice. It’s like making a more fully semi-automatic weapon.
Bonus Tip! Press RRX then YY and then RRX again. Master this one and you’ll be shooting multiple double shots. You can RRX YY RRX YY RRX continually.]]>
1 ) Hug Your Mates: Teamates must stick together. Even the best solo Spartan or Elite usually cannot defeat two opponents with similar weapons.
2 ) Red Crescent of Death: In smaller maps such as Lockout and Midship, it is a necessity to learn to use the Energy Sword. There is no better way to accumulate some quick kills. While using the Energy Sword and approaching your opponent, the white crescent or crosshair will turn red. At this point, press the right trigger button and you will lunge at your enemy and deliver a deadly melee attack. This is a great tool in close combat and is one of the easiest ways to rack up some double and triple kills.
3 ) It Takes Two: While the Sniper Rifle may be very annoying to new Halo 2 players who continually are dropped while wandering about, the weapon can become enjoyable to use with some practice. Most gamers probably learn very early on that one Sniper Rifle shot to the head will kill an opponent. While learning to aim and use the Sniper Rifle or Beam Rifle (Covenant equivalent of the Sniper Rifle), remember that it only takes two sniper hits anywhere on the body to kill. It is nearly impossible for a stationary target to move before being struck twice, while a moving target in the open has little more of a chance. If your first shot impacts somewhere other than the head, just take another quick shot or two and a second successful hit will bring your target down. You have four shots to use before you need to reload with the Sniper Rifle but only two quick shots with the Beam Rifle before it overloads. As your aim improves you can have fun flipping your enemies, head over heals, with one shot to the head and save ammunition at the same time.
4 ) Killer Plasma: Have you ever been stunned as it seemed you were killed by one Battle Rifle shot or just a few plugs from an SMG? You were probably already hit by the Plasma Pistol. An excellent way to accumulate some quick kills on Xbox Live Multi-player is to use the Plasma Pistol (the small Covenant gun that shoots green plasma) in combination with another weapon. Dual-wield the gun with an SMG. Fully charge the Plasma Pistol and use it’s homing properties to easily hit someone. Then it will only take a second with the SMG to finish the job as the enemy’s Energy Shield will be almost gone. I’ve found this tactic works great in a map such as Beaver Creek or in close range combat.
Alternately, in larger maps such as Colossus, shoot with a Plasma Pistol and carry a Battle Rifle as your backup weapon. Quickly switch over to your Battle Rifle after you shoot your Plasma Pistol and one shot will finish things. This variation allows you to zoom in with your scope for long range accuracy.
Bonus Tip! This technique also works just as well on someone who has the Overshield!
5 ) Close Encounter: After playing a few Halo 2 Multi-player games on Xbox Live, you may be wondering why it seems you fall dead after one shot from a Shotgun. The Shotgun in Halo 2 performs similarly to a real shotgun. At medium to long range distances, the weapon is useless. The ammunition spreads out and loses any possibility of accuracy. But in close combat, the opposites are true. The Shotgun will kill with a single pull of the trigger within a certain range and it takes a very poor shooter to miss someone. You must practice and learn at what exact distance this deadly blow can be administered. When mastered, the Shotgun is a great counter against someone carrying the Energy Sword.
Bonus Tip! Remember to reload the Shotgun whenever you have a second to spare. Cartridges are inserted slowly one at a time. It is suicide to run out of Shotgun ammo in the heat of battle.
6 ) Butt Shots: An Assassination Medal in Halo 2 is achieved by giving an opponent a blow to the back of the head. If you find yourself lucky enough to be directly behind someone, don’t waste your time shooting them in the butt with an SMG. One melee attack in the back will bring them down. I can think of no better option in such a situation.
7 ) Screen Looking: A soothing fact about the most important Halo 2 Multi-player skill, is that anyone can master it with practice. You MUST memorize each Multi-player Map! No doubt we have all been frustrated by what some call “Screen Lookers” while playing Halo 2 Split-screen. Even more so than in System Link or Xbox Live, Split-screen players who know the multi-player maps well will dominate. Not only do they always know exactly where they are, they also are always keenly aware of your precise location! Achieving the goal of a Split-screen Master requires the ability to watch all two, three or four screens – depending on the number of players. Similarly, the top levels of Halo 2 on Xbox Live can only be attained by knowing the maps like the back of your…Energy Sword.
An experienced Screen Looker will be able to mentally move around an entire map. Such a person will instantly know their location upon re-spawning. Even small details on symmetrical maps like Midship and Foundation will be used to discover exact location.
Bonus Tip! The location of every weapon, grenade, vehicle, powerup, flag and base should also be memorized.
8 ) Crouch Jumping: Useful in both multi-player battles and campaign mode, crouch jumping should be practiced and mastered. I remember the first time I tried to “crouch jump”. I stood in front of a window in Ivory Tower, crouched, and then jumped to see if I went any higher. I tried and tried thinking that the timing must need to be exactly right. In the end I learned that crouch jumping is very simple and easy. Crouch at the highest point of a jump. Remember to continue pushing forward on the left joystick. Pulling your legs in at the top of your leap will allow you to reach places that are normally just out of reach. Make learning the timing of this special jump a priority early on and you’ll be rewarded with special sniper spots and stealthy shortcuts in no time.
9 ) Scavenger: Guilt has no place in Halo 2. So go ahead and rack up some cheap kills by finishing people off. Make no mistake about it – if you want to finish near the top in Rumble Slayer on a regular basis, you must “steal kills from other players”. There is no need to be a gentleman and wait for a battle to end before you swoop in and finish off a few weakened opponents. Well-tossed grenades can earn much needed double or triple kills from players battling each other afar off. This strategy is part of Halo and should be taken advantage of in any game variation.
10 ) Anticipate: There is no other game like Team SWAT in Halo 2 that evens the playing field more. Learn a few basic techniques and skills and then compete with the best.
Number 1: Set your look sensitivity (the controller option that adjusts how fast you turn) to level 3. You may even want to start off with level 2. This will allow greater control of your weapons, so that you can hit someone in the head on the first shot. Chances are you won’t have time to get many shots off.
Number 2: I assume that anyone reading this realizes that you kill someone in SWAT by shooting them in the head. You can take many shots anywhere else on your body. It is more difficult to shoot someone’s head from behind. When getting shot in the back, as long as there is cover nearby, do not turn around. Take cover, then turn around and come out firing.
Number 3: Anticipate where your enemy’s head will be. Always aim your gun at the point where the next head may pop into view.
Number 4: When playing with magnums, empty your second magnum half way. This way you will still have one magnum to shoot with while your second one is reloading. This will help with some double or triple kills…or more.
11 ) Drop It: As anyone who has played a Capture the Flag or Bomb game on Halo 2 knows, carrying either one slows you down considerably. The fastest way to get from point A to point B with the Flag is to jump and drop it, or throw it, in the the direction you are going and then pick it up again. This way you can move at your normal speed across the map as you continually pick up and throw the flag. This works with the bomb as well, but remember, dropping the bomb gives your location away!
Bonus Tip! Also practice tossing the flag to your teammates, including out windows!
12 ) Rock It: The Rocket Launcher is a powerful weapon, but only if used properly. There is one rule when it comes to firing the rocket launcher. Aim for the ground below the opponent. It is difficult to hit another player directly with a rocket. When it comes to firing at a vehicle, by all means, hold the right trigger button down to lock on and then let’er rip.]]>