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Halo: Reach Firefight Mode Hands-On

We take on wave after wave of Covenant soldiers armed with nothing but an endless supply of heavy explosives in our first look at this upcoming multiplayer mode for Reach.

Halo 3: ODST was an extremely well-received jaunt into the Halo universe, and one of the best aspects of it was the highly enjoyable Firefight mode where groups of players took on increasingly difficult waves of Covenant enemies. Fans of the mode will naturally be pleased to know that Firefight is indeed making it into the next adventure in the series--Halo: Reach--complete with some significant changes that could potentially make it the multiplayer mode of choice for serious Halo fanatics.

At a Microsoft E3 2010 event tonight that unveiled Firefight, Bungie developers said that fan feedback on ODST played a crucial part in redesigning the mode and were happy to report that one of the major requests from players--full matchmaking support--would be available for Firefight in Reach. It will also make use of the new matchmaking features planned for the upcoming Halo prequel, including active rosters and queue joining, and would be available either as four players via Xbox Live or locally via two-player split-screen.

The other major change to the way Firefight works in Reach has to do with customization--namely, that Bungie has added a ton of options that players can tweak and change to their heart's content. The list of options that could be optimized is substantial and includes determining wave properties (what types of enemies attack, which skulls are active, and the tough foes they'll face in "boss" rounds), match duration (all the way up to infinite), weapon drops, core player stats (such as health, speed, jump, and so on), and even the ability to create custom skulls. Up to three skulls can be made for a match, with the skulls able to affect player or enemy traits.

The new Firefight will also feature some new game types--two that we played at the Microsoft event were generator defense and rocketfight. Generator defense may be familiar to those who took part in the recent Reach multiplayer beta (where it was revealed as Network Test1) and sees teams having to protect a series of generators from the Covenant. Rocketfight is exactly what it sounds--unlimited rockets against your enemies, and it was a great mode to play (if more than a little chaotic).

Finally, our gameplay session tonight revealed a few new weapons and one new armor ability. The target locator allows you to select an enemy or location to "paint," which then sends a barrage of fire down upon it from orbiting ships, while the concussion rifle is a Covenant weapon that fires explosive bursts of plasma (that can easily chew through shields). The fuel rod gun was also quite beefy, shooting out projectiles with explosive results. As for armor, we saw the new drop shield, a prototype bubble shield found in the medic loadout. Once deployed, the drop shield creates a barrier around the Spartan soldier that can take a limited amount of damage, as well as heal any fellow Spartans within its radius.

While the Bungie reps at tonight's event were happy to talk about Firefight, they were less forthcoming about other multiplayer modes expected for Halo: Reach. But with several months still to go before its release, you can expect more news on this front soon. Keep it locked to GameSpot for more news on Halo: Reach.

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  • 246824682468

    Posted Jul 11, 2010 1:49 pm PT

    @e-i-n-e i totally agree with that multiplayer being DESTROYED in halo 3 with people throwing a frag then headshot you with the battle rifle. - the reason i stop playing halo


    Posted Jul 10, 2010 2:29 pm PT

    Yes! I need that game! (I can't deny that I'm a halo fanboy

  • E-i-N-e

    Posted Jul 7, 2010 3:58 pm PT

    Looks really good to be honest. I was fearing this new installment, however my fear has been subsided substantially. Hopefully the new weapons that Reach has to offer won't effect the multiplayer in a negative way e.g. a weapon that when you pick it up, it just dominates everyone and is basically the end of the match.

  • RitsukoEX

    Posted Jul 7, 2010 9:56 am PT

    well not everyone can do that! I really do hate Ebay!

  • aaronfhff123

    Posted Jul 7, 2010 9:53 am PT

    @RitsukoEX You have to walk along the tiles on the ground in a certain indiana jones style pattern to avoid the miniguns and it is a bonus level. Goldeneye is still fun to this day and has been fun since i was 9 years of age. I always find myself coming back to it no matter how many modern fps i play.

  • RitsukoEX

    Posted Jul 7, 2010 9:30 am PT

    what?!!! okay let remenber the last level of Goldeneye on was a room with the goldengun inside along with TWO chain machine guns inside the room (that will kill you) and SUX!!!

  • aaronfhff123

    Posted Jul 6, 2010 5:51 pm PT

    @RitsukoEX if you hate goldeneye than you clearly never played through it. One of the most addicting and epic FPS campaigns ever.

  • snake8304

    Posted Jul 6, 2010 4:26 pm PT

    HALO has always been the king of multiplayer action ,the only thing that the programmers should add is the four player splitscreen (it's something that all the fps games to come should do as well).

  • RitsukoEX

    Posted Jul 6, 2010 4:03 pm PT

    I played Goldeneye on the N64 and it SUX!!! Halo is freaking awesome!!! Goldeneye is over rated like Final Fantasy 7!!!

  • aaronfhff123

    Posted Jul 6, 2010 2:56 pm PT

    @gamer4ever2 when put nest to games like Goldeneye on n64 and halflife, Halo is a little boring. Hype has a lot to do with it but so does the fact that most HALo freaks never experienced goldeneye or Halflife.

  • gamer4ever2

    Posted Jul 6, 2010 6:06 am PT

    i played Halo 2 and Halo 3 multiplayer, but i must say i'm not impressed. It is ok but it never caused me playing much nor being addictive. IMO, the Halo series has been a bit overrated.
    When i played gears of war1 and later Halo 3, i was a bit disappointed about the graphics and gameplay of Halo 3. Maybe there was too much hype.

  • EoSCaboose

    Posted Jul 6, 2010 2:57 am PT

    why must people argue over stupid crap and say this game will be awesome when you know you say that about every game you like. Though it will be fun to get this game........................ No wonder why ps3 has a more mature audience though they still complain just as much as xbox livers do.

    Destroy The Memories Of Your Past
    A Night Fury

  • Tommz7070

    Posted Jul 5, 2010 8:01 pm PT

    Wow you really are the defining definition of stupid. And I guess I got a bit crazy. You may have a life... but you've got to remember to put your tampon on before you write your comments. Lesson learned. Food for thought.

  • sgpure

    Posted Jul 5, 2010 7:53 pm PT

    Alls I have left to say is i was just commenting as this page was made for so the fact that i'm a douche bag by you just starting an arguement for no reason really isn't a logical thing to say based off 2 comments. Get a life? You should find out what a Vigina feels like.
    Enjoy living life

  • Tommz7070

    Posted Jul 5, 2010 7:20 pm PT

    @sgpure hey dips*** who the f*** died and made you god. How the hell do you speak for everyone you f***er. Regardless, to say the maps are not epic and extremely original is stupid. The maps will always be popular among true Halo fans no matter how long you play them. Even if they don't put the Halo 3 maps in the game itself I'll be okay with it. Hopefully the have tons of DLC. So you can stop worries about me. Your a douche bag. I hope you get a life.

  • Murtaghe01

    Posted Jul 4, 2010 5:07 pm PT

    sounds cool but am hoping its not replacing forge if they dont have forge im gonna die and not buy it

  • noob-saibot2010

    Posted Jul 4, 2010 4:27 am PT

    halo rocks again and this time better than ever.

  • birdman200

    Posted Jul 1, 2010 10:31 pm PT

    Cant wait I think it will be the best of all halo games

  • Tommz7070

    Posted Jul 1, 2010 6:18 pm PT

    @sgpure your tired of it... but I'm not. The Halo maps are great and they brought them back in ODST and everyone thought that was great. Halo Reach should have those maps included along with new ones. So shut the f*** up you retard