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Bungie has revealed their plans for the Halo: Reach beta, and it’s looking substantially different than Halo 3.
The beta will feature the mode Invasion, which has 3 maps to breach, with Spartans defending and Elites attacking. Invasion looks like a Battlefield take on Halo, with the ability to respawn on your teammate, and being able to pick load outs before battle. The load outs are simply choosing between the different armor abilities to use, and there’s a significant difference between the Elites and Spartans here. Spartans will get a sprint ability, as well as an armor lock which makes you duck and activate shields. This makes you invulnerable, at the cost of not being able to move. If you stay in the armor lock long enough, an EMP will burst from your armor and take down anyone’s shields that are near you. Elites get- unsurprisingly- a cloak mode, which makes the player invisible, as well as jamming the radar of nearby enemies. Elites can match the Spartan’s sprint with a dodge maneuver that somersaults the player to the side.
Now every player gets a jet pack to use, which could be helpful on vertical maps. The jet packs can be used for in-air assassinations. Assassinations are longer and fancier melee kills, and it’s an instant kill. Of course, a teammate could save you from an assassination. Speaking of melee, that’s been changed as well. Melee now only takes down the shields on the first hit, no matter the shield level. This motivates players to only melee when an enemy’s shields are down.
There are core differences to the game now. There is no more dual wielding, and Spartans get recharging shields, but not recharging health. This leads me to believe Bungie is trying to copy Halo: Combat Evolved, but having not played the game, I can’t say for sure. The Elites get recharging shields and recharging health. There are new weapons, such as a grenade launcher for the humans and Covenant, a semi-automatic rifle for the humans, and so on. The voting system has been changed for the better. Now in the lobby you’ll see 4 maps to choose from, and players vote on the maps. The map with the most votes is the map the party will play on. There’s new matchmaking filters, such as what language players speak, how often they use voice chat, and how competitive they are. The beta will allow for recording in theater mode, so you can show off to your friends and remind them they should have bought ODST.
If you didn’t get ODST, though, there are other ways to get into the beta. Certain editorial websites like Giant Bomb will be giving away beta codes soon, so keep checking. The Halo: Reach beta will begin for the general public on May 3rd.