Wow. Bungie has released new Halo: Reach multiplayer details, and man are they extensive. So extensive, in fact, that I’m only going to focus on two new gameplay modifications: Load Outs and Armor Lock.
Modern Warfare has made loadouts a must in multiplayer shooters, and Bungie is jumping on the bandwagon by adding them to Halo: Reach. However, you will NOT be able to setup a custom load out. Rather, the load out options will change based on the gametype. According to Bungie:
Load Outs are not player created or defined, but rather playlist and/or game type specific. Essentially, they allow you to choose your Armor Ability, your starting primary and secondary weapons, and your grenade cache on the fly.
For some playlists, that might mean every Load Out features the same weapon sets with only the Armor Abilities to distinguish them. For others, it might mean that as the game goes on, you’ll have access to more and more choices based on a number of factors we can fiddle with.
That’s just one example to the right. Many gametypes will feature more uniformity in the initial selection.
What it doesn’t mean is that you will be creating your own custom Load Out to bring into Matchmaking. You’ll be choosing from our prefabricated offerings, based on what’s best suited for each gametype.
So then, playing Reach online will pretty much be like playing the lower-rank levels of Modern Warfare 2. Part of me feels a little let down, but then again this should allow for a constant balance in terms of weapons and equipment. Bungie has also released details about the new Armor Lock ability, which will allow players to make themselves temporarily invincible. Grenades, vehicles, assassinations and weapons fire will all be useless against you. Sounds pretty cool, huh? Of course, there’s a downside: you can’t move… at all.
Those that get too close are treated to an EMP blast when you exit the lock and the longer you’re locked down, the bigger and more powerful the effective radius becomes. While you’re in Armor Lock, you can’t be melee’d or assassinated, either.
So, what’s the downside? You’re a sitting duck. While you are temporarily invincible, if you deploy Armor Lock carelessly out in the open, you can bet someone will be lining you up from long range. Watching. Waiting.