I have beef with Halo: Reach Multiplayer, and not the good kind. What does that mean? Read on:
Rally. When I first dove into matchmaking, I saw “Rally” as a possible gameplay mode. I looked over at my buddy who had nothing to offer but a quizzical expression. We were both wondering what Rally was when a voice declared, “F***ing Rally.” Foresight is 20/20.
Everyone spawns on a mongoose, the Spartan four-wheeler of choice. A gray rally point pops up on the map and it becomes first come, first serve; whoever drives through the rally point first scores. The rally point moves to a new location and it is first to 15. The game quickly degrades into half the players jumping off their ATVs and shooting each other while everyone else drives around trying to catch the rally point. There is always one guy who knows the locations of the rally points and camps them to an easy victory. Dumb.
Giant maps. There are several modes that promote close combat, but are played out in giant fields. Why? If you give me the magnum, I want to use it. In SWAT mode, players’ shields are stripped and it essentially becomes a CoD or MW match. The map is a great plain and everyone is forced to run around and jump like idiots so they don’t get sniped by a lucky shot. This is particularly counterintuitive in SWAT mode, where you expect close quarters tactics to reign. Someone explain this to me.
Matchmaking for Firefight. We were spoiled by the new Firefight mode in ODST and expected great things out of Reach. While we were given matchmaking, the game itself is limited to only five waves and two skulls (Catch and Tough Luck). We still have the option to play normal Firefight locally or with the Xbox Live Party, but most players don’t have a massive friends’ list with competent Reach players.
They did score with Infection, a mode that has Energy Sword-wielding zombie Spartans chasing down shotgun-toting survivors. I still think this is a great game and entertaining to play, but I expected perfection from Bungie’s grand finale.