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Halo: Reach, Beta – First Impression.

The beta for “Halo: Reach” landed today and I was one of the first in line to download it.  After playing a few modes for a few hours I’ve started forming a (semi) educated opinion.

I was never a big fan of Halo 3 or ODST online, but I was eagerly awaiting the launch of Reach.

The new game play modes are well crafted, (although only a few are out now) particularly Covy Slayer. Playing as Elites in this game is a new experience, even to veterans of Halo. Elites are essentially a brand new gaming experience, controlling completely differently to Spartans. Elites are faster, taller and have more shielding capabilities than Spartans and poses a different ability (Evade compared to the Spartans sprint) but as a compromise, they are much larger target and therefore easier for enemy Spartans to hit.

The Covenant come equipped with quite a few new weapons, with both the Plasma Repeater and the Focus Rifle being some of the standouts I’ve used (or have had used against me). New weapons overall include the Designated Marksman Rifle – which is the replacement for the Battle Rifle – the Human Grenade Launcher, the Covenant Plasma Launcher and the Needler Rifle.   Most of these weapons are rehashes of previous ones – The Focus Rifle being an “updated” version of the Sentinal beam – and are generally an improvement on them.

Armor Abilities are a major focus of this beta, essentially replacing items such as the Bubble Shield and the Grav Lift from Halo3.  The abilities available at the moment include;

Armor Lock – which causes you to go into “lock-down” not taking any damage but not being able to move.

Active Camo – Much like in previous games but it works with you.  The faster you move, the more you are revealed.

Sprint (Spartan Only) – Allows Spartans to move faster (finally)

Evade (Elite Only) – Perform a fancy dive roll. Good for evading bullets or for getting up close and personal for an assassination.

Jet Pack – One of the most used and hyped ability, allows you to fly for a short period of time.

I encountered a few glitches with some of the abilities (mainly Armor Lock) wherein the user activates it, but is not stopped, causing them to become invincible until it wears off.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable beta, high expectations for the full game, I already have my Legendary Edition Pre-ordered.  Highly Recommended.

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