Trigger Happy

Tag: Halo Reach

Invasion - First Impressions

by on May.08, 2010, under gaming

Bungie set the Invasion and Invasion Slayer game types loose on Friday, and I couldn't put it down that night. Both game types put six Elites up against six Spartans with weapon/ability loadouts that progressively get better. The special weapons and vehicles also improve as the match goes on. The final minutes are usually quite intense.

Invasion Slayer is basically Team Slayer with territories that, when captured, drop heavy weapons and vehicles. Teams still compete for the highest kill count, but teams can gain a strategic advantage by capturing territories. Can is the key word here. When a territory is captured, the bonus (a weapon or vehicle) is dropped at the territory after ten seconds. Smart teams that arrive late to the territory will gang up and attack just before the bonus is dropped. In my experience, the team that captures the territory rarely reaps it's benefits very well. Either the opposing team takes control of the area before the drop, or they destroy the vehicle faster than the other team can escape. At first I was really focused on controlling territories, but after a while, I found it was better to just sit back and pick off anyone that ran for it. Nice open targets are my favorite. Occasionally, I'd hit a territory if we had a tight group but usually I just felt like an easy target. Overall, it's a refreshing game type, but it's yawn worthy when compared to Invasion.

Invasion... This is almost the game type I've always wanted to see in Halo. Elites are attempting to steal a data core from a decommissioned UNSC ship, but first they have to take down the shields blocking access to the ship, and security measures protecting the core itself. Elites have four minutes for each objective, if they run out of time for any objective, Spartans win. Invasion plays out very well. Most games make it to the final stretch which makes it pretty exciting. The game is very well balanced even though Elites are obviously more powerful. I've been having a lot of fun with this mode and I had a hard time calling it quits early this morning.
You may be wondering why I say it's almost the game type I've always wanted to see in Halo. I've always been a huge fan of Tribes and Tribes 2, so when Halo came out, I was hoping the team based multiplayer would be more like Tribes. Deployable turrets, different armor classes, a huge selection of guns, fantastic vehicle combat, and, my favorite, generators that can be destroyed to leave the enemy team crippled. Don't get me wrong, I love Halo multiplayer, but the Tribes series is something special that has yet to be matched. Halo Reach's Invasion and Generator Defense game types have introduced some of the elements I love from Tribes to Halo, so I'm pretty happy. I hope these modes are received well by the rest of the Halo fans, and I hope Bungie has time and plans to add more complex objectives to Reach. I keep thinking the next game will be even better, but I have to keep reminding myself that this is probably the last Halo game from Bungie.

Of course, one huge aspect I love about Invasion and Invasion Slayer, is that you get to play as a kick ass Elite! I always hated how Elites are the same as Spartans in Halo 2 and 3 (besides the player model obviously). Elites are way more bad-ass than Spartans. I don't care that they're enemies blah blah blah, they're fucking awesome. End of story. Elites in Halo Reach are faster, have stronger shields, more health, and they're HUGE. Just as they should be. They are a blast to play and I'm glad Bungie finally served them right.
Overall, Invasion and Invasion Slayer are amazing and I don't see myself ever getting tired of them (especially not Invasion). I hope Bungie has more surprises up its sleeve and, in particular, more co-op modes!

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Halo Reach Beta (It's Super Awesome)

by on Apr.30, 2010, under gaming

Thanks to Nick, Co-Optimus, and Bungie, I have the pleasure of playing in the Halo Reach Friends & Family Beta (it's super awesome) this weekend! So far, I've only played six games, but oh boy was it fun! I played some Team Slayer, 1 flag CTF, Stockpile, and SWAT. They were all enjoyable minus the one match where the other team was able to lag switch on us (unfortunately, Bungie has not stopped that completely). During the beta (it's super awesome), I'll excuse that sort of thing since that is what the beta is for, catching those sorts of things.

The new weapons are great. I haven't played with all of them but I REALLY enjoyed the DMR and the Magnum. Armor abilities are sweet, although, I was a bit disappointed with armor lock. I'm guessing it will be more useful in other maps and game types, but so far, armor lock just saves your butt for a few seconds and lets the enemy line up their shot for when you pop out of it. We'll see how it plays out. The only thing that really bugged me about the beta was returning flags. Right now, you pretty much have to be standing right on the flag to start returning it. Obviously, that leaves you in a pretty vulnerable position and the flag obstructs your vision quite a bit. I'm sure that will be tweaked as the beta continues. I'm really looking forward to the other game types coming later in the beta (it's super awesome).

Overall, it was a blast. I just wish I had someone to play with. Since last night was also a co-op night for the new L4D2 DLC, Nick and the others were busy (I don't have the DLC yet). Hopefully, I'll be able to hook up with them over the weekend. If not, I'll still play (duh). Feel free to send me requests on Monday when the beta (it's super awesome) goes live for anyone with an ODST disk. Don't forget to stop by Halo Waypoint after playing a few games to pick up your free beta tester hoodie!

P.S. No, I do not have codes.

Cross-posted at Co-Optimus.

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Merry Christmas!

by on Dec.24, 2009, under gaming

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has a blast this Christmas season. I know I haven't posted in a long time and that really sucks... a lot (sorry). We've been incredibly busy and frankly, have had some weird happenings going on keeping us from blogging among other things. But Christmas is turning out pretty well!

So lets catch up... A few months ago, Borderlands FINALLY made it to our doorstep and we couldn't be happier. The game is an absolute blast! We've logged 45 hours in the game and we've still got a ways to go. We have a few minor complaints, but overall, its definitely one of our favorites.

The following month, Halo 3 ODST came out and we had a blast with that one as well! The campaign really surprised me, I was not expecting such a gripping story and incredible graphics. Its hard to believe its just a tweaked Halo 3 engine. We've also had a lot of fun with Firefight which is definitely way more exciting than survival/horde modes in other games. I really hope Bungie is working on some Firefight DLC, but it doesn't sound like that will happen. Firefight could definitely use some more maps.

Earlier this month, my lovely wife gave me an early Christmas present. Just like last year, we were slaying zombies before Christmas, this time in Left4Dead2. The game definitely has a lot to offer despite all the controversy. Although, I must say, I wouldn't pay full price for it. The survivor AI got dumber and the AI director got tougher. After the fourth time one of our AI buddies spooked a witch, I started getting really annoyed. We left them behind quite a bit because going back for them was usually more trouble than it was worth. Overall, it is a fun game, and I look forward to logging some more hours on it. I'm not sure I want to try the next difficulty without having a full crew of friends though. The AI was just too aggravating and I don't think we stand a chance with them.

Achievements! Wow, I've had fun with achievements lately. I'll just list my recent favorites...

From Left4Dead2: CL0WND, CLUB DEAD, and HEAD HONCHO were all a blast.
From Halo 3 ODST: Be Like Marty (drove my wife around on a 'hog), Vidmaster Challenge: Déjà Vu, Vidmaster Challenge: Classic (way easier than I thought it would be), and Vidmaster Challenge: Endure.
From Borderlands: You're on a boat! (ok, I confessed, I kind of cheated on this one), Facemelter (LOVE corrosive weapons... *sizzle*), and that's it so far. I really want to figure out what the rest of those secret ones are but without cheating :).

I'm REALLY looking forward to Halo Reach. The trailer was fantastic. I'd link to it but I won't because I strongly recommend you download it on your 360 and see it in HD with glorious sound. I've watched it several times now and I'm still all giddy.

Another one on my list is Brink. There are four videos on XBL for that as well. They show off the SMART system of movement which is pretty snazzy. Its Mirror's Edge craziness but easier (or at least the dev made it look easy). The other videos show off a few different classes and the objective system. Brink is really shaping up and six player co-op has me extremely excited. If there's no split screen, I'm going to be extremely bummed.

That's about in on the game front and I don't have a whole lot to add about anything else either. If you see me online this weekend or next week, send me an invite! Tuesday, we're getting together with my brothers for some in-person gaming but other than that, we're pretty free. So again, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Happy Bungie Day!

by on Jul.07, 2009, under gaming

Today is Bungie Day which means all kinds of weird quirky Bungie stuff. Today we have the "Bungie vs the World" playlist in Halo 3 where you can play against Bungie staff for a chance to win Recon armor (which means 13 year olds everywhere are bringing their A-game today). Erika and I will hopefully hit up that list for a while tonight and we'll find ourselves up against some flaming heads.

Thanks for another fantastic year, Bungie!

Non facete nobis calcitrare vestrum perinæum.

Bungie Day 2009

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