Bungie Explains Halo: Reach Multiplayer

April 3, 2010
by: Matt E.


Bungie let loose a salvo of Multiplayer features for Halo: Reach in the most recent weekly update.  The details of armor abilities, weapon loadouts, and Elite vs Spartan models were all discussed.

Perhaps the most interesting news is regarding the new armor abilities.  After the release of the multiplayer trailer, the interwebs were ablaze with speculation on some of the features that were hinted and showed.  Spartans were shown flying, running, and surviving vehicle impacts.  Armor abilities in Halo: Reach are replacing equipment pickups from Halo 3 and ODST.  The new abilities will be selectable via the new loadout system (more on that later).  Abilities can be used at will with the press of a button, however each requires a short recharge before it can be used again.  At the moment 5 different armor abilities have been revealed.

Armor Abilities


The lockdown effects look badass.

-Sprint- Pretty straight forward, utilizing this ability will give the player a brief boost in speed.  It's about time Halo let you run.  Welcome to 2006 Bungie.
-Lockdown - As seen in the trailer, lockdown temporarily immobilizes a Spartan player.  While "locked down" the Spartan's shield overloads releasing an EMP blast that disables electronics and vehicles.  In addition the Spartan becomes invulnerable.  However, using this ability in the open exposes the player to would be snipers as they exit the lockdown. 
-Jet pack- Players are now able to take to the skies as back mounted jet packs allow for limited flight. 
-Active Camo- Active Camo makes a return as an Armor Ability rather than a pickup.  When engaged the player becomes temporarily invisible.  However, movement decreases the effectiveness of the clock.  The faster you move, the more visible you become.  In addition, the camo generates a radar jammer to players in the vicinity (including your own).  This means players will be tipped off to your presence although they may not be able to see you.
-Evade - Evade allows players to engage in a speedy roll to escape danger or explosions.  At the moment, this ability is specific to Elites only.  As hinted in the MP trailer.


loadoutAt the beginning of matches, rounds, and respawns, players are given the opportunity to change their Spartan's loadout.  Included in loadouts are primary, and secondary weapons, grenades, and armor abilities.  Now before you flip your shit and say "Halo's all about weapon control, this isn't Call of Duty Waaa waaa waaa", let me explain.  Weapon loadouts are not customizable by the player.  Loadouts will be pre-determined based on the game-type, map, and playlist.  Which means that Bungie will be in charge of what weapons players can choose to start with. 

The provided image was produced for illustrative purposes only.  Bungie went on to explain that very few (if any) game types will allow for the diverse assortment of weapons seen to the left.  But we can still hope, right?





Lastly Bungie addressed a few of things that were discussed last week in their podcast.  Most importantly the DMR and the Magnum.  For those not in the know, both the DMR and magnum will take 5 shots to kill an enemy.  4 shots to pop the shield, and a head-shot to finish.  What differentiates the two weapons is range.  The magnum shoots faster than the DMR.  Up close, Bungie explains that the magnum will outclass the DMR.  However at range, the DMR is the more powerful gun.  The DMR's scope allows for better ranged kills than the magnum.

At the same time, it sounds like the standard assualt rifle will be toned down some.  Bungie goes on to explain that in a battle between two equally skilled players at medium range, the player with the magnum will most likely best the assualt rifle.  Great news for anyone that knows how to aim, bad news for the majority of noobs that spray and pray with the assualt rifle. 


Spartans vs. Elites

For the first time since Halo 2, Elites will not be a standard model for players to chose in multiplayer.  With Halo: Reach, Bungiehas taken the opportunity to re-envision the Elites as they once were.  Elite models are now much larger.  They also have greater health and more powerful shields.  To avoid any balance issues this means that Elites will only be playable in select gametypes (like Invasion).  Bungie was scarce with details regarding exactly which game types you'll see Elites, but promise that info will be coming soon.

With May 3rd just a month away, Bungie has stated that they will be forthright with multiplayer details.  Expect the next few weeks leading up to the beta to be filled with Halo news.  Although knowing Bungie, you can expect a few big surprises May 3rd when you boot up the beta.

Via Bungie