Halo: Reach E3 2010 Preview

During E3 2010, I got an extended look at the Halo: Reach demo shown at Microsoft's press conference, showing the full mission "Long Night of Solace" from start to finish. A stylized trailer showing much of the mission has also been released.

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Right off the bat, Halo: Reach will be adding space combat to the franchise for the first time ever and though it wasn't hands-on, the ships look to control well. The mission as a whole show a great variety of gameplay as Noble Team moves from firefight to firefight against Covenant forces. Bungie's top-notch enemy AI looks be back with elites using armor abilities like Evade and Armor Lock to avoid danger.

On the multiplayer side of the coin, Firefight will be making a return following its debut in Halo 3: ODST with some major improvements. Matchmaking through playlists will be available for Firefight, which should help alleviate problems for finding extra players when friends are not available. Secondly, gamers will be able to fully customize the Firefight experience.

Much like multiplayer gametypes could be created for Halo 3, creators will be given the ability to customize enemy waves, skull configurations, and available loadouts for players. Additionally, players will be able to create 3 custom skulls per gametype, which can be saved and shared amongst the community.

The complaints about netcode in Firefight in Halo 3: ODST, which used the campaign / co-op netcode, have reached Bungie. During the Halo: Reach beta, Network Test 1 was actually a test of Firefight's netcode under the guise of the Generator Defense gametype. That gametype will actually be playable co-op, but is not currently planned as a player vs. player mode.

Though Reach is Bungie's last Halo game, a small team will be tasked with maintaining the community for as long as necessary. Bungie's next game, a new intellectual property, is being developed as a multiplatform title and will be published by Activision.

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