YAN Post About the Halo 3 Beta
So, originally my friend Nadine and I got on splitscreen-style and played against random strangers. That was not a great experience, which I suppose was unsurprising because I hate matchmaking – as I’ve mentioned here before.
(We actually recorded a “podcast”, which should be up here soon – and parts of it may appear on the Space podcast. Next week though.)
Anyway, we played again last night, this time in a group of eight friends (and friends of friends). That causes the system to not add any random strangers since you already have enough for two teams, so we played against each other for a couple hours.
It was so much better. Freed from the incessant radio chatter (and superior skills) of southern children, we could learn the maps a little better, try out the new weapons, and see what uses ‘equipment’ can be put to.
- I still only managed one kill with the laser. It’s impossible to use at short range. But the sound it makes is rewarding.
- While Valhalla is similar to Blood Gulch / Coagulation, it’s a huge improvement. Despite the size, the man cannon and the vehicles move you around quickly. Also, the rockier terrain makes it easier to avoid being sniped. And makes for some great vehicle jumps.
- Again, still very little dual wielding. This might be different when there are more maps, though. Two of the three in the beta are quite large, and the other (Snowbound) is too good for grenades on the inside, while too long-range on the outside.
- Team oddball on snowbound is a great gametype.
- Team Crazy King on High Ground is a terrible gametype. Hill move times need to be extended for it to work.
- The new territories gametype works fabulously. In Halo 2 territories could be reclaimed; now the capture of a territory is permanent, and teams take turns on offence and defence. It’s almost like an introductory strategy game. On offense, do you send one player to four different territories? Or do you form up as a team and capture them one by one? On defense, two groups of two seemed to be effective, since it could work against either offensive strategy. Eventually, you’d figure out good positions from which you could quickly travel to any challenged territory.
- As for the equipment, other than the obvious – throwing the power drainer into a group of enemies, dropping a shield bubble when your shields are depleted – gametypes and maps will determine some interesting possibilities. The gravity lift will probably have specific uses. Also, let’s say you were defending the High Ground base from the wall – could you drop a shield bubble so that it covered you, but not the tip of the turret?
- Generally, snipers are not dominating maps like they used to. Possibly this is because good snipers don’t yet know where to find the rifles, I dunno. But the terrain and the equipment helps to offset the power a good sniper can project.
- the movable turrets are GRRREAT. Again, great innovation.