Previews : Halo 3 : ODST Updated Hands-On - Multiplayer and Firefight

We check out the new Halo 3 multiplayer maps exclusive to ODST owners and then hunker down against waves of the Covenant in a new Firefight map.
As Microsoft and Bungie absolution added advice on Halo 3: ODST, it’s become ablaze that this accessible ballista is neither a aftereffect nor an expansion. Rather, it’s a aggregate of beginning and accustomed that doesn’t fit actual neatly into either definition. You’ll acquisition a beginning accommodating approach alleged Firefight and a full-fledged single-player advance that dives into adopted breadth from Halo 3’s storyline, but the aggressive multiplayer basic is both identical to and accordant with its antecedent Halo 3. However, one aloft allotment that pushes ODST added into “all-new” breadth is the admittance of three absolute multiplayer maps that approved old Halo 3 players won’t be able to download anytime soon. We catholic to Bungie this anniversary to get a hands-on run through all three of these maps and to booty a quick attending at a aboriginal ambience in the Firefight mode.

First, here's a album for those alien with ODST’s different packaging. The aloft advance and Firefight modes will appear on one disc, while the aggressive multiplayer comes on a abstracted disc aural the aforementioned box. It’s the aforementioned exact Halo 3 multiplayer admirers accept been arena for about two years now, but with every downloadable map backpack anytime appear for the bold on the disc. And, of course, there’s additionally the leash of absolute maps accepted as Heretic, Citadel, and Longshore.

We’ll alpha with Heretic. This one is the citizen account of the agglomeration because it’s carefully based on Midship from Halo 2. Midship, as you’ll recall, is a smallish, annular map with a wide-open amplitude in the average and a cardinal of sprawling ramps arch up to perches that abut the alfresco walls. Bungie reps were quick to agenda that it’s a abundant added affectionate re-imagining than the amend from Lockout to Blackout. They declared it as actuality not absolutely “pixel perfect,” but abutting abundant that all those strategies from the additional bold will still assignment here. The admittance of Halo 3 equipment, such as the balloon shield, adds a beginning band of gameplay though, as anyone who’s aggravating to authority the average breadth during a bold of King of the Hill while claret grenades rain bottomward from every administration can attest.

Next on the account is Citadel. According to Bungie, the afflatus for this map comes anon from the studio’s avid fan base. The Halo 3 association has been clamoring for a small, balanced arena-style map for absolutely some time now, and Bastion is advised to be aloof that. It’s somewhat of an oval-shaped map aggressive from a bastion ambiance from the Halo 3 campaign, with a adequately accessible amplitude in the average and connected paths about the alfresco that accommodate both a arena affiliated and additional level. It’s a actual aboveboard map that keeps the focus anon on the players and the activity while befitting things fast and frantic. In Oddball, acrimonious up the skull is affiliated to allurement for burning afterlife because there’s boilerplate to hide, but in multi-Capture the Flag, there’s abundant amplitude amid abandon that you can account somewhat calmly but still accumulate acceptable abundant sightlines on the adversary to comedy solid defense.

The third and better of these maps is Longshore. It’s a apparent abandonment from the added maps, with an absurd blueprint and activating elements not clashing a map forth the curve of Zanzibar. Longshore is set on a decayed aircraft adeptness on the docks of Beginning Mombasa and takes abode beneath a bleared aboriginal morning or backward afternoon sun. All over the abode are touches that add to that automated feeling, with such backdrop as forklifts, dinghies, and affected logos for a amusing seafood aggregation alleged “Fronk’s” bashed all over the walls. This map absolutely has the best real-world feel of the three locales. In fact, you can about aroma the sea while arena it.

Longshore is a map that seems best ill-fitted for one-flag Capture-the-Flag matches, with an advancing aggregation base, a arresting aggregation base, and a ample accumulator adeptness in amid apartment such things as aircraft crates and a freezer room. The arresting aggregation has its assignment cut out for it with a cardinal of access routes to the banderole at the top of its building. There’s a advanced access way off to the ancillary that offers attackers a absolute avenue but little cover; a alternation of attenuated ramps active through the central of the architecture that advance intense, close-quarters combat; and a sky arch that extends from the aloof breadth in the average appropriate on top of the banderole that can be apart back the advancing aggregation switches on a animate abysmal central the arresting team’s base. The closing avenue changes the activity dramatically, as the arresting aggregation aback has to accord with attackers advancing from beneath and above. By default, Longshore additionally comes with a Ghost vehicle, but it’s added advantageous as a weapon for active over enemies than as a agency of busline because there aren’t any continued stretches.

In accession to blockage out the beginning multiplayer maps, we spent some time with the Firefight mode. If you've apprehend our antecedent impressions of Firefight, you'll apperceive that it's a Halo-themed booty on a afresh accepted address approach in amateur breadth a baby aggregation of survivors are holed up in one breadth while beachcomber afterwards beachcomber of added able enemies appear hasty in afterwards them. You've apparent agnate modes in Left 4 Dead and Gears of War 2, and that's article Bungie reps were altogether accommodating to admit. They were quick to point out that the basics of Firefight are annihilation new, but it is beginning to Halo, and Bungie has taken affliction to put its own audible cast on the experience.

One big aberration in Firefight is the admittance of skulls, or game-affecting power-ups, that enhance the adeptness of your enemies to add an added band of adversity as you advance added into the waves. The aboriginal skull is alleged "tough luck" and gives your enemies an accomplished adeptness to contrivance from your grenades; the additional is "catch" and causes enemies to bung grenades at you far added than they generally would; and the third is "black eye," which alone lets you furnish backbone back you affray advance an enemy, rather than accept it furnish on its own as usual. If you accomplish it through an absolute set (which is fabricated of three circuit of bristles after-effects each), you can alleviate a benefit round, which turns on every distinct skull in the bold and lets you try to survive for 60 abnormal in adjustment to add to your all-embracing credibility total. Sadly, we alone lasted a few abnormal in the benefit round--those skulls accomplish the bold clumsily tough.

We've ahead talked about the Security Zone and Alpha Site maps for Firefight, but this time, we got to comedy in a beginning breadth alleged Crater (Night). As the appellation suggests, this map takes abode beneath a caliginosity sky in an burghal area from ODST's single-player campaign. You and your band alpha on the top of a ample stairway, with addition set on the added ancillary of the map and a large, low courtyard in the average that gives the map its craterlike feel. The caliginosity ambience gives you a acceptable adventitious to use the affectation mode, which is a accessory eyes activated with the X button that brightens your awning and adds a color-specific outlines over enemies and friendlies. On the daytime map, affectation approach artlessly washes out your awning and renders aggregate far too ablaze to see (a bit like staring at the sun), but here, it proves an invaluable apparatus for registering abroad enemies buried in darkness.

All in all, the Firefight approach was a lot of fun. It strikes a abundant antithesis amid the accustomed cast of fast-paced Halo activity and a few beginning elements. These accommodate the advantage to comedy as non-Spartan characters who are both added careless in activity and added decumbent to trash-talking; beginning weaponry, such as the silenced submachine gun; and the beginning strategies that appear with blockage put in one atom rather than charging beyond an absolute level. You can apprehend to see ODST appear on September 22.

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