To get into the Beta | Download and launch the Reach Beta through the 'Intel' menu of the Halo 3: ODST Campaign disc.
What's New, At a Glance:
- Armor Abilities
- Elite and Spartan differences
- New gametypes with different spawn mechanics (e.g. spawning on your buddy)
- New guns
- New matchmaking system, cosmetic gifts
What's Changed since Halo 3: Fall damage is back, as is health. Dual wielding is out.
Gameplay | Significant new systems and additions that impact combat.
Spartans vs. Elites | The different player models are no longer equivalent - their capabilities are very different and feature prominently in the certain game types.
Usage | The Spartan is the default player model for most game types. In Invasion and Generator Defense games, games are one-sided with Elites attacking and Spartans defending.
Size Matters | Relative to Spartans, Elites are significantly larger, have more health, move much faster, and recharge their shields more quickly.
Health | Spartan health bars recharge in sections: up to the nearest third lost. (i.e., lose nearly all your health, it recharges 1/3 back). The remainder requires health packs. Elites health recharges completely.
Assassinations | An optional flourish added to from-behind melee kills, triggered by holding down the melee button. Essentially a way to rub in a kill, they render the player vulnerable for a few seconds as they are performed.
3D Quicktime of an air-to-air assassination (save-as).
Spawn System | Players can selection from a list of spawn locations after dying. In addition, in the Invasion game type players are paired with a fire team partner (or "battle bro") and can choose to spawn by them, co-op style, as long as they are away from enemies.
Player Rank & Reward Systems
Invasion | Players: 6v6 | A multistage, Elites vs. Spartans objective gametype, set entirely on Boneyard in the Beta. The objective is for the attacking Elites to capture a Data Core.
- Each team is formed of three pairs of fire teams, with Elites attacking and Spartans defending.
- Players can choose to spawn by their fire team partner, if they are away from the opposing team, or choose from the list of spawn locations.
- The game takes place over three distinct phases, with new Loadouts, vehicles and sections of the map unlocking at each phase.
- Phase 1: Attackers try to unlock the Vault the Data Core is located in by capturing a set of territories.
- Phase 2: Attackers open the Vault to access the Data Core.
- Phase 3: Attackers steal and transport the Data Core to a Phantom for extraction.
- Each Phase lasts four minutes; if the objective is not completed on time, the game ends. Completing a phase extends the game into the next.
- In the Beta, a game of Invasion is one-sided, to increase matchmaking churn.
- Scoring is based on kills, first team to 100 kills wins.
- Similar to Invasion, the game evolves in Phases, unlocking Loadouts and vehicles at each: Phase 2 begins when a team hits 25 kills, Phase 3 when 50 kills are reached.
- Roaming reinforcement territories move around the map, and can be captured to air-drop in additional supplies (which drop after a countdown and can be taken by either team). The air drops get better from Phase to Phase.
Headhunter | Players: FFA - 8 | FFA game blending Slayer and objectives.
- Players drop a single flaming skull when killed which must be collected and deposited into a depository - which moves frequently - to score points.
- The number of skulls a player is carrying is displayed in a waypoint over their head which everyone can see.
- Game ends when 1) time is up, where the player with the most skulls deposited wins, OR 2) when one player deposits 10 skulls at once.
Stockpile | Players: TBD | Team-based objective game where the goal is collect and score neutral flags.
- Four flags spawn randomly in any of ten locations, for either team to snag and return to their capture zone.
- Every sixty seconds, all flags in the capture points are scored, and the flags reset at new random locations.
- Only flags inside the capture point (even being carried) when the timer sounds at the end of each minute scores a point.
- Opposing teams can remove flags from the enemy capture point before they are scored.
- The game runs for ten one-minute rounds, with the team scoring the most points at the end winning.
Generator Defense (Network Test 1) | Players: 3v3 | A network test disguised as an objective gametype, Elites vs. Spartans.
- Elites attack, with the goal of destroying three generators on the map, with Spartans defending.
- Spartans can lock down generators for ~30 seconds at a time, after which the generator must cool down and is vulnerable.
- Power weapons are distributed via air drop to random locations on the map.
- Team with most generators destroyed after one round of offense each wins.
Sword Base | Playlists: TBD | A five-level deep indoors map with an open space between sides, reminiscent of Boarding Action or Prisoner.
Powerhouse | Playlists: TBD | An asymmetric, midsized map set in and around a hydraulic power station.
Overlook | Asymmetric, open map featured only in the Generator Defense playlist in the Beta.
Boneyard | The largest map in the series to date, set amidst the skeleton of a decommissioned ship being disassembled, used only for Invasion (in the Beta).
Armor Abilities | The evolution of Halo 3's Equipment, Armor Abilities can be used indefinitely, after a short recharge. They are selected as part of a Loadout.
Jetpack | Elites and Spartans | Enables flight for a brief time. On the downside, it's noisy, makes you an easy target, and you can take fall damage if you drop from the max height.
Active Camo | Elites and Spartans | Renders the user nearly invisible, and scrambles the radar of anyone nearby, including the user, altering players that someone is camouflaged. The faster you move the more visible you are.
Armor Lock | Elites and Spartans | User locks into place and deflects all weaponry and vehicles - effectively a temporary invulnerability. The ability has three levels of effect, from a brief pause to a prolonged stance with an EMP fired off at the end to drain shields and disable vehicles - friendly and hostile. The user is stationary and thus exposed for retaliation.
Sprint | Spartans Only | Enables Spartans to briefly run about the same speed that Elites move at native speed. Cannot fire weapons while sprinting.
Evade | Elites Only | A diving roll that enables Elites to shed locks (Needler, Plasma Launcher), get behind opponents quickly and dive into cover with speed. can be used twice before recharging.
New Weapons | Weapons new to Halo: Reach. (Click for high-res version.)
Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) | The new BR. Single-shot, 3x zoom, the go-to rifle for mid to long range.
Magnum | The same stopping power as the DMR, in a smaller package. Higher rate of fire is offset by the 2x zoom, shorter range and lower accuracy when firing rapidly.
Grenade Launcher| AKA, the "pro pipe". Single shot per magazine. Secondary fire: hold the trigger to "cook" until ready to serve; "cooked" grenades let off an EMP, ideal for knocking out vehicles.
Plasma Repeater | The AR for Elites. Rapid-fire plasma weapon.
Focus Rifle | A cross between the Beam Rifle and Sentinel Beam, it fires a long-range sustained beam that cuts through shields and armor in seconds.
Needle Rifle | The Covenant answer to the DMR. Fires needles at mid to long range; if three impact on soft tissue (ie, not shields) they super combine and explode.
Plasma Launcher | Fires 1-4 explosive, tracking plasma missiles, with a charge up similar to the Spartan Laser.