Halo: Reach Firefight Mode Hands-On

We take on wave after wave of Covenant soldiers armed with nothing but an endless supply of heavy explosives in our first look at this upcoming multiplayer mode for Reach.

Halo 3: ODST was an extremely well-received jaunt into the Halo universe, and one of the best aspects of it was the highly enjoyable Firefight mode where groups of players took on increasingly difficult waves of Covenant enemies. Fans of the mode will naturally be pleased to know that Firefight is indeed making it into the next adventure in the series--Halo: Reach--complete with some significant changes that could potentially make it the multiplayer mode of choice for serious Halo fanatics.

At a Microsoft E3 2010 event tonight that unveiled Firefight, Bungie developers said that fan feedback on ODST played a crucial part in redesigning the mode and were happy to report that one of the major requests from players--full matchmaking support--would be available for Firefight in Reach. It will also make use of the new matchmaking features planned for the upcoming Halo prequel, including active rosters and queue joining, and would be available either as four players via Xbox Live or locally via two-player split-screen.

The other major change to the way Firefight works in Reach has to do with customization--namely, that Bungie has added a ton of options that players can tweak and change to their heart's content. The list of options that could be optimized is substantial and includes determining wave properties (what types of enemies attack, which skulls are active, and the tough foes they'll face in "boss" rounds), match duration (all the way up to infinite), weapon drops, core player stats (such as health, speed, jump, and so on), and even the ability to create custom skulls. Up to three skulls can be made for a match, with the skulls able to affect player or enemy traits.

The new Firefight will also feature some new game types--two that we played at the Microsoft event were generator defense and rocketfight. Generator defense may be familiar to those who took part in the recent Reach multiplayer beta (where it was revealed as Network Test1) and sees teams having to protect a series of generators from the Covenant. Rocketfight is exactly what it sounds--unlimited rockets against your enemies, and it was a great mode to play (if more than a little chaotic).

Finally, our gameplay session tonight revealed a few new weapons and one new armor ability. The target locator allows you to select an enemy or location to "paint," which then sends a barrage of fire down upon it from orbiting ships, while the concussion rifle is a Covenant weapon that fires explosive bursts of plasma (that can easily chew through shields). The fuel rod gun was also quite beefy, shooting out projectiles with explosive results. As for armor, we saw the new drop shield, a prototype bubble shield found in the medic loadout. Once deployed, the drop shield creates a barrier around the Spartan soldier that can take a limited amount of damage, as well as heal any fellow Spartans within its radius.

While the Bungie reps at tonight's event were happy to talk about Firefight, they were less forthcoming about other multiplayer modes expected for Halo: Reach. But with several months still to go before its release, you can expect more news on this front soon. Keep it locked to GameSpot for more news on Halo: Reach.

Written By

Randolph is the managing editor of GameSpot, and needs more time to play games.

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Discussion

120 comments
realguitarhero5
realguitarhero5

@246824682468 Then I guess the entire game is just broken. *sigh*... Oh well.

246824682468
246824682468

@halofan901, maybe that would be so if nobody took them in the first place

halofan901
halofan901

@246824682468, Okay , I did get a little defensive but I guess its because thats the main way i get kills. I also wonder why you stopped playing just because of that. You could grab a sniper, laser,shotgun or any number of weapons to stop the grenade br combo.

246824682468
246824682468

@halofan901, dude dont have a cry you baby just cause i said you cant go anywhere in halo 3 multiplayer without a BR and frags, its just a game dont get so defensive, your making me think you sit on halo like 24/7 in your mums basement.

penpusher
penpusher

@246824682468 that is so easy to avoid...

halofan901
halofan901

@246824682468 U dont know what ur talking about. Halo 3's multiplayer is great. It has a great variety of games to suit just about every type of player. U can't just bad mouth a great game because u suck at it. Just because ur not good at it doesnt mean it stinks.

246824682468
246824682468

@e-i-n-e i totally agree with that multiplayer being DESTROYED in halo 3 with people throwing a frag then headshot you with the battle rifle. - the reason i stop playing halo

GOGOGOGURT
GOGOGOGURT

Yes! I need that game! (I can't deny that I'm a halo fanboy :)

E-i-N-e
E-i-N-e

Looks really good to be honest. I was fearing this new installment, however my fear has been subsided substantially. Hopefully the new weapons that Reach has to offer won't effect the multiplayer in a negative way e.g. a weapon that when you pick it up, it just dominates everyone and is basically the end of the match.

RitsukoEX
RitsukoEX

@aaronfhff123 well not everyone can do that! I really do hate Ebay!

aaronfhff123
aaronfhff123

@RitsukoEX You have to walk along the tiles on the ground in a certain indiana jones style pattern to avoid the miniguns and it is a bonus level. Goldeneye is still fun to this day and has been fun since i was 9 years of age. I always find myself coming back to it no matter how many modern fps i play.

RitsukoEX
RitsukoEX

@aaronfhff123 what?!!! okay let remenber the last level of Goldeneye on N64....it was a room with the goldengun inside along with TWO chain machine guns inside the room (that will kill you) and well...it SUX!!!

aaronfhff123
aaronfhff123

@RitsukoEX if you hate goldeneye than you clearly never played through it. One of the most addicting and epic FPS campaigns ever.

snake8304
snake8304

HALO has always been the king of multiplayer action ,the only thing that the programmers should add is the four player splitscreen (it's something that all the fps games to come should do as well).

RitsukoEX
RitsukoEX

@aaronfhff123 I played Goldeneye on the N64 and it SUX!!! Halo is freaking awesome!!! Goldeneye is over rated like Final Fantasy 7!!!

aaronfhff123
aaronfhff123

@gamer4ever2 when put nest to games like Goldeneye on n64 and halflife, Halo is a little boring. Hype has a lot to do with it but so does the fact that most HALo freaks never experienced goldeneye or Halflife.

gamer4ever2
gamer4ever2

i played Halo 2 and Halo 3 multiplayer, but i must say i'm not impressed. It is ok but it never caused me playing much nor being addictive. IMO, the Halo series has been a bit overrated. When i played gears of war1 and later Halo 3, i was a bit disappointed about the graphics and gameplay of Halo 3. Maybe there was too much hype.

EoSCaboose
EoSCaboose

why must people argue over stupid crap and say this game will be awesome when you know you say that about every game you like. Though it will be fun to get this game........................ No wonder why ps3 has a more mature audience though they still complain just as much as xbox livers do. Reminder To All Parents THIS GAME IS M RATED DO NOT LET YOUR KID PLAY THIS GAME OR PPL LIKE THE 2 PPL BELOW ME WILL MAKE YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER CRY BECAUSE THEY GOT OWNED BY YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER like most ppl on XBL hahahahahahaha -------------------------------------- Destroy The Memories Of Your Past A Night Fury

Tommz7070
Tommz7070

Wow you really are the defining definition of stupid. And I guess I got a bit crazy. You may have a life... but you've got to remember to put your tampon on before you write your comments. Lesson learned. Food for thought.

sgpure
sgpure

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Tommz7070
Tommz7070

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

sgpure
sgpure

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Murtaghe01
Murtaghe01

sounds cool but am hoping its not replacing forge if they dont have forge im gonna die and not buy it

birdman200
birdman200

Cant wait I think it will be the best of all halo games

Tommz7070
Tommz7070

@sgpure your tired of it... but I'm not. The Halo maps are great and they brought them back in ODST and everyone thought that was great. Halo Reach should have those maps included along with new ones. So shut the f*** up you retard

sgpure
sgpure

@Tommz7070 Dude, these maps have been out 4 years. Tons of people practically hate halo now cuz their tired of it. No offense but that's absolutely no way to make a game fresh.

gene548
gene548

it needs forge mode D: like enhanced forge mode with like u can put down covenant also :3

cracktoad
cracktoad

JUST OVER 2 MONTHS LEFT! I've been waiting years to see the Fall of Reach. I'm also super excited to see that Hunters are finally the right size. It's something small but it adds another level of intensity

xRownan
xRownan

Firefight just adds to the already phenomenal game that is Halo: Reach.

feliscele
feliscele

Great! I was feeling a bit iffy about buying Reach, but this just sold it for me. Firefight FTW!

raimunds
raimunds

this and red dead are the games of year

penpusher
penpusher

wonder if we'll see the elephant again ...

hoysoy
hoysoy

PLEEEASE MAKE FIREFIGHT 4 PLAYERS SPLITSCREEN! PLEEEEASE!!!!! D:

Olsenz
Olsenz

I'm excited and preordered it, first time for a Halo game....

Tommz7070
Tommz7070

I have just recently started playing Halo 3 multiplayer on ODST and it is so EPIC. The most epic multiplayer game ever! I want Reach to include all the maps from previous game, all the modes, and the Elephant vehicle. PLZ!

Gonnzzo
Gonnzzo

hmm, still nothing about forge and custom games? cos they're what make the halo community what it is really. it separates halo from the rest.

Imsterminate
Imsterminate

Now all we need is matchmaking for custom games :D

DavidJF
DavidJF

I'm Glad you can search for teammatesin firefight now, that was a big let down (i thought) in ODST. Think i'll be buying this game for sure.

tapout03
tapout03

go ahead and give this game of the year

jumpy46
jumpy46

I hope they have full matchmaking for the campaign too.

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

@ hammer1313 - yeah...i guess you can tell that to the people who save replays, enjoy looking at something different as other people will also be customizing their characters instead of having the same character build.

MicroHolic
MicroHolic

could be the best halo game ever the beta was awesome I am so happy it plays more like the first halo. Halo 2 was the best multilplayer game ever then halo 3 came and screwd it up absolute garbage. They added to much crap in halo 3 bubble shield, regenerate,power drain and etc. That's not halo its for week players that cant shoot and do nothing but camp and hide. Enough said Reach will be the one game to rule them all. Just hope it lives up to the hype and excitement that BUNGIE claims it will be.

iiIsSueZ
iiIsSueZ

Looks like every other Halo multiplayer before it.

HALOG3NS
HALOG3NS

Best multiplayer experience yet, awesome campaign and improved firefight... this is the reason i bought my xbox

Malscyllis
Malscyllis

Can't believe it's been almost 11 years since Halo 1 came out

hammer1313
hammer1313

played the beta... was awesome.. best halo yet...can't wait for it to come out so i can be constantly killed by the hardcore players, but love each and every moment of it lol.

hammer1313
hammer1313

@ThAdEa82 who freakin cares... customization of fps is a dumb concept. you hardly ever get to see what you character looks like and if you are honestly taking the time to look at your enemy you are either dying a lot or really, i have no life, good. do i want to wear helmet 1 or helmet 2? what difference does it make. It is not like it makes your character stronger, faster or shoot better. I would much rather they spend the time and effort used to on character customization building an extra multi-player map, or new type of weapon.

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

Halo 3 had almost no customization. What is he talking about? 7 things to choose from in each category and looking similar..how is that insane? Wow really? 9 dislikes? Im talking about character customization, not maps.