Bungie Shows Us Jet Packs, "Armor Lock," And More For Halo: Reach Multiplayer

A giant update from Bungie last night sheds more light on what we saw in the multiplayer beta trailer last month. Load Outs and jet packs are explained, and an "armor lock" mode is revealed.

Load Outs were referred to briefly in that video and now get more explanation. Before a match starts or during respawn windows, the Load Out screen displays. You'll choose an Armor Ability, primary and secondary weapons and grenade cache, with the choice list governed by the playlist or game type.

"For some playlists, that might mean every Load Out features the same weapon sets with only the Armor Abilities to distinguish them. For others, it might mean that as the game goes on, you'll have access to more and more choices based on a number of factors we can fiddle with." Bungie says. "What it doesn't mean is that you will be creating your own custom Load Out to bring into Matchmaking. You'll be choosing from our prefabricated offerings, based on what's best suited for each gametype."

"Armor lock" is one of those armour abilities, joining active camo, the jetpack you saw in that video, and sprinting. All of these are explained in the update. armour lock is an invulnerability mode but not without some drawbacks. While activating it immunises you from grenades, projectiles and vehicle attacks, you can't move at all. You're also damned conspicuous, what with that energy field crackling all about, so using it carelessly absolutely exposes you to someone just waiting for that shield to drop. When it does, however, it releases an EMP burst whose size and effect depends on how long you engaged the lock.

The rest of the update comprehensively addresses the other abilities and weapons. The Dedicated Marksman Rifle and the Magnum are now five-shot kill weapons, four anywhere and one to the dome, so bye-bye four-shot kills. Go get the rest of the scoop on vehicles, assassinations and kneecaps (kneecaps?) at the link. And remember, the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta starts May 3.

Bungie Weekly Update: 04.02.10 [Bungie]


    This sounds bad. One thing I loved about Halo 3 multiplayer compared to other FPS such as the recent MAG and Bad Company 2 is that you started of with an ok weapon but could pick up any weapon you wanted around the map. You could use the assualt rifle and kill a few enemys before grabing the rocket launcher of one of their corpses and shooting down a banshee. You could then run over and grab the sniper from its spawn point and start shooting down enemys across the map. With load outs people will be stuck in roles. MAG and BC2 are good with there load outs but for a Halo game I dont think it will work.

      There will still be weapons strewn around the map, and you can still pick up weapons your enemies drop, and the load outs are completely tied to the playlist, I would imagine ( and hope )that most bungie-made playlists in matchmaking wouldn't include _any_ powerful weapons such as the sniper or rocket. I also hope that this feature was implemented with mostly the community in mind.

      They haven't removed the ability to pick up weapons, nor are they not placing powerful weapon choices strategically around the map. It is a step towards the more mainstream fps style, but since they're controlling the loadouts it will be interesting to see what strategies Bungie can embed with it.

      It might work depending on how they balance the weapons of the loadout but yer this will be a test for bungie....

      You are only stuck with the armor ability. You can switch up any weapon you like at any time, just like in any other Halo game. They're not gonna break with tradition that badly.

      I'd have to say the worst thing about Halo 3 was the starting weapon. There is no reward for staying alive and getting a good weapon when some noob can spawn and mow you down from behind with the stupid assault rifle. At least in Halo 2 if someone spawned behind you and started spraying the SMG you could at least turn around and fire a BR into their face a few times and come out on top. I know they did it to balance gameplay, but why reward someone for being able to 'spray and pray'. I played Halo 2 for about 2 years, Halo 3 was lucky to stay in my Xbox for 2 months.

    @Dire Wolf, perhaps the load outs are just the starting equipment, and you will be able to pick up other weapons during play?

    I would believe the Load Outs - which we could just call Custom Class like in COD - will be decided by Bungie.
    For example, lets use Guardian as an example.

    There is one sniper rifle and one shotgun on the map. No one can start with those weapons in Halo 3 and in this case you still can't cause their the most "powerful" weapons on Guardian and popular - you usually start with either a Battle Rifle or Assault Rifle. Now with "Load Outs" Bungie will let you choose what weapon you want to start with instead of them making everyone start with the same weapon that they've chosen for the Playlist/Map.

    So you are then given the choice of starting with a Battle Rifle and say Pistol. An Assault Rifle and a Plasma Pistol. Needler Rifle (NEW) and a SMG.

    I hope and think the weapons for Load Out will be limited based on the Map and Playlist. And Bungie are GREAT and doing such things. If its one thing they are also great out, it is spacing a map out and spacing it out with weapons. HALO will NEVER work if it was like COD where their are no extra weapons and its based on picking up the ammo from your dead team mates or killing your opponent.

    Thats my opinion for the situation - Halo Reach anyway isn't going to be like any regular Halo 1-3 game. Bungie have said that. They're taking a more tactical approach, very team based. Even with the campaign, having an elite team. Working together. Larger battles and offering stealth.

    Lets just have our "speculation" until the BETA which is less than a month away shows us what we will be eating away at come most likely September time.

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