What qualifies me to tell you how to suck at the Halo Reach beta? For starters, that’s me in the screenshot above, having forgotten which colour team I was fighting for on the first day of early beta. Reach beta players can even download a clip of me doing it online.
In my defence, I was very tired, but even more in my defence, I truly suck at Halo. Right now, as we speak, there’s someone on my Xbox 360, speaking through Xbox Live, asking me if I am there. I have no idea how that happens, or who is trying to speak to me. Did I accidentally join a party? No clue!
So yes, I’m perfect for the job.
Now keep in mind that this isn’t How to Be An Arsehole In The Halo Reach Beta. This isn’t stuff you should be doing on purpose. It should come naturally, like scurvy.
Tip One: Forget Which Colour You Are Playing As
Friendly fire happens all the time in real life, and those guys have the benefit of being able to lower their chins to look at what they are wearing. We don’t have that luxury in Halo Reach, at least not until we die. I’m honestly sorry the two folks in the picture above were on the receiving end of my misguided wrath, but I suck, and that’s just what I do.
Should I apologise for who I am? I do, daily. Not just to people I know either. Random people on the street. “Sorry for who I am, Mr Ice Cream Truck Driver!” I find it cathartic.
Tip Two: Ignore Those Other Weapons
They wouldn’t issue you an assault rifle if they didn’t think it was completely capable of getting the job done. Sure, guys seem to run at you head-on, completely ignoring the bullets ripping into their shields while multicolour flashes of light spew from the highly advanced alien weaponry they have at their disposal. They don’t suck. That’s their problem, not yours.
Besides, the assault rifle is perfect for…
Tip Three: Melee Everything and Everyone
Did you know there’s a button that makes you hit people? I don’t remember which one it is, but once you discover it, hit it all the time. It doesn’t matter if your opponent (the red guy, or possibly the blue guy) is shooting rockets in your general direction, or on the other side of the map. He or she is just begging to be smacked.
If anyone gets close enough to you for this to work, remember to forget which button does it in the heat of the moment. If you’re lucky, you might grenade yourself to death.
And if your opponent is too far away, there’s always…
Tip Four: Use Your armour Powers Constantly
You have a jetpack! Why are your feet on the ground? Because you think it makes you an easy target? Obviously you don’t suck enough, and are probably in the wrong class. Halo Reach gives you special powers, and with special powers come special responsibilities to use them at every possible moment, whether you need to or not. Nothing astounds and delights your more able opponents than the sight of you popping in and out of visibility at regular intervals, or having to wait patiently off to the side to kill you while you play with your invulnerability shield dealie.
Tip Five: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Objectives
Bungie provides us “game types” filled with “objectives” as mere “guidelines” for how we could play, should we decide not to suck as much as we normally do and run out of “air quotes”. You’re here to kill people, not carry some flag to a glowing spot on the ground, or take out the enemy’s generators. Just because everyone else is standing by the flag, looking all protective, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on the other side of the map, engaged in fierce pitched battles against other players who have no idea what they’re doing.
By following these five easy steps, you might one day find yourself flipping through your saved videos in the Halo Reach beta, wincing at all of the horrible things you’ve done wrong. Some people would rather relive their great triumphs, but we suck, so we take what we can get.
Besides, it’s not like your mistakes are going to show up on the front page of a major gaming blog or anything.