So, How Are You Finding The Halo: Reach Beta?

So, How Are You Finding The Halo: Reach Beta?

While some us got our jetpacks dirty last week, for most, the Halo: Reach beta began in earnest on Monday. Meaning many of you are probably knee-deep in teabags by now. Which begs the question: what do you think?

I know it’s a beta, and it’s still early days, but first impressions are also the most important, so we’d love to hear them.

Me, I’m loving it. I wasted years of my life playing Blood Gulch on the original Halo, but never really got into the online battles of the later games, partly due to the fact they’d grown a little too complex (relative to Halo 1’s perfect simplicity), and partly because I cannot stand Halo players on Xbox Live.

But Reach has so far been a blast. The matchmaking system is a delight, especially how my friends are displayed on the game’s opening screen, and I’m also really digging the new class-based system, which appeals to my inner Team Fortress 2 sensibilities (that and the jetpacks are great fun).

On the downside, even with a wealth of filtering options I still find myself surrounded by loud-mouthed assholes, and for some reason 95% of the games I join are on the one map, even though more are available (I’ve played one game on Sword Base, the rest on Powerhouse).

Once the beta rolls on, though, and more maps are released, I’m hoping this is alleviated. As for the assholes, though, I fear I may be stuck with them.


  • Hi some thoughts,

    Match making still a bit slow I think. Why can’t they have match making by country? You just pick the country your in and play. COD 4 I found out of all Xbox 360 games had the best match making.

    Maps a bit small, why couldn’t they make them a bit bigger and they could have more players as well.

    On the plus side, new class options are brilliant and the new weapons are awesome.

    Overall the beta I did think live up to the hype and can’t wait for the full version. I think this will eclipse Halo 3 fa shaw.

    • my matchmaking is fine.. always get paired with fellow aussies, COD4 had best matchmaking? are u serious or just special.. always getting paired with loudmouthed yanks YAY! World at war had the best matchmaking and well that game was terrible treyarch deserve to die 😛

    • Yeah, Boneyard releases on the 7th (PDT) as the Invasion mode-specific map.
      I think there’s another map to go with the Generator Defense mode, but I can’t remember exactly.

  • couldent agree more! lots of loud assholes and the only games ive played are on the powerhouse and sword maps 2! an for some reason i cant get into invasion or generator defense games? but that said iam having fun with it.

  • I’m loving the beta – only got 20 or 30 games under my belt so far, but got into a good group last night and had a blast. most people have seemed to be ok to me – either that or in private chat. Only really had 1 game with a pair of dicks, and I must admit I am quite sick of flag games! voting, people, voting!!

  • I tend to only find loud mouthed idiots maybe 5% of the time? maybe it’s been luck so far.

    I love the polish, even for a beta.

  • I find the game pretty schweet.

    Matchmaking is fine by me. Amount of assholes i encounter are rare.

    General layout of the menus are a lot more accessible now and much easier to understand.

    The voting system for maps is kind of a downfall, but thats more the players problem than the betas.

    I find the game graphically similar to ODST though. The whole grainy feel to it just doesnt tickle my fancy. Hopefully the full release will turn out better and im really really really hoping that the native resolution would be 1080p so i could wet myself everytime i go to play it.

    The variety of modes make each map different to play. Although you may feel familiar with the map sometimes, each time is different when the points change or the ball gets reset.

    Personally i give a (Y) to the beta.

  • Yeah I’ve really enjoyed my short but ‘arsehole’ filled time with it too, unfortunately I don’t have the ‘gaming-journalist-friends’ friend list to avoid the clowns.

    I don’t know what was sadder the eleven year old clown I was stuck with in match making or the fact I’m 31 and was stuck in match making with an eleven year old clown.

    I blame the parents but that’s just another issue altogether.

  • I laugh so much when i play Modern Wafare 2 and you see these Halo players jumping all the time. Come on, that didn’t work in Halo, so why are you trying it in other games.

    • Jumping *did* work in Halo. Headshots to an unshielded player with certain weapons was an instant kill, whilst body shots took significantly longer. Hence players would jump to throw off the aim of their opponents and hopefully avoid being shot in the head.

    • It works in some situations in MW2 too. People tend to only focus on the recticle height when moving around, so drop shotting is very effective and jumping into someone reduces the chance of them getting headshot multipliers against you.

  • you do realize you can change your matchmaking settings to NOT be matched with assholes.

    Anyway, I only played the beta for say half an hour with the volume low because I wasn’t supposed to be playing, but the gameplay is definitely a lot deeper. I’m probably going to change back to the old controls because I’m not used to melee on RB. The title screen lobby system was confusing at first, but once i get used to it I can see it being very streamlined. And thank god for the new veto system.

  • I’m liking it.

    I only got one game last night… capture the flag on sword base I think (the one with all the levels).

    I’ve gotten used to being able to run in MW2, something I’ve always missed from Halo.

    Getting back into the halo habits of grenadeing when you enter or leave a room.

    Having had the armour abilities used against me I can see they add something, the invulnerability one especially.

  • I would say this is probably the most complex Halo game yet (excluding Halo Wars obviously) so I don’t really get your 3rd paragraph.

    I’ve enjoyed the few games I’ve played but as a hardcore Halo fan, I was hoping for something better… yes, I know it’s a Beta but I dont find it as addictive as Halo3. Don’t know why, can’t put my finger on it just yet. Oh.. and grenades are way over powered IMO.

    I agree that matchmaking by country would be awesome!

  • Loving it. Wiped my expectations clean and turned out to be so much better than I had expected.
    Yes i’m a big Halo fan obviously, but it become seriously more addicting than Halo 3, SO far, for ME.

    I’m a bit over the maps though, especially Swordbase. Mainly cause for every 10 games, 8 of them are probably Swordbase. It isn’t the greatest Halo map created either. But it is really fun for using the Jetpack.

    I can’t wait for more playlists and maps to roll out, hopefully they offer at least 1 or 2 more maps after they roll out Boneyard.

    I didn’t think something could top teabagging (it still occurs and i’m guilty of it) but being assassinated is really embarrassing. Its a real… “Oh for F***s sake” moment when it happens cause you feel so stupid and vulnerable.

    Good times all around so far.

  • So far, enjoying it immensely. Breakdown:

    Matchmaking – quick and efficient in comparison with H3. I can’t work out whether the social selections have helped yet but didn’t have any trouble finding Aussie matches in the evening. That being said, I didn’t encounter any significant lag while playing with some US mates. Keeping tabs on your mates is slick too – why don’t more games have that built in so easily?

    I keep missing the voting as my habit is to check the opponents the moment I’m matched. It also bugs me how when four people have voted CTF and four SWAT, it picks the one at the top of the list – always CTF 🙁

    I’m loving Sprint and the extra mobility that comes with it. It just seems like there are less lulls in the action now, and it is easy to get back into the action (picking spawn points is brilliant).

    Weapons are fun and more intricate to use – appeals to my inner perfectionist. The two maps are alright, just the right size for my type of play. Looking forward to the other two maps and modes.

    Overall, it’s working smoothly for a Beta. And it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

  • so far im loving the beta. seems to play differently to the previous 2 halo games. definately more like halo 1. i havent played with any rude pricks yet. ive actually only had aussies in my games, and theyve been really nice. just having a blast and enjoying the game. lets hope it stays that way. only prob i had was:

    1. matchmaking way to slow, ive waited up to 5 mins before getting into a game.

  • its is really awesome…feels like halo 1 and halo 3 at the same time, its pretty dam good for 2 maps and handful of modes

  • I’ve found the matchmaking fairly decent for non-ranked playlists, but the arena searches take quite a while.

    Absolutely loving the Active Camo, especially on Sword Base, but the Jetpack is brilliant on Powerhouse.

    Fave game types have to be Crazy King on Powerhouse and Covy Slayer on Sword Base.

    Overall, the beta is a huge amount of fun, and the only thing I have to complain about is the insane frequency of beating your opponent down just is he hits you, which kills both of you. Ugh.

  • I dunno to me this doesn’t feel any different from any other halo, just now you can get a jetpack… I have played it a fair bit but only on Sword Base (what do people have against the other maps I can’t even name as I’ve played them like once) I can’t really complain about the matchmaking as so far I’ve only played with aussies and apart from a small patch last night where I just dead searched I’ve generally found games within a couple of minutes.

    Despite all that they have tried to make it feel like a different game it still comes down to the same formula: Jump, Shoot, Grenade, Melee. Repeat.

    Maybe I’m all Halo’ed out, but I honestly think it is time Bungie and Microsoft put this franchise to rest…

  • I’m loving it so far, but it’s no fun playing with randoms. I can honestly say playing Juggernaut with 7 friends is the best fun I’ve had in a while.

  • Well I hate it the maps are really small, There should at least be a 6 vs 6 Minimum instead of 4 vs 4. There just the main things I hate about the Beta I hope they fix them

  • So far I’ve found:
    – matchmaking is as tedious as ever… takes minutes to get into a game
    – I’ve been disconnected from Xbox Live mid-way through every game I’ve played. This does not occur with any of my other online games, I’ll play MW2 online for hours without problem.
    – The weapons and abilities seem unbalanced, but given the other problems I’ve had I really haven’t had a chance to get a feel for them all.


  • Lots of comments, I didn’t read through them, though I’m hoping you are Luke.

    The extras have all been great so far. However I do also find I’m constantly on the powerhouse or whatever map and rarely on sword base.

    Something else, which it may just be me, but I have trouble killing people. I would have expected Bungie to lower health to take it more in line with the fast paced COD style games, as this is popular. The fact that they didn’t I don’t mind at all, it shows they aren’t phased by such things.
    However I find the Assault Rifle to have rather poor accuracy and a small clip whereas the high accuracy weapons are so accurate and slow firing it can be difficult to kill someone. The damage on the DMR and Needle Rifle also seem to be quite low so that at medium to long range your target has no problem getting to cover before you can kill them.
    This may just be me and my in-experience with the new weapons, I guess time will tell.

    • I have to agree with you 706 with the rifles, they need either a fire rate boost or a damage boost. However, on the other hand, ive seen people just using rifles in combo with the plasma pistol which takes down their sheilds open for a one shot kill.
      There seems to be in general a slower fire rate with all ranged wepons then in previous Halo titles, or so i felt.

  • Brilliant. As soon as i changed the controller settings to Recon it became a better version of Halo 3. All armour powers are all equally balanced. I like invisible with a hammer. Always a good move lol. Also i like the use of fire in the objective missions and juggernaught. A flaming jugg is well easier to see and well harder to battle. The credits to buy armour is a really good idea but the colours are limited and also the emblem is limited aswell. The only bad side i thought is the elites, yeah ok they are solid fast and can jump but their evade is absolutly rubbish. All in all A++

  • I’m thinking of picking up a 360, seeing as how they aren’t that expensive now and there seems to be quite a few good games coming out. However, I only hear bad things about the average player base online. I generally have a pretty good time online on my PC, but I can be quite choosey about which servers I play on and who I play with. Can some keen online 360 players tell me what the score is?

    • I’ve been playing online for a few weeks now, and I’ve only found one person who was irritating. Most of the people I’ve played against don’t actually talk.

      Admittedly, I’m not a competative player so maybe it’s different in the ranked matches.

    • I’ve had my 360 for a couple of years, and played a lot of Halo 3 and recently MW2. I’ve found in the last couple of months that the Australian player base is much more friendly and cooperative, less grumpy and prone to rage quitting, and more willing to work as a team.

      The Americans, on the other hand, are absolute wankers. There’s the occasional person who wants to play well, but mostly they bitch and whine and throw tantrums, and have some of the most bigoted, racist remarks I have ever heard. It was a joy when MW2’s title update meant I was in Aussie lobbies 98% of the time. I jumped in a game with some American friends and was amazed at how awful the people were.

      As a result of that, I rarely use my mic, only when playing with people I know. My opinion? Get a 360 for the games. Play your PC for the community.

  • Had a fair balance of maps and gametypes so far, so been lucky in that sense. Still finding all the little nooks and hidey holes in the new maps, absolutely loving the vertical awareness needed to compete though. Nothing like being dropped in on when you think you’ve got an area covered!

    Matchmaking has been fine, a few players talking smack here and there but thats nothing new. Connections have been varied, sometimes straight into a match within half a minute, other occasions I’ve had enough time to cook my Fantastic Noodles and start eating before a match.

    Definitely agree with 706’s post on ranged weapons; higher ROF or damage needed to be really useful, especially in sword base where most players are in the corridors and not in the courtyard area.

    I disagree that the Elite’s Evade ability is crap. It has saved me on a number of occasions from what should have been a sure death. It is particularly epic diving out of the way of a grenade blast, or dodging a would-be assassin (and returning the favour!).

    Still coming to terms with the new controls, I get the feeling though that this was a strategic move on Bungie’s part to level the playing field a bit.

    All up, loving the Beta, can’t wait for the full Reach release! (Can’t help but think that sounds like a euphemism.. =P)

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