During the last week there has been one thing on just about every co-op players mind: Halo Reach. In the spirit of keeping things interesting and undeniably cooperative, Tally Callahan and Katrina Pawlowski have picked up a few field-hours in the world of Firefight - Tally for the first time, and Katrina for the second time (in Reach). Here is a bit of a guide written by the girls just having fun playing Firefight - not to be taken entirely seriously.
After playing no less than five games of Halo: Reach’s Firefight mode, Halo Newcomer Tally has some pro tips that may be able to help other newcomers:
- Communicate: for example, asking a Halo Vet “so, uh, what’s the difference between the classes on start-up. I took too long, and I’m not sure which one it gave me...” can be a GREAT ice-breaker!
- Take advantage of the knowledge of more experienced teammates: a prime example of advice being “you can get on top of there... I don’t remember how, but you can”
- Be aware of where your teammates are: shooting a teammate in the face because he was behind an enemy you were trying desperately to kill is probably not a good use of a life
- Make use of cover: dying to a ship shooting you randomly from the sky while there are no enemies spawned yet is usually not the best way to show off your Halo prowess
- Prioritize your enemies: if you don’t take care of those goddamn jerkface snipers in the hills shooting you with purple lasers (and yes, they always stop shooting as soon as you start trying to locate them) be assured that they’ll BOOM!-HEADSHOT you at the worst time
- Use terrain to your advantage: when you’re the last person standing, playing ring-around-the-rock-with-a-shotgun with three difficult enemies can prove an effective strategy
- Know the controls: charging a tank, then standing there wondering if you know what the “hijack vehicle” button is proved to be a less than effective strategy
- Build camaraderie amongst your teammates: for example, discovering a shared strong dislike of a particular map can do wonders for the team’s ability to work together (in cursing the map)
- Watch your ammo/grab new weapons when the chance presents itself: discovering you’re suddenly the last person standing + the realization that you just used your last bullet of your “good” gun and there’s no guns in sight = immense pressure while trying to kill dodgy mobs with a pistol
- Don’t be a hero: charging into a fresh wave with the intent to make a heroic scene will more than likely just end with a loss of a life (trust me on this)
- Take stock of what has spawned: it can be a little embarrassing if it’s only AFTER your team has lost a few lives that you all realize that yup, it’s a goddamn TANK that’s been killing you (have we mentioned that we’re not fond of the snowy level and its freakish, unexplainable ability to somehow obscure tanks from the human eye?)
After many sessions in the Halo universe over the years, this is Katrina’s more experienced professional take on the Firefight strategy for Halo Reach.
- When someone starts shouting “The sky is shooting purple at me!” start scanning the horizon for snipers to help out your buddies. Hopefully they’ll do the same for you in a cohesive team environment
- When someone charges the tank unsure of their final plan of attack, be sure to run in behind them to start chucking grenades when that person is splattered by said tank
- Try to remember helpful hints for newcomers, like how to actually scale buildings or other vantage points in the levels when necessary. Otherwise, lend a helping hand by standing next to a higher point and acting as a Spartan bounce board
- Always be the hero. Charging in head-first, guns blazing (or reloading), and grenades flying is the best way to assure the newbies learn not to do the same
- Talk to each other. There is nothing more awkward than you cursing out the Covenant by yourself. This may also cause distractions as you check your mic connection repeatedly to be sure you’re broadcasting
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This concludes our general guide for enjoying Firefight without taking Halo too seriously, as we know it can be easy to get worked up quickly over someone taking all the deaths for the team, or other forms of competitive stress agains thte Covenant. Go now and enjoy the Firefight - don't forget to watch out for the purple bolts coming from the sky. They're scary.