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Wednesday, April 14

Defend this, bitch!

IGN has a sweet article about some of the game types that are available within the Halo Reach game play Beta phase. Here's a bit about the Defence Generator Game Type.
Generator Defense
This is where Halo Reach feels more distinct and objective-driven. In Bungie's words, this mode, "pits three Spartans against three Elites. The Elites are trying to destroy three generators before time runs out while the Spartans are trying to defend." When I point out that Elites are fast and tall foes with superior healing, Bakken replies, "Elites may be faster, bigger, and 'healthier' to use your words, but they are also easier to hit, and Spartans have the advantage of being in a pretty well defended position." He further points out that Generator Defense (or as Bungie calls it, "Network Test 1") always plays as, "two rounds of five minutes apiece," with teams switching from Spartans to Elites and vice-versus per round (so players can experience both perspectives). Of course, if the Elites destroy the generators in just three minutes, then the round ends.

Lars Bakken continues, "This [mode] takes place exclusively on Overlook in the Beta. Defenders have the superior position at the top of a hill, with Attackers trying to claw their way up it." He then describes what happens when a match begins: "We call in a weapon drop where a Longsword flies over and drops off three random power weapons in different random locations on the map. Each weapon pod has a random chance of being a Spartan Laser, a Sniper rifle, or a Rocket Launcher. And those are evenly distributed around the map so that both Spartans and Elites have an equal access to them. So in the beginning, not only are the Spartans running to generators, but people are just running to get the powe
r weapons." On the topic of what gear players will have, he further notes, "In general, the Loadouts are designed to be shared across multiple modes, but you'll definitely see some surprises in this [mode]. They are more in line with the final stage of an Invasion game, which means it's pretty crazy from the beginning. Add in the [aforementioned] dynamic Weapon Drop, and you get some nice variety."

Besides the natural layout and whatever weapons get scrounged up, the Spartans on defense have an additional mechanic: the ability to lock down a generator. Bakken explains, "the act of locking down a generator is simple, because we wanted people to pick it up quickly. You walk up to an unlocked generator as a Spartan and press 'X' to lock it down (Elites obviously can't lock them down). The invulnerability lasts for approximately 30 seconds. It sounds like a long time, but when you have three different gennies on the map, and only five minutes to defend all of them... it gets intense. There's also a brief cool-down period when the lock expires before you can re-lock again, which creates some additional tension during that window of vulnerability."
When I ask about the small three-versus-three player count, Bakken replies, "It's [...] true Generator Defense is a little more intimate, but even with only six players on the map you'll see some intense fighting. Most of the action happens around the generators themselves, since they are the focal point of the gametype." I ask Bakken to describe a "typical match" to illustrate that last point, and he replies, "[Our strategy] constantly changes. Because it's three players on each team, and three generators, the first thing we tend to do is split up. Like one guy will go lock down a generator. But the moment one Spartan goes down, it becomes harder to hold onto anything. Sometimes, all three Elites will rush and attack one generator at a time, or they'll wait to exploit the cooldown of a locked generator. There's not a really good universal defense besides communicating with your team."

Check out the Headhunter game type

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