A whole new world?

Here's the Bungie lads wit some Comic Con cosplay - Halo Style. Awesome!

So Bungie told us yesterday about Forge World and Versus game play - what else could they possibly have up their sleeve for Reach? A forklift? Yep.

At some stage in the game your Lone Wolf spartan will be able to mow down Grunts using a forklift.

Anyway's that sounds AWESOME.

Versus will be awesome too. Here's what I've borrowed from the weekly update from Bungie.

There’s an old adage around these parts. It goes. “Kill your enemies. Kill your friend’s enemies. Kill your friends.” So when the team regrouped in the wake of Halo 3: ODST to talk about what kind of improvements they could bring to the table for Firefight, one feature seemed custom fit to bolster the already intense invasion simulatin’ experience.

We call it Firefight Versus, and to explain it in a little more depth and detail, we’ve bribed and cajoled the one, the only LarsyB into talking about the bigger, better, and more bad ass version of Firefight you’ll find in Halo: Reach come September. 

Here’s what he had to say for himself (and for Firefight Versus Mode):

When Paul, Tyson, and myself sat down to figure out how to improve Firefight in Reach, there were the obvious things like adding Matchmaking support. That wasn't enough, however, and we wanted to push it in terms of customization so we blew the doors off the Game Options. That still wasn't enough, and we wanted to try something different. We already know what it feels like to play as a Spartan surrounded by your UNSC buddies in the Campaign, but what does it feel like to be on the other side? Sure, we saw that in Halo 2 in the Arbiter storyline, but what does it feel like to be in a knock-down, drag out fight against your friends?

That, amigos, is where Versus comes in.

From the Firefight Lobby, with the press of a Bumper, you now have the ability to choose whether you are on the Red Team or the Blue Team. Red Team always starts as Spartans and Blue Team always starts as Elites. Like everything in Reach Firefight, Versus really comes to life with a simple little Option called "Turn Count." Once the limits are reached for the current Firefight session (can be time limit, lives, waves, etc), we swap sides. 

So, the short version is if your Turn Count is set to One Each (can also be None, Two Each, and Three Each), when the game naturally ends we change sides and you play from the other perspective. After your turns are over, we end the game.

Wait, WHA? Yes, that's right you get to play as an Elite running around with all the Covenant at your side tearing apart the Spartans.
How does it work? Simple, whichever team has the most points after the game ends, wins. It's the classic Red vs. Blue you've always known and loved.

But how do you keep this fair?
 First off, you get to play from both sides which makes it pretty equal, barring player skill. Second, and more importantly, you can only earn points while on the Spartan team, so it makes both sides have a purpose.

Ok, ok, I think I get it, but explain the finer details. What's my job as an Elite?
 Well, as the Elites your task is to stop the Spartans from scoring points by any means necessary. You have unlimited lives, but a longer respawn time. The other crucial piece of information is that if you die as an Elite, you are giving the Spartans an extra life as well as a big point drop... so be careful. If you continually throw your body into the fray, it will be very difficult to make up that point margin when you switch sides. As an Elite player you also have access to the number of Spartan Lives remaining in your HUD, so pay close attention to that number. It helps you know when you have them on the ropes.

So, what about Spartans, how does Versus change for them? The Spartans start by sharing 4 lives for their team and cannot have more than 4 backup lives. They have 5 minutes to try to score as many points as possible. Crucially, by default Elites do not make up any of the waves. So, when you see an Elite, you know that's a human player, or maybe it's a hologram of that human player. Gah!

Sweet! So, say I am way better than my other friends and I want to take them on by myself in Versus. Can I do that? Yup. You can set up the teams however you want. It can be 2v2 or 3v1. It's however you want to handle it in the Lobby.

So, we know that Spartans have full Player Trait and Loadouts customization; does that mean Elites have that as well? Yes, the Elites have all the same Player Trait and Loadout customization as the Spartans but in their own category. Want to give the Elites Loadouts all Fuel Rod Guns with Jetpack? You can do that.

How does this work with the Custom Skulls? Can Elites be affected by them the same way Spartans are?
 Yes, of course! Custom Skulls are made up of Spartan Traits, Elite Traits, and Wave Traits. When we first showed off Custom Skulls, we just hid the Elite stuff in the E3 build so as not to spoil the surprise.

Hope you all enjoy Versus, it really is a new way to play Firefight. See you online on the 14th!

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