Reach for your Guns.

Halo Reach, one of the years most anticipated games, is almost upon us. But are you ready to defend Reach from the Covenant in Bungie’s last Halo game for the foreseeable future?

First thing’s first, let’s get to know Noble Team. The Leader of the team is Commander Carter-A259 a.k.a Noble-1. He is one of only 2 original members of Noble team. A born leader, Carter is charismatic and reassuring, keeping morale and inspiring Noble Team to do their best. Next in command is Noble-2, Lieutenant Commander Catherine-B320 (Kat). She is the other remaining member of the original Noble Team and is very loyal to Carter and the rest of Noble Team. Unfortunately, this loyalty is the cause of her losing her right arm, now replaced with a robot prosthetic one. She is an inspired Technician and brilliant cryptanalyst/hacker. Noble-3 is Jun-A266, Noble Team’s Sniper. Quite a chatty soldier, especially considering his role in the Team, his “chattiness” has been described as against regulations. Emile-A239 is Noble-4. One of his more obvious distinctions is his EVA variation helmet, which he has engraved a skull into the visor of. He is effective whilst in the field and maintains a strict discipline, he also has a Bold and Aggressive personality. Finally Noble-5, Jorge-052. The only SPARTAN-II in Noble Team, he is difficult to read, with his opinions and vocal about his opinions.

Left to Right: Jorge, Emile, Noble 6, Carter, Jun, Kat

Okay, now you know your team mates, time to get you up to speed with the weaponry. Let’s start with the Human Militaries equipment. First up, the Assault Rifle. High-capacity and automatic any veteran Halo player should recognise this even with the visual update. Can hold 32 rounds in one clip but each round does a very small amount of damage. Next we’ll look at the Magnum. A pretty standard sidearm, comes with a zoom for sharper aiming but isn’t as accurate as the Halo 3: ODST pistol.  The Designated Marksman Rifle (or DMR for short) is Halo: Reach’s version of the Battle Rifle. Firing one shot at a time, with a medium to long range zoom, this can be deadly in the right hands. The Shotgun for Halo: Reach is virtually untouched gameplay wise, doing more damage close up, it would be smart not to try to use it like a Sniper Rifle. Speaking of which, the Sniper Rifle fires powerful shots, one at a time with a maximum of 4 shots per clip. Returning from Halo 3 is the Spartan Laser, deadly and powerful when you charge up its power and release it virtually nothing is safe from its destructive glow. A new explosive weapon is the Grenade Launcher, exploding either on contact or by remote detonation, it is a serious tool of destruction. The trusty Rocket Launcher is also making a reappearance, regaining its vehicle lock seen in the earlier Halo games. The new Target locater fires orbital bombardments at the enemy making it the new staple of explosive destruction. Don’t forget about the trusty human Frag Grenade though, very deadly and an important asset to your arsenal. The machine Gun turret is another weapon that is a good idea to keep in mind, extremely fast firing, can take out the shields and health of an enemy in seconds.


The Great Energy Sword

The covenant have much more powerful and better tech and it’s a good idea to pick it up from the bodies of your enemies. The Plasma pistol is a good start. Fully charged bursts can remove a overshield instantly and will disable vehicles, whilst rapid fire will make quick work of enemies. The Plasma rifle and Plasma repeater are both pretty much plasma versions of the Assault Rifle with the latter needing to be reloaded whilst the former is just cooled down. The Spike rifle or Spiker as it’s more commonly known is a rapid fire, spike firing, pistol often used by Brutes. The new Concussion rifle fires bursts of Plasma which makes it effectively a portable Revenant Turret (read on to learn about the Revenant) and the Focus rifle is the joint offspring of the Beam rifle and Sentinal Beam, it fires beams of energy across a long-range. The Needler and Needle Rifle are both variations of the same thing. The rifle version allows you to explode an unshielded enemy in 3 shots whilst the Needler allows you to go all out until the resultant explosion occurs. The plasma launcher is the covenant’s response to the grenade launcher. When locked on it will fire up to 4 plasma grenades at the chosen target for a massive explosion and the Fuel Rod cannon fires massive explosives at a rather slow pace, sacrificing accuracy for effectiveness. The covenant’s Plasma turrets and Shade Turrets are both carriable and stationary respectively and the latter comes as both plasma firing and fuel rod firing. Up close the covenant use Energy swords (primarily used by Elites) and Gravity Hammers (primarily used by Brutes) And last but not least the Covenant have Plasma grenades. Explosive and will stick to whoever they come in contact with they are lethal, try to get your hands on these.

There are also Vehicles for you to play with. The Warthog is one of the main modes of travel for the humans, coming in 4 variants. Transport, Rail gun, Gauss Cannon and Rocket launcher. For quick getaways there is the Mongoose, although it has no form of offense. In the air you can pilot the Falcon, a helicopter with turrets on each side for passengers to remove of the covenant threat. The Scorpion tank is extremely powerful and possibly the best armoured form of transport at human disposal. Finally there is the Sabre, you’ll be using this for Space combat.

The covenant’s Vehicular force is a rather fitting match. The Ghost is hovers and can move in any horizontal direction whichever way it faces, with a boost and plasma turrets it is tough. The Wraith is their tank, with a built on plasma turret it fires Plasma mortars and you’ll want to take it out fast. Somewhere in the middle is the afore-mentioned Revanent. It is small and agile like the Ghost but has a plasma mortar on the back, admittedly it is weaker than it’s big brother’s, but strong non-the-less. In the air you will need to tackle with Banshee’s, fast and equipped with plasma turrets and a fuel rod cannon, these will also make life hell in Space. Also in space you will fight the Seraph, another strong starfighter.

The Elite

Now you know your teammates and the weaponry there is only one thing left to update you on. The enemy. The covenant isn’t a race but a religious group of alien races. Each has a different role in the covenant. The Unggoy a.k.a Grunt attacks in swarms, the idea being to overwhelm the enemy since they aren’t strong on their own. They will however turn to suicide if needed by clutching to Plasma grenades and running towards the enemy. The Kig-Yar come in two subspecies for you to fight. The Jackals and the Skirmishers. jackals usually wear a defensive Energy Shield gauntlet and will quite often be the source of your sniper problems. The Skirmishers attack in packs, and are very tactical. Quite often you will find yourself flanked by these close-quarters combatants. The Jiralhanae are known as the Brutes. As their name suggests they use their brute strength to destroy opponents and anything in their path. The Mgalekgolo are the Hunters. They are unmatched in the covenant by size and firepower and are always seen in pairs. If you wanna take down these goliaths you will want to aim for the neck and back. Yanme’e are arguably the most annoying Covenant species. The attack mainly from the air and are known as Drones (also quite often Buggers which reflects their annoyance to ground troops). The engineer (species name Huragok) are incredibly intelligent creatures and seem neutral in affiliation. They don’t attack but rather provide the Covenant with Overshields. Finally is the commanding species amongst the Covenant, the Sanghelli a.k.a Elites. Their role amongst the covenant is varied and they can be seen wielding all kinds of weaponry. They are skilled combatants and highly intelligent so don’t underestimate their capabilities.

Now you are up to speed all that remains is launch day. You know the enemy and your allies aswell as the vehicles and weaponry both sides will use. You are ready for Reach.

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About Nick Duggan
I'm 19 an I study Computer Games Design at Staffordshire University. I'm a video gamer and also a Yu-Gi-Oh! collector/player. Twitter: @30DiedOnMars

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