POST ALL BUNGIE NEWS ON ODST AND REACH IN THIS THREAD Spoiler Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach Posted by urk at 6/1/2009 12:36 PM PDT Discuss Previous Post | Next Post Halo 3: ODST The year is 2552. The Covenant control the city of New Mombasa. They are searching for something beneath its darkened streets. You are an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper. Your orders: Stay alive, meet up with your scattered squad, and escape the embattled city. Stop the Covenant and we just might win this war. The text above paints a pretty broad stroke of the narrative you’ll begin experiencing on September 22nd, 2009, but of course, it doesn’t come anywhere close to telling the whole story. Playing as an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper is more than just an aesthetic change to the Halo series you’ve come to know. It brings with it new twists and turns that will affect the way you experience the Halo story and the gameplay sandbox. Some of these changes will be subtle – refinements to the familiar Halo formula. Others will be pretty significant: new weapons, new technology, and new gameplay modes that will force you to switch up your tactics and tackle encounters with a new approach. All this week we’re going to be revealing some of the details we’ve kept secret during Halo 3: ODST’s development. You won’t get every last detail – as always, we’re keeping most of the story elements in the shadows – but we’re definitely going to be briefing you about what it means to play as a member of an elite squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, what new features you can expect to find on disc, and even some intelligence information for each of the ODST combat veterans you’ll be fighting alongside when you drop into New Mombasa. If you tuned into Microsoft’s Electronic Entertainment Expo Keynote this morning, you’ve already seen a small preview of what’s to come. We’ve brought Halo 3: ODST to the show with us so the press can get hands on time with the campaign’s opening moments and the new cooperative mode, Firefight. If you find yourself in the same predicament as most of the general public, unable to score a Golden Ticket to E3 and feeling left out of the festivities, no worries, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got you more than covered. As of right now, there’s a new Halo 3: ODST project page online, ready to give you the guided tour. Drop in and you’ll find an online hub world that contains all the information and multimedia assets we’ve released covering Halo 3: ODST. Today, you should be able to locate and retrieve a new Halo 3: ODST gameplay trailer, a hefty pile of screenshots (including a few B.net exclusives), and a Field Guide with essential intel to help get you briefed on what it will be like to suit up as an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper. As the week marches on, we’ll pile on more news about Halo 3: ODST, from extended character bios to details on new features and the new cooperative mode, Firefight. We’re also preparing a Halo 3: ODST-themed podcast with designers Joe Staten, Paul Bertone, Lars Bakken, and Dan Miller that will be ready this Tuesday. Stay Tuned. Prepared to drop? Check out our Halo 3: ODST Project Page Halo: Reach Oh yeah, we also announced what we’ve been up to beyond Halo 3: ODST. While it’s not nearly as robust as the Halo 3: ODST section of B.net, Halo: Reach has a project page all its own. If you’re looking to check out the brand-new teaser trailer, download a Halo: Reach-themed desktop, or hit the Halo: Reach forum, this is your one stop shop for all things set in the distant future. Yup, there’s an Xbox LIVE multiplayer beta coming. And yup, you’ll get access straight from your Halo 3: ODST disc. Halo: Reach. Falls 2010. Bungie.net : Halo Reach RECON PICS Spoiler YouTube - Halo Reach Trailer - 2010 (Game) meet the squad Spoiler Before you drop in feet first into Covenant occupied New Mombasa, you should get to know the men and woman you’ll be fighting alongside. They aren’t supersoldiers, but they’re the next best thing. To help you get acquainted, we’ve got the each troopers military dossier on hand. In turn, the Halo 3: ODST Field Guide has also been updated to include this new intelligence and more. BUCK Full name: BUCK, Edward Blood type: O- Height: 188cm Weight: 89kg Rating: Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt/E7) Unit: [classified] Service number: 92458-37017-EB Enlistment date: 12/05/2528 Location: Karnak, Lombard, Draco III Born: New Albany, Lombard, Draco III Gender: M Citizen: Draconian Age: 42 –(b. 08/22/2510) Occupation: Student Eddie Buck is a career Marine that has seen more than his fair share of this war. He has had the dubious honor of participating in many of the wars’ most vicious battles; including both the liberation of Harvest and the fall of Reach. That he has survived through it all speaks volumes. Truly, if he was any better he’d be a Spartan. DUTCH Full name: MILES, Taylor H. Blood type: B+ Height: 190cm Weight: 91kg Rating: Corporal (Cpl/E4) Unit: [classified] Service number: 21175-12121-TM Enlistment date: 09/09/2540 Location: Paris Island, New Paris, Mars Born: Losantiville, Seven Hills, Mars Gender: M Citizen: Martian Age: 33 –(b. 06/03/2519) Occupation: Road train driver Dutch’s former life as a road-train driver on Mars did well to prepare him for the arduous tasks of a heavy weapons specialist and driver in the ODSTs. Behind the death’s head rictus, jolly roger, and layer upon layer of black and gray armor is a man of deep spiritual convictions and respect for those he serves alongside. ROMEO Full name: AGU, Kojo Blood type: AB- Height: 190cm Weight: 91kg Rating: Lance Corporal (LCpl/E3) Unit: [classified] Service number: 14606-85099-KA Enlistment date: 03/12/2541 (MM) Location: Castra arcology, Castra, Madrigal Born: Castra arcology, Castra, Madrigal Gender: M Citizen: Madrigali Age: 28 –(b. 06/12/2524) Occupation: Merchant Marine Romeo sees his true vocation as a ladies’ man. But just because he’s a lover doesn’t mean he can’t be a fighter—and a damned fine one at that. He keeps his gear clean, his suit looking sharp, and his body lean and strong. He may not be a shining example of the UNSC off the battlefield, but on it he is a consummate combatant. MICKEY Full name: CRESPO, Michael Blood type: A- Height: 184cm Weight: 85kg Rating: Private First Class (PFC/E2) Unit: [classified] Service number: 51033-15973-MC Enlistment date: 06/04/2548 Location: Crisium City, Naniwa, Luna Born: Crisium City, Naniwa, Luna Gender: M Citizen: Lunar Age: 22 –(b. 10/20/2530) Occupation: Student Mickey LOVES being an ODST. More than he did being a pilot. More than he did being a crew chief on a Pelican gunship. He is no stranger to battle and has a fair number of notches in his belt, but he is unique amongst his ODST brothers in that he has never seen absolute ruination visited upon a human colony-world by the Covenant. DARE Full name: [classified] Blood type: [classified] Height: [classified] Weight: [classified] Rating: [classified] Unit: [classified] Service number: [classified] Enlistment date: [classified] Location: [classified] Born: [classified] Gender: F Citizen: [classified] Age: [classified] Occupation: [classified] The ROOKIE Full name: [classified] Blood type: O+ Height: 186cm Weight: 88kg Rating: Lance Corporal (LCpl/E3) Unit: [classified] Service number: 11282-31220-JD Enlistment date: 07/07/2547 Location: Crisium City, Naniwa, Luna Born: Crisium City, Naniwa, Luna Gender: M Citizen: Lunar Age: [classified] Occupation: Student This Marine was recently transferred from the 26th MEF, part of a Rapid Offensive Picket that suffered near-annihilation at New Jerusalem, Cygnus. Like most ODSTs, his actions speak louder than words. intel new mombasa Spoiler NEW MOMBASA Two hundred and fifty years ago New Mombasa—at that time the world's busiest sea port—was chosen to be Earth's first tether city. Over the next eleven years the city experienced explosive growth, but nothing compared to what followed. The city grew out as well as up, its urban sprawl unequaled throughout the continent. By 2430 New Mombasa had absorbed all of the island and many of the surrounding towns found themselves overrun by residents of the old city. The switch was never official and many of the neighborhoods within direct line of sight to the Mombasa Tether still distribute newspapers and chatter directories under their "old" names, but all municipalities within a 74 km radius of the island are now referred to as Old Mombasa. New Mombasa, 20 OCT 2552: superintendent Spoiler SUPERINTENDENT Each of Earth's six tether cities is managed with the aid of an AI. The Superintendent is a 2nd Generation "dumb" AI tasked with making sure that the city of New Mombasa's infrastructure (read: the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing, Public Safety, Recreation, Streets and Sanitation, and Utilities and Transportation) is running smoothly and safely. podcast Bungie.net : Mountain of Sound : 1/18/2008 3:02 PM PST FEET FIRST Spoiler You’ve suited up as a SPARTAN-II, the most advanced human weapon in the UNSC’s arsenal. Now it’s time to strap on a different pair of boots. As an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, you’ve been "hand-picked” to suit up and drop feet first into a Covenant occupied New Mombasa. Your chances of making it out alive are slim to none. Sound like your kind of mission? Good. Here’s what you need to know: Unconventional Warfare Don't Play In Traffic First things first, your armor plating did not “just come up from Songnam this morning.” Unlike the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor you’ve become accustomed to sporting, ODST combat gear doesn’t come equipped with energy shielding. Take a hit in Halo 3: ODST and you’ll feel the burn as your stamina and health wear thin. When it's the former - your stamina falling to critical levels - your HUD will wash red. When it does, find cover. Once you're safely out of enemy fire, you can catch your breath and allow your stamina slowly recover. Should you choose to ignore your early warning systems, Covenant fire will start chiseling through your armor plating and cut directly into your health. Once that happens, the only way to recover is to locate health packs as you navigate the city. Engage the enemy when it’s clear you have the advantage, keep out of direct and sustained fire, and get up close and personal only where there’s no other alternative. Direct Action When you absolutely, positively have to kill every Covie in the quadrant…accept no substitutes. In Halo 3: ODST you’ll be getting your fingerless mitts on some specialized tools to tip the balance of the fight a little bit in the UNSC’s favor. Dual-wielding is out, but the pair or armaments outlined below both employ smart-linked scope technology that allows you to stay at range, fire in controlled, accurate bursts, and stick to the relative safety of cover so you can keep on keepin’ on during your stay in New Mombasa. M7 SMG Click for Optical Magnification Not your mother’s M7 caseless, this supressed sub machinegun is a jack of all trades. In short bursts, it’ll take down Grunts and Drones with ease, and as you become more practiced in the field, you’ll learn to strip a Brute of his protective gear, send him into a careless rage, and set him up for the quick kill. M6C/SOCOM Click for Optical Magnification Speaking of the quick kill, the M6C/SOCOM might not be the flashiest weapon in your arsenal (in fact it’s got a matte black polymer finish) but show me an ODST and I’ll show you a soldier that thinks long and hard before swapping this headshot machine out for any other weapon. Great for thinning the Covenant herd from long range, it also boasts surprising stopping power in close quarters. Though you’ll want to dispose of the enemy's shielding via other, more suitable ordnance to save your automag's precious ammunition, the M6C/SOCOM makes for one hell of a satisfying coup de grâce. If you liked the M6D from the original Halo, you’re gonna love the M6C/SOCOM. Deep Ground Surveillance Long before any shots are fired, you’ll need to assess the battlefield. Using onboard "Visual Intelligence System, Reconnaissance" technology integrated into your UNSC issue PDA and ODST BIOS, you won’t have any doubts who’s friendly, who’s out to crush your skull under their boot, or how you should best navigate the dark, Covenant occupied city of New Mombasa. To utilize your VISR technology, including the enhanced night vision module, toggle it on and off by pressing the "X" button. Don’t worry about equipment, as an ODST you won’t be using it. If you’re dead certain the area is clear of hostiles, access the PDA functionality by pressing the "Back" button. From your BIOS you can chart your current position on a top down, wireframe map of the city, check out points of interest identified by the City of New Mombasa's AI construct, The Superintendent, deploy your own custom directional waypoint beacons, and review any intelligence and communications data you’ve gathered on the ground. Visual Intelligence System, Reconnaissance It's simple: If you see green, squad up. If you see red, shoot. Equipment Recovery/Capture In the likely event that you are wounded while operating in the field, you'll be on your own to secure and acquire medical supplies. Your vitality is decidedly human – no enhanced super soldier genetics at play here - and when you become injured by enemy fire (and you will) you’ll need to locate and utilize New Mombasa’s civilian medical kiosks or obtain health packs from other embedded soldiers in the combat zone in order to stop the bleeding and get back into fighting shape. Health Packs Apply Directly to the Forehead Since Health Packs can not provide you with a resuscitating effect, we recommended that you avoid sustaining any critical injuries at all costs. Failure to ignore this recommendation may result in serious personal injury and death. For more information about what you can expect when you suit up and drop into New Mombasa, check out the Halo 3: ODST Field Guide. It's been updated with some of the new, technical information from this article, and already includes some of the critical intelligence you'll need to check out before you set boots on the ground. To gain access, simply click on the image of the Superintendent below. FIREFIGHT Spoiler If you’ve listened to our post-E3 Halo 3: ODST podcast, or been paying close attention to word from the show floor, then you might already have a pretty good idea of what Firefight is. You've been asking for it. September, you'll get your hands on it. Built on top of Halo 3: ODST's campaign, Firefight is a cooperative game mode that lets you and up to three of your friends put your skills to the ultimate test. It allows you to jump straight into the heart of Halo and experience traditional Halo sandbox encounters with a new, high octane twist. Though you’ve squared off against most of the enemies you’ll face in Firefight before, you’re not going to be able to rely on your past experiences alone to guide you through all of the action. In Firefight, even the most "harmless" enemy can become a dangerous threat when you’re low on ammo, low on lives, and have your back against the wall. Throw gameplay modifying skulls into the mix and you'll find that the combat can become even more interesting and intense. The Load Out Each game of Firefight begins in a familiar lobby. This is where the party leader and up to three of his friends set everything up. You can see that outside of some visual treatments, nothing's been removed from Halo 3's campaign feature set. You can still mix and match players over System Link and Xbox LIVE, and of course, if you don't have four Xbox 360s and televisions at your disposal, two-player splitscreen is still in full effect. From the Firefight Lobby players can choose from the standard Halo difficulty set (Easy, Normal, Heroic, and Legendary) and decide which level they want to drop into. At the outset, you’ll noticed you have a select number of missions for Firefight play. You’ll be able to unlock several more by completing the corresponding encounters from Halo 3: ODST’s campaign mode, each tuned with their own unique layout, weapon placement, and when warranted, vehicles to bring a variety of combat spaces and situations to the Firefight experience. The two missions we've already put on display for you are Crater (Night) and Security Zone, seen below. Crater (Night) Security Zone If the party wants to tailor the experience even further, they can elect to enable some secondary skulls straight away. There are four familiar skulls to choose from at the outset: Blind, Cowbell, Grunt Birthday Party, and IWHBYD. These skulls do exactly what you expect them to. Blind removes the HUD elements, Cowbell increases the physics impulses, Grunt Birthday Party (cake is delicious) turns Grunt's heads into confetti when you pop 'em with a headshot, and IWHBYD lets you hear rare dialog much more often (You killed FlipYap!). It’s also here that you’ll also be able to fiddle with the various character models you’ve unlocked if you haven’t already customized your player model (yes, there are custom armor permutations for use in Firefight), mix and match your armor's color accents, emblems, and backgrounds, and make sure your Service Tag is set exactly how you like it. If you were eager enough to pre-order Halo 3: ODST through select retailers (thank you, very much), you can swap over to Sgt. Johnson and impress any ladies you happen to have on your squad. Don't they teach you kids to swear in basic anymore? You should pay special attention to the difficulty setting. Though most of you are going to want to go in balls to the wall on Heroic or Legendary, you might want to tone it down and give Normal a spin to start. Get your legs underneath you before you ratchet it up. And if you decide to go in with a squad less than four strong, you’re really going to find that in Firefight, the odds are definitely stacked against you. There is no cap to the time or the number of Waves you can experience in a single game of Firefight. The mission will only end when you’re squad depletes its pool of lives. Since that stockpile is shared collectively, you’ll only be as strong as your weakest link. Make sure you set your difficulty accordingly. We realize that plenty of you are going to disregard this warning, taking it as a challenge to your Halo prowess. All we can say to you, dear friends, is good luck. That said, you’ll have much of the full Halo sandbox at your disposal and you’ll be duly rewarded for excelling in Firefight with a dynamic scoring system, heaps of shiny medals, and some all new achievements. Skulls and Scoring Heads Up Initially, no matter which difficulty you choose, Firefight will automatically enable the Tough Luck skull. If you have an enemy in your sights, you can be sure they’ll get out of the way double time should you lob a grenade at their feet. As you progress through each Set, new skulls will automatically be enabled, forcing you to alter your tactics and giving the Covenant a sharper edge in combat. Think Legendary isn’t difficult enough? Wait until Black Eye kicks in. Or Famine. Or Mythic. And they won’t just kick in one skull at a time. They’re layered, not only increasing the overall difficulty of Firefight, but more importantly, making your Covenant opponent’s more dynamic and cunning, forcing you and your squad to adjust combat tactics on the fly. And if you can stay alive, you’ll be rewarded with higher scores and heaps of medals. Though each enemy class is worth a base number of points, earning medals can modify your tally as you go. Stay on a lengthy streak without dying, and your points will be augmented by a hefty multiplier. Sets, Rounds, Waves Firefight begins with Set 1, Round 1, Wave 1. Each Set is made up of three Rounds. Each Round is comprised of five Waves, the base increment in Firefight. In the image above, the players are on Set 1, Round 3, Wave 4. Each time you dispatch a Wave you’ll see new enemy reinforcements dropped into the battlefield, each more combat ready than the last. The Waves are completely dynamic – you won’t be able to plan your assault – but if you’re lucky, you’ll only be staring down some Grunts and Jackals to start. Then perhaps you’ll see some Brutes with Active Camo and Flame Grenades, followed perhaps by a pair of Hunters. When the drums begin, you’ll know you made it to Wave 5. Your reward? Chieftains. Drums. Drums in the deep. Once you and your squad have completed Round 1 (again, comprised of 5 Waves), you’ll be rewarded with a brief respite. Link back up with your squad, check your gear, and grab some of the ammo that’s now been lovingly replenished. You earned every bullet. You’ll get some extra lives as well to give you a little bit of confidence going into the next Round. Repeat the feat three times, and you and your team will have completed a full Set and we’ll layer on a new skull to make the next Wave even more interesting. How far can you ultimately make it? Well, that depends on your skill, the mettle of the soldiers you bring into the Firefight with you, and whether or not you remember to feed yourself during lengthy play sessions. The Sets will ratchet up ad infinitum. (And that's a really big number.) Bungie.net Stats Integration If all of that seems a bit much to concentrate on during a round of Firefight, no worries. Every last kill, medal, and Set, Round, and Wave will be preserved via Bungie.net’s stat tracking. And of course, you’ll be able to track your Firefight specific achievements online too. Enhanced even further from Halo 3’s award-winning suite, players will be given unprecedented insight into their career performance with graphs, charts, and leaderboards to pour through after the mission comes to an end. And if all of this information on Halo 3: ODST's new gameplay mode, Firefight, seems a bit much to concentrate on amidst all the other E3 coverage, don't worry about that either. We're still spoon feeding you. Stay Tuned - in the coming months, we'll have much more to say about Firefight and Halo 3: ODST.