Invasion has launched in the highly popular Halo Reach Beta, a six verses six, Spartans vs Elites, attack and defend gametype where the Spartans must protect generators, whilst the Elites must spend enough time near the generators to unlock the next section of the map. After two generators have been taken by Elites, the Elites must escort a core to a drop point to win the game. Not very simple when you’ve got a team of six Spartans with some large weaponry and vehicles to take you on. Luckily, the Elites have some tools of their own.
The map itself, Boneyard, is the biggest playable space made for online multiplayer in any Halo game. The various vertical levels give the map a scale of action, not to mention the large open battlefield where vehicles dominate the battle. In other gametypes, the map is at its whole from the start, whereas in Invasion, new parts of it unlock the further the game progresses, like Battlefield’s Rush gametype. Phantoms hover overhead, to keep the mental images that the Elites are being dropped off by them.
The gametype itself is pretty heart pounding and exhilarating, as the Spartans desperately try to hold off the Elites which tower over the Spartans. The longer the game takes the more intense the action gets, and within the last four minutes where the Elites have to take the core to the drop point, powerful classes are unlocked for both sides, as well as stronger weaponry and massive vehicles like the Wraith and Scorpion tanks.
You’ll notice that classes will get better and better throughout, and at the end, Elites will be able to spawn with Swords and Evade, whilst Spartans will be able to spawn with Shotguns and Armour Lock. Vehicles keep it pretty balanced, and to those complaining that there are no vehicles for the Elites, you should try spawning at Middle Approach before you start saying that the gametype sucks. I have very few problems with this insane gametype, and here they are.
The Banshee cannot fly over the central structure to get to the action, instead having to fly underneath it, through confined tunnels that block your camera’s view, which can be quite annoying at times. Also, it is a bit harder to control this time around, always feeling like it’s going down. Grenades have been a problem since the start of the beta and Bungie have said that they will be altered for the final game, but grenade spamming is back and gets frequently annoying when trying to take a generator as Elites.
Invasion Slayer is a six vs six gametype, Spartans vs Elites still, but takes place across the entire map, and is a simple game of “First team to 100 kills wins”. The further the game progresses, the better classes are unlocked. To mix it up a bit, there are territories that can be captured. If your team successfully spends 10 uninterrupted seconds inside the territory, fifteen seconds later, weapons or a vehicle will spawn for your team, giving you an advantage against the enemy team.
Overall, Invasion is a fantastic new gametype that is welcomed by a lot of people to the Halo franchise, and I cannot wait to see more from Bungie.