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Posted on May 30, 2007 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Halo 3 Beta Impressions

By Jamison Lanum

Weapons & Grenades

Something Old

The most drastic change made to a weapon from Halo 2 is the needler . Although players can only wield one of them, it is visibly more powerful in Halo 3 than in any previous game in the series, even if they were dual-wielded. A few seconds at medium range can mean instant death to anyone that gets in the way of someone sporting it.

Another weapon that has seen drastic changes is the brute shot. Known for being inaccurate in Halo 2, Bungie has taken the bounce from the grenades out making for a straight, more accurate shot along with increasing the rate of fire. There are also two extra shots before having to reload.

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One thing that may or may not be well received from the Halo community is that it is much harder to use the battle rifle now because the assist aim is gone. It still packs a powerful punch, but will definitely take some skill to use effectively. On the other hand the covenant carbine is superior this time around due to an increase in power and a quicker rate of fire than the battle rifle. The human sniper rifle’s rate of fire has also been decreased.

The plasma pistol doesn’t track as well and constantly drains as long as it’s being charged. It is important to also mention that an overcharged shot will temporarily disable a vehicle. The recoil on the SMG has also been dampened and the gun itself has been given a power boost.

Something New

Yes, the assault rifle is back from Halo and does a decent job from medium-close range when coupled with a grenade or two thrown in the mix. Of course it is the starting weapon so players will have to get used to it whether they it or not.

The brute spiker is an excellent addition to the Halo arsenal that shoots shards of metal. It is very deadly when dual-wielded although a more balanced approach would be to have one equipped with grenades at the ready. Like the brute shot, this gun also has a blade on it, which gives it more of a punch when used to melee.

One weapon that has had people ooh and aw is the spartan laser. It takes a second or two to charge, but when fired can take out a vehicle in one shot. To kill Spartans on foot is incredibly harder as you have to listen to it, figure out when it’s about to fire, and make sure the reticule is on an opponent. Great for vehicles, but there are far more efficient choices for dealing with a lonely spartan.

The missile pod, once picked up, puts the camera into third person. It shoots missiles and can lock on to vehicles-making up for the lack of a lock-on when using the regular rocket launcher in the beta. When equipped players will move considerably slower. The same thing goes for the turret! That’s right by walking up to a turret, pressing RB and then B the turret can be un-mounted and used as a mobile platform of destruction.
The spike grenade has been introduced to the Halo community and it has been well received. When thrown the spiked end will stick to anything it comes in contact with almost making it an elite version of the plasma grenade, except it is not as accurate as it feels more like a javelin throw than a baseball throw.

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