Once in a great while, the video game industry is blessed with something so pure and good that gamers everywhere must weep in joy. In 1991, we learned that hedgehogs can defy gravity. In 1993, a space marine with only three facial expressions journeyed into the bowels of hell. Then we all got lazy and stopped keeping track of stuff. Flash forward to today: we receive word that Bungie's flagship FPS series on the Xbox 360, Halo: Reach, is undergoing a significant multiplayer update that finally brings "Armor Locking" to its knees (pun woefully intended).
Rather than players protecting themselves in an energy shield that prevents all damage, injures nearby enemies, deflects sticky grenades, enables super-human meleeing attacks, and makes breakfast for your entire team, soldiers in Halo: Reach will have to don SKILL in order to defeat their opponents. The update from Bungie, which is expected sometime in September, is said to contain several gameplay balances, the largest being an adjustment to the aforementioned Armor Lock ability. After the update, a certain amount of damage will have a chance to pierce an Armor Locking enemy. The ability will also no longer detatch sticky grenades. This will hopefully discourage the rampant abuse of Armor Lock that tends to disrupt the enjoyable gameplay Halo: Reach has to offer.
These changes are already causing quite a flare-up between pro and anti Armor Lockers. But fear not, we've predicted the next Bungie annoucement regarding the Halo:Reach September update intended to calm swelling nerves:
"As a balancing mechanic in light of these changes, Armor Lock will now instantly kill all enemy players within line of sight, regardless of physical distance, and then teleport the user to a safe location in another map while granting them access to a hamster-powered blimp armed with an infinite bevy of rockets and a 20,000 credit bonus awarded upon their early departure from the match."
All joking aside (maybe), the Halo:Reach update also applies the concept of carry-over damage to enemies that have low shield levels, effectively bleeding excess damage into their actual health meter. No word about how severe this effect will be or if it is governed in any way by the type of weapon used or amount of remaining shield. Also watch out for sword carriers that can now slice and dice through a well-timed counter melee attack. This particular change may create some new and scary super weapon moochers, so keep your team close by.
Classic Halo fans can also look forward to a reworked pistol that hails back to the days of the original Halo: Combat Evolved title. It will be interesting to see what affects this has on a typical multiplayer match, especially during medium-ranged fights.
Be sure to leave your opinions about this September update below.