Starting last night Bungie rolled out the long anticipated Invasion game type in the Halo: Reach Beta. The match pits a group of Spartans against a group of Elites in a big team battle featuring objective points. The match features progressive loadouts that change depending on the various phases in the match. Spartans are always on defense and Elites are always on offense. The Spartans are at a disadvantage combat wise against the bigger, stronger, faster elites but the fact that the elites are the ones being forced to charge the “hill” so to speak.
In my humble opinion, Invasion is the best Halo gametype to be introduced to the series. It combines the classic fun of big team battle from Halo 2 and 3 with objective combat similar to what you would see in a game like Battlefield Bad Company. I’ve played a handful of matches thus far and have yet to be the Elites so I don’t know how playing them feels, but I do know that playing as a spartan is great. The added benefit of being able to spawn on your battle buddy keeps the gameplay fast and so long as he survives and keeps his head in the game, you’re able to spawn right back into the action. This feature becomes very important when the objective is nearly destroyed and you’re trying for that clutch game action to save the day.
The Scorpion Tank and the Warthog are back in later phases of this gametype and they feel a bit different. The Warthog is able to take more damage than previous incarnations, but its chain gun feels sluggish and does overheat. One can only assume that Bungie felt the turret on the Warthog had been too powerful in previous games and as with many features in this game, they’re all about balance. There isn’t much else I can say about this gametype except that you should play it immediately. It is a fun and compelling gametype that is about more than who gets the most kills.