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"will's race is vespene gas"
Fear'Factory


The First Halo 3 Battlereport
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Author:Micro
IP:cpe-65-1XXXX
Date: 11/01/07 02:11
Game Type: Other
Labels:Rare game(1)
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Report Rating: 7.8, # of Ratings: 4, Max: 8, Min: 7
Lifetime Rating for Micro: 7.8235
Free For Gay: Halo-style
Well, well, well. Here I go once more with a report of a non-Blizzard game. It's been a few years since I've done any reporting, and now I've got that reportin' itch again. Only this time I'll try to not embarrass myself. No promises, though. This is an image-heavy report so I hope you aren't using dial-up. Also note that aimlessly rude alt-text is simply quotes from angsty players that I've met in the game.





Since this is a relatively new game we'll start by talking about the map. It's called High Ground, and is described by halo.neoseeker.com as "an asymmetrical map consisting of a dusty fort on a hill and a small shoreline." Bungie.net also provides us with a detailed overview of the playing field, complete with a map key. It's a nice place for objective team games like Capture the Flag and Infiltration since a defensive installation is secured by a gate (12) on the hill, and there's a few protected paths carved into the rocky cliffs that border the killing zone between the hill and the shoreline (4-7, 8-9). There are also two secret paths into the installation area, one being a destroyable hatch on top of the forward bunker south of the gate (3) and a cracked pipeline in a broken wall to the north (5), plus there are several one-man vehicle spawn-points at both the installation and shore for fast transport (1, 2).



It's actually a lot smaller than it looks. The installation's gateway is just wide enough for a tank to drive through (although nothing other than Mongoose and Ghost vehicles are on the default map) and a vehicle can easily go from one end to the other in the span of a few seconds. This particular game will be a five-player free-for-all with the standard ten minute/25-point limit.



First up is the most important player: me. I'm using the tag Eohwae on XboxLive, and in this game I'll be dressed up in bold orange. In case you haven't read any game magazines, websites, or forums for the past year, Halo 3 boasts a new feature of being able to customize your avatar. No longer are the days when every game is filled with copy/paste Spartans of varying colors, as now you're allowed to change the helmet, individual shoulder pads, and body armor. You're essentually playing dress-up with your GI Joe, but I guess it's more interesting than the alternative. =x Anyway, I'm playing ranked FFA games because the last Achievements left for me can only be unlocked while playing this type of game, and I'm sure that's what most other ranked FFA players are doing.

Daffiest Gravy, otherwise known as Gravy. Don't let his queer name fool you, he's a competent player. I had just played against him in the game before this one, and we had managed to be part of a three-way tie for second place. As such, I have labeled him as my rival for this game. Gravy sports the Rouge helmet earned upon reaching Officer-rank on Halo 3's ladder system.

xx3dgaddictxx, who I will be referring to as simply "addict" from now on, is just another stranger to me. He's got a lot more experience than I do at Halo 3, and is one of the prominent players in this game. Like Gravy, addict wears the Officer-rank Rouge helmet.

Next on the list is ColdOsiris. He's decked out in purple wearing the full Hyabusa armor set based on one of Ryu's costumes of Ninja Gaiden fame, which is unlocked by finding all of the skulls hidden throughout the campaign levels. I suppose it's meant to match his Japanophile's samurai sword/kanji emblem. Osiris is also a decent player.

Lastly, there's Slick Willis. He is without a doubt the worst player in the game, and frankly the only reason that he's playing with the rest of us is because we haven't yet built up our ranked FFA ladder records. Or maybe he was drunk or tired or something during the game, I dunno. He is the definition of a fifth wheel, though. Willis will be sporting the spaceman helmet and body armor which are unlocked by simply playing through several levels of the campaign.

Now, on with the show already.



The game starts with each player taking advantage of their starting position's nearby gear: addict goes straight for a Battle Rifle and the Power Shield on the ledge at the (10) position; Gravy makes a bee-line to a Covanent Ghost hoverbike at the shoreline from (1); Osiris picks up a pair of Halo 3's new Brute Spiker auto-pistols behind the bunker from (7); Willis starts near the rear of the installation at (15) and he finds the grenade-launching Brute Shot above (2); lastly, I run around in circles before figuring out that I'm in a dank corner of the installation's pipe room at (14). (I hadn't played a lot of multiplayer when this game happened, and High Ground happens to be the least played map due to randomized setups in ranked games) I grab the two Brute Spike Grenades located in the room before heading out in the direction of the beach.

The festivities begin when addict runs into Gravy at the shoreline. They do a little song and dance involving grenades and a lot of shooting, but Gravy's fancy hoverbiking nets him the victory when he manages to clip addict with the edge of the Ghost, which splatters him across the hood despite the boosted defense of the Power Shield. First blood: Gravy. Just as that fight comes to an end Osiris jumps at Gravy with guns blazing, and the wounded player kicks the Ghost's thrusters into overdrive, disappearing up the hill in the blink of an eye.

As Gravy zooms by me, I wander into the northern cave tunnel and find the Invisibility Cloak. After putting it on I stealthily make my way to the Rocket Launcher while addict and Osiris snipe at each other nearby. The player that I could see from my vantage point is killed before I could blast him with an RPG, but then here comes Willis looking for the Rocket Launcher. He never saw it coming. Literally, I was invisible. :D

Unfortunately for Willis, he happened to respawn right next to addict who gave him a rifle shot to the head for his mistake. Less than a minute into the game, addict takes the lead while Gravy and I are tied for second place. Not a bad way to kick things off I guess, but it really just shows how brutal and frenzied and random these types of games can be.



The action heats up as a series of one-on-one battles rage across the hill and inside the installation. Nothing exceptionally interesting happens as Gravy and I tie again for first place. Then I run into Osiris in the back of the installation near the giant AA missile turret, I with my Brute Shot while he (having just respawned) only had the default Assault Rifle and two frag grenades. We jump and dodge each other's attacks, and after emptying the Brute Shot I switched to my Assault Rifle and finished Osiris while he was reloading his. The clash lasted for ten seconds making it the longest engagement thus far. Down by the shoreline Gravy also scored another victory which kept us even at 5-5.

Remembering that I was trying to collect Achievements, I hopped on a nearby Mongoose and sped off looking for someone to run over for that Mongoose Mowdown Achievement. The Mongoose is new to the franchise although it was supposed to be part of the original Halo. It is the smallest of all the vehicles in the game, making it a fairly difficult task to splatter an opponent, so I had my work cut out for me. Actually, I'm terrible at driving the Mongoose so this Achievement wasn't cut out for me at all. I ended up running into a rock wall while trying to splatter Gravy and he gave me a quick lesson in the game's funky physics engine via smacking me with his Assault Rifle which sent me flying over the nearby trees like a damned Looney Toons character.

Further up the hill, addict was making headway with Halo 3's new and most powerful weapon: the Spartan Laser Cannon. For those of you who don't know, the laser cannon fires a concentrated bolt of angry red energy capable of destroying vehicles and their operators in one blast and since it's a beam, not a proper projectile, it travels from the cannon to the target instantly. Its drawbacks include a three-second charge before firing, a tell-tale laser pointer showing the intended path of destruction and a distinct whine during the charge, followed by a long recoil. Anyway, addict was able to score two quick points off of Osiris with the laser cannon before he learned his lesson.

A few moments later addict and I were fighting each other in the bunker. I was carrying the Brute Shot again while he was still using the laser. I knew well enough to keep my distance without utterly giving up the fight. We each knew the respective strengths and weaknesses of our weapons and how to use them in a small structure like the bunker, so we ended up in a drawn-out stalemate. Osiris tried to butt in but the Brute Shot gave him a facefull of retorts that left him speechless. (read: dead) The battle between addict and I continued until Gravy made a surprise appearance and put a rocket up my pooper. After my sudden demise, addict decided that discretion was the better part of getting the heck out of there and he made a hasty retreat up to the installation's lookout tower. The whole ordeal lasted about twenty-five seconds, making it the longest single conflict of the game.

From addict's new high vantage point he was able to spot Willis riding a Ghost and sniped him with the laser cannon. Normally, this would mean instant death, but whatever powers that protect children and idiots was looking out for Willy at that moment, so the laser blast only stripped off the hoverbike's forward plate and his energy shield instead of vaporizing him. However, I had recently respawned behind him, and he backed straight into my line of fire allowing me to get the kill right before a second laser totalled the Ghost, handing me the lead with this opportunistic score.

Then comes another (relatively uninteresting) lull in the action. Gravy equips himself with the Rocket Launcher and Invisibility Cloak only to kill both himself and addict in a murder/suicide attack. I try my luck with the Mongoose again only to get pincered between Osiris and addict in a cave tunnel. Eventually Gravy and I are tied for first place again at 9-9.

The next noteworthy event happens at the five-minute mark when I was alone on the catwalk above the installation's gateway. There's a chaingun mounted on a tripod up there that is pointed down the hill. Instead of simply waiting for someone to move into the limited attack field, which is just unsafe with all the sniping going on, I make use of another new feature: Spartans can use the melee attack button to rip a turret off of its mount and carry it around. This comes at the cost of removing the unlimited ammunition supply, you run/turn at only half-speed, and it's noticably less accurate, but that's better than being a sitting duck.

With the turret in my hands I became the proverbial 800-pound gorilla. All of the weapons from previous games have had their attack power increased for Halo 3, but the mobile turret is by far the most intimidating non-explosive weapon in the game. Even though Gravy was riding in a Ghost and could have easily splattered my sluggish warrior, a few shots at close range was enough to convince him to try his luck elsewhere. Next, addict, who had just picked up the Power Shield again, decided to play a game of cat-and-mouse with me in the rocky outcropping in front of the bunker. He used a combination of grenades and the Assault Rifle to tear down my energy shield, but after four seconds of continuous fire from the chaingun he was laying face down in the dirt. Though I had won the battle it was only by a hair, so I decided not to push my luck and dropped the heavy metal.



Meanwhile, inside the bunker, Osiris experienced similar success by defeating both Willis and Gravy in short order. The win over Gravy was particularly sweet for him since he was carrying a Sniper Rifle and essentially delivered it to him free of charge. The glory was short-lived, however, as Gravy promptly returned and took it back just in time to snipe me, bringing us once more into a tie for first place.

Later, addict is back to his old games with the laser cannon again, which he used to frighten away would-be assassins. I, on the other hand, had no such fear (or common sense, whichever) and engaged him at point-blank range with a shotgun. addict managed to get off one blast with the cannon and the beam screamed as it narrowly missed my Spartan's armored hide, but like that saying goes, "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." Well, proximity also counts for shotguns. :D After addict was cold on the ground I spent a bit of time rummaging through the spoils, which was unwise considering how small the map is and how vengeful some players can be. In any case, I decided on the laser cannon and Assault Rifle since that's what was in my hands when the sounds of combat started getting close.

I'll tell you straight up that the following event was like a destined moment for me. I'm positive that addict was on his way back to kill me, but Willis intercepted him with one of his trademark head-on attacks, forcing addict to retreat into the safety of the northern cave tunnel. On the other side of the hill, I was standing in the shadows just outside the southern cave tunnel behind the bunker. I start charging the laser. Just then, Gravy and Osiris converge on the northern tunnel where Willis and addict are fighting. Rockets and grenades obliterate the two inside the cave, but the remaining two players had been so focued on the dead players in the tunnel that they didn't even notice each other, and I start to mumble to myself the types of things you'd normally say during sex: oh God, God, come on, oh God right th- Ahhh.



That's right, Osiris and Gravy bumped into each other - not trying to kill each other - at the exact moment that the laser cannon fired. A red beam of destruction cut through both of them, unlocking my Two For One Achievement by getting three seperate medals: a Double Kill medal and two Lasershot medals all with a single laser shot. So many uncontrollable and unlikely things have to fall into place just right to even give you the opportunity to do this that I think it's the most difficult Achievement in the game, and I got it without even really trying. That's some sweet shit, ain't it? :]

With two and a half minutes left in the game, and my morale higher than it probably should have been, plus having just taken the lead in scorepoints (14-13, my lead over Gravy) I decided that I was going to start playing to win. I probably should have had a more cautious outlook since I had royally pissed off all the top players in the last twenty seconds, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Since there was only a small window of time left, and the top four players were all very close on the scoreboard, the rest of the game decended into a bloody frenzy. (er, moreso than what was happening before) The shoreline became a perpetual combat zone with players constantly pouring in, killing and dying, respawning and heading back for more. Osiris showed us a bit of his ninja skillz, and he and I dueled with the laser and sniper rifle, addict tried once more to dominate the field with some laser abuse (he also managed to be the first and only player to use the Bubble Shield), I hopped on the Chaingun Turret one more time, Gravy zoomed around on the Ghost, and grenades were exploding up and down the hill until the game was over.



When all was said and done, Gravy had 18 kills, but he and I were tied at 16 due to his suicide attack earlier. addict came in second place with 14 and Osiris was right on his heels at 13. Willis had 4 after having killed the rest of us one time each. GG, guys!

This game was almost as much fun to write as it was to play. If you want more info on the end-game stats then hop on over to the Carnage Report at bungie.net.



- Only fools rush in. Halo is built on an incredibly simple premise (shoot and run) but you have to use your brain if you want to win.
- Halo 3 has a really great replay function, with a built-in system that links your screenshots and film clips straight to your Halo 3 profile at bungee.net. It's like they made it to be battlereported.
- I'm still using MSPaint for picture editing. Guess I'm just afraid to change.
- All these name colors/fonts were too tedius to type over and over again, so I had a document with pre-typed HTML for copy/pasting. :E
- I don't play Halo regularly, but if you do and want to get your game on then send me an invite on XBL.
- May the good mojo protect you, and don't forget to leave lots of comments!


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