Halo ODST: Hands-on with the new killer co-op mode

Despite what you’re likely to hear over the coming weeks, ODST’s Firefight isn’t just Horde from Gears of War 2 in first person (the popular opinion among our fellow games journos at a recent Halo event). No, it’s Horde, COD Zombies and Valve’s undead co-op shooter wrapped up in one Shock Trooper-shaped package.

Above: Amazingly, adding these elements pretty much gives you Firefight

Aside from the exciting new co-op, we also saw a brief demo of 'The Rookie', the game's first campaign level. You can read more about it in our campaign preview. It was also interesting to hear the Shock Troopers' leader Buck, played by Firefly's Nathan Fillion, referring to the forthcoming Halo Reach like it was a previous battle.

We're still more excited about Firefight, though. And below you'll find out why this new mode, which throws more Covenant cronies at you in 20 minutes than all of Halo 3, could be the best part of ODST.

It throws loads of alien
a-holes at you Horde-style

Like Marcus Fenix and fellow beefy space chums’ addictive online game, Firefight pits you and three fellow Troopers against endless numbers of Covenant scum. Each round throws fives waves of progressively tougher baddies at you. The only goals: to survive, while winning as many points as possible by murdering everything in your sight.

The maps are a mix
of all three games

The three shown so far range from compact, close-quarters combat in the Crater and Alpha site levels, to larger scale alien annihilation in Security Zone. Getting swamped in the dark and cramped Crater reminds us of COD’s zombie assaulted houses. Best of all, you'll be able to mow down your murderous enemies with Warthogs in the largest maps.

You have to take risks
like in COD zombies

Just as in World of War’s Nazi Zombies, surviving is all about taking gambles to get the best weapons. In COD, the risk is leaving your window unguarded while you have repeated (i.e. naughty) spins on the lucky dip weapons box to get better guns. In ODST, it’s risking your squad’s limited number of lives to nick the Brute Chieftains’ Gravity Hammers and Fuel Rod Cannons.


  • Doomwaffle - July 24, 2009 5:49 p.m.

  • norid - July 24, 2009 5:49 p.m.

    hmmmmmm looks good
  • Fancy Rat - July 24, 2009 6:28 p.m.

    Mmm...beefy space chum...
  • Elbo444 - July 24, 2009 10:40 p.m.

    I think the "survive against waves of enemies" thing started with Asteroids or something around that time, I think that was just a fanboyism, but idk It's not like I did any research on this :P
  • alexlcna - July 24, 2009 11:41 p.m.

    looks fun
  • kiwicrossing - July 25, 2009 1:24 a.m.

    I would have figured that a Halo game's graphics would be more polished
  • Doorstop - July 25, 2009 1:50 a.m.

    Man, what's with all the graphics dissing? I'm playing Halo 3, it's not ugly by any means. Seriously.
  • thejanitor44 - July 25, 2009 2:14 a.m.

    Man oh man oh man I am getting the game the SECOND hear me out world THE SECOND!!! It comes out oh yea 16th!!!!!
  • Defguru7777 - July 25, 2009 3:32 a.m.

    @Cwf2008 That's like saying every game since the N64 has ripped off Super Mario 64 just because they all use 3D graphics. Horde isn't fully original in its own right. A lot of RPGs had you fight random enemies in succession (Golden Sun 1 + 2), although not nearly as polished as Horde. Come on, does the Internet really need any more of this immaturity? ReCaptcha: her dankest Sexy, ain't it?
  • FyshelStix - July 25, 2009 10:17 a.m.

    Good article, I can't wait. PS I think its World at War not World of War.
  • SausageLozenge - July 25, 2009 10:57 a.m.

    The graphics are great for what it is. You don't see people driving and flying all around the levels in CoD, L4D, and GoW. Remember in the Cortona level in Halo 3 where you and 3 of your friends take on 2 scarabs, and some of your are on the ground in scorpions, some are in the air in hornets, and some are actually on the scarab battling their way to the core? Its apples and oranges really.
  • jar-head - July 25, 2009 1:46 p.m.

    serious question: Can ODST's tackle Jackal shields? MC was too large, ODST's Can use them, but Can they use tem on Firefight/campaign? It would totally make sense, to rip off a jackals shields for your own....
  • oreomonkey - July 25, 2009 5:54 p.m.

    z0mg NaZis z0mg G-G-Gears z0mg Left 4 DEAD z0mg ROFLCOPTER
  • IChooseUAntistaMON - July 25, 2009 6:42 p.m.

    @ the janitor it comes out on the 9/22
  • IChooseUAntistaMON - July 25, 2009 6:45 p.m.

    L4D is Uglier than Halo 3 or ODST the graphics are cartoonish almost and CODWaW i never played and GOW2 is the only one that i think looks better
  • Nightfall5 - July 25, 2009 9:45 p.m.

    Looks promising, I hope that it'll be awesome! And to go further onto Defguru7777's point, sure it took some things from other games, but doesn't every game do that? Sonic must've ripped off Mario because it's a platformer. But no, it's not, because they're DIFFERENT. Hell, Call of Duty must've ripped off Doom, 'cause they're both shooters, and Gears of War must've ripped off games like Resident Evil 4 because of the over-the-shoulder viewpoint. Every game ever created (except the REALLY old ones, like on the Atari) takes things from other games, they all get influenced by it. Stop the fanboyism, it's really getting old. Accept the game for what it is, and hell, for me, I don't care if it is heavily inspired by other games, I just accept it for being damn fun.
  • SausageLozenge - July 25, 2009 11:06 p.m.

    @Nightfall5 You hit the nail on the head.
  • BLACKMAGICMARKR - July 26, 2009 5:09 a.m.

    looks pretty sweet
  • IslanderSwagg - July 26, 2009 6:14 a.m.

    This looks good to me, new campaighn, new game modes, and dont forget new multiplayer maps. If you dont like a game, then dont worry about it, complaining about a game that you're not going to buy is pointless. recaptcha: ignorant ARKIN... thats what u are, whatever it is. :/
  • Ninjamatt5 - July 26, 2009 10 p.m.

    This looks good, but its going to be so annoying listening to my 360 owning friends chant this game's praise for a month or so, then never play it again. Seriously, I wouldn't mind the Halo series as much if my friends weren't so crazy about it. Will just have to hope some PS3 exclusive decides to include a horde mode soon.

Showing 1-20 of 46 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000