"Tip of the Spear"
Tip of the Spear is when the war between humans and Covenant really begins to heat up in Halo: Reach. The previous mission was all about reconnaissance – Noble Team had to figure out exactly how much strength and firepower the aliens had before launching an assault. THIS is the assault…
See? Kind of the exact opposite of Nightfall, with constant, cacophonous combat replacing silent stealth. In fact, Tip of the Spear is a level that, moment after moment, introduces you to something new and deadly. For example, this is where you'll first get your armored gloves on the Revenant:
While the Revenant looks like a sleek red sports car – and like something from Grand Theft Auto whenever a fellow Spartan or co-op partner leans out the shotgun seat for some drive-by shooting – it didn't actually feel very powerful to me. You have to be very accurate with the targeting reticule, and larger enemy vehicles will still take quite a few shots to go down. But pretty and fun to drive? Definitely.
On the other hand, jump onto the back of this cannon-mounted Warthog and you can blast a Covenant carrier airship out of the sky with ease. And immediately after that, you can jump into the new Falcon for an incredibly Call of Duty-esque sequence:
In many games, the above action would be an entire level. In Halo: Reach, it's a small fraction. That doesn't mean the missions in Reach are any longer than usual – from my experience with these two, they're not – but that you can expect to experience plenty of variety during each one. The Falcon sequence occurs right in the middle of Tip of the Spear, with foot combat both before and after.
Another scene that reminded me strongly of Modern Warfare. Halo: Reach includes quite a few first-person cutscenes that give the illusion that you're still in control and that some spectacular shit is suddenly – and spontaneously – unfolding around you. This one ends with you being launched from jeep and thrown to the bridge, where you pick yourself up and run back into the fray.
You'll be able to play these missions for yourself on September 14, obviously, but keep checking GamesRadar for continuous coverage. We'll have exclusive multiplayer strategy next week, the review on September 11 and much, much more in between.
Aug 28, 2010