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Halo Reach Getting Matchmaking Update in May

Halo: Reach Screenshot - 813797

If you haven't played Halo Reach in awhile, you'll be surprised at how much the matchmaking playlists have evolved. The integration of community maps has had a profound impact. We've even seen the return of some classic playlists from the Halo 2 and Halo 3 days.

Here's a quick but comprehensive summary of all the changes coming early next month, via Bungie.net:

Action Sack Playlist -Shotty Snipers: Shotguns and Sniper Rifles… don’t forget to bring marshmallows. -Splockets: Spartan Lasers and Rocket Launchers. It’s like getting punched in the face repeatedly, WHY DID YOU ASK FOR THIS?! -BOOM! Ball: Play Oddball (Hot Potato) with Grenade Launchers and infinite ammo. -Hog Potato: Get to the Warthog! Ride it around for points, pile your teammates in for more points. -Does anyone else smell gas? -Shotgun Assault: Play Neutral Bomb Assault with only your trusty Shotgun. -Dino Blasters: Elites + Concussion Rifles + Bottomless Clip + Jetpack = 42 -Rocket CTF: Play Neutral Flag CTF using Rocket Launchers. Yes you heard me, Neutral FLAG. -To The Death!: Duel to the death… swing, clang and deliver the final blow with no recharging shields.

Squad Slayer Squad Slayer is a new 5v5 playlist featuring Squad Slayer (AR/Magnum) and Squad Slayer DMRs (DMR/AR) game variants. Both game variants will be 75 kills to win and offer Sprint, Hologram, Jetpack and Active Camo abilities. Big Party Restrictions will be enforced on parties of 4-5 players, allowing them to only match with other big parties. Maps include Condemned, Uplink, Tempest, Unanchored, Asylum, Uncaged, Ivory Tower, Countdown, Boardwalk, Powerhouse and Arena Zealot.

-Team Size: 5 -Max Party Size: 5 -Big Party Size: 4-5 -Max Local Players: 4

Team Classic We’re adding Classic CTF, Neutral Bomb Assault, Crazy King and Oddball game variants to the Team Classic lineup. Additionally, we’re changing starting grenades for all game variants in the Team Classic playlist to 1 frag starts and the Overshield will now give 3x up from 2x. We’ve accepted updated versions of a few maps and added objective gametype support to others.

-Classic CTF: Magus, Noble Creek, Prolonged, Prophet -Classic Assault: Magus, Noble Creek, Prophet -Classic King: Eclipse, Magus, Noble Creek, Prolonged, Prophet -Classic Oddball: Eclipse, Magus, Noble Creek, Prolonged, Prophet, Rat Trap

Living Dead

The dead rise again! Significant changes are being made to the Living Dead playlist. First and foremost we’re increasing the player count to 12. Next up we’re going to start using the Alpha Zombies game variant as our core offering, but the traditional Infection game variant will remain available for the time being. Alpha Zombies features Sprint for everyone including Zombies, while Alpha Zombies also have infinite equipment usage.

Big Team Battle Assault is being added to Big Team Battle! In addition to adding Assault, we’re also adding several community maps. The following maps have been considered and some are still being playtested so this is not a final list, some of these may or may not be added.

-Abridged by Schmittler 5000 (Forgetacular BTB winner) -Wayont by FDL iGet Down (Original map from the iLoveBTB.com community) -Utopie by FDL FiFTy I (Paradiso rebalance from the iLoveBTB.com community) -Renegade by x black kn1ght -Trident by x black kn1ght -Temptation by tkblingx2

The Arena, Team Slayer and Double Team Always subject to change, blah blah blah… let’s just assume this is always the case and get on to the good stuff? OK! The following community maps are being considered for integration into The Arena, Team Slayer and Double Team where appropriate. Due to the inclusion of community maps, the Team Slayer playlist will be restricted to a maximum of 2 local players. For you wild and crazy split-screen fans, please see the Squad Slayer section above for where you’ll get your 3way and 4way action on.

-Affinity by GodlyPerfection -Enclosed by Kymicals -Kingdom by Sikamikanico -Synapse by HWM BlacKnight -Treasury by JoeSki73

Several tweaks and fixes will also be made to existing gametypes and maps. Bungie teased a brief return of Doubles Attack, too.

Frankly, the ever-changing layout of Halo Reach has left me dying to go back to it. All those community remakes of old Halo maps haven't gone to waste, and the promise of getting some games in at the classic Beaver Creek is almost too much to bear. Does anyone want to play some Halo with me?

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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