Halo: Reach Armor Lock Needs Balance

Let me take you back two nights ago. I’m in a team slayer match on Sword Base, in that hallway near the break room, the man cannon room is off to the left. I hear someone take the cannon up, so I get ready with a plasma grenade. The red guy turns the corner, I toss the explosive, he locks down. The grenade shoots off of him and sticks my teammate who is coming from the opposite side down the bridge.

Betrayal.

The complaint here is not about the betrayal. Hell, that was funny in all honesty, one of those great “Halo moments” that you play for. It gives the world a sense of anything can happen, keeping the game interesting in long sessions.

The complaint is that armor lock will actually reject a grenade… and a rocket… and a melee… and bullets… and hammers… Nothing can stop it. It is the only armor ability in the game that is absolutely faultless. Jet packing makes you fodder for sniper fire in exchange for movement. Running lets you move but takes away offensive capabilities. Holograms have so many faults now few fall for them unless the situation is tight. Cloaking kills your radar.

Say what you will about not being able to move or shoot in locked mode; it doesn’t matter. Players go in and out of it so much it’s absurd, sometimes while standing. It lasts too long, recharges too quickly, and is easily abused. What’s the point of going for a skillful stick only to have it be absorbed? What’s the point of sneaking up with a hammer if it’s just going to be rejected at the last second?

Something needs to counter armor lock. Don’t get me wrong. In the wrong hands, the ability is a joke. Watching someone wait it out as three opponents swarm waiting for a kill is comedic gold. Most however don’t. They flick the button and hop out ready to assault. Rocket launchers, sticks delivered PRIOR to entering the lock, plasma launchers… any of the power weapons should at least be sufficient to break the lock because as it stands, it’s infuriating.