Grasping for an Understanding: Halo Reach Firefight

You know what was awful? Two weeks in a row of weekly challenges dedicated to Halo Reach’s Firefight mode. It doesn’t exactly invigorate the senses and create spine-tingling multiplayer bloodbaths. Blood will be spilled, just not in a way that makes it enticing to play.

Let’s face it: Firefight exists because of Gears of War’s Horde mode. All of these new fangled shooter survival modes owe it to Gears at this point. The difference between Horde and Firefight is that Horde has intensity, there’s a goal, a challenge, and seemingly a purpose.

Firefight… just sort of exists. It’s a playground, something to generate stupid deaths for YouTube videos. There’s little sense of teamwork, no revival after death, and in that regard, no sense of survival. You’re there to kill, and once in a while to unwind, I understand the appeal. Over the course of a week where 150 rounds were required to snag some space denomination? No thanks.

Bungie refined it before they left the project in the hands of 343, adding death counts, more varied rounds, different time structures, etc. No matter what they do it, the very nature of Halo doesn’t feel right confined to a single level without progression, at least when players aren’t shooting each other.

If anything, Firefight just brings out the monotony and repetition of a first-person shooter. Even the chaotic, sometimes random nature of Halo doesn’t make Firefight click in these eyes.