The last of the Halo Reach beta modes, Generator Defense, has just launched. Labeled as a “Network Stress Test”, you may get a lot of lag in your session, but it definitely is playable. GD is another variation of the Spartans Vs. Elites theme found in Reach, and has players either attacking or defending a set of three generators, then switching sides after the round is over. In this mode, you always have to stay one jump ahead of the opposing team, and focus on one generator at a time to succeed against swarthy defenders.
I do have a few hold-ups that prevent me from having as much fun as I’d like to, however.
3v3 is way too small
Although Bungie has said Generator Defense is a full blown network test, and nothing more, it still doesn’t stop it from feeling underwhelming with the low player limit. On the fairly large map it takes place on (Overlook), players are required to use teamwork, converge their forces, and call out where the enemy is attacking.
The problem is, this usually ends with one giant confrontation at a time, where the Elites are able to instantly tackle one low life generator right off the bat. If there were more players available, the defenders wouldn’t always be in constant danger of melee/sword spam (which is the quickest way to blow up a generator). It would also be nice if the overall time limit was larger, and the generators had more health.
The generator lockdown mechanic makes the game less fun
In short, defenders have the ability to make any given generator, at any time, invulnerable for a full thirty seconds. Given how short the game time is on Generator Defense, it’s incredibly easy to just hold your generators with little skill involved.
So far, almost every game I’ve played involves Spartans camping generator B with grenade launchers or shotguns, and repeatedly locking it down. The lockdown cooldown is only about five seconds or so, and after that short amount of time, you can just re-lock it for another thirty seconds. When there’s only one generator left, and it’s constantly invincible, my interest wanes a bit.
There are tactics to slam generators during the cooldown time (particularly B), such as spawning as a sniping/ranged class, counting to thirty after the game announces a lockdown, and shooting through corridors and cracks, but it gets old after a while.
Overall, the mode does have potential
If Bungie tinkers with the lockdown mechanic, and optionally increases the overall player and generator count, I can see Generator Defense evolving into something much more robust. Again, since it is just a test, it’s hard to say if this mode may even make it into the finished product at all.
But here’s a thought: what if Bungie is just using generators as a catalyst to present an open-ended “defend the ‘X’ gametype”?
Did you have a completely different Generator Defense experience? Let us know below!