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|Halo: First Strike
July 19, 2012 (US/CAN)
July 21, 2012 (UK)
July 22, 2012 (AUS)
First Person/Tactical Shooter
Humanity has paid a heavy price for their battle against the deadly Covenant at the ancient ring world known as Halo, but destroyed it before its power wiped out the galaxy's sentient life. And SPARTAN-117, the Master Chief, must return to Earth with the information on the recent discovery. However, he comes upon another creation left behind by the mysterious Forerunners, and it may be up to him to save the last of his Spartans, along with the human race, once again, from the Covenant and their desire to find the artefact...
The game is based on the novel Halo: First Strike, by Eric Nylund. It is played mostly in first person, and will often vary between characters. The mission may also be altered if played cooperatively.
The campaign consists of 14 levels, 13 of which are part of the storyline and 12 of which are playable:
- Game Tutorial (non-campaign mission)
- Deployment — Drop onto Reach in one piece.
- Forest — Rally the Spartans, defend the ground forces.
- Shipbreaking Yard — Help Noble Team deliver the package to Captain Keyes.
- Ground Zero — Defend Reach from the Covenant.
- Gamma Station — Destroy the NAV data on board the corvette.
- Threshold — Get on board the flagship, take it over.
- Ascendant Justice — Reactivate the Slipspace drive to escape the Soell system.
- Castle Base — Stay out of sight from the Covenant forces.
- Underground — Find the crystal, escape the tunnels.
- Return To Reach — Find the Spartans. Save them.
- Gettysburg — Repair the conduit. Secure the frigate.
- Epsilon Secundus — Protect the crystal from Covenant boarders.
- Unyielding Hierophant — Stop the Covenant's upcoming assault on Earth.
Like Halo 3: ODST, Halo: First Strike alternates as the player character. Player 2 also varies between a different character and a double of player 1. Most missions are played as one of the UNSC Spartans, although there are some that feature playing as a Marine. On specific levels or parts of levels, the player can choose which "class" of soldier they want to use (three classes, two soldiers of each class, one of each gender), and will receive the corresponding weapons and equipment.
While the HUD differs, the experience of playing as a Marine is similar to that of ODST, with stamina and health limit. MJOLNIR Mark V armour is also used by the Spartans, which renders them to a health display. However, the player always has a medical kit which includes 3 canisters of biofoam that can be used at any time during the game. Health packs are also located in various parts of the level, although they are more scarce than in Halo: Combat Evolved or Halo 3: ODST.
New navigation methods are also added, such as the tactical map (or tacmap for short), which can be used for giving orders to AI teammates, and allowing the player to explore in the open environment levels without getting lost. Some parts of missions may also allow the player to move only inside a vehicle.
In addition to new weapons, existing ones from previous Halo games are featured, with some balanced modifications. The player can change the rate of fire to their preferred mode. Firefight also contains new characters, maps, and additional features.
- Heavy Weapons
Levels of Difficulty
- Easy — Laugh as helpless victims flee in terror from their inevitable slaughter. The game basically plays itself.
- Normal — Face firm resistance from competent, determined enemies, but burn through enough ammo and you will eventually triumph.
- Heroic — Fight against formidable foes that will truly test your skill and wits; this is the way Halo is meant to be played.
- Legendary — Tremble as teeming hordes of invincible alien monsters punish the slightest error with instant death... again and again.
- Mythic — Your enemies are cunning and ruthless, and only too willing to show you why they're winning the war. They will never give up until they are victorious...will you?
- Noble — The time has come to rise to the occasion. Beat the odds, and be revered as the soldier that would be spoken in the same breath as the fabled Noble Team.
- Eclipse — Humanity is on the brink of extinction, and it's up to you to save them. Your own survival is at risk, but this will be a fitting test to see how much you're willing to lay on the line.
- Nova — Spartans never die. Prove it.