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Reach DLC Introduces L4D Elements

Halo Reach DLC introduces gameplay elements similar to Left 4 Dead, but misses balance issues.

There I was, standing with only a single ally defending humanity against an onslaught of brutes ready to destroy us. Only this time, the brutes had an advantage; human-controlled elites helping their cause of eliminating all humans, starting with the Spartans.

I was playing the newly released FireFight Versus mode in Bungie's Halo: Reach for Xbox 360, which provides a new type of Spartan experience. In addition to hordes of NPCs, the defenders are faced with the challenge of also holding themselves off from human-controlled characters.

When I first played this expansion, it reminded me of Left 4 Dead due to the asymmetric nature of characters in the game: the survivors have to travel across zombie infested lands and have the capability of rescue, while zombies have low health and can be easily destroyed. A similar imbalance is introduced in the Reach expansion, where the Spartans get an overshield bonus.  

Unlike Left 4 Dead, the expansion does not provide a balanced gameplay experience. When I first spawned next to a dozen brutes, I was elated to finally have an advantage over my opponent.

Then I tried to get them to help me in my objective: the brutes were excellent at taking cover, but not successful in destroying my target. It was an excellent display of courage, but my character was still the target of all of the enemy's fire. The defending players had an overwhelming advantage due to the chaos of the supporting NPCs.  

The main issue with the new mode is a lack of control over NPCs. With L4D, you cannot possibly expect the rabid NPCs to help you, because they are zombies. When you play as the horde, you become the horde.

In Halo, when you see a dozen brutes ready to kill humans, you have expectations of what should happen. But the brutes do not follow your orders: you are left with a bunch of strength and no channel to effectively use that strength.

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