I just played the Halo:Reach multiplayer beta on XBox Live, which started on Monday, May 3rd. Only available to those who own a copy of Halo 3: ODST, and it appears in the man menu of that game. Bungie made quite a few tweaks and in my opinion, improvements. They now allow you to have "armor abilities" and different loadouts. The names of those Loadouts are as follows:
1) Scout: Scout gives you the ability to sprint, just like in Call of Duty! Finally something that Halo needed to be added.
2) Guard: This Armor Ability and loadout are quite interesting. Guard is an Armor Ability that when you press and hold the LB button, you slam your hand into the ground and become invincible temporarily until you let go or until you run out of juice. When and if that happens, a small static explosion happens near you an can kill an oncoming enemy, So far, my personal favorite.
3) Stalker: The Stalker loadout/armor ability is pretty sweet by all means. It gives you the ability to go into active camo as well as have a pretty damn good radar scrambler. While I think it needs to be slightly harder to see you when in camo, it is still a decent loadout.
4) Airborne: Having a jetpack in Halo would be nice right? Well it is! With this Armor Ability you can jetpack all around these levels to your hearts content. Getting a sniper rifle with this bad boy is nice for some sweet vantage points.
Some other cool new additions are the new weapons as well as tweaks to the old one. Check out some of the new guys and good ole' boys.
1) Plasma Repeater: This is essentially the Plasma Rifle but slightly more accurate and looks much cooler.
2) The DMR: The DMR is a single shot Battle Rifle. It is MUCH more accurate from long distances if you take your time and make the right shot. I like this new improvement to the "BR".
3) Pistol: The Pistol has finally made it's triumphant return from the original Halo. It can zoom in to X2 zoom, as well as take someone down in 4 headshots.
4) Needle Rifle: The Needle Rifle is the Covenant answer to the DMR. A single shot rifle that quite literally shoots needles. Looks and reloads pretty sweet too.
5) Sniper Rifle: While not technically "new", the Sniper Rifle looks slightly different as well as has a more realistic feel. This is shown when you fire, it has recoil as well as cannot fire accurately if you fire in rapid succession.
6) Needler: I haven't seen this weapon change in the slightest. I still get that wonderful feeling when people explode and pink mist is everywhere though.
7) Shotgun: The Shotgun has been improved in my opinion. It is a single barrel pump action now. So it balances it out, while still letting it do massive close range damage.
The final thing I will talk about in the first part of my review is the new scoring system. Bungie set it up so when you play, you earn Credits. These Credits are earned by how you played and medals you earned. These Credits are used to trick out your Spartan to give him cool shoulder guards, helmet, or other add-on's to your physical appearance. So the more badass your Spartan looks, it shows you've earned it and you'rea talented player. A rather nice touch I must say. Also you get "judged". You play enough during a day and you get a daily judgment. Play enough that same week, and you get a weekly judgment. Play enough that month, and you'll earn monthly judgment. They have said your "judgment" will be a certain color skull for that time. Whether it be a silver, gold, or platinum skull for that time played. It is posted and shown that you earned that skull for that time played in your stats.
All in all, so far so good Bungie! I am super stoked for the full game now. I will have a second part to this review when I have played all the game types as well as played as the Elites(who have completely different loadouts and Armor Abilities). Go out there and try it!