If you’re any sort of Halo fan you’d know that 343 Industries released the ultra-hyped and anticipated Firefight game mode first introduced in Halo 3: ODST, but with features that make it unique for Halo 5: Guardians. Warzone Firefight takes what made the original Firefight so compelling and mixes it up with Boss fights, a slew of different objectives, and your own Req cards, just like Warzone. The new mode is lots of fun, but it is far from perfect. However, with just a few small modifications, Warzone Firefight could be something truly special.
The first taste we got of Warzone Firefight was back in April during the beta. It’s evident that 343 took fan feedback to heart since the final Warzone Firefight mode did improve tremendously over the beta. The beta version didn’t quite nail the feeling of playing ODST or Reach. However, the recently released version of Warzone Firefight had me popping in the Halo 5 disc pretty much every day. However, it still has a way to go before it becomes as memorable as modes from those other games.
Warzone Firefight is, unfortunately, plagued with a few critical flaws. The most crucial being that it’s extremely hard to win if you’re not in a fireteam. Here are a few reasons why.
Increased Timer Respawns
Get ready to take on several of these guys.
The timer that counts down after you die and before you can rejoin the fray increases every round. By the final round, if you die, you have to wait 30 seconds to respawn. Taking into account that there are only five minutes to complete the objective, which can range from a single Mythic Warden Eternal to three of those buggers, that means a tenth of the total time can be spent waiting. In the meantime, your teammates will get massacred. Either the time increase needs to go, or 343 should extend the total time allowed to complete the objective.
Lack of Covenant and Promethean Balance
There are far too many Promethean enemies overshadowing the Covenant. There should be more balance between the enemies within each round. Or alternate rounds with Prometheans in one round, and Covenant in another.
Seemingly Impossible Objectives
There are some missions where it seems the objective is impossible to clear. For example, the combining two Warden Eternals and infinite spawning Incineration Cannon Knights in Raid on Apex 7 is a recipe for player frustration. Then there are the three Warden Eternals that spawn at the very back of red base in the final round of March on Stormbreak. How about the Banshee Raiders in round two on Urban? Success relies too heavily on who your teammates are and how willing everyone is to spend Req cards. Speaking of req cards…
The Req System
There are two kinds of people. Those who will seize the chance and spend the appropriate Req card to save (and possibly carry) the match, and then there are those who will hold on to their Req cards no matter what. Part of the problem could be that people are saving up their cards for the PVP Warzone game mode. Req cards should either be free in Warzone Firefight, depending on their rarity level, or playing Firefight should award a lot more Req packs than the ones accompanying the commendations. That way people will be more willing to spend cards. It doesn’t seem right that one player can burn a card and start blasting a Legendary Boss in a Woodland Scorpion, while everyone else is just chipping away at the boss’ health with their standard-issue Battle Rifles.
Original Firefight Mode Is Missing
Firefight mode as it appeared in Reach and ODST is nowhere to be seen in Halo 5. The formula was simple: Five waves, three rounds, one set. Add some Skulls, increasing difficulty, weapon drop pods, and four combatants in a fight till the last Spartan standing. There is no reason this mode shouldn’t also appear in Halo 5 to give players more choice.
As it stands, Warzone Firefight is a rough diamond in the making, with enough potential to become one of the greatest game modes in the series’ history. One only has to look at the progress 343 has made since April to have hope that some of these issues will be addressed sooner rather than later.