Early last week the Firefight Limited playlist was removed from Halo: Reach‘s online matchmaking. Although 343 Industries could not be reached for comment, the reasons for its removal were an obvious lack of players. At any given time, Firefight Limited saw only a few hundred players in it.
It is a real shame that Firefight Limited had to be removed as it was the only “true” mode of Firefight. While it was the least played of any of the Firefight modes, the people who did play it were the most passionate about it. The three remaining Firefight playlists included Score Attack, Doubles, and Arcade. 343 should have tried to boost Limited’s population by removing one of these other Firefight playlists instead.
Score Attack is a solo playlist where players try to accrue as many points as possible to compete against others on the leaderboards. It’s fun but playing alone gets boring after awhile and you just don’t get the same experience as you would working together with three other people.
Arcade is the most populated playlist amongst all the Firefights but the reasons for this are simply because people want to boost their stats (and credits) with as little effort as possible. Considering you have infinite lives, infinite ammo, and an overshield in Arcade, it’s really easy to wrack up tons of kills and without having to worry about running out of lives. There’s just no survival aspect here whatsoever. To make matters worse, you can no longer pick up other weapons. You’re stuck with the starting weapon set that you vote for in the lobby. Jumping around hitting grunts with rockets over and over can only be fun for so long.
Doubles is the closest thing you can get to the “real” Firefight since you vote for Score Attack, Arcade, or Limited in the lobby. The problem is that Limited is always at the bottom so if the other player votes for anything else, you’re stuck playing that. If your would-be teammate is out making a sandwich during the voting and you somehow do manage to get Limited, it’s just not the same playing with one other person instead of a whole team of four. It gets lonely! Especially if the other guy ends up leaving the game. Then you’re playing by yourself again.
Firefight is supposed to be about survival but that concept is nonexistent in Arcade. Facing wave after wave of Covenant forces isn’t really that scary when you know there is no consequence to dying. Playing Firefight has become more of a chore just to complete challenges and gain credits instead of having fun trying to fight for your life.
343 Industries should bring back the Limited playlist. If they want to condense the community into fewer playlists, remove Arcade. Limited actually took skill and situational awareness to play. I prided myself on having many “Hero” medals per game. That medal doesn’t even exist in the other modes!
(This article originally published on Examiner.com)