Invasion's Great Potential Squandered

Invasion was Bungie’s attempt to incorporate something new as well as canonically relevant into Halo’s multiplayer. After all, the Battle for Reach is arguably the climax of the Human-Covenant War, so it was only appropriate to include a gametype which pitted Spartans against Elites in objective gameplay in large maps.

However, Invasion’s great potential was squandered due to the lack of attention it received from Bungie, even now in the ownership of 343 Industries. the gametype has only two maps (since the DLC one is so difficult to play on during matchmaking games), and various flaws which were not fixed since Reach’s release.

Invasion’s principal failure was its lack of map variety. Bungie (and now 343i) should have released free maps which would have been integrated into the matchmaking experience. These new maps would be exclusively for Invasion and related gametypes and would enrich the playlist since everyone will be able to play them. While the prospect of “free content” is not desirable from a business’s perspective, in the case of Invasion, it would have increased the popularity and longevity of the playlist. Releasing certain free maps is not new to the industry; after all, DICE releases free maps for Battlefield, and Halo could have benefitted from the same.

What is probably more troubling, however, is the lack of developer support the playlist received post-release. This is not only troubling because of the direct impact it had on the longevity of the playlist, but also because it is an indicator of negligence toward certain components of the game’s multiplayer which could persist in Halo 4. As a concrete example, consider the map Spire during an Invasion game. The Banshee is completely unprotected from Spartans taking it, and the Elites have practically no way of disabling an even semi-competent flier since the only Covenant weapon effective against would be the Plasma Launcher. Even so, the sluggish movements of the grenades can easily be dodged by a flier who sees it coming. Even if the Elites manage to get the Banshee, the Spartans spawn with DMRs which can cause significant damage to the vehicle, and also have the Sniper Rifle.

This was not addressed at all, and has resulted in some incredibly unbalanced games in the playlist. Boneyard fares better, but since it is the only other map, the problem of repetitiveness aforementioned surfaces.

Seeing as 343i wishes to integrate the canon and the multiplayer for upcoming Halo 4, it is inexcusable that they haven’t paid any attention to the only playlist in Reach which does exactly that. It is imperative 343i does not repeat the same mistake with Halo 4.

Yes squandered potential. So much squandered potential in the entire game.

I agree, especially on the front of the campaign. However, I wanted to focus my discussion to one particular aspect in this thread.

The lack of attention to Invasion, from whichever company was in charge of Reach, is puzzling. It’s not like it’s down there in population count, usually pulling in ~2000 players at peak times, which puts it above the likes of Rumble Pit, Multi-Team, the Community playlists, and maybe some others I’m leaving out.

I’m not a game programmer, but maybe some of the bugs in Invasion are inherently flawed and can’t be fixed via patch or TU. Really the only explanation I can think of. One flaw that comes to mind is serious forgers (like the Community Cartographers) saying how their custom maps suffer huge framerate drops when played split-screen. Another reason I say that some of the flaws my require too much manpower to actually fix were the problems that Generator Defense had during the Reach Beta. The lag was terrible in that gametype.

I’m just spitballing, really. Totally agree with your OP. Invasion’s one of my favorite gametypes, and I hope they have a similar gametype in H4.

Invasion was awesome in the beta, but they ruined it, and then ignored it.
And then 343 ruined it further. (BREAKPOINT WAS THE BEST DAMN MAP IN THE GAME)

Don’t forget the fact that Elites can turtle at the top of the Spire in Phase 3 using AL + Sword, and Spartans can do the same in Boneyard’s Core room with AL + Shotgun. Worst loadouts in the history of Matchmaking, I swear. And of course, with Elites being allowed on top of all of Spire’s rock formations, that map’s Phase 1 is little more than a D-Day reenactment.

You’re dead-on, OP: Invasion needs work. On occasion, I see people on the forums comment that 343i has something in store for Invasion, but I never see a sauce. It could be true, and they might be looking for community maps… or it could just be wishful thinkin’. :\