Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Am a Monument to All Your Sins

That's right boys and girls, two days ago I completed Halo: Reach's Campaign for the third time, a solo Legendary Difficulty run. This of course netted me the coveted "Monument to All Your Sins" Achievement, which according to Bungie's Weekly Update, just over 5% of the Halo: Reach player base (online aware) has thus far earned. Apparently that means I'm part of an elite club. Yay!

It was challenging though, make no mistake about that, but it was easier (relatively speaking) than I thought it would be. Overall, each Chapter took me between one to two hours, and a lot of patience, persistence, and profanities saw me through. For those of you presently or planning to attempt a solo Legendary run, here's some tips you may find helpful:

- Patience is key. Do not rush and take your time lining up your shots and picking off your enemies. You are fragile, they are not.

- At almost all times, you should be carrying a precision weapon (DMR, Needle Rifle, Pistol) and a Plasma Pistol. Headshots are your lifeline on Legendary, and even the new and improved Elites still go down with the classic overcharged Plasma Pistol/headshot combo. With a Needle Rifle, even if you miss their head, so long as their Shields are down three Needles will result in a Supercombine and one dead Elite.

- Hunters are scary. No really, this is the first Halo game in which these walking tanks have actually terrified me. Tough, fast, and dealing a lot of damage, hopefully you can swap out your Plasma Pistol for a stronger weapon before encountering them. This would be a Rocket Launcher, Spartan Laser, or Fuel Rod Canon. You'll either want Hologram or Sprint as your Armour Ability. The use of Hologram is obvious, and Sprint is the _only_ way you're avoiding them in close quarters when they charge. Thankfully in this battle, Chapter III as I recall, there's Shotguns right there, which work well with Frag Grenades. In Chapter IV there is a battle with four Hunters. Stay back, take precision shots (there's DMR ammo in the area), and let Jun take a beating. He's invulnerable and can't be knocked unconscious like all your Spartan AI allies, and you'll likely be pissed off with his pathetic AI by this point anyway.

- Brutes are a lot like their Halo 2 original appearance, which means they're actually tough. You'll want to fight them in a similar fashion as well. Two to three headshots will result in a kill (look for when you knock their Helmet off), or better yet, use a Needler. A few seconds of sustained fire and a Supercombine equals an instant kill. With a Needler, even Brute Chieftains will _not_ touch you! Towards the end of Chapter X, you face a lot of Brutes with no Needlers around. DMR for headshots and an Assault Rifle plus a final melee kill are your best bet so long as you keep _mobile_! Let a pack come at you and you'll die here a lot.

- Melee weapons are a bad idea. Elite and Brutes melee so hard and their accuracy and damage are so great, you're not going to land any Energy Sword kills. In one spot the Gravity Hammer helped me, but stick to distance combat. Long distance. You'll still be able to pull of some great Assassinations though, and in Chapter X, a quick Melee can drop a Brute if you've sunk in enough Assault Rifle fire.

- Of the game's several Armour Abilities, you'll want Sprint or Drop Shield. Sprint lets you get to cover, advance or retreat very, very quickly which is a life saver. Drop Shield won't do much for you as a damage sponge, but it _is_ a portable Medkit. Use it to keep yourself at full health; works wonders so long as you're playing smart and keeping your distance. Hologram is useful against Hunters, and there's some sections you need the Jetpack to advance. Active Camouflage is a must at the end of Chapter VII, where you need to activate some AA defences to end the Chapter. You do _not_ have to kill all the Brutes, which is time consuming and challenging. Simply use Active Camo, sneak into the control room past the Chieftains and press the button. Mission complete. Armour Lock is absolutely useless on Legendary and you shouldn't touch it. Period.

- When driving a Warthog, give a Trooper ally a powerful weapon, like the Concussion Rifle or Rocket Launcher, which will help a lot when they ride shotgun. Revenants are also great vehicles to commandeer. Ghosts are a pain to fight and worthless to pilot, so don't bother with them.

- Very important, _use_ your AI Spartan allies! While you can't swap weapons with them (sadly), Carter, Kat, and Jorge not only are great damage sponges/distractions, they actually excel at killing enemies! Let them advance to draw fire and start thinning out numbers while you find a good sniping spot. Jun and Emile though, they're useless twits and I wish I could kill them myself. Emile has a Shotgun and loves to hang back doing nothing. Idiot. Guess he can't see through his scratched helmet...

- Turn on the Grunt Birthday Party Skull. Not only is it amusing to hear the pop, cheers, and watch the confetti fly when you land headshots on the little bastards, they actually give a slight explosion which can help.

- For "Tank Beats Everything," you _must_ bring the tank nearly as far as it'll go in the level to unlock the Achievement; you can not leave it behind or even just a bit back. I found this out the hard way. You can get out and pick enemies off with your DMR (which I strongly advise), but make sure you bring that tank to the finish!

Hopefully the above tips help you out on your Legendary run. Keep a level head, think outside the box, and play _smart_. Do this, and you'll hopefully be able to unlock one of the hardest Halo: Reach Achievements there is to earn.

Good luck!

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