I gleaned some rather interesting info from a conversation in Gamestop yesterday. I finally decided to get off my ass and preorder the “Legendary” version of Halo: Reach, so I took a trip down to the local Gamestop. Don’t look at me like that, they’re the only place in town that does midnight releases. Anyways, I was chatting it up with the guys when I noticed a sign that said “Preorder Reach and get a free gift.” I idly asked what the free gift was, expecting it to be lame… but the response I got kinda blew me away.

I was told that for preordering Halo: Reach at Gamestop you get a download code for a unique piece of armor. Now we all know that this kind of thing has become standard fare in the industry, but then they told me what it DOES. Apparently this piece of armor will decrease the recharge time of all armor lock abilities!

Up until now I had been under the assumption that all armor pieces were purely cosmetic, meant only to offer the player the ability to stand out, to make this spartan their own. I sure don’t remember having read anything on this topic in any bungie.net post. But if this Gamestop idiot was right, then this changes the whole game!

Think of it this way. Gamestop, as a company, isn’t special enough to warrant having the ONLY piece of armor that has the ability to tweak game play. It wouldn’t be fair to those who didn’t buy the game at Gamestop, and under normal circumstances I would BE one of those people. And I would be SUPER PISSED to learn that someone else was given a game breaking upgrade just for licking Gamestop’s massive corporate asshole.

So at this point it’s a very small leap to assume that most, if not ALL, of the armor pieces will offer some kind of tweak to your character. For instance, in the beta one of the helmets had a little camera device that attached to the side of it. And if you paid attention you would also have noticed that there was a side note in one of the menus that told us how to activate a night vision mode, though it wasn’t actually available in the demo. Coincidence??

But before you start flaming the Bungie forums, take a breath and consider this. If done right, this might not be a bad thing. I mean, it wouldn’t be any different than letting us choose which load out we want before each respawn. It would just make our characters more like the “actual spartans”. They’re all bad ass, genetically altered super soldiers, but each one has different stats and specialties. What made John (Spartan 117) unique and ultimately lead to him being given the title “Master Chief” was his extraordinary luck. Try defining THAT into a quantity that can be added to a character’s chest piece! Each spartan is a beautiful and unique snowflake… of PURE DESTRUCTION. And soon we will be too. I can’t wait to put on my +10 “Sexy” pants!

~Penguin

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