“Death for you, Gunslingers…”
That was both the threat and the invitation to dance. In recounting the events of a Humpday Challenge against the Forum Ninjas from Bungie.net, it was Urk that held palaver with us in a place of bones and predicted our fortunes. His grim prognosis was nothing short of prophetic.
Behold the uniform of Team Onyx. They are an imposing sight. Aren’t they? If they cross your path, you will need to bring your very best game to survive their attack. As a team, these gamers passionately enforce the notion that Bungie makes games that they want to play – and play well. Last night, the TTL Gunslingers met their defeat in battle against the finest killers from the ranks of the creators of Halo Reach.
Game: Invasion Slayer
Outcome: Bungie Wins 100-89
We were robbed of our humanity [and our pride] for the first bout of the night, forced to inhabit the hunched form of the Elite invaders. Our opponents controlled the vertical high-ground and rained fire down from above. Bungie taught a harsh lesson in resource management as well, controlling the territories and the reinforcements that they yield. On too many occassions, we allowed them to steal our own spoils of war and use them against us…
Game: Capture the Flag
Outcome: Stalemate – Bungie wins by Kill Count
A classic standard of Halo gameplay was selected out of foolish sentimentality by this gamerblogger. The Gunslingers were unable to breach the iron-clad defenses of the Onyx base. Waves after waves of strike teams crashed upon their shields, surrendering the kills that would end up earning Bungie the bragging rights for victory in a second consecutive round…
Game: Team Slayer
Outcome: Tied the Leader wins [barely] 100-99
With the match decided, there was nothing left for us to defend but our dignity. Team Onyx kept their forces tightly knit into a deadly web of crossfire. They seemed to have an uncanny knack for luring us into their killzone, and then tightening the noose around the bravest [or most foolhearty] of us. After giving up a dangerous lead in the first half of the match, the Gunslingers adapted – choosing to exchange fire over longer sightlines instead of marching into the slaughter like lambs…
Previsouly, the Gunslingers emerged victorious from a Humpday Challenge against Bungie. That was in a different game – a different time. On Reach, everyone plays for keeps. Our record against The Maker is now even. One win. One loss. Last night, Bungie tied the leader.
It must be said that the statistical outcome of these matches is less important than the fact that they happen at all. These Humpday Challenges are a prime example of what makes Bungie so special as a development house. Their gesture of sharing a friendly match with the people who play their games is a catalyst that sparks to life the blue flame of community. They are curious about us. It makes us curious about each other. From there, Reach is what we make of it together.
As always, and even in defeat, it was our pleasure to sample the gameplay of the very people who wrought it from code. The TTL Gunslingers say thankya for the chance to be schooled by the masters of their own domain. What do we say now? There is only one thing to say…