Halo Reach includes five new powers, called armor abilities, which can give you an advantage in certain situations. You won’t always be given the choice between them, but when you are given the choice it is important to choose one that fits what you want to do.
Armor Lock – This ability makes you invulnerable for a few seconds. You can’t move, fire or take any other action while Armor Lock is active. If Armor Lock’s entire duration is used the ability will generate a strong blast when Armor Lock is released. This is powerful enough to kill players and destroy vehicles. Armor Lock is a great ability for players who want to try and play a “tank" by distracting enemy fire from allies, and when allowed to fully charge it can be used to kill multiple enemy players in close quarters.
Bubble Shield – Using this ability deploys a shield that can’t be penetrated by weapons fire. You can’t fire out, and no one can fire in. Players and vehicles can still move through the bubble, however. The bubble shield is best used as a way to restrict the tactics enemy players and teams can use. Let’s say, for example, that you’re trying to return your team’s flag from the middle of the map to your base. However, enemy snipers are killing you and your teammates. You can deploy a bubble shield to stop this – enemies can still try and attack, but they’ll have to run all the way to the shield and then engage in melee combat with your teammates. Note this shield can be prematurely destroyed by a concentrated attack, but only vehicles like tanks really put out enough fire to shorten the shield's life.
Camo – This ability renders you largely invisible, making it possible to sneak up on enemies. Players can still see you to some extent, but will need a sharp eye. Your Camo will, however, be partially compromised when you are firing or taking damage. When you are using Camo your radar will be jammed (random false contacts will appear) and the opponent’s radar will also be jammed (tipping them off that someone with Camo is nearby. This jamming effect is not entirely a bad thing, however. In team games a single player with Camo can mask the approach of their entire team by jamming enemy radar.
Dodge – A replacement for Sprint, this ability is only available to Elites in certain game types. It lets the Elite dodge in the direction they’re moving at an extremely rapid pace. This is the same as the dodge the AI Elites use in the campaign mode. Dodge can be used twice in a row before it has to recharge and makes it possible for an Elite to quickly retreat to cover. Bolder Elites will use it to quickly close for an Energy Sword kill, but you’ll have to be careful with this because it is easy to over-shoot your target. Also, be careful on maps with ledges – you might end up dodging right off the side of the map!
Jet Pack – This is what you’d expect –a frickin jet pack! Lot of people made a big deal about this in the beta and said it would change the way the game is played. It isn’t that powerful, but it is useful. The Jet Pack lets you reach areas of the map that would otherwise be impossible and also take shortcuts. It is best used by players who enjoy long range combat, as the Jet Pack lets them find sniper perches that enemies won’t expect.
Sprint – This give you a burst of speed, making it possible to cover short distances quickly. This makes it easier to retreat from a fight or quickly respond to an opponent who is trying to take an objective you’re guarding. You can also use Sprint to improve your melee combat ability – you can strike at your opponent with your weapon until his shields are down and then surprise him by sprinting into his face and killing him with a melee attack. Even experienced players are easily taken off-guard by this tactic.