Evil Gets an Upgrade
Just when you thought we were casting aside our Mythic ways for Halo 3: ODST, we bring you the latest chapter in our Mythic saga. Over the past year, several new secrets and tactics have been discovered for tackling each mission on the impossible setting using all 13 skulls, Legendary, and of course, scoring. One year later, we've decided to retrace our steps, find the flaws, track the tactics, and bring it all together to help YOU, the player, blast through Mythic difficulty in Halo 3 as quickly and easily as possible. While some of these "upgrades" are merely just an alternate means of doing each mission, others were designed to replace the original methods entirely. Which method you use is up to you. You can even mix them up, or come up with your own! Most "2.0" methods are superior over the originals in every respect, and nearly all of them are quicker. Though I still do not claim for these to always be the best, or quickest tactics out there in general, hopefully this will provide you with some guidance over the course of your Mythical journey through Halo 3.
Over the past year, we have discovered several new methods for dealing with many enemies in Halo 3. Some you may have already noticed, while others may not be quite so obvious. Let's start with the basics and work our way up, shall we?
1) Range-shooting: This is the term I have given to blasting Brutes at great distances. The concept is fairly simple. You see, Brutes seem to have a limited "line of sight". If you stand a certain distance away from them, you can see them, but they can't see you. You can use this to your advantage by shooting at them, and they won't try to dodge your bullets/plasma. How do you take advantage of this situation? As demonstrated in my Sierra 117 Guides, you can shoot a plasma overcharge from this distance, and they won't try to dodge. This leaves them vulnerable to headshots from your BR or Carbine.
2) The "Pop-Shot": Distance isn't the only thing that will cause a lack-of-reaction from Brutes. If you know you're too close to pull off a ranged-shot, you can try the pop-shot method. As demonstrated during the Motor Pool Battle in both Crow's Nest guides, this involves barely peeking out from behind the corner of a solid object (preferable a wall or boulder), shooting a plasma overcharge shot, then immediately ducking back into cover. Again, they won't try to dodge, and their armor will be instantly decimated.
3) Clip-Shooting: This involves corners much like the pop-shot. The difference is that it works both ways. It can be the Brute behind the corner instead of you, as long as the Brute doesn't have a clear line of sight on your position. I best demonstrate this on The Ark 2.0 when confronting the Brutes in the Anti-Air Wraith segment of the mission. What this entails is catching just part of a Brute from behind a corner and shooting a plasma overcharge from a non-homing distance. Again, as long as they can't see you, they won't try to dodge and you will "clip" their armor just enough to destroy it.
4) Pet Jackals: Shielded Jackals have a rather peculiar trait. At times they will charge their Plasma Pistols in an effort to disable your shields. However, if they continuously hold the charge and never actually use it, the charge will dissipate on its own and render the weapon completely useless. This will allow you to melee-tap their shield at any time to regenerate your own shields without fear of retaliation.
5) Chieftain Assassination: The Weapon Chieftains (aka guys with Hammers) have three notable strikes. Their normal hammer swing is what they use most often, and it involves a small jump forward + a swing of the Hammer. It's easy to dodge this attack via a simple side-step. When this occurs, the Chieftain will be vulnerable to an easy assassination. I demonstrate this in Tower One of the Covenant 2.0 guide. The other two attacks, however, should be avoided at all costs. The over-head lunge is very similar to the one used by regular Brutes. No matter where he lands, he will always be facing your direction and it will always be an instant kill no matter what your shield status is currently. The other attack is a 180 swing he does when standing completely still and usually when you aren't directly in front of him. Again, ONLY attempt an assassination when he performs the normal attack! This even works when his Invincibility is activated. War Chieftains (armed with either a Plasma Cannon or Fuel Rod gun) are far trickier to assassinate. The trick is using scenery to close the distance, then using a plasma overcharge to stun them for half a second -- long enough to sneak around behind them to land that assassination. Fortunately, there are only three instances in the entire game where you will be forced to tango with them mano a mano. If cloaking is available, this can also be useful. NOTE: Chieftains can still see you when you're cloaked. War Chieftains will NOT shoot while you are cloaked, but they will still face your general direction. Weapon Chieftains will still charge you even when cloaked.
6) "Special" Berserkers: No, I don't mean special as in wearing a helmet... There are a few notable occasions where Brutes will berserk in unusual and often times harmful ways. The first of these are the Brutes that berserk with their weapons drawn. What causes this is unknown, but here is a general synopsis of what to expect. Their armor will be down, but when they charge, they will be swinging their weapon rather than wearing it. Even though the weapon isn't even facing your direction, it will still continue to shoot directly at you. If you encounter one of these, bringing it down becomes top priority. Their accuracy is devastatingly accurate, and even Brute Shots gain the ability to fire rapidly when its owner is in this state. A headshot will suffice. The second scenario involves Stalkers. There will be rare times where their armor will be brought down, but the game registers differently and still continues to cloak them. This means you'll have an invisible crazed monkey darting around trying to melee you. Again, bringing this guy down becomes top priority. DO NOT take your eyes off of him. Otherwise, it will become easy to lose track. It's best to use Plasma Grenades, Spike Grenades, or Firebombs when trying to bring one down. At the very least, even if you can't land a direct stick, there's a chance that the splash damage will be enough to kill it.
7) Alternate Anti-Brute Tactics: Though the Battle Rifle and Sniper Rifle are near useless against a fully-armored Brute, the Carbine and Beam Rifle both step up to take their place. 2-3 direct Beam shots will be enough to destroy a Brute's armor. I like to use this method in Tower One on The Covenant. Roughly a clip of Carbine ammo will achieve the same results depending on Brute Rank, of course. I tend to use the Carbine against the last Brute Captain in the Crow's Nest hanger. Also, when a Brute's shields are weakened or "sparking", it is possible to bring them down completely with a Battle Rifle or other ballistic weapon.
8) Broken Geometry: One of my biggest pet peeves in the entire game. In fact, you might have noticed that I tried to eliminate the concept of "stockpiling" weapons entirely in the 2.0 Guide, and this is the primary reason behind it. It's not so much that it exists so much as it's extremely hard to predict and almost impossible to control. Ever dropped a weapon and have it either disappear into the ground or wedge itself in such a way that it couldn't be retrieved? Blame the broken geometry. Ever had an explosion or some sort of splash damage kill you through a wall or floor? Blame the broken geometry. Your best bet to counter these situations is to not throw down any weapons that will severely damper your chances of success if you lose them. Also, try to avoid taking cover behind thin walls or glass when being assaulted with grenades, Brute Shots, Fuel Rod Guns, or Wraith mortar. There is, however, a silver lining. There will be occasions where Brutes will just barely pole through solid objects. You can take advantage of this be either sticking them, hitting them with a plasma charge, or even meleeing them as demonstrated in Tower Three of my Covie Kamikaze video.