We're constantly plagued at this point by a red Elite Zealot who takes cowardly (but deadly) pot shots from afar before legging it deeper into the facility. Taking him out before he escapes, which proved easy thanks to our lethal T52 Scoped Plasma Launcher - rewards us with an Achievement. There's no time to gloat though as there's another AA gun to destroy.
Revving around in a Ghost, our killing spree is rudely interrupted when an Elite jumps on the craft, rips us from the cockpit and throws us to the ground! Happily, an Evac Falcon arrives to ship us out (the first traditional on-rails segment in a Halo game), as we man a MG460AGL Auto Grenade Launcher and massacre swathes of Covenant ground forces.
Aside from a disappointingly low level of environmental destruction, Bungie's first foray into this area stands up well. It's yet further compelling evidence of their total mastery when it comes to FPS pacing.
After a veritable EMP hailstorm, we once again crash-land - right next to the looming Covenant Spire that Noble Team have been tasked with demolishing. Alongside hulking Jorge and his mind-blowingly powerful AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun, we ride to the top of the structure in a Man Canon, swipe ourselves a T1 Energy Sword and go melee mental before powering down the Spire's shields.
The UNSC Grafton cruiser turns up and blasts the Spire to smithereens, before itself is totalled by a Plasma Torpedo emanating from Covenant Super-carrier that suddenly emerges from hyperspace. How the heck can we fight that thing? Resourceful Kat has the answer: Noble Team has to find a way to the stars. Phew.
Visit CVG tomorrow for our final hands-on with another all-new mission, Long Night Of Solace
Check out the latest issue of GamesMaster for more. The mag is in stores now. Subscribe and get it posted to your door here.