BCM296 - Wandering Banshees, extended play

(7:34) Level 2 ('Halo') on Heroic. My initial movie on wandering Banshees gave a taste of things - see BCM293 - but now here's a longer play which illustrates further aspects, including my recent discovery that nearby surface hits with a sniper rifle can attract a Banshee. It's edited down from my actual play which went on longer, but hopefully it'll give you a good sense of what things can be like, watching and searching - especially with a Banshee down low, hard to spot. It's a pretty unique activity.

Released July 3rd 2018, gameplay recorded July 1st 2018.


00:02 (Getting two wanderers) At the start I drive down the hump and use the tree for cover as the Banshees come over. This can work nicely as long as they're coming from the same direction. Just as they're sinking out of sight, I board the hog and drive to the cliff edge, close enough to see them initiating some circling but not close enough to be spotted (I'm exploiting the third-person perspective). At least, I don't think I'm spotted, because in that case they seem to instantly head for the valley. Here, it's as if they merely got suspicious, and they come over to the cliff, but below the top. I'd seen this effect many times and was trying to get it. I'm not sure what's going on, but could it be that they were alerted by the sound of the hog? They didn't go straight for the hog though.

Anyway, There's a lot of crashing heard but eventually they fly off and I see that they're both wandering. Just what I wanted. This attraction method saved me having to try and break up the circling with grenades (which would've given much lower Banshees, most likely).

01:07 (Early tracking) I track the Banshees for a while and soon take the hog to the left end of the survivor area. I use the safe and easy back route rather than the precarious cliff-edge route, partly because I don't want to risk being spotted. From the far end I see the Banshees out near the invisible wall, but they come away from it and are continuing left.

02:14 (To the bottom of the valley) Time to make a move! I head for the bottom of the valley, anticipating that at least one of the Banshees might be sighted from there. And sure enough, one soon comes into view. Actually it took me a little by surprise because I was expecting it to be furher away. It's still high and it immediately heads for the valley. That was pretty quick; sometimes it takes them a good while to sense 'home'. I destroy it with pistol fire and a tag, but the other Banshee is nowhere to be seen. I looked for another several seconds beyond what the movie shows, but I've edited for brevity.

03:10 (Back to the survivor area) I drive back to the cliffside survivor area, getting shot at by the Jackal guard on the way (did you notice him earlier?). I soon pick up the Banshee, easily spotted against light background. It's heading left, but very low now.

04:18 (To the bottom of the valley again) Back to the waterfall again then, and I splatter the Jackal on the way. See, I told him I'd catch him later. I also have some fun shunting wreckage. At the waterfall I eventually sight the Banshee and try shooting the nearby surface to make it turn, but it doesn't work. I assume the pilot didn't see the hits. My two plasma throws do nothing either, and the Banshee goes out of sight to the right. What a washout.

05:28 (Back to the survivor area again) Back at the survivor area I top up with plasmas. The save has twelve lying around, but this cluster of four is particularly handy. At the cliff edge I go down into a scary nook and get lucky, quickly spotting the Banshee. When I snipe the nearby ground it alters course, apparently attracted by the hit. I do the same a little later. After shifting position I initially can't find the Banshee, but finally I notice a faint movement and zero in. But it's rapidly heading out of sight.

06:40 (To the bottom of the valley, yet again) Full speed ahead, into the valley once more! At the waterfall I initially can't see my quarry. The movie cuts almost 20 seconds of searching, but eventually I notice a red dot on my tracker. Definitely down there somewhere! When I see it, I turn it with another sniper shot and it goes out of sight again. This could go on a while. And it did!

Closing remarks This was quite a tough editing job, given the length of the actual play. The action here spanned almost exactly 11 minutes but I played beyond that for another 7.5, which included quite a bit of searching and a return to the survivor area. I never saw the Banshee from the waterfall area again; it slipped away unseen. But the extra play didn't really feature anything notable worth extending the movie for, so I ended it at the waterfall, which also helped me keep the movie a reasonable length. Long enough to give you a good feel of typical gameplay, but hopefully not so long that it got boring. The best I could do for an ending was make a joke.

It also took a lot of playing to get a sufficiently pleasing play in the first place! There were various elements I wanted it to have. In particular I wanted one Banshee to end up returning at the bottom of the valley, getting destroyed via tagging, and I wanted the other to end up way down low, becoming a challenge to spot. Also I wanted to feature use of the tree at the start, early sighting that drew the Banshees to the cliff, and some examples of surface hits diverting a Banshee. Oh, and ideally I also wanted the Jackal to get splattered at some point, for comedy. Target achieved!

I was using a modification of the save seen created in BCM293. I'd obtained a later checkpoint by leaving the trigger zone after a while and re-entering. With this modification there's much less time to wait before the Pelican comes over. Incidentally, it wasn't the same modification as used in BCM294, but it was pretty similar.