First came the following telling Tweet from Bungie itself: "Firefight two point oh snap! http://twitpic.com/1x4reb". The image shows (presumably) Bungie demonstrating the return of the multiplayer mode in Halo: Reach..
And then came the following, even more telling Tweet from Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann, who sat in on Bungie's Halo: Reach presentation earlier today: "Bungie just confirmed firefight mode for Reach. With matchmaking!"
This is great news for fans of Halo 3: ODST's Horde clone. While it was popular with Halo players, many decried the lack of a convenient matchmaking system. Currently, Firefight in Halo 3: ODST requires that the player must send out game invites to friends that just so happen to be online at the same time.
UPDATE - 4.42pm: The team from Joystiq has just revealed that Halo: Reach's Firefight mode will be "new and improved", in keeping with the new armour abilities and the changes they present to gameplay.
First of all, there will be a "Medic" Spartan class in Firefight with a 'Dropshield' ability, which Joystiq claims is "a precursor to Halo 3's Bubble Shield".
Reach's Firefight will also reportedly allow players to create custome Firefight modes, dictating the enemy types, loadouts, Covenant health and aggression among other aspects.
Joystiq also reports that the Generator Defense playlist in the recent Halo: Reach beta was, in fact, a test for Firefight.