Halo Reach Review

Posted: September 19, 2010 in Gaming
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There is nothing like starting a game when you know how it all ends. Being a big fan of the Halo universe, books included, I was thoroughly looking forward to playing the game. Not only because it was another Halo game but because it is the last one Bungie is doing in the foreseeable future. That and I really wanted to see how they pulled this game off.

Without a doubt the graphics in this game is a wonderful step-up from both Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST, though not in the same way Halo Wars is. The characters seem gritty, which works well with the game’s environment. You can’t have clean and pretty soldiers and make the player believe that they’re in a war zone.

Another wonderful thing is the capability of picking and choosing your armor. In Halo 3 you were able to do this to some extent, Reach has expanded on the idea by including a credit system in the game(NOTE: Credits are earned in nearly every mode in this game, not just matchmaking. I’ve talked to some people who didn’t know this and I just need to put this out there in case some readers didn’t know). Now a player is able to choose, and buy, a plethora of helmets and the possibility of accessories for those helmets, shoulders, chest pieces, knee guards, visor colors, different wrist attachments, and attachments for the legs. Not to mention the ability to buy voices and have them available during Firefight modes. Nothing like seeing a female Spartan-III speaking with SGTMAJ Johnson’s voice!

Another fun purchasable item, albeit expensive, are armor effects! If you love getting headshots on grunts and watching confetti fly, why not give yourself the ability? Or how about a clod of flies and odor surrounding your body or even electricity? And my personal favorite, hearts flying away from your motionless body. While it is nothing more than flavor items, it provides players with some funny moments and may even through them off guard.

Reach’s story played out in the way I had expected. You essentially fight with all that you have only to be taken down with the rest of the planet. The dire feeling of fending off an invasion is obvious from the first moment you see on of the Covenant and soon you have a feeling of dread as you see just how massive the invasion is. While all the games in the Halo series have been serious, this is the one that I think weighs the heaviest; I loved every moment.

The characters are another wonderful aspect. While you only get really close to the others of Noble Team, there are others. Dr. Halsey was a character I was looking forward to finally seeing after reading about in the books and with the cameo of Buck from ODST, things just seemed right. I was a little sad that I didn’t hear or see Johnson or even Admiral Hood, it was understanding from the story stand point.

Now, I’m not sure if it was due to the doom-and-gloom story but the gameplay seemed a little lacking. While many of the missions seem familiar in ways to the other games in the series, things didn’t seem get far. It may have been the fact that I knew that it was all for nothing, in a sense, but the moment I finished the game and watched the ending sequences I sat there with an empty feeling. I wanted to defeat the Covenant, just like Master Chief, but there was no way it was possible.

Even though the game has only been out for nearly a week the multiplayer games are running at full throttle. The matchmaking for campaign mode is slotted to be out in October, which will give more people the chance to get through the higher difficulties if they can’t manage on their own just yet. All the classic game types are there but I found it difficult to find a game of Big Team Slayer, Big Team Battle in this game, without any of the ‘fancy’ games(I wasn’t in the mood to steal anyone’s flag, I just wanted to shoot them). In Halo 3 it was more often then not that you found regular slayer over something like Territories or Assault, while in Reach it’s just the opposite. While it is a personal preference, I would like to see Big Team Battle as a choice every time.

Next up is Firefight. This was my favorite part of Halo 3: ODST and I was happy to hear it was back for this game. In Reach there are 7 different types of Firefight, not to mention the ability to customize your own type of Firefight mode. My only complaint about Firefight is the fact that the only way to make credits in this mode is through the matchmaking. If you make your own Firefight and have your friends try it, they won’t be making squat. If you want to play by yourself, the same thing happens. Not everyone wants to play with others or go through matchmaking and I am hoping that Bungie will update this to give solo players a chance to rack up the credits.

All in all the game is a good one. If you are an avid fan of the games you will like it. If you’re like me and are an avid fan of the games and books, you’ll like but have some complaints….but that’s in a totally different realm and a different discussion. If you love the series, I would recommend getting the game.

Score: 8.5/10

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