Well… here we are. Possibly THE most anticipated game of 2010. And boy, it was worth the wait. Halo: Reach has everything we had anticipated of it and more. Honestly, I don’t know where to begin, but… here we go anyway! Although when I first got the game, I thought of it as four different packages in one $60 bundle. I’ll review it in terms of each individual game mode and give each its individual rating:
In the Reach campaign, you play as Noble Six in Noble Team, a team of six Spartans that travel to investigate a minor problem on the planet Reach, but instead uncover a Covenant threat that begins to overwhelm the planet. The campaign is very detailed and includes a total of nine missions, excluding one for being a video and one being a very epic (but short) ending mission . I loved the story and its presentation although some of the voice acting could have been louder. I wanted to put on subtitles but the subtitles were an annoying yellow against the awesome cut-scene, so I left it alone. I’ve never especially favored Halo’s campaigns, but this one is actually pretty good. The variety of missions and locations is favored by me. And besides, they’ve made the Legendary difficulty even harder . If you are a hardcore fan of Halo, prepare to spend countless hours hating your life for attempting to get the “A Monument to All Your Sins” achievement, unlocked by beating every campaign mission on Legendary... alone. All around, the story is very good but secretly I would have preferred an end to what happened to Master Chief (at least from Bungie).
Honestly, I loved the concept of Firefight when it was to be released in Halo: ODST. I also thought it was a ripoff of Gears of War’s Horde mode, but I desired it all the same. When it finally came out, I played it quite a bit but gave it the cold shoulder after a while, disliking its lack of variety of game types and matchmaking compatibility. Thankfully, Reach has solved these problems by including Firefight in its matchmaking list and making a couple of extra interesting game modes. Some include Score Attack (fight by yourself against increasingly difficult opponents to achieve the highest score), Rocketfight (rocket launchers galore!), Sniperfight (many headshots), and Gruntpocalypse (my all-time favorite). Maps have been given extra attention too, taking various settings from the campaign. My favorite of these would be Glacier. And honestly I was surprised that Bungie put this much work into the whole Firefight system; at first I had shunned it but now I embrace it
Here is a video of the final product:
Here is another area where Bungie has answered our pleas from Halo 3. The forge mode was a great aspiration in Halo 3 and the whole idea seemed very cool; to be able to make your own levels out of blocks or change already existing levels. But much could have been changed and using Forge eventually became a thing most utilized by the most talented. However, with Reach’s new Forge mode, everything changed. Objects could now be placed and kept still in midair or phased through other objects or terrain (possibly the most anticipated addition). Forge World was created in the image that it might be used for Forge projects, although the map is a feat itself. The entire Forge World is the largest map Bungie has ever made, including many, many places for map creation. The Halo community has yet to flourish and produce many innovative maps, but for now things are quiet. This Forge mode was a welcome expansion to the Halo universe by me and many other fans.
If you have not seen Forge World yet, watch this video :
Halo used to be the premiere game in which people battled each other over the Internet to see who was the biggest nerd. Things haven’t changed as many have instead picked up their Xbox controllers and have gone head-to-head in Reach’s new multi-player maps. Honestly I would have preferred more maps, but who am I to complain? The maps included look fantastic, as does Reach as a whole. But I would have preferred more effort in this area. Of course, the new armor abilities are welcome and the two new game modes are alright. Stockpile and Headhunter have become blended in what is to be called Reach’s multi-player experience. I have not noticed anything particularly special about them and if anything they would be the two game modes which annoy me the most. Stockpile can get quiet annoying when playing with the wrong people and I have personally never liked Headhunter. Besides those, the multi-player is great, even though the spawn system could use some editing. Often times I spawn behind a teammate under enemy fire, which I soon become engulfed in. Either way, this game has a great multi-player experience and the famed “4-player-1-console” shtick remains; I cannot find a game as great as Halo that enjoys as many people on one console.
To tell you what I have just told you in a short phrase: Halo Reach is great. If you are a fan of the franchise, you wouldn’t even be reading this; you’d be on your fifth killing spree of the day and have only one daily challenge to go . Seriously, if you have played a Halo game before this one, you would be delighted even further to play the newest edition of the series. And this being the last Halo game Bungie will make, it deserves some extra-special recognition. Farewell, Bungie. We will miss you. And your Halo: Reach gets my perfect 5/5.