Halo: Reach Review
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Halo: Reach is the culmination of the superlative combat, sensational multiplayer, and seamless online integration that are the hallmarks of this superb series.
- Every gameplay mode is seamlessly linked together
- Exciting campaign draws on the best elements from past Halo campaigns
- Armor abilities breathe fresh life into the excellent competitive multiplayer
- Fantastic cooperative play
- Extensive customization options and powerful creation tools.
- No party members allowed in the Theater
- Imperfect friendly AI occasionally hinders campaign.
Before the discovery and destruction of an ancient alien ringworld, before a teeming parasitic enemy threatened Earth, before a soldier called John-117 made a new name for himself, humanity fought to defend the planet Reach. And though Halo: Reach is a prequel to all the Halo games that have come before, it represents the evolutionary pinnacle of the series. From the expertly tuned combat to the expansive level design and from the innovative online integration to the robust creation tools, all the pillars of Halo's success are in top form here, tied together seamlessly by an elegant and intuitive menu system. While the core mechanics remain very familiar, invigorating new elements and extensive customization options make it so there are more ways to enjoy yourself than ever. Halo: Reach is one of the most fully featured games on consoles today, and it's also one of the best.
One of the first things you notice about Halo: Reach is the refined menu system. In addition to presenting the main gameplay modes, the main menu displays the status of your friends who are playing Reach and allows you to peruse their service records and invite them to your party with ease. Entering a mode, tweaking options, and starting up a match is an effortless process, and your party members can come with you almost everywhere you go. The interface allows you to easily explore game types, customization tools, and user-created content without getting swamped or overwhelmed. It's remarkable that everything is this easily accessible, because Halo: Reach is absolutely packed with great content.
Halo campaigns have traditionally had epic aspirations, and Halo: Reach is no different. Whether you play solo or cooperatively with up to four players, you play as the newest member of Noble team. Your first mission is to investigate a distress signal in a rural mountainous area, and it's no surprise when the source of the distress turns out to be the Covenant. Small skirmishes and reconnaissance missions soon escalate to all-out war as humanity tries to repel the alien invaders. Anyone familiar with the Halo canon knows how that one ends, but it's thrilling to be a part of Noble team's efforts. You undertake missions of increasingly crucial strategic importance, and this urgency is conveyed without any reliance on previous Halo knowledge. Instead, the characters you interact with help set the tone, and your squadmates have unique personalities that go a long way toward keeping you emotionally invested in the action. There are some cliches and a few cheap moments, but the story successfully channels the forthright heroism of soldiers who are committed to their cause. This earnest appeal makes Halo: Reach's campaign one of the most satisfying in the series.
The campaign also benefits from great pacing and a cohesive sense of place. The slow burn of the early levels explodes into frenetic large-scale conflict, and some good dramatic turns and an engrossing musical score keep the pace from fizzling out as the game builds toward a climactic ending. Your missions take you through a rich array of environments, from rural farming communities to high-country military outposts and from dry, rocky steppes to battered city streets. Throughout these diverse locations, the mountainous geography of Reach remains a constant presence that helps you connect with the land you are fighting to defend. Levels are often expansive, offering stunning views and allowing for some nice gameplay diversity. In addition to a number of classic vehicles that still handle marvelously, there are a few new rides that provide some kicks of their own. There's also a space-faring first for the series, and though this sequence is a bit shallow, it doesn't overstay its welcome and features some gorgeous orbital vistas.
The campaign provides excitement aplenty, and adding some friends to the mix makes it even more enjoyable. Picking your own routes through the battlefield is more exciting when you know your buddies are doing it too, and it leads to some great moments of teamwork, both planned and unexpected. Though the friendly AI is generally harmless, it has trouble when it comes to driving, so you're better off driving yourself or trusting a friend behind the wheel. If you want to spice things up a bit, you can keep score individually or as a team, using skulls (now found in an options screen rather than hidden in levels) to modify battlefield conditions and boost your scoring potential. And if you don't have any friends available to join you, the online campaign matchmaking can easily set you up with squadmates. These options, along with the stellar core action, the excellent level design, and the well-balanced difficulty levels, make this great campaign supremely replayable.
Back after a very successful debut in Halo 3: ODST, the Firefight mode once again offers up to four players an arena to take on increasingly difficult waves of Covenant enemies. This is largely the same addictively entertaining experience, though it now boasts full online matchmaking support. Frantically fighting off hordes of enemies is as exciting and satisfying as ever, and the new maps and gameplay variants offer many different ways to enjoy this mode. You can take on a tougher challenge by choosing to defend generators in addition to killing Covenant or add a bit of levity by fighting hordes of grunts that fling confetti into the air when you shoot them in the head. You can even have some players play as Elites and try to thwart the remaining Spartans. If you want to tweak one of the built-in variants or create something entirely different, the extensive game options let you customize the makeup and toughness of each enemy wave, the weapons and shields available to you, the strength of gravity, and a lot more. It's a lot of fun to mess around with these options and see what you can come up with, and if you're not the tailoring type, you can easily download user-created variants by browsing popular variants or searching for keywords.
@bmart970 It is way better than Halo 3. Halo 3 had a good multiplayer but the story and campaign was a disaster to me. For me it is the worst Halo game. Reach is more detailed and diverse. The story and the campaign was fun and intense. Especially, the final mission is very tragic. You gotta try this game.
Very good game. The storyline makes it amazing. Especially the end I thought that when you died you had to restart but that's not true your supposed to lose. I thought that was a great ending to it. I actually had gotten emotionally attached to the main characters. Also the multiplayer games do get a little repetitive but when you rank up and obtain more armor its hardly noticeable. The game does offer to be the covenant in the profile but customizing your own covenant it doesn't offer
@Voice_of_Wisdom idk wtf you are talking about, the only game i can think that out does this game in graphics is Gears of War. Maybe you need to just plug in the HDMI cable and not the AVI
@Voice_of_Wisdom I really don't know what you mean the graphics of halo reach is still quite decent even in 2012
@Voice_of_Wisdom I can only hope for your sake that you are trolling. The graphics are great.
Absolutely fantastic campaign, unfortunately the online multiplayer didn't match the greatness of Halo 3... still played the MP in reach for over 120 hours before going back to H3 =P
Wow, this game makes Killzone3 look like a comic book!! ROFL If the overpriced internet ready blu ray player tried to run this game "da' powwa' uv' da' cell" would melt down and require a 5 gig M A N D A T O R Y install LMFAO!!!! Xbox 360 is so VASTLY SUPERIOR to the overpriced internet ready blu ray plaer that I almost feel sorry for the SDF members who try to defend it, almost. ROFL "Xbox 360 is the BEST console EVER made." --John Carmack
- Player Reviews: 558
- Game Universe:
- Offline Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Online Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Number of Players:
- Number of Online Players:
16 Players Online