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From the beginning, you know the end

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The Battle Begins 01


It's been over a year since Bungie released Halo: Reach. This game is their swan song and is supposedly the best Halo of all.

In some ways, it really is the best Halo. Halo: Reach stays true to the Halo formula while including tweaks (such as Armor Abilities). The campaign is compelling and the multiplayer is a blast. Forge 2.0 is absolutely amazing and Firefight is significantly improved. Theater hasn't changed much but is still extremely useful and enjoyable.

However, no game is perfect, and Reach has plenty of flaws. Let's start, shall we? :)

Campaign

Noble Plan

Halo: Reach's campaign is arguably the most compelling and tragic. Planet Reach is invaded by the Covenant, and Noble Team must defend it.

Carter. Noble One. He tells you to "... leave that lone wolf stuff behind" and yet, he makes you do everything.

Catherine. Noble Two. She drives you off a cliff. Proof.

Jun. Noble Three. Allow me to quote him: "OMG I AM GOING TO SNIPE NOBLE SIX WHILE HE'S ASSASSINATING AND BLOW HIS COVER" Proof.

Emile. Noble Four. He uses a strange military tactic in hopes of killing enemies at long range. It's called "Shotgun Sniping". It fails.

Jorge. Noble Five. He's your only useful teammate.

Noble Six. Replacement of Thom-293. He/she is you. And the fate of Reach lies on your shoulders. You are the best SPARTAN in Noble Team and does everything while being treated like a Private.

This team of SPARTAN-IIIs (and a SPARTAN-II) eventually die without forming any strong attachments to the player. They aren't beloved characters such as Sergeant Johnson and Cortana. Jorge had potential, however, but Bungie killed him off. I mean, come on! Carter was basically the exact same after Kat died. No surprise there though. I didn't feel any different too after witnessing her death.

The next problem is canon. Bungie completely ignored the novels and created a new ending. I'm sure we all go with canon that's better and apparently, book canon > game canon. And aren't the Covenant supposed to be the ones who's attacking us, and not us? The whole game I felt like I was hunting down the Covenant instead of them hunting me.

Finally, get a pencil. Sharpen it and try to balance it on its tip on a flat surface. Unless you're the second coming of Jesus Christ, it falls on it's side. You knew the pencil was going to fall. That's Halo: Reach's campaign. You knew Reach was going to fall and that all members of Noble Team will either die or go MIA. Basically, we knew what was going to happen before completing the campaign. Now stand several feet away from a target. Throw your pencil and try to hit the target with it. Now pick up the pencil and locate another target. Throw the pencil at it. Good... now turn off the lights (or turn on) by flipping a switch on a nearby wall.

Repeat and that's what you do for a few hours in the campaign. The only pros I can give you are the level design and how related Reach is to Combat Evolved. Oh, and Moas and Forklifts are great additions.

Despite all my rants, I gave Reach a fairly good rating due to marvelous level design, stunning visuals, an outstanding soundtrack (keep up the good work, Martin O'Donnell) and the old Combat Evolved feel of being badass, which amplifies the fun and experience.

Campaign: 7.0 out of 10 (Good)

Multiplayer

Paintrain

Halo's campaign is indeed amazing, but what's really kept the franchise on top is the multiplayer. The balanced gameplay along with several gametypes and potential for fun is unmatched.

Some maps are rip-offs from the campaign but Forge World easily counters that. The inclusion of Invasion, Headhunter, and Elite Slayer adds even more fun and reply value. Armor Abilities are slightly unbalanced but is great for casuals. Loud, amplified explosions and sounds along with different weapon animations mixed with "rusty" visuals and CE gameplay makes every kill a satisfying one. Loadouts and assassinations boost the epicness!

The cons are swordblock, overpowered Armor Lock, underpowered Hologram, bloom (which should be replaced with recoil), powered up frag grenades, and nerfed weapons (besides the DMR). Eliminate these problems with a Title Update, add better maps (not from Forge World), power up automatic weapons, and you got a multiplayer that's better than Halo 3.

Multiplayer: 9.0 out of 10 (Excellent)

Firefight

Overlook Generator Defense

Firefight 2.0 has so much customization! I don't think I have to explain how great this lobby is in Reach. Generator Defense and Gruntpocalypse are excellent additions. Red, Blue, and Yellow skulls allows further customization, and I'm glad Firefight doesn't include the Yanme'e.

A few downsides are how fast how Phantoms come after each wave, overpowered Heretics, and Drop Pods (A SPARTAN-III versus several Sangheili Ultras charging with guns blazing on Legendary? WTF). Also, the inability to play as a Sangheili against the Covenant bugged me.

Firefight: 9 (Excellent)

Forge

Forging is easier and more fun than ever with all the major upgrades and Forge World is an incredibly huge, beautiful map. Need I say more?

Just remember: A slight modification to a map can significantly change gameplay.

Forge: 9.5 out of 10 (Excellent)

Forge world

Theater

In Halo: Reach, you can save thousands of films and screenshots to your library (at least, that's what I heard). You can also go back through checkpoints and take film clips in the campaign, which is what I always wanted in Halo 3.

It's still that lobby that allows you to travel back in time and become invincible (and invisible) while being able to fly and control time! :D

Theater: 10 (Perfect)

Conclusion

Overall, I give Halo: Reach a 9.0 out of 10. However, I didn't just add up the previous scores and divided by five. Of course, I regarded the player customization and the Custom Games lobby.

Please keep your comments civil. You stay frosty, Halo Nation!
kMCFSn9.png Kirigaya "Kirito" KazutoTalkContribs  

Last updated on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 at 9:40 PM PST

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