Halo Reach Retrospective Review

Hi, recently had some time on my hands and a lack of enthusiasm for the new games out so finally went back and completed the game on Legendary, like I should of the first time round, Got a little sucked in again. I'm a Motorcycle Motorsport Engineer who on the side writes a few technical stand point pieces on the sport, it was a slow afternoon, I've just got Halo 4 so wrote down my thoughts before they are lost by playing over them with Halo 4, plus its always useful writing pieces your not used to. Let me know what you think. One note, defiantly not a Halo Fan Boy, so more than willing to listen to criticism, also I'm not to hot on grammar and spelling and usually spend an hour meticulously checking anything I write, so apologies.

Campaign: Excluding the seemingly endless free for all of Spartans willing to die for their cause in seemingly (although unlikely) avoidable circumstances, too many of which went down far, far too easy. Halo Reach added some heart for me to the story, while many seem to feel for master chief I myself have always seen him as an unstoppable killing machine granted invincibility by the money train he rides to the bank for Microsoft, although there have been efforts to humanize him in outside game content. The game didn't do this purely through strength of writing for me, because in all honesty it's not the strongest in the world it did it with 3 simple mechanisms, Spartan Customization, Legendary difficulty and knowing my Halo background the knowledge of Reach's inevitable fall and by and large death of the Spartans.

The customization made Noble Six me, he was my Spartan and although relatively restrictive at first, once you get into the higher ranks, you've possibly seen 50 incarnations of your Spartan developing, becoming your Avatar. Which is probably the greatest shame, that many will only have one play through using their relatively stock Spartan, robbing them of the emotional gravitas meant by seeing YOUR lid in the dust, abandoned perhaps even forgotten.

Legendary difficulty alone made the game feel much much longer, I literally felt like I had experienced a war (albeit a very brightly coloured one where nobody really died and I had booze on demand) after a while it gets to you seeing your Spartan flung across a room time and time again as a grunt takes pot shots at your corpse. Although at times not enjoyable it did help to emphasize the story line that is at times so coldly and frigidly translated to the player. The incredible triumphs of the Spartans against impossible odds, yet still frustratingly unable to stop the seemingly unstoppable alien force despite the sacrifice of the Spartans or the horrendous casualties of the planets occupants.

The final piece, knowing the entire time that you will lose this battle, if you managed to form any attachment to the ai, knowing that each of their deaths were not just more than likely but demanded by the story line, knowing that unless your kick ass noble 6 has been laying low the entire rest of the war waiting for some tax evasion charges to "blow over", that your avatar themselves were not going to make it through Reach.

The opportunity is there for this emotional connection to be made and it is unfortunate that the fast food culture of much of the fan base will mean many will "wham bam thank you ma'am" take their achievements and move on, but as stated how the story is portrayed does it no favours and is ultimately why I can't give the game 10/10.

Game Play: As ever very well balanced simple controls which the series helped sculpt as the go to layout for FPS (except for having to hold a button to kneel but this can be rectified) making it more than easy to pick up and play. Large assortment of weapons to suit all styles of play although a few very clearly over powered in the right hands and situation (myself with a sniper rifle in any open environment has no doubt cause frustration in a few online). Large amount of varied enemy's with their own play style, although especially on lower difficulty's their IQ reminds me of Brick in Anchorman. Maps online are generally undeniably balanced if nothing else, the rest is personal preference.

Online: Although generally filled with the most frustrating **** wits with 0 respect that they are communicating with other human beings on the other end of the line and everybody else on a solid 0 communication unable to team work in an effort to avoid the other half of the spectrum. Online is still the pinnacle of the Bungie Era Halo experience and at the time of release the undeniable king of get your mates round and have a pick up and play laugh session online, while still offering a more hard-core experience for those with some hours under their belt.
There are numerous game modes varying from those that may almost be pointless, to my personal favorite the nail biting SWAT where a second can cost your whole team the round. Firefight is repetitive in the long run but again always good for a pick up and play session in (WHY DON'T MORE GAMES HAVE IT) 4 player split screen or 4 player Co-op online.

Overview: Halo has to be acknowledged in the genre it is intending to be, not criticized for failing to be a more hard-core FPS like Battlefield or the extensive role playing of Skyrim or the story of The Walking Dead. It is a Sci Fi Arcade Shooter, it nails that bracket to the wall, the day they try and market it as a harrowing tale of one mans fight to make it through an endless war in an uncaring universe and coming to grips that when he returns home he may not be the man he was and then produce this is the day sub 70% scores are justified.

9/10 - Work on portraying the story, if time nudity never hurts.

I loved the campaign in Reach but I felt the multiplayer was lacking compared to Halo 3. The maps in particular were mostly all terrible at launch. And having most of them done in forge just felt lazy on Bungie's part.

ShinyCharizard:
I loved the campaign in Reach but I felt the multiplayer was lacking compared to Halo 3. The maps in particular were mostly all terrible at launch. And having most of them done in forge just felt lazy on Bungie's part.

Been so long since I played 3 tbh its hard to compare. Just finished playing Halo 4's campaign and its really re-enforced how quite good reach's campaign was. From what I can remember of 3's multiplayer though, I would say I feel reach was a refinement, but I'm with you on the maps, but not all the way I think there were few really strong ones, but yer too many were constructs in forge.

Jedi-Hunter4:

ShinyCharizard:
I loved the campaign in Reach but I felt the multiplayer was lacking compared to Halo 3. The maps in particular were mostly all terrible at launch. And having most of them done in forge just felt lazy on Bungie's part.

Been so long since I played 3 tbh its hard to compare. Just finished playing Halo 4's campaign and its really re-enforced how quite good reach's campaign was. From what I can remember of 3's multiplayer though, I would say I feel reach was a refinement, but I'm with you on the maps, but not all the way I think there were few really strong ones, but yer too many were constructs in forge.

Agreed on the campaign. It had an emotional impact to it that Halo 4 simply did not. And that last stand ending was just a genius move.

Reach was spectacular as a halo game! Personally my tied favourite halo game next to Halo 3. Halo 3 was an amazing ending to an amazing trilogy. Everything a 3rd game in a trilogy SHOULD be. Then you have Reach as the prequel to the series that has such a personal feel to it by adding YOU as the main character! What a brilliant move! Everybody already know the ending to Reach from the stories, but how they worked it out with their own story in the video game by making the player feel immersed in a team of spartan 3s trying to save the planet was genius on Bungie's part. What better way to immerse yourself in a franchise like that then making the player a part of the lore! Each character getting killed off added to how hopeless the cause seemed, then to have you pass on the torch that lead to CE and take your final stand. That emotional impact The multiplayer was not as much fun as Halo 3 come to think of it, but it still had the halo feel to it and made it something that worked, and worked very well regardless of the obvious problems that occur with most online games, but great job nonetheless. Bravo Bungie! 10/10

Ranger 17:
Bravo Bungie! 10/10

Think we can all agree something unique has left the series with the full bungie staff's departure.

 

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