Zero Punctuation: Halo: Reach

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RexoftheFord:

No offense, but he gets paid to review Halo Reach, not to dick around on Humans vs. Aliens Tower Defense (A spinoff of Plants vs. Zombies) or Start in a Set Map and Create Your Own Level sort of (A spinoff of Sim City). Which is probably why he didn't add Forge and Firefight into his list of things to review.

But yeah, the game has some competent things going for it, but they're short lived and then you're back to the boring other stuff again.

What I find ironic, is that this same argument can be applied to just about any FPS in the last few years. Yes even Half-Life 2 folks.

SnakeCL:

RexoftheFord:

No offense, but he gets paid to review Halo Reach, not to dick around on Humans vs. Aliens Tower Defense (A spinoff of Plants vs. Zombies) or Start in a Set Map and Create Your Own Level sort of (A spinoff of Sim City). Which is probably why he didn't add Forge and Firefight into his list of things to review.

But yeah, the game has some competent things going for it, but they're short lived and then you're back to the boring other stuff again.

What I find ironic, is that this same argument can be applied to just about any FPS in the last few years. Yes even Half-Life 2 folks.

Yeap, sure could pretty much. Which is why I give up trying and just play what I want to play and complain about what is old and boring. lol

Akalabeth:
Yeah, plasma rifles and FTL drives but their big counter attack is a bunch of dorks in friggin Jeeps. Don't the USMC or whatever have any real fricken armour or combat vehicles? Yeah, scorpion. But where are the APCs? or anything. Hell where are all the vehicles from Halo Wars. Some of the set pieces from Reach were frankly absurd.

There is a lot that doesn't make sense regarding units in Halo: Reach. That's because Microsoft and Bungie let other things become 'canon' - Wars, the books, and Legends are technically considered canon... but so much of what they set up is ignored in Reach.

Yeah, there's one Scorpion tank in the entire game. That's stupid. Especially considering the fact that Reach (the planet) is supposed to be Earth's strongest military asset for R&D, the Spartan training programme, and a huge freaking land army.

The UNSC Marines (what I'm guessing you meant by USMC) don't appear in Reach until the end of the game. That's because, like all good Sci-Fi, the Marines fight in space alone. You're fighting with the UNSC Army who -- if Reach's gameplay is anything to go by -- are utterly useless, receive minimal training with firearms, and apparently un-learn how to drive a vehicle.

TL;DR: Bungie made a good generic shooter. It's nothing special. The story is mediocre and, for humanity's most important military planet, people are pretty stupid -- the game is like the Anthony Carmine of the Halo universe.

Heh. I knew he'd like the end. It looked like it was designed specifically for Yahtzee.

OK, he is right about the lack of seatbelts - that bothered me too. I thought that the campaign was a lot of fun. I did have some of those sword moments and... actually I pretty much agree with Yahtzee completely here. I really liked the game but he makes a lot of good points. Seriously though, whilst the game can stand up on its solo campaign, the multiplayer is such a huge part of the game that it shouldn't really be ignored. Come on Yahtzee, you could have at least played the campaign on coop or tried a bit of Firefight. Now that I think about it, Firefight can be played solo too so you have no excuse for not at least trying it.

Holy shit he actually liked it to some extent.
Nice.

To an extent, the multiplayer is also played solo, in that you don't need friends or even the concept of other human beings existing in the world in order to get into it via the matchmaking system. You choose the type of game you want to play, hit a button, and off you go. Turn off all the voice chat and it's like you're playing against various different kinds of AI players... who are all dicks and hate you.

Anyway, it is a fair review. The point about seatbelts got to me too: one guy literally sits down casually on the edge of the back door, the ship hurtles off faster than a Ferrari, and he doesn't move an inch. I think anyone else would have slid right off and been laughed at in that situation.

One point I should make about the plot. I'm not that kind of fanboy who loves the series to death and hates those who don't, but having read some of the novels (poorly written though they may be), just wanted to point out that Halo: Reach isn't the start of the Human-Covenant war. The awful Halo Wars actually takes place earlier than Reach, and even that isn't the very beginning. Further, the end of Reach, as you probably notice when you finish, is precisely the beginning of the first Halo game.

This is why, as you state in the review, everyone is familiar with the aliens and knows how to use their technology. They've just seen them before.

It's easy to miss and not care about, I know. Bungie sucks at telling the Halo story in the Halo games and continues to rely on others to help them portray the whole story, which, if you focus on single player, really detracts from the experience. If you do know the story from the various sources, you'll notice more of the details, but the game's plot cannot stand on its own.

At any rate, a well-made review. Thank you, sir. :)

Awesome Review as allways

I find the fact that a game must be held up by only it's single player is complete bullshit because it removes a HUGE part of the game, multiplayer was made because campaign can only be played so many times before it becomes boring so ignoring the multiplayer completely is kinda bullshit.

Some games were purposely meant to be played multiplayer (Left 4 Dead) but the single player is there if you don't have an internet connection or friends.

Never been a fan of halo, so listening to you rip it apart made me laugh more than I usually do at your reviews.

Congrats, keep up the good work

"When that energy sword nipple fiend is on the prowl." One of the best lines in a review for quite some time. I'm happy he at least said some things were good, because he could have ripped the game to shreds like he did for most of the review.

Used old engine...he does realise they created a completely new engine for Reach to do what they wanted...right? I thought he would mentioned something about that at least.

Azaraxzealot:

they made a reference to Oni in the campaign (Oni Sword Base was a place you could fight)

Really? You do realise ONI stands for Office of Naval Intelligence...and its been referenced through pretty much every game. (Except the first I think)

Oh and the no seatbelts thing, generally its called a combat drop, fast insertions, like what the current millitary does right now... Although the whole standing of the edges of moving craft is kind of odd, you have to remember, the spartans weigh as much as a small car in those suits.

Mathias Andersen:
blah, shooter1235421

Did your cat get up on the keyboard before you could finish that sentence? The cat also hit post?

Gay-lo Reach-around?
So immature, but surely it will be used at one point this week, I can feel it.

The N-word was not necessary. Funny but not necessary.

I am just glad that Yahtzee also liked the ending. If he didn't, I would definitely think there is something wrong with him cause it sounded like it was right up his alley.

nik3daz:
Repetitive gameplay? Are you kidding? Every headshot, every twitch kill is a completely new and different experience from the last. Like in the degrees you turn. And who you're killing. And stuff.

I smell sarcasm :P

YoungZer0:

EightGaugeHippo:
Let me make that point more clear. The two films may have been different down to every detail. But I went to see it expecting more of the great story telling and epic battles I got from a new hope.

Mass Effect 1&2 both have great story and epic encounters.

The same can be said for Halo 1-Reach

Wait a second, are you actually saying you played Halo for the story? Really? Because i came in expecting a good story, but i haven't found it. It was simpler than the horrible mishmash that Halo 2 was, but it wasn't good.

No I dont play halo for the story, if I did I would be a complete fucking retard (its still better written than half of the bile most studios are churing out atm). I play it because its fun and I enjoy it.

A great example of sequel done better is Half-Life 2. New Weapons, new enemies, same enemies in new and refreshing disguise, new gameplay-elements like the gravity-gun, completely different setting and storyline, new characters, more depth, etc.

Halo is missing all that.

Best game ever! =)

Interesting... I may have misjudged this Game.
And apparently so has Yahtzee ...something which he definitely made-up for through Video.
There is no greater compliment for your artwork than when a Critic is struggling to criticize it even though he actually enjoys it and/or thinks it's pretty good ...which is just tearing him up inside.

I feel your Pain mr. Croshaw ...I really do :(

I am surprised he didn't go after the AI more. other than that it sounds about right. Its half assed but a semi sexy ass so you can forgive it a bit till it shats on you.

Don't want to discuss multiplayer? Fine. Unprofessional to ignore a key component of the game, but fine...
But why not even mention Forge, Firefight, or Theater? Do those suddenly require backup?

Arcanist:

He never said it was original. In fact, it plays just about every 'Last Stand' trope to a t. He said he liked it because it was a nice example of gameplay and story working to together to get a message across.

On Halo: Reach, and Halo in general, I find it a fascinating series because it's so... average. Like, Joe from Idiocracy average. The story, the gameplay, the characters, set pieces, weapons, vehicle sections, innovations... all remarkably unremarkable. Whether that's a bad thing or not I'll leave for my fellow consumers to decide, but I know for a fact that Bungie is better than this. Oni wasn't half bad.

It's tough for me to gauge the original Halo, since I had to wait for it to get ported over and Far Cry stole most of its thunder with vehicles. But at the time of its release, it did enough differently that it would have stood out from the crowd. The vehicles alone would have done that, but the nifty grenade and melee buttons gave the players a couple of non-standard combat options (both had appeared before, but not in a major hit). And the game itself was like the bastard child of Unreal and Half-Life, two games that reviewers and players loved.

The problem I see creeping in with the series is that they didn't take any real chances. Most of what's been done with the series can be described as "tweaks". Add an enemy type or two, add a weapon or two, add a new power-up or two, but make sure that most Halo levels look and play exactly like the fans expect them to. Looking toward the Gears franchise, which I like but don't love, I see them taking a few chances, expanding on what they do, but introducing elements that actually piss some fans off, who would have preferred the conflict stay exactly the way it was in the first game.

Five games in, I think the franchise is pretty close to the edge. I think every game franchise that has gone on long enough has seen massive defections from their core fanbase, with old fans ruefully wishing that someone had just let the franchise die instead of becoming the shambling monstrosity that craps out half-ass games ever couple of years. How long can the same basic gameplay keep a series going after other games have taken the core gameplay and expanded on it in ways the original can not or will not? If the devs introduce a game changing plot element, would hardcore fans accept it? With Bungie out of the picture, will the new devs be treated much more harshly since they had nothing to do with the success of the franchise?

Taisen:

Really? You do realise ONI stands for Office of Naval Intelligence...and its been referenced through pretty much every game. (Except the first I think)

for the second time:
this is STILL more than likely a reference because they COULD HAVE used different initials, but yet they CONSCIOUSLY chose to use a name with that acronym

Great, entertaining review as always Yahtzee. As a Halo fanboy I'm glad you actually managed to eek some enjoyment out of the game... I'm totally with you on the space mission though, that was too much fun to have such a small part in the game.

More love for space games/missions!

I know the open inside of the hornet is pretty dumb, but to be fair real helicopters aren't really that protective anyway. Anything that uses a rotor can't be too heavy or it won't fly, thus they aren't very heavily armored. Besides have you ever seen a Huey? I'm pretty sure the sides of those things are made out of paper mache.

Azaraxzealot:

Taisen:

Really? You do realise ONI stands for Office of Naval Intelligence...and its been referenced through pretty much every game. (Except the first I think)

for the second time:
this is STILL more than likely a reference because they COULD HAVE used different initials, but yet they CONSCIOUSLY chose to use a name with that acronym

Well maybe part way, but they sure didnt sit down and say the Acronym had to be ONI first, then think of the words for it. If we were to become a space faring species, it is the Navy who would be the major military presense in space. So from the start it had to be Naval to make any sense at all.

The other two words could be argued from several points so that really takes them out. The only thing left in my mind is why they would include a reference to a game that has no relation (that I know of) to the Halo universe. The Marathon references make sense, as the story and universe similarities are still being argued about amongst community members to this day.

All in all, I beleive that the acronym was created with no intention to be a shout out to a previous game but instead was a coincidence in our english language.

ProfessorLayton:

reiem531:
Recall that he has said that he really enjoys Team Fortress 2. I'm starting to think he might enjoy Halo a lot more if there were no single player campaign. Basically, if there's a single player mode, he's going to judge it based on that and the multiplayer is just extra. If a game is meant to be ABSOLUTELY nothing but multiplayer, then that's the only thing he can judge it on.

I know, someone else pointed that out so I clarified it. But you can't judge a game on only one aspect is what I was saying. If there's a multiplayer option, at least try it out. A game that focuses on multiplayer but has a single player like Borderlands isn't being fairly judged when the main selling point isn't even properly tried out.

It wouldn't be the most well-rounded review, but a game that sells itself as a single player game (and almost all of them do), it should stand up as a single player game.

In recent years, with metacritic and Tomato scores becoming all important, I've noticed how fans of a particular property have gotten much more hostile toward reviewers who don't like the stuff they like. But a reviewers job is not to tell you what you already think about something, but to explain what he thinks about something and why. If a movie reviewer goes into a horror movie, has a good time despite him not liking horror movies, then his review needs to say that. Because somewhere there might be a potential movie goer who doesn't usually like horror movies, find said movie intriguing, and decides to check it out because a like-minded reviewer gave it a thumbs up.

My big problem with video game reviews (and I actually did two or three video game reviews for the GameSpy network back in the dark ages of the Wages Of Sin add-on pack) is that far too often the ones doing the reviews are major fans of a given big-name franchise. A really great multi-player experience can cause them to completely gloss over major defects in the single player campaign... the latter being the only thing I care about. I wish more of them would do what one critic of Halo: Reach did, give two different scores: one for single player and one for multi-player. Because the two play modes are very different and need to be treated differently. In such a case, you could hand the single player off to someone who judges it *solely* on its single player merits, then hand the multiplayer off to another experienced on-line warrior and have him judge it *solely* on its multiplayer merits.

I was very unimpressed with Halo Reach, especially compared to Halo 3. It's basically the same game. But I would have loved to hear Yahtzee's thoughts on the multiplayer. Not only because it's the only good part of the game (I hate the story of halo.), but because I would have loved to see his reactions to the players. A spiritual successor of mailbag showdown, perhaps. Please make a new video like that!

Taisen:
Well maybe part way, but they sure didnt sit down and say the Acronym had to be ONI first, then think of the words for it. If we were to become a space faring species, it is the Navy who would be the major military presense in space. So from the start it had to be Naval to make any sense at all.

The other two words could be argued from several points so that really takes them out. The only thing left in my mind is why they would include a reference to a game that has no relation (that I know of) to the Halo universe. The Marathon references make sense, as the story and universe similarities are still being argued about amongst community members to this day.

All in all, I beleive that the acronym was created with no intention to be a shout out to a previous game but instead was a coincidence in our english language.

No they definitely made it reference ONI. They probably didn't start out saying 'We're going to reference ONI!' but they definitely eventually chose Office of Naval Intelligence because of ONI.

They didn't go 'Oh would you look at that, the initials are the same as one of our older games! Oh what a complete coincidence we hadn't realised before now'.

There's a reason he probably ignores the multiplayer. Maybe it's the millions of homophobic, racist kids who take the game way to seriously and yell total bullshit whenever they get the chance. It's a good game component but a game needs to be able to have a story otherwise it gets bland.

Besides, some of the best games don't have multiplayer. Take Bioshock: it had an intriguing plot with interesting characters, good combat, and an amazing twist that would make M Knight Shyamalan shit himself. It did this all without multiplayer and when they brought multiplayer to the second one it didnt really add anything, it was just a way for the game to stretch out as long as it could.

GamesB2:

Taisen:
Well maybe part way, but they sure didnt sit down and say the Acronym had to be ONI first, then think of the words for it. If we were to become a space faring species, it is the Navy who would be the major military presense in space. So from the start it had to be Naval to make any sense at all.

The other two words could be argued from several points so that really takes them out. The only thing left in my mind is why they would include a reference to a game that has no relation (that I know of) to the Halo universe. The Marathon references make sense, as the story and universe similarities are still being argued about amongst community members to this day.

All in all, I beleive that the acronym was created with no intention to be a shout out to a previous game but instead was a coincidence in our english language.

No they definitely made it reference ONI. They probably didn't start out saying 'We're going to reference ONI!' but they definitely eventually chose Office of Naval Intelligence because of ONI.

They didn't go 'Oh would you look at that, the initials are the same as one of our older games! Oh what a complete coincidence we hadn't realised before now'.

That is probably a more realistic point of view that I would accept. Still, if instead of ONI they had another 3 letter game and they had a list of Titles/acronyms, one being the ONI we know, and the other being the acronym of the new game, I beleive they would take into consideration the legitimacy of the Title.

Obviously Office of Naval Intelligence fits nicely and sounds legit. Something on the other hand that might fit the other acronym but sound ridiculous wouldn't be used just because it ties in with the name of the earlier game. There was just some luck that the title worked well and fit the acronym. Otherwise i'm sure they would have fit it in there somewhere else, the Halo Universe is massive anyway.

ReaperzXIII:
I find the fact that a game must be held up by only it's single player is complete bullshit because it removes a HUGE part of the game, multiplayer was made because campaign can only be played so many times before it becomes boring so ignoring the multiplayer completely is kinda bullshit.

Some games were purposely meant to be played multiplayer (Left 4 Dead) but the single player is there if you don't have an internet connection or friends.

Yes, yes it is. Even Yahtzee recognized that he couldn't review the game fairly without taking its multiplayer into account, as demonstrated by his overly-emphatic denial (Has anyone heard of a thing called subtext?) Not judging games by their Multiplayer Component is one of the Rules (Set in Concrete, and defined in Precedent) of his reviews, and he was forcing himself to keep it through that part of the review. Also, playing online (due to GIFT) kills the multiplayer's contribution to the game deader-than-dead.

Remember, he had to SHUT HIMSELF UP before reviewing the Multiplayer feature, which probably means it defied his expectations enough to be worth mentioning.

Ever since his Psychonauts review, he only focuses on the negative aspects of a game, unless it's a Counterpoint review for a week he has nothing to do (Such as his Retrospective:Price of Persia Sands of Time Trilogy). He doesn't mention the good unless it's a counterpoint to the bad.

Aside from his lack of objectivism in his review(He only focuses on the negative) and his use of hyperbole for making a point, he's a pretty unbiased reviewer when it comes to games within the Genres he plays. While he mocked the fandom mercilessly, I think he made it clear that what would annoy the fandom wouldn't be him trashing the game in front of their eyes, but the fact it's the last game from and Endorsed by Bungie. He only reviewed the game on its own gameplay, and in light of the elements the prequels had. He didn't review it based on Hatedom Impression.

I do disagree with his argument on "Same Guns" since I've seen that more as a matter of maintaining continuity than unoriginality (Unreal tried rebooting its Continuity in Unreal 2, but that game's never been acknowledged since) and each game has completely overhauled the weapons themselves.

What I got out of this review was, he liked it a lot more than he's letting on. But, it wasn't so special and/or revolutionary to him as games like Sands of Time, Half-Life 2, Thief 2, Shadow of the Colossus, or Silent Hill 2 for him to consider it a "Classic".

I'm also glad Bungie's done with Halo. 343 Studios can continue to keep the franchise alive while while the games stagnate, but polite folk can feel free to disregard those games and stick with the original Bungie games. Bungie, in the meantime, can go back to creating new, fun, and innovative games, no longer burdened by maintaining the Halo Franchise.

Very fun video indeed. I was actually amazed he got some form of enjoyment out of it.
Havent played Reach yet, but sure will...sometimes.

But, as far as I knew, wasn´t Reach not the "start" of the covenant war, but rather where things got so fucked for the humans they finally knew they where, indeed, in danger?
Especially the threat of the covenant finding earth, which is tried to great effort to be prevented, which they find anyway<.<

EightGaugeHippo:
*Snip*

I should point out that you forgot one of the biggest changes in the gameplay, dual wielding.

RexoftheFord:

No offense, but he gets paid to review Halo Reach, not to dick around on Humans vs. Aliens Tower Defense (A spinoff of Plants vs. Zombies) or Start in a Set Map and Create Your Own Level sort of (A spinoff of Sim City). Which is probably why he didn't add Forge and Firefight into his list of things to review.

But yeah, the game has some competent things going for it, but they're short lived and then you're back to the boring other stuff again.

What... I... Are you... Are you insane? Because you're either insane, horribly misinformed or trolling. I suspect you're trolling simply because you couldn't possibly be this wrong by accident. Firstly, Firefight is about as far removed as you could possibly get from Plants vs. Zombies. Really. The same goes for Forge; how is a level editor in a first person shooter like Sim City?

Secondly, when you get paid to review a game, reviewing parts of the game is often a fundamental part of that process. Hence why you're supposed to play each of the game modes. And since when has the Escapist been picky about how Yahtzee reviews a game anyway?

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