Halo: Reach Review

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Halo: Reach, developed by Bungie Studios is the final chapter to the Halo franchise.  It truly is an epic conclusion to the ten year old series.  Just out of the box, Halo: Reach comes with way more game play than any other Halo game to date.  The pieces that bring Reach together and make it an exceptional piece of work are the campaign, firefight, multiplayer and the ability to create your own content.

Were going to start by taking a quick look at the campaign Reach has brought us.  Hands down, Bungie has outdone themselves by creating the best campaign compared to their other Halo games out there.  Reach pays tribute to the previous Halo games in certain scenarios, but it also brings brand new mechanics to the table, including space combat.

*The new space combat mechanic in one of the campaign missions

Although, Reach’s story is already pretty well known (it starts its story just before Halo: Combat Evolved, the original title in the series.) the number of surprises is huge.  The campaign is basically a planet wide war.  You can see a lot of space combat in the background of most missions.  You fight in cities with civilians just wandering around trying to save themselves or sometimes even in the depths of the forests found on planet Reach.  The characters also bring some emotional feelings to the table.  Jorge, one of the Spartans of the Noble Team, explains the conflict on his home planet.  The vehicle sections of the campaign are beautifully done, keeping the campaign exciting and adding flavor to the game.

Firefight has returned!  Although, I personally have never been a huge fan of the Firefight missions, it is important to note that it has been vastly improved from its debut in Halo: ODST.  Now you are able to start a firefight from Bungie’s matchmaking system and it becomes a much shorter game.  If you did, however, enjoy the length of the original firefight, classic mode is available just for you.

The strongest aspect of Reach, or any Halo game for that matter, is multiplayer.  There is a reason the Halo series has gotten as large and popular as it has, it gives you the most for your money than any other game. The original model of the Halo multiplayer is still there but there are just enough tweaks here to make it feel brand new.  The Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) is the new Battle Rifle and the pistol has gone back to its Halo: CE roots (with zooming in capability).  Dual wielding weapons is now non-existent and several Halo 3 weapons have been removed.  New weapons will be used to fill the gaps and each one is used for a particular scenario.  Bungie has also found a way to keep us coming back by adding challenges into the game.  This includes four new daily challenges a day and one weekly challenge.  Completing any challenge will give a boost to your experience, making you gain new ranks more quickly.  Challenges can vary from kill 50 enemies in multiplayer matchmaking today to beat a certain mission on legendary without dying once.

*A part of your team in the campaign.

The biggest change in the multiplayer is the ability to choose a particular “load out” throughout the match.  They add an extra skill to your character, such as sprinting, temporary invincibility and even a jetpack.  They are all pretty much self explanatory and the jetpack gives players a new way to fight.  With quick escapes, or aerial surprises, the jetpack is quite popular, despite the fact that it makes you an extremely easy floating target if used incorrectly.

The newest addition to Reach’s multiplayer arsenal is Invasion.  Basically, you start in two teams, one made up of Spartans, the other made up of Elites.  You take turns defending a base while the other team tries to assault different areas of that base.  If they succeed, a new area of the map is unlocked and becomes the new primary target.  Every time a base gets invaded, new vehicles and weapons get added to the map, making each and every assault harder and more exciting.

Bungie definitely gave us a fun game here.  Reach is easily the biggest shooter to hit a console, ever.  Most importantly, the game never has a dull moment from start to finish, especially if you’re an online kind of player.  It was designed to play for many, many years and I can certainly see why it would be.  There is absolutely no question if you should purchase Halo: Reach.  The answer will always be a definite yes.

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