Halo Reach is the last game scheduled to be released under the Halo franchise and it goes out with a bang or should I say, goes in with a bang as it is the opening to the Halo saga, much like the style of Star Wars when the first film was technically the fourth. Aside from the problem with connecting to Firefight with the new 4GB Consoles the game is an action packed, adrenaline fuelled experience that any gamer strives for in a first person shooter, especially online.
And on that note I will begin with the positives of the game. The campaign itself is packed full of action and suspense right from the beginning. You take control of a battle-hardened lieutenant known simply as Noble Six and progress through the storyline completing various objectives such as destroying anti-aircraft guns and holding back an invasion on the planet Reach. The gameplay is almost exactly the same as Halo 3 but you can see the little tweaks that Bungie have made to improve it. One of these tweaks is the interface, it has both elements from Halo 1 and Halo 3 as they have added a health bar underneath your shield (previously missing from Halo 2 and 3 but present in Halo 1) and decided to keep everything else from the Halo 3 HUD.
Firefight has also been included in this game, a feature that was extremely popular with fans of Halo ODST and boosts the lifespan of the game dramatically. The online ranking system has been implemented into the campaign and Firefight so now you can earn XP or as it is called in reach ‘Cr’ offline which is a sigh of relief for some fans as they can still earn credits to buy custom armour. Among other things the graphics have been dramatically improved since Halo 3, we’ve all seen the octagon shaped heads at the end of Halo 3 to show that Bungie was in a hurry but there was no rush with this game due to a separate section working independently on Reach. This gave them plenty of time to scale the graphics to glorious 1080p with spectacular lighting effects and depth to give your eyes a feast.
The game definitely sounds too good to be true but it does have several flaws. For starters, as previously mentioned at the beginning, owners of the new 4GB Xbox will not be able to participate in Co-op Campaign or online Firefight and are prompted with “One or more players do not have a hard drive which is required for this gametype” apparently it’s something to do with the game not recognising the built-in hard drive of the console and instead it assumes that you don’t have one. Of course, this sparked a lot of fury with the Halo fans demanding to play campaign with their friends and Bungie noted this announcing an update to be due very soon, it has been a month now and still nothing, come on Bungie!
Another problem with this game is the online ranking system, it’s very good at first however you begin to realise a strange change in pattern with the amount of credits required. For example, you can get 33,000Cr to rank up then another 33,000Cr to rank up again, then suddenly it jumps to 66,000Cr which is fair enough for a challenge, but then after that it drops to 23,000Cr and carries on, what’s going on with that?
Aside from the problem with the 4GB Xboxes and the strange way the ranking system works, Halo Reach has become a massive hit success making $200 million in the first day of sales and selling more than 5 million copies to date. This game offers a huge lifespan, compelling storyline and fantastic original music from Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori to keep gamers wanting more, I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed while playing though as I know it is the last game in the Halo franchise but certainly one of the best. I hope you enjoyed this Halo Reach review.
- Graphics are spectacular
- Compelling storyline
- Custom armour
- Bug with 4GB consoles
- Ranking system isn’t very well organised
- Random Fact:
- The top score you can ever achieve on Pacman is 3,333,360 points