Reach for the stars
Halo: Reach is kind of the Empire Stikes Back of the Halo franchise. I'm not saying it's the best one, because it's not. I'm saying this because of the tone. Halo: Reach is the story planet Reach, and the war that destroyed it. It's a story filled with death, depressive scenes and little hope. And yes, despite all this, this is a Halo game, and a pretty darn good one too.
Game is split into a variety of modes but three stand out the most: the Campagne, the gigantic, deeper than the ocean Multiplayer and the triumphant return of FireFight. There's also Forge and Theater but because I got the game early, these features were a bit broken, which will probably be fixed by Septembre 14th. So, lets start with the story.
Reach tells the story of Noble team and their rather hopeless battle to defend Reach, which is being attacked by everybody's favorite evil alien species the Covenant. The narrative is excells for a Halo game without Master Chief. You actually care for Noble team and each member's different personalities. They really form a nice group with the brave leader, the savy tech specialist, the big gatling gun weilding Spartan with a heart of gold and the bad ass who's just to cool to have a proper Spartan helmet. In terms of personality, I'm sorry to say that you're character, Noble 6, is the weakest link. Yes, he talks but he does it so infrequently that when he does open his mouth, your thinking "oh yeah, forgot he talked". Fortunately, all you need him for is for shooting aliens, which he does well.
The story takes about 8 hours to finish and moves at a great pace. You really feel that Bungie did their best to make an epic curtain call.. The campaign will have you shooting Elites to Brutes, driving your favorite Halo vehicles including the new space ship called the Saber, using the brand new armor abilities and will have you crying at the the end. This is what makes the story so great: in the midst of all of these things that we've come to expect from Halo, Bungie manages to surprise us with a top notch story. They send the Halo series off with a bang and make you love every second of it.
The story and the multiplayer (which I'll try to explain in just a bit) would'nt be fun if it weren't for fun gameplay. Reach plays like any normal Halo game. You can jump really high, punch guys in the face and your health regenerates. The vehicles also control the shame which is ashame since they still on occasion skid out of control. The only thing that's really changed from the original formula is that you don't throw grenades as far anymore. Now for the new. The game adds armor abilities that let you do special things like fly jet packs or sprint. You can only have one at once, but can change by picking one up during a level. They add a fun twist to the game and give you more and better ways to kill aliens. The only thing I don't like about them is the fact that you can't take them from one mission to the next, you always have to start off with sprint.
People have said that Halo's gameplay needed to evolve and be more modern, which is ironic since they basically set the stage for modern shooters. I think Halo's gameplay is just fun the way it is. Sure, it's the anti-Modern Warfare, asking you to jump all over the place instead of aiming down the sights but its alot of fun. Don't come to this game if you want to play a new kind of Halo, since this one plays exactly like all the other ones.
Now for the Multiplayer. Now, if your reading this review, you must already know what Halo is about. Its about having rocket fights on fun maps while litlle 10 year old British kids yell at you. Bungie knows that and hasn't changed any of it (there's even an option where the game asks you if you like to trash talk). They've instead made it better. You can now select a class, which means your armor abilities which becom very usefull in multiplayer. They've added daily and weekly challenges that will make you the most obsessive gamer since achievements. They've added new modes like Invasion which lets you play as an Elite, giving you access to new armor abilities. The multiplayer is full of things that you, the Halo maniac will love. If you've played Halo for the last 3 years than you'll feel right at home, eating up the new maps like a fat boy. This is your game for at least the next two years. You can also level up, getting credits and unlocking awesome things, like a perk that makes your character fart after dying.
Do you like Fire Fight ? Do you like Match Making ? Guess what, they just got married. Fire Fight is back, making you fight off hordes and hordes of evil aliens. In ODST, you needed friends to play this, now you can do it with complete strangers ! It's still alot of fun and feels as fresh as ever on the new maps. You can use your abilities and classes here and can also play with a friend who's against you. I don't have much to say about this mode just that it's one of the funnest parts of Reach and you should play (alot of) it.
Halo: Reach is a Halo game, no doubt about it. Right down to the monk chants. But my God it is good. This is your ultimate Halo experience, kind of like a best of, sending Bungie off with a bang. All i can tell you is to buy this game, you won't be disappointed and will have a blast.
One Word Review: Fun