I fitting end to a wonderful story.
I should say going into this that I am a Huge Halo fan, I have loved all the past games, Halo CE and Halo 2 being my favourites.
That aside Reach tells the story of six very human Spartans and their struggle to try to save a Doomed planet and lay the steping stone for the eventual survival of mankind. Going into this you know the outcome but the story getting to that out come is one of Heroism, sacrifice, and challenge. Five Hundred million people died on Reach and it is safe to say that this is the darkest game in the entire series. The cinematics have taken influence from movies like "Hurt Locker" and "District 9" in that it is a very close up boots in the mud story, it does this to great affect. I found my self growing attached to the Spartans of Noble team and needless to say their loss left me with a haunting sombre feeling that I could not shake, Understanding the characters and the universe will help to heighten the effects of the story.
The visuals of this game are simply beautiful, with crisp textures, lush foliage, amazing weather effects, water, and animation, this may well be the best looking Xbox 360 exclusive out yet, this is also first Halo game where the faces on human characters look great, being on par with Gears of War 2 and Uncharted 2. But all this beauty does come at a cost of the frame rate from time to time, most notably in the first level and in the cut scenes.
Game play is the culmination of all the best parts of past Halo games, it feels refreshed with things like weapon bloom, sway, and sprinting to give it a far more modern feel. There also are many things that show up for the first time in a Halo game which not only are pretty damn cool, they made this game stand out for me. The enemies are fun to fight and on Heroic and especially Legendary they are a true challenge. The AI in Reach is some of the best in any game I have ever played, Elites are back in front and no longer will you be fighting the boring, stand still Brutes from Halo 3. Hunters on Legendary are the toughest Halo foe I have ever encountered and this is a dream for any long time Halo fan. Though in some of the later levels there can be parts where there are too many high level enemies and not enough of the weapons you need to properly get the job done leading to some frustrating parts. This was my experience on Legendary anyways.
Multi-player is very fun, guns have a kick and the new falcon is a blast. Halo 3 left me lacking a little bit and this so far seems to fill the niche I've been wanting for a while and with so many things to do in this game, it will keep a fan entertained for a long time. With saved films along with an over hauled forge mode added in to the mix along with matchmaking support for the fully customizable Fire Fight and campaign. As of launch yet to be included seems to be the campaign matchmaking. This is a lot of multi player content, we will have to wait and see if it lasts the test of time.
All in all this is a fantastic experience that gave me the best first time impression of any Halo game since the original one, this is a great conclusion to Bungie's Halo and a must play for any Halo fan be it big or small. If you have never played a Halo this is where to start.
From the beginning you know the end.