elpork's Halo: Reach (Xbox 360) review

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  • 3 out of 7 Giant Bomb users found it helpful.
  • elpork has written a total of 4 reviews. The last one was for Halo: Reach

NOT FACT, OPINION!

 This is an unedited version... sorry, To lazy to copy and paste the one with working grammar.

NOTE:

If you’re a Halo fan, remember, my reviews are purely opinion, and I am stating none of this as fact…. :D

It’s no secret that I really dislike the Halo franchise; however that hate is not without reason. No matter how many copies these games sell, or how many millions of users they have, they’ll never have the things that draw me in.  But perhaps Bungie's last foray into the Halo world will make me change my mind… But I highly doubt it.

STORY:

This time around you play as “The new guy/girl” in a troop of broad character stereotypes known simply as Noble Teaml. The story, however, is pretty much ruined from the get go if you know don't anything about Halo lure. I will spoil some of it here, but if you have read the book, which is nicknamed the “Halo Story Bible” *Facepalm*, or have played the Halo games you know what’s going to happen at the end.

Anyway, your character is named 6 in a group of… well 6 Spartans, and since you’re the new guy/girl you have to prove your worth to at least 1 of the team, if not more. That doesn’t matter really because the 1 person you have to prove yourself to will end up dying no mater whom they are… Because apparently the only way you can prove yourself to anyone nowadays is by living longer then them.

Anyway, you start off with the invasion of this planet called Reach, and nobody in Noble is told why this invasion (Which happens on a MASSIVE scale mind you) is happening… I’m going to assume it’s covered in the “Bible” and move on. After an engagement by Zealot elites (Which I will admit is one hell of a cool sequence) the game, I mean story, falls pray to the ordinary trappings of crap story telling, with the characters falling by the wayside Private Ryan style.

The majority of the game’s story is weaksauce beyond recognition, with your typical crap plot points happening almost as if by reflex. The only two stand out moments involve your first encounter with Zealot elite troops, and the first character death. Other then that its “GET THE MISSION DONE *Die*” from point A to point B. Ending in a lackluster gun sequence, and a LONG ass set of credits. Of course, since this is a Bungie game, you have to watch the whole 5 minutes or so of credits to get the “Actual” ending, which I thought was tastefully done.


In all honesty, this story sucked on a scale barely measurable … If this were a tune, it’d be one of those high pitched ones only dogs can here. And yet, the dogs insist it’s the best tune ever, and insist it’s the best thing ever in tune kind. Meanwhile, those of us with taste listen to, music instead of an atonal ring. All in all, if you’re good at Halo you could more then likely beat the story in about 5 hours? I beat it in 7, and I REALLY suck at this game.

One sentence wrap up:

Its Gears of War 2 all over again… Only more clichéd

Control:

Yup… it’s Halo

Chances are pretty good that you’ve played a Halo game, and that you ether LOVE or HATE this control setup. I’m personally of the latter category, mainly because I play as a sniper. However for what the game is, and by that I mean a slap dash shooter (control wise, keep your hate in your pants for now), it’s not all that horrible. It’s defiantly catered towards pretty much one group of gamer, which is a shame, but it’s not broken.

The main problem I have with the way this game controls feel like there made for neanderthals… And I hate to sound like a snooty, stuck up bastard of a gamer, but it really does feel that way to me. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t need an utterly gripping story, or the most precise of controls to have a good time… However Halo just feels like the “Make your own FPS” kit you’d find in a local drug store. It has a jump, a trigger, movement, and looking.

But why can’t I look down the barrel of all my guns? And for that matter, why when I get shot am I violently tossed out of my scope? I mean these troops can jump out of helicopter that’s going full speed, or into orbit, and STILL SURVIVE! But if a bullet bounces off their shield, they flip the hell out like fish out of water. It jut makes no sense that they’d have that type of reaction.

This brings me to my next point nicely: the vehicles. I’ve ALWAYS hated the way the vehicles control in this game, more so then I hate not being able to look down the f*****g barrel of my gun. The land vehicles that aren’t scorpion tanks drive like a pogo stick on an ice rink. By the way, forcing the person to look where they want to go, instead of just giving them control of the god damn wheel, makes no sense at all. We’ve had actual driving games for years now, can you not just copy one of them and move the f**k away from this garbage setup you have now?

Meanwhile the scorpion tanks are even worse; being broken up into 2 parts, the top of the tank is the right stick, and the bottom the left. Only the left stick doesn’t so much dictate the direction you want the tank to go, only that you want to “go”. My hate aside, the controls work fine for what they are, but there noting to write home (Or upstairs in some cases) about. Unless you’re talking about the stagnated driving controls, in which case, go burn your limited edition copy of the game if you bought one.

One sentence wrap up:
They are what they are… broken half the time.

AI:

This is another spot where the game falls so hard it’s not even funny. I went into this expecting Bungie to fix what I thought were blaring problems with ODST and Halo 3. I thought everybody saw these problems and noticed how out of place they were in a modern FPS.  But apparently my ideas of good AI vary DRASTICALLY from the norm, because those glaring issues still remain here.

I fail to see how a race would prefect intergalactic space flight, and STILL use swords, or hammers in combat. And even more, still think it would be a good idea to just “CHARGE” at your enemy with verve, and expect them to tremble in fear. Each of these races has guns, but still fights like there in grade school, its f*****g ridiculous.

Towards then end of the game, they figure out just how f*****g stupid the AI is, and just make you do a handful of the end game type missions all by your lonesome. Which is a huge relief because all you really need to do is just let the enemies run to you, and then hold down the trigger and back away as they soak up some death… God the AI in this is sad.

A one Sentence wrap up
Truly some of the worst AI I’ve seen in a long time

Graphics/Design:

This is pretty much the only good thing about this game (In my mind). The graphics engine was “over hauled” between ODST and this, and it shows. The environments shine really quite well, and everything has a nice, much more down to earth look that was lacking in Halo 3. And while I liked the style in ODST a lot more then I like the style in this, Reach has its own, and more beat up look that will make it stick out from the rest of this franchise in the long run.

That being said, the game leaves a lot to be desired, you’ll run through most of this game, only remembering one or two different things. Mostly the first encounter with a Zealot Elites, the space section, and… that other thing… However I noticed a bit of pop in. Not something to the level of your average open world game. But if you ever take a second to stop and look at the ground (like me :D) you’ll notice some pop in… which was odd on a game of this level, with such a big budget… at least I thought it was

As for the design, I’ve never really liked any of the Halo armor outside of the ODST stuff. And that hasn’t really changed for me here. However you can deck your guy/gal out to look like an ODST… Well the helmet anyway, the rest of it looks the same. The one thing I don’t understand is why they decided to steal a helmet design from Haze… Is it a stab at the weed smokers, or a stab a Sony fanboys?... Ehh maybe both, who cares.

Back on track, you can deck out your character to look however you want, mixing up helmets, shoulder pads, kneepads and the like, the only problem with that is there really isn’t much to pick from. And what there is to pick from, all looks pretty much the same. Granted you have a few shoulder pads that stick out a bit further then others, but that’s not really the point of customization. I wanna Make my dude/chick look like what I want them to look like. You can d**k around with the stuff all you want, but your Spartan will look like all the rest… or some guy from Haze.

The rest of this game is so forgettable that you’ll forget about it… like me for example, I’m trying to remember something that stood out, but I’m really struggling to find something to tell you about… Well something that wouldn’t be considered spoiler anyway… And by that I mean I really liked the end sequence.

One sentace wrap up

A beautiful pile of forgettable set-pieces… shame.

Sound:

Ahh yes, sound... uhhh
OK forgive me, I had to go play the game again, and yea, there is a soundtrack in Reach, you’ll just NEVER EVER remember it. It’s all the dribbling orchestral nonsense you’d get out of any “big budget” game or movie now a days. And after ODST’s showing in this department, I have to ask “where da music at?”  In all honesty, I can only think of one song that will stick in your mind, and it involves Zealots.

I only wish I could say the same thing about the voice acting in this game. There are 2 MAJOR problems with this. 1, the dialog is some of the most boring s**t you’ll ever hear EVER! And after Halo 3, my standards for ODST were set REALLY low, and somehow they managed to snake there way below the limbo stick. Reach, On the other hand, sunk a full five feet below THAT. And 2 the voice actors themselves are the WORST types of stereotypes... Seriously.

You know in movies when the main characters get to a different country, and the cab driver, or waiter is the most BROADLY drawn stereotype from that country? And somehow they manage to completely miss said stereotype? Well that happens here, namely in the voices of Kat (Or Cat), Jun, and Jorge. Jorge being the worst of the 3… He can’t seem to pick a f*****g accent, at one point (While speaking gibberish… or Hungarian… same thing) he just kind of combines 3 of them together to make up some random one… I honestly expected him to pull out the line “WELCOME TO ANTWERP” sooner or later. But Kat and Jun are no Liam Neeson ether, they sound like they were hand picked from community theater practice.

On a positive note, the alien voices no longer sound like crap, and actually sound alien. No more of that “MASTER IS DEAD” or “FEET DON’T FAIL ME NOW” crap from the little minion dudes. Nor none of the Super mutant dialog from the Brute guys (Someone will get that joke)

One sentence wrap up
I half expected Borat to pop up as a voice actor at one point.

Multiplayer:

Ahh, the so called “crown jewel” of Jurassic Park, the Velociraptors… err wait, Switch that with Halo, and Mulitplayer… sorry, I’m tired. Anyway, this is another one of those love/hate situations, and I’m guessing you can figure out all by your self which side of the fence I’m on… WAY on… like in the township of that side of the fence looking for a good place to buy pants… OK I’m getting off track again.

The multiplayer in Halo is “VAST and “Deep”, so says the marketing/PR guy. “All types of game modes are available, ranging from Odd ball, capture the flag, SWAT, BIG TEAM sniper (the only good mode), Stock pile, and dozens more”… However in reality, the only mode people play is Slayer… And it doesn’t really matter what game mode you join, or what type of game is chosen, your playing slayer. “BUT JOHN” you may whine, “SLAYER IS FUUUUUN”… while that may be true for specific types of players, it MOST DEFIANTLY DOES NOT REPRESENT THE HORDES OF MEN NOT GIVING A S**T ABOUT SLAYER!

Dear god, no matter how hard the people at Bungie try to make their multiplayer more open, and fun for those that want something MORE then Slayer, the community always manages to come in and F**K it up for everybody, f**k it up and make Bungie look like a MASSIVE group of boner weevil loving, ass scratching, fat chick screwing, jocks with nothing better to do on a Friday night then do drugs and play f*****g Halo… And in all honesty, I see true inspiration and skill behind what Bungie did with the multiplayer, its just let down MASSIVELY by there “beloved” fans.

Competitive stuff aside, the co-op side of things is just a bit too little a little too late. And I’m in no way saying that its bad, don’t get me wrong, it just feels a tad lackluster. I’ve played games that do co-op miles better then this; Borderlands, Crackdown, Left 4 Dead, Modern Warfare 2, and Castle Crashers just to name a few. And one of these came out BEFORE Halo 3… I mean is it just feels like Bungie missed a MASSIVE opportunity to do something quite epic with their game in the way of co-op, but for some reason left it out thinking nobody would want to play it… and if that’s actually the case, I would feel really burned, because this game NEEDS more co-op.

But there are some truly fun things studded about the multiplayer in Reach. Horde mode is a blast, no matter what type you play (Be it rockets, snipers or what have you) as long as your playing with friends, or like minded community members (Which is rare in my case) it's going to be a HELL of a blast. Same goes for Forge Mode and Forge World both offering a MASSIVE amount of fun for such simple concepts. And the replay editor, tool thing… you know what I’m talking about, the tool that lets your replay your last match, record sections of it, and then upload it to the site… granted you have to PAY to watch the video, but still a nice gesture… not really, but you get my point, that things fun to d**k around with too.

Anyway, back to the ACTUAL reason you came here to read this review, why I dislike this game. Reach offers a “Psych Profile” which in theory will match you up with like minded gamers, who play somewhat closely to how you play. I put down, quite, easy going, and here to play for fun. And I got matched up with, almost without fail, HARDCORE HALO FANS!! PLAYING FOR KEEPS DUUUU!! F****N BITCH!! GO MAKE ME A SAMICH!!! YOU SUCK!! I HAD SEX WITH YOUR MOM!!!... I’m willing to bet the asshats that I’m trying to avoid, do not fill in the “Psych Profile” because they are “Here to pwn noobs, and make hoes out ya ass”… And while some of you may think I’m blowing smoke, I decided to have a test.

I made sure my psych profile was set to the most “Tame” type of player out there, which I am. I then decided I’d set the match making search to “Skill” instead of “Fastest”. Then I said I’d pick 3 names, from 3 different games in a row, with these settings in tact, and see if they held up…

Round 1: GamerTag: DdimebagLA
I asked why he chose that as his gamer tag, to which he replied “I’m the best drug dealer in the land SON!” and then proceeded to CURSE his way through the match.

Round 2: GamerTag: ChubbyPickle
Clearly a 12 year old with a party of other 12 year olds, back from the “Sex” they were having. I was going to say something but of course, they were to busy hurling homophobic slurs at one another, so my questions would be unheard.

Round 3: GamerTag: zZxJoK3RxZz
… Do I really need to say anything here?

Clearly this thing doesn’t work worth a damn, nor does the “Find players with similar skill level” setting. While playing one of these 3 matches (I think it was with Chubbypickle) one of the people had already paid for the most expensive perk in the game… And if that wasn’t clear, he got like 30 something points to everybody elses 7 or 8. And if you think any of those gamer tags are fake, feel free to look them up. I promise you they have been playing Halo Reach

And to throw more pressing issue out there, while playing the co-op campaign (With 2 different people) there were some major lag issues. Whether or not that is related to “launch” issues, or a bad connection, we’ll never know. But those issues were there, and quite serious. A second lag in a game like this can throw your entire game off, and if it’s a constant 1 second lag, you’ll notice it… That being said I know it’s not my connection, because according to Halos in game monitoring, my connection was “Good to Excellent”

One sentence wrap up:
The multiplayer by itself is OK, its just let down by its fanbase… shame I cant knock points off for that.

Fun Factor:

You ether love Halo, or hate it… that’s really all the more I can say here.

I personally hate the franchise, and don’t find a whole lot of fun playing the game by my self, or competitively, but I do find a lot of fun playing co-op. And when the matchmaking happens to work properly, I do like some of the madness that happens in game. However those moments are like catching Muslims eating pork chops… NEVER HAPPENED!

STORY: 3
Control: 5
AI: 2
Graphics: 8.75
Sound: 4
Muliplayer:8
Fun Factor: 2

TOTAL: 4.6

A one sentence review:

This game is a bit like the Mona Lisa, great to look at, but you know deep down people of that time only showered once a month.

Buy? Rent? Borrow? Pass?

My guess is that you all ready have this thing in your system, so my advice here would be entirely irrelevant.

8 Comments
Posted by burjeffton--defunct

I had to recommend this review simply for your test description. You described Halo multi users to a "T"!

Posted by ELpork

@burjeffton That was an actual test... Feel free to look up the users on Xbox.com or wherever.

Posted by Cult_of_Cthulhu

Glad I read this after I wrote mine, otherwise I would have felt I copied too much. Multiplayer is the shining jewel but it's filled with the worst kind of people.

Posted by ELpork
@Cult_of_Cthulhu: 
Haha, I'm just happy nobody is calling me names. And thanks for actually reading it. 
Posted by dillonator

You can talk about your opinion on a game, so I can talk about my opinion on your opinion; this is the very definition of mediocre review.

Posted by ELpork
@dillonator: 
 
Putting aside that it's not edited what do you base that on?
Posted by dillonator
@ELpork:  It's fairly simple; the majority of content for this review is filled with your opinions on what should've been corrected, how unmemorable it was, and it's abundantly clear that you came into the product with a mindset already skewed to be dismissive. Now, I haven't had the problems with players online, nor have I had an issue with frame rate, or the controls not working, or felt that the campaign was filled with forgettable set pieces. So since you can do it with a product, and since you go as far as to put it in the title of this review, I feel it only necessary to say that I think your review is nothing more than red hot garbage. And since it's my opinion? I don't have to present facts. Just like this review.
Posted by ELpork
@dillonator: Lol, take one long breather there bro, this is a user review. And while you seem to think your views on this product may be fact, or more "Correct" then mine, there not. And no reviewer in the world would even begin to think that their review (Or views in your case) is more "Correct" then any another (Unless they're full of themselves). All reviews are of one persons experience with a product. And since everybody in the world seems to think games are art now (its like a hilarious rights movement), no one persons opinion, or review, actually matters since beauty is in the eye of the beholder... I mean Sonic still has fans.  
 
 
And if you're focusing on the score, remember that I use the 0-10 score system. Not the "7 is the middle of the road" crap "Real" reviewers use. 

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