Something went wrong. Try again later


This user has not updated recently.

77 243 16 1
Forum Posts Wiki Points Following Followers

First Impressions - Halo Reach and Civilization V

First off, hi there everyone. Hopefully, this will be the start of a semi-regular thing. if not, well, there's not really anybody to scream at me quite yet.
I recently got two games, specifically, Halo: Reach and Civilization V. Now, at this moment, I do not have XBOX Live Gold, so the major parts of Reach's multiplayer are right out of my little "mini-review". Civilization V, being a steamworks game, does not have this issue.
So, without further delaying, let's start with the major one. Halo: Reach is Bungie Studio 's last Halo game, and they did not hold anything back for it. For those living under a rock, The game takes place on the planet Reach, which is doomed by canon to fall to the covenant invasion. In the campaign, you play as the newest member of Noble Team, Noble Six, as Noble Team performs a series of operations to try and hold off the covenant invasion. The new things to Halo are the armor abilities (which includes sprint, the default armor abilitiy)  and a small but important tweak to the health system: specifically, your health will only regenerate up to certain levels, which presents some issues on timing your health kit usage.
Now, before I get too far, let me mention that the difficulty is through the roof. Legendary vets will have issues on Heroic difficulty, and newbies will be defeated rather frequently on Normal difficulty. For instance, the hunters (which only have two weak points: their back and their neck) are capable of dealing enough damage in one hit to deplete your shield and your health on Normal difficulty.
Multiplayer (for what little of it I've personally touched - mostly the Firefight mode) has definitely improved from my last foray into Halo - Halo 3. Cooperative Multiplayer is not limited to restrictive, uncustomizable modes like the old Firefight (in ODST), instead allowing for customization to the degree of being able to specify the effects of 3 of the skulls that can be toggled on in the new Firefight 2.0. Bungie has also implemented anti-ragequitting mechanisms so that persistent ragequitters will find themselves temporarily unable to play online (among other penalties which include a complete reset of their earned credits and unlocked armor pieces).
I won't spoil the ending here, but I will mention that the ending of the campaign fits in more ways than one, especially since this is Bungie's last involvement with the Halo franchise. An interesting bit of trivia is that some of the people over at Bungie wanted to put in another ending instead of the one that made it to the final version, but they ultimately relented.
The other game we're taking a look at is Civilization V. Now, the Civilization games date all the way back to the days of the Microsoft Disk Operating System. It's basically a turn-based strategy game in which you build up a nation or empire starting from one settler and one warrior. It has various ways to win, such as sending a space shuttle to Alpha Centauri or the time-honored traditional way of wiping out every opposing civilization.
Civilization V is best described as the result of Sid Meier explaining the game's concept to a board game designer and the board game designer making the next game. It's actually pretty good and still as addicting as ever (JUST ONE MORE TURN!). The most important changes for Civilization vets are the change to hexagonal tiles and the complete restructuring of how unit positions work. Only two units may occupy a tile: ONE (and only one) military unit and ONE (and only one) non-military unit of the same alliance of any military unit in the tile. The result of this is that the "Stack of Doom" technique used ridiculously often in Civilization 4 no longer works, requiring you to actually consider formations of units so that your ranged attack units (which actually exist now and can attack more than one hex away) do not have to worry about being attacked. This comes into play the most when city sieges are involved, but I won't elaborate too much on that. 
The Diplomacy screen has also had a bit of a overhaul. No longer is the leader depicted merely by a floating head against a static background, each civilization's leader is now fully rendered against a fully 3D environment and fully voiced in their native language. Additionally, the Diplomacy System itself has received a few tweaks - all trade agreements and policies are now turn-limited, and the Research Trading has been replaced with a Research Agreement which provides both players with a free random technology after so many turns provided neither one goes to war. Great Scientists, when consumed, have also been adjusted in that you now get to pick the technology that is produced, making them slightly more valuable.
The game is not without faults at launch - There's a bit of a crashing issue that may be tied to the Strategic View and mods have this uncanny problem of corrupting all the saves made with them active. Get past these and you have a solid game that is as addicting (if not more addicting) than SMAC. Hopefully, the mod saving issue will be fixed before the mod tools are released, which will be a bit closer to when I can get a more complete look at Civ V.