Bungie managed to do what seemed like an impossibility. First, they created a new IP that becomes universally praised (Halo). Then, they follow up with even better games (Halo 2, 3, and ODST). Now, on the verge of Halo: Reach, their newest game, they have the power to say, “See ya Microsoft, and thanks for all the fish,” allowing them to move onto something completely non-Halo for their next title. But is their last affair with Halo good? How are they leaving Master Chief and his crew? I’ve got the review here, so hold on and listen.
Halo: Reach is a prequel to the franchise. Master Chief isn’t present, but the upshot is that we get numerous Spartans instead, Spartans that can actually remove their helmets and reveal their faces to the camera. This allows the player to get more up close and personal with the characters, similar to ODST, making the story a little harder hitting, especially when you consider that the whole point of Reach is to tell the already known story of how Reach fell to the Covenant. I’m really not spoiling anything to tell you that this entire game, story-wise, isn’t going to end on a positive note. However, the story is still very strong, even for a Halo game, so fans shouldn’t be disappointed there.
Gameplay is largely untouched from previous Halo titles. The health system is reverting to the original Halo style of a rechargeable shield over a depleting health bar, a reversion I say “More power to you, Bungie” since it helps establish these characters’ humanity better to show that they can bleed. Other than that, you’ll see a few new guns, the loss of dual wielding (good), and the return of a pistol that can ACTUALLY kill enemies. Awesome.
But you’re all Halo fans, you don’t care about the single player campaign. You want to know how multiplayer functions, right? Calm down, multiplayer is everything you want it to be and more. Every game type from the previous Halo multiplayer experiences have returned here, plus a few new ones. Essentially, you’re paying for the biggest, beefiest multiplayer experiences on the Xbox 360 when you’re buying Halo: Reach. It more than justifies the purchase, so we’ll leave it at that.
To round things out, the graphics get a nifty technical boost here, being built from the ground up rather than just reusing previous graphics from older Halo games. If graphics are your thing, you’ll approve of the bump the visuals got. Add to this yet another great musical score and it’s the complete package.
So, a perfect multiplayer experience and a good single player experience with great graphics and great sound? Yup, that’s Halo: Reach alright. But my review isn’t selling you on this game. I can include an Amazon link as usual, but you’ve already bought the game, so it’s sort of pointless, isn’t it? Halo: Reach is going to be a contender for 2010’s Game of the Year, so keep an eye on it. I, however, want to see what Bungie plans to do next, and more so what Microsoft plans to do with the Halo franchise. We live in an uncertain and exciting future now people!
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