Halo Reach User Reviews
Halo Reach offers a game suitable to any Halo fan. Superb gameplay, new vehicles and the addition of armor abilities. With game modes like Firefight, the introduction of Halo Anniversary maps and a dedicated Multiplayer server, Reach more than caters for FPS fans.The bad:
There isn't many negatives, apart from the lack of a ranking system. New players can often be ranked with very experienced players, making the online games seem quite daunting for a while. This leaves teams unbalanced, but players will be accustomed to the gameplay quickly.Summary:
Halo Reach takes you back to the very beginning of the Covenant/Human struggle. The scene is set on Reach, a large human colony that is home to large research facilities and other various projects, which remain classified. The story takes off with the introduction to 'Noble Team', a squad of Spartan Specialists, with abilities and skills of their own. Here are the names and backgrounds of the Spartans:
• Commander Carter-A259; the leader of Noble Team, a commander in the UNSC forces, Carter has lead Noble Team into many fights, and is considered a fearless leader.
• Lieutenant Commander Kat-B...
Halo: Reach's campaign may be the best in the series yet. The game returns to its roots via the large, open-ended environments, giving you very grand areas of interest to explore. It has great focus on delving you deep in superb environments that display both stunning visuals and create interesting combat scenarios. The game attempts to immerse you deeper into the planet that is Reach via the extraterrestrial wildlife and interaction with human colonists.
The campaign makes a good attempt at creating varied methods of disposal by giving you different "toys" to play with throughout the game; including a Warthog vehicle with a missile turret in the back, a mission with great focus on using the sniper rifle, a mission in which you engage in aerospace combat using your space fighter plane, known as a 'Sabre', and more.
The graphics look superb and are by far among the best on the Xbox 360. Facial appearances and movement are also among the most realistic I've seen. The armor is much, much, more textured than it was in Halo 3, in which the armor basically looked like smoothed plastic. However, the most stunning visuals would have to be from the environments, which look stunning even up close.
Four-player co-op returns and is extremely fun to mess around with your friends on. Also included is Campaign matchmaking, which allows you to group-up with other players automatically.
Of course, the reason the vast majority of players invest in the Halo series is for its supreme and unique multiplayer style. The core concepts of the multiplayer are still there, but not without some changes. The biggest of which are known as 'Armor Abilities', which essentially replaced 'Equipment' from Halo 3. The different armor abilities include: jetpack, sprint, hologram, camouflage/radar jammer, armor lock, evade, and drop shield. In beginning of each game, and also when you die and are waiting to respawn, you are given a list of 'classes' to choose from, typically each one with a different armor ability and/or primary weapon. This creates more variety in the gameplay, as each player may create their style of play revolving around the armor ability they choose. For example, someone who chooses the drop shield armor ability is more capable of playing a supportive role within the team's structure; while something like sprint is very efficient for both getting away from and rushing the other team, and in particular, can greatly improve the effectiveness of weapons such as the energy sword and the gravity hammer.
Another change is the addition of reticle bloom, which forces you to pace your shots with the majority of weapons. Depending on the distance between you and your opponent, you must judge how rapidly you fire, as each successive shot is less accurate than the last if fired too fast. This new dynamic separates the good players from the bad by the requiring utmost patience and precision.
There are also various new weapons introduced:
- A new semi-auto rifle known as the 'Designated Marksman Rifle' (DMR, for short) which replaces the battle rifle
- A long range Covenant sniping weapon known as a 'Focus Rifle' which is essentially a cross between a Sentinel Beam and a Beam Rifle
- A human grenade launcher
- A new mid-long range Covenant rifle known as the 'Needle Rifle' which can slightly track opponents and combine needles for a supercombine explosion
- A Covenant explosive weapon known as the 'Concussion Rifle' which is the Grenade Launcher's counterpart
- A Covenant counterpart to the Assault Rifle known as the 'Plasma Repeater' which gets more accurate as it overheats
- A laser designator found in campaign which can launch a missile assault
- A Covenant weapon known as the 'Plasma Launcher' which can fire up to four plasma grenades at a time that track onto opponents.
- Finally, many of the old weapons return with new balancing and such
There's also a separate ranking system known as the 'Arena', which is based around individual skill rather than how much you play like the credits system. The Arena is essentially a separate group of playlists you can play that will grade you on your individual performance. The system uses seasons, which last one-month each. Play three games a day, for ten days within a season, and you will be placed in a division, which serves as your rank. The divisions include, from best to worst, Steel, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Onyx. The system uses a formula based almost entirely around individual performance (winning a game gives a 4% increase). The formula will give you a rating, and then this rating is compared to other players in the game. The division ranking you receive on how good the players you played are, and how you faired against them, as indicated through the rating, throughout the season. Once the season is over, your final divisional ranking is given and then reset, giving you a fresh start.
There's also several new gametypes in Reach:
- 'Stockpile' is a new gametype in which you and your teammates must grab various flags placed across the map and return them to your base. The flags are all neutral, so either team can grab them. A timer counts down to when the flags will be counted as points and then disappear. Before the timer goes down, either team can grab flags from their opponents stockpile before they're able to score points for capturing them.
- 'Headhunter' is a gametype in which you collect skulls you gain from killing other players, and then return them to the designated areas to score. Each player is initially worth one skull, unless that player has picked up other skulls, in which case the number accumulates.
- 'Invasion' is a gametype which pits Spartans vs. Elites. One team will try to capture certain objectives, whether it's a territory or an item, while the other side defends. Once the team completes an objective, it is given a new one, at which point better the classes you can choose from are also upgraded with better weaponry for both sides, making the combat more intense as the game goes on. If the side capturing objectives succeeds in capturing all three within the time alloted, they win that round and then they switch sides with the other team. This gametype is most interesting due to the more advanced traits the Elites are given over the Spartans, making the combat more varied than any other gametype.
- 'Invasion Slayer' is somewhat of a spinoff of regular Invasion. It still pits Spartans vs. Elites, however, instead of getting points for capturing objectives, you simply get points for killing. The gametype still has objectives however, which will basically spawn new weapons and vehicles for the team who captures it.
Firefight, first introduced in Halo 3: ODST, returns in this title. Firefight is essentially a player(s) vs. AI mode done in a very Halo-ish fashion. Customization options are much more advanced this time around. Also included is Firefight Matchmaking, which allows you to either group up with 3 other people to enjoy the experience with, or go in alone into 'Score Attack' mode, which is a great way to retrieve credits for ranking up and buying armor.
Possibly the most improved feature of the game is Forge. For those who don't know, Forge is a feature introduced in Halo 3 which provides a easy-to-use tool for editing maps. You can place new items and delete old ones in order to create entirely new multiplayer maps, and you can also share them with other players by inviting them to your game, or uploading it to your File Share and recommended the map or gametype to them.
Halo: Reach introduces the new map known as Forge World, who's title explains exactly what it is: a world for using Forge. The map is absolutely huge, and it provides different areas for forging in. The new engine used in Reach allows you to many more items than before, and when combined with the large place of creation that is Forge World, the possibilities are endless. Perhaps the greatest examples of the extent that this feature can go are via the recreations of old maps people have made. Whether they're from previous Halo games, or different games altogether, tons of maps have been recreated to an extreme accuracy via Forge.
Customization options for gametypes have also advanced, and are by far the most advanced I've seen in any game.
Theater and File Sharing
File sharing is better than ever with the new search system implemented into the game. Previously, you would have to go on bungie.net in order to search and download new maps/gametypes/videos/screenshots without someone recommending them to you. Now, however, you can simply search for them within the game's interface.
Theater mode returns and is a bit more refined. For those who have not played Halo 3, the game possesses the ability to save your footage and can be played back within the game. You can also view the footage, find a funny photo moment, and take a screenshot of it with a press of a button. You can then proceed to share this through your File Share, which is essentially a space alloted to each player to upload up to six different files, whether they're maps, gametypes, screenshots, or videos. You can then choose to recommend this file to your friends. With enough popularity, you can land the file in the 'Most Recommended' or 'Most Downloaded' for that day and have your creation widespread. The bad:
- While the campaign may give you more varied ways to kill enemies throughout than its predecessors, the objectives of the scenarios all remain the same: kill everyone, move on.
- The campaign is somewhat short, which means the game isn't recommended for single-player use only. The game took me approximately 6.5 hours on 'Normal' mode, though you can play at a higher difficulty and significantly stretch the length the game.
- There have been known to be some framerate issues within the game. Notably within the campaign, but rarely within multiplayer, except on a very few custom forged maps.
- The campaign starts to become a bit boring towards the end. It seems as though they packed all the great action in the beginning, then quickly changed the pace to be solemn. While this is fitting to create the feeling of impending doom, it's not so great for gameplay.
- The balance of certain weapons is questionable. Notably, the fragmentation grenades seem extremely powerful in comparison to previous Halo games in which these grenades received next to no complaints. However, for the most part, the combat is quite balanced.
- The armor lock armor ability is a bit of a downer, though this is obviously just my opinion. It can destroy the pacing of the game, and it is also a "montage killer". Basically, you can do some amazing feat, and it is taken away due to someone using armor lock. For example, you can stick someone with a plasma grenade from across the map, and all they have to do is go into armor lock to avoid it. The same goes for various other powerful weapons, including rockets, tank shells, sword slashes, melees, grenades, etc. It is also quite frustrating when you're one shot away from killing a person, then they go into armor lock for what seems to be around 15 seconds or so, during which time the rest of your opponent's team swarms you and the original guy you're facing ends up surviving, despite your valiant effort that completely deserved the kill.
- Dual-wielding is out of the game. It won't be sorely missed though, as it certainly was not used much in Halo 3 with the re-introduction of the Assault Rifle as the primary starting weapon in most gametypes.
- The number of base player-vs-player maps is a bit low. There are 9 base maps included for PvP, as well as few dedicated to Firefight which can't be used for PvP. However, this can easily be refuted by the fact that Forge allows you to create just about anything you want. Several Forged maps have already been included into matchmaking, and you can, of course, play whatever forged map you want in custom games.
The only drawback to the game is people who are simply looking for a great single-player experience. While the campaign is extremely good while it lasts, it is quite short, no doubt about it. However, many games of this genre are also short, so it's all up to your personal standards. As I said above, the game took me approximately 6.5 hours on 'Normal' mode, but it can be stretched quite significantly on higher difficulties.
Overall, if you're a fan of playing multiplayer modes of first-person shooters, I can't recommend this game enough. With all the content within the game, it's truly wor...
Why do I get the feeling Bungie doesn't give a shit for the single player? Halo Wars came close, except it was too *bleep*ing easy. Then again, it's one of the few console RTS games that don't suck a fat dick, so... whatever. As for the first person shooting Halo games, only the first one was good when it came to single player. However, since then, they couldn't recapture it quite as well because they're too busy working on the *bleep*ing multiplayer. Granted the multiplayer is getting closer and closer to PC quality, it doesn't excuse utterly generic single player campaigns. The biggest is...
The Halo series has been absolutely stunning its hardcore fans, ever since the very first Halo game. From its epic story-line, to just playing online, there is no ending to the possibilities. Bungie has made great strides form is last Halo game, Halo 3, to its present, Halo Reach. With their new design engine, they created one of the best games of the decade.
Halo Reach's gameplay is one of the best gaming experiences that I have ever partaken in. Its simple control format isn't hard to memorize, and despite its obvious change from the early Halo 3 controls, it again isn't hard ...
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