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Halo: Reach

  • Genre: FPS
  • ESRB Rating: M
  • Platform: 360
  • Max-Players: 16
  • Added on: 2010-11-30 by machvergil


Bungie's final Halo game, chronicling the fall of humanity's largest colony world, Reach, and the last conflict where the UNSC deployed Spartans in plural.

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Viewing Topic: Halo: Reach - Page 1
#0: 11-30-2010 @ 03:24:13 pm
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MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22
This was $40 at Best Buy this weekend and I was at Best Buy for other reasons so I figured, why the hell not? I was curious about the campaign anyway and the multiplayer seemed decent, so here we go.

Campaign assessment so far:

  • The presentation overall is stellar. The game has great music, a graphics engine that FINALLY feels amazing for this generation of consoles, stupendous sound design, and other neat effects. The game just looks and sounds great.
  • You actually get to customize your Spartan, and these customizations actually show up in both campaign and multiplayer. You can even play a female Spartan for the first time, which is pretty slick IMO. They don't look that different, but that's also good: that means they're not implying female super soldiers for the UNSC suddenly wear less armor.
  • While his/her lines are minimal, your character isn't silent, which I will admit, is a step up from ODST
  • Some of the new Covenant weaponry is really cool, and I (much like I'm sure everyone else) love the DMR, the new "battle rifle."
  • Some of the missions are these massive areas that they allow you to tackle in the order you see fit. It's pretty cool when they do that, to be honest.
  • I like the idea of the Challenges providing points (credits) and awards that you can unlock through single player, co-op, firefight, and competitive. If I really get into this game, I could see them providing great incentive to keep playing after beating the campaign.
  • Armor powers! Oh yeah I'm assuming you already know what those are, but if you don't, real quick, there are special abilities you can attach to your armor. They range from sprinting to a "Pally bubble" and a jet pack. Some of them are really cool, and have neat ways you can use them in a fight, though on Heroic it feels like the AIs are all programed to know how to counter them most of the time, which is a bummer.

  • There's a lot of things about Halo that I can tell are really starting to wear out their welcome for me. 1 hit-kill beam swords for example. Weapons lack any kind of stopping power, so combined with above, I can't stop a charging Elite from slaying me with a 1-hit beam sword unless I kill him outright before he gets to me.
  • I'm gonna be honest with you: Spartans suck in Halo: Reach. Compared to what elites can do, I feel like a lame ass. My elite foes are able to duck and weave and roll away quickly, they're able to take better weapons than I have, and they seem to have better shields. Compared to them I feel like this slow moving blob who can't effectively duck behind cover (seriously, there are concrete barricade in one mission that if you duck behind them, you still take damage) and can't out manouver his foes if his life depended on it. The only reason I feel like I move forward sometimes is because of my invincible AI partners.

    Now mind you: I am playing on Heroic difficulty, which maybe is a bit harsh on myself given I haven't played any Halo campaign in almost a year. Still, I beat Halo:ODST on Heroic and had a FAR EASIER TIME than this by the time I was done. I'm supposed to be a genetically engineered super soldier, so why do I feel weaker than a normal human elite orbital drop trooper?

    As an example: There was a room I was struggling with because there's a sword wielding elite who barrels around corners to come up to you and stab you. At one point, I used the Sprint armor power to get away from him. When I turned around to shoot him, I realized he'd kept up with me the whole time, and effectively accomplished nothing.
  • "Looking down the sights" with your gun is something I got hooked on in Gears of War and Borderlands and CoD have continued to reinforce to me how solid of a game mechanic it is. Halo just feels reallllly old at this point for not having it.

Overall I'm having fun, but not as much fun as I had with ODST. When reading the previous sentence, it should be noted that ODST was the best experience I've ever had with a Halo game. Seriously, compared to ODST I wish Halo3 and Halo2 would die in a fire. That's how much more I liked it. Halo3 was a HUGE disappointment IMO. I'd probably still play through ODST again with someone if they asked, whereas I'd need a damn good reason to beat Halo2 or 3 again. Anyway point made.

So yeah, so far having fun, but I'm glad I only payed $40 and not $60.

This post was edited by machvergil on November 30, 2010, 6:26 pm

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#1: 12-25-2010 @ 11:21:32 pm
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MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Just finished Halo:Reach about 5 minutes ago (as of starting to write this post).  My final impressions of the game are far, far better than my initial.  For starters, I was totally playing on the wrong sensitivity. As a result, many of my initial issues with difficulty, sluggishness, etc, were overcome once I had the right settings.

The following are additional points I'd like to add having completed the game.

The Awesome

  • There is a single level in the game where you pilot a UNSC starfighter and basically engage in X-Wing vs Tie-Fighter lite.  This part of the game is all kinds of awesome.  While not as fun as a pure space dog-fighter would be, it is totally good enough to feel like a fix after all these years of being away from one.  While I understand why, it is a bummer there isn't more of this in the game.
  • The Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) and Needle Rifle are both SO AWESOME.  I know I already spoke to the DMR, but it really is win enough to talk about it again.
  • Okay so, just in case you didn't know, Halo:Reach is a prequel and, as per the other Halo games, Reach falls to The Covenant. This is not a spoiler, it's canon since 2001. This makes Halo:Reach one of the first games I have played in which I am playing a doomed guardian, one whose demise and failure are not an issue of "if" but "when."  The guys at Bungie do a fantastic job of milking that for all it's worth, giving you all kinds of glimpses of how you might just succeed in fighting off the aliens, and then making you soak in humanity's defeat as it occurs all around you.  A Halo game has never made me emotional, but walking through the streets of a human city, myself still alive as civilians I failed to protect dead at my feet are all around me, is a chilling image.  So is the very, very last level, of which I will not speak here. Nothing in this game compares to "No Russian" in MW2 by any means, but as someone who eats up the "valiant knight" storyline as much as I do,  Halo:Reach's plot is a tug right on the heartstrings. Everything from the plot, dialogue, music cues, and in many times mission scripting, just drive in the idea that this is your home, and you WILL fail to save it, but here is your chance to do what you can about it. 
  • Which brings me to another point:  that you cannot save Reach.  It would have been lame, IMO, if the game pulled any kind of RetCon to suggest that maybe, must maybe, you could change history and save the planet.  The game could have easily done that, and frankly, it probably would have made the title a little less risky.  They didn't however, and I am nothing but glad they didn't. If you'd won, this had just been another "Oh hey we saved the world (barely)" story, which is what nearly every other Halo game is.  Reach's conclusion gives it a unique identity in the series, one I appreciate.

The Suck

  • The last level feels like it drags on.  I get the dramatic tension they're building there so it's fine but still, I had a few points where it's like "yes yes, just let me do the thing! Stop making me fight 50 guys AGAIN just to do it!" 
  • While I'm sure Bungie was going for "AMG LOOK AT ALL THE BAD GUYS WE PUT UR SCREENS," some of the fights feel just down right impossible in solo play w/o the help of your invincible AI squadmate who can distract and soak up impossible amounts of fire.  Were it not for him/her (or the Hologram Armor Power), you'd soak up enemy fire faster than you could do anything about it.  This leads to some annoying encounters that you have to die in again and again until some under-handed means of survival occurs to you.
  • As stated, I'd like to resisnd my complaints about sluggish Spartans and OP Elites.  Yeah, the Elites are still more powerful than I am, but once I had working control settings work-arounds were found and it ended up just making them satisfying bad guys to beat.
  • It would seem that the game's "Credits" system isn't 100% operational while you're offline.  I can understand this, for security and anti-cheating reasons, but the bummer is I'm pretty sure I got jipped a whole stack o' credits because I beat the game at my parent's where my 360 can't be online, and that's a bit of a bummer. 

As mentioned in my previous post, I have a high opinion of Halo:ODST.  If Halo:Reach isn't better than it, than it's on par, for different reasons.  People speak as if the two Halo games that do not have Master Chief are risky, whereas they are the two I find the strongest.  While ODST provides a cool sort of war-torn mystery angle to the setting, Reach does the bombastic War-front story except with everything turned to 11, and as mentioned, the somber tale is very effective to go with.

Ending opinion:  Halo:Reach is a solid recommendation, both to people who are looking for their next Halo fix and those who have stayed away from the series.  Reach provides a point of entry where previous knowledge of the setting or series isn't too required, and stays away from some of the dumbest ideas of Halo 2 and Halo 3 while it's at it.

The only thing I can't speak to is the mulitplayer.  I did a handful of it during the beta, but since then, I've yet to do anything else but Co-Op.  So keep in mind I've no thoughts on the competitive play, Firefight, or Forge or anything like that.  This is more or less all about the campaign.

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