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|Acclaimed developer Bungie's final Halo game for Microsoft serves as a prequel to the sci-fi storyline that began in 2001. An all-new campaign supporting cooperative action for up to four players is included, and in a departure from previous titles, Master Chief is no longer the main protagonist. You are a new recruit to the Noble Team, a six-person squad of Spartan super soldiers, whose members specialize in key roles and wear customized gear. Planet Reach, the main base for UNSC military operations and home to 700 million civilians, is under attack from the alien collective known as the Covenant. Your mission is to assist the human resistance and prevent the Covenant from destroying Reach, Earth's last line of defense.|
The shooting takes place from a first-person perspective, powered by a new graphics engine designed to incorporate large-scale battles in more open environments than in previous entries. Enemy AI has also changed from earlier games, relying more on dynamic actions instead of scripted routines. Each soldier's armor now offers distinctive abilities, depending on the equipped enhancements. A jetpack allows you to fly, active camouflage makes you invisible to enemies, sprint lets you dash at high speeds, and armor lock makes you temporarily invulnerable at the expense of movement. These abilities also play an important role in Halo: Reach's multiplayer modes, which support up to 16 combatants online.
Reach's multiplayer component includes such past favorites as Team Slayer and King of the Hill along with new options. In Headhunter, players collect flaming skulls from defeated opponents and attempt to deposit the skulls in designated areas for points. If you are killed before you reach the target area, your collected skulls will fall to the ground for others to retrieve. Stockpile is a variant on capture the flag, while Generator Defense pits three Spartans versus three Covenant Elites in a battle to defend or destroy generators. Invasion features a series of three team-oriented skirmishes designed in a similar fashion to Battlefield: Bad Company's rush mode. In addition, players can create custom scenarios with the Forge option, take in-game screenshots, earn credits to cosmetically enhance their soldier, and record video to study combat techniques or to share with the Halo community.
|Publisher||Microsoft Game Studios|
|UPC||000017014199, 799007791256, 885370040159, 885370166675, 885370230659|
|ESRB Descriptor||Blood, Violence|
|Number of Players||1-4|
|Game Special Features|
|Game Series||Halo Series|
Average review score based on 715 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
Halo: Reach is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360 console. Reach was released in North America, Australia, and Europe on September 14, 2010. The game takes place in the year 2552, where humanity is locked in a war with the alien Covenant. Players control Noble Six, a member of an elite supersoldier squad, when the human world known as Reach falls under Covenant attack.
After developing Halo 3 in 2007, Bungie split into teams to develop two different games—what would become Halo 3: ODST and Reach. The developers decided to create a prequel to the original Halo game trilogy, freeing themselves from the obligation of addressing old story threads. As the game would take place on a human world doomed to be destroyed, they focused on making the environment a character unto itself. Longtime Halo composers Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori returned to compose Reach's music, aiming for a more somber sound to match the story.
Reach was announced to the world at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2009 in Los Angeles, California, and the first in-engine trailer was shown at the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards. Players who purchased Halo 3: ODST were eligible to participate in a Reach multiplayer beta in May 2010; the beta allowed Bungie to gain player feedback for fixing bugs and making gameplay tweaks before shipping the final version. Microsoft gave Reach its biggest game marketing budget yet, and created award-winning live-action commercials, action figures, and interactive media to promote the game.
Halo: Reach grossed US$200 million on its launch day, setting a new record for the franchise. The game sold well in most territories, moving more than three million units its first month in North America. Critical reception was positive; reviewers from publications such as IGN, GamePro, and Official Xbox Magazine called it the best Halo title yet. Critics generally praised the game's graphics and sound, but the plot and characters were less positively received. Reach was Bungie's final Halo game; future games were overseen by the Microsoft subsidiary 343 Industries.
Reach tells the story of where the Halo saga all began, a human colony named Reach. When the Covenant appears out of nowhere and begins an invasion of massive proportions, it is all the humans can do to fight to stay alive long enough to evacuate the planet. You play as the quiet and faceless Noble 6, the newest edition to a group of elite Spartan III's known as Noble Team. As part of this group you'll face off against seemingly insurmountable odds while executing top secret, nigh impossible missions. The story is a grand-arcing affair, taking you from cities to barren wastelands, and from lush vegetated mountains to a cavernous underground archeological site. One mission even sees you take to close-orbit space as you fight to defend a docking station against incoming waves of Covenant fighters. Needless to say, this game fully fits the definition of epic.
Although you only play as the one Spartan throughout, Reach can best be described as an ensemble game. There are only a handful of moments throughout the campaign that you are without the company of at least one fellow super-soldier. This presents one of the games oddest dichotomies. The enemy AI is markedly improved from its predecessors, especially on Legendary. Even one single Elite needs to be respected, or you will quickly find yourself plastered against a nearby wall with the guttural laugh of the Elite echoing down the corridor. However, in either an effort to offset this, or as a story telling mechanism (to make sure they don't die), your Spartan companions are invulnerable. This can obviously be used to your benefit allowing them to soak up the hits as you pepper the enemies from a comfortable fifty yards away.
However, if you are playing on Legendary this could be your only lifeline in some areas, as some of the fights can be ridiculously hard at times. [i](Note, when I discuss the AI or toughness of the game throughout this review, I'm referring to facing them in any way that does not use the plasma pistol + battle rifle “noob combo.” Even though this is a legitimate way to play, I find that it trivializes the experience and tend to not use it.)[/i] As mentioned earlier, the AI for Elites has improved tremendously. They dodge and flank like never before, leaving the unprepared as an easy target. Vehicles can also can be punishing to the unwary. One new vehicle in particular stands out, as it's quick-firing cannon and lightning-fast driver reflexes will spell certain doom to you at least several times throughout the campaign.
However, to help you through the story, you'll find the newest element to the Halo games in the form of Armor Abilities. These have taken the place of the gadgets from Halo 3, and serve to be a main staple of the game play. They come in several flavors, including Active Camo, Armor Lock, and Jet Packs. These all see full use in online matches as well as in single player, and can at many times decide the difference between life and death. I lost count of how many times I made it around a corner under a hurricane of plasma fire with only a sliver of health left thanks only to Sprint.
I have now played ALL the HALO series games, and frankly, I don't care for this one as much as Halo 2 or 3. I like some of the new tricks, like the jet-pack and being able to fly the Sabre and the Falcon, but the controls keep changing with every evolution which inevitably gets one killed, while hitting the wrong button for changing weapons or reloading. The story, the art, the animation, the imagination are all still top of the line, genius talent, but in the world of 'reality', we need to deal with so many losses and so many changes. Leave the games alone! Bring back the Master Chief, and put the controls back where they belong!
I like the new menu items that allow you to build your own game, which makes this version virtually eternal.
I bought this disk used, so I don't know if there is a problem with it, or if I am doing something wrong, but every time I 'finish' a level. I get my points, my achievements, my rank promotions, but the game restarts at the same level, over and over again. Bungie has never been big on instructions, so it's hard to even know if I am making the right menu selections when starting, but one would assume that 'resume game' would put you at the next level, not start you again at the level you just completed. Might be a tech problem with the saves or something. Another issue is when and how to deploy articles/equipment picked up, or even its function, there are so many, and my biggest peeve with this and all versions, is trying to read the screen instructions, communications, HUD, etc. Why bother having a huge screen so you can sit comfortably 10 feet away, if you can't read the screen! Even a young, 14-year old player, had to stand 2 feet in front of the screen to see what it was reporting.
One more peeve, and don't get me wrong, I am not a biggot, but these 'foreign' accents drive me nuts! I don't understand half of the dialogue because of bad accents! I understand that the UNSC is a multi-national force, but come-on guys, even Hollywood gives us language we can understand! If you are making different language versions anyway, why not have the characters speak clearly in the selected language? (subtitles would help, but not if you can't read them because the characters are too small!)
I am not an online player, so I cannot comment on that function or its capability.
Balancing all the positives and negatives, it is a great game and I recommend it to Halo players. But 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'! Hopefully Halo 4 will bring back Spartan-117 (and The Arbiter) and maybe even be Kinect enabled!).
First of all, I'm a huge fan of the series. Halo in my opinion has been one of the best gaming franchises of all time. Just like most long established series, it has had it's ups and downs.
However with that being said let me say what I did like about this game. I really liked the story behind Reach. If you are a fan of the series and even half way know the story, you know that this battle was not humanities most shining moment in the battle with the Covenant. So to those people who didn't like the ending, I don't quite understand what you were expecting. The graphics were a lot better than any of the previous entries in the series and better than some of the games that have released lately. The multi-player was definitely up to par with the Halo standards, and most of the improvements worked fairly well. I can't say much about the improvements to the Forge editor because I didn't mess with it in Halo 3. I think a nice touch that Bungie put in was the fact that you can see all the armory upgrades to your character in the campaign, something not even the vaunted COD does.
One thing I thing I didn't like was how underpowered the weapons were for the player. I beat the game on Legendary my first play through and I had to use a full 30 rnd mag from the assault rifle to kill a grunt. The elites took on average five to six head-shots with the sniper rifle and mounted/vehicle weapons were equally ridiculous. It took 3 plasma rounds from the wraith to kill one elite.
Another problem I have is with the maps; there just doesn't seem to be the usual Halo variety, but they are probably planning on new map packs so you have to spend more money in them.
The last thing that just seems tired and worn out is firefight, a mode I only played once just to get the achievements and I spammed the heck out of it. It seems to me the developers should have focused more on multi-player maps, and got rid of forge.
1-10 (1 being worst and 10 the best)
Fun Factor- 10
Graphics - 8 (Halo 3 looked more like Halo 2 and Halo: 0dst was nothing more than an expansion. It's about time Bungie made a game that looked "next-gen")
Longevity/Replay Value - 10 (Campaign takes about 10-16 hours depending on what difficulty you play on. Multi-player is the legs on this game.)
Audio - 9 (Truly one of the best sound tracks on the 360. The voice acting is excellent, though there are other games that do it better.)
Online Play - 9 (There are only 13 maps total, 2 of which are redone from previous games and 5 that made from forge world. The amount of gametypes and variations on each gametype is what makes this the outstanding multi-player game it is. Also expect a map pack every 6 months.)
Lets keep it brief, if your're familiar with the Halo franchise this is the best "Halo" game to date. I say "Halo" because that is exactly what it is.. for some reason (don't worry its a brief rant that has nothing to do with my official review :) people think prequels are good, they're not, prequels are a way of saying the original ending could have been better but its not good to beat a dead horse.
I say that for two reasons, one (like I said before) Halo Reach is for Halo fans, you know the ending!! FYI, Its not like 300! (Spartan joke)I won't spoil so relax... Storyline aside there is very limited changes from any Halo game (same weapons, similar characters, same enemies-which proves Bungie is sorry for making you fight JUST Brutes in the last one) Game play is solid but the core of the issue is that Halo is not a relevant franchise anymore. Seriously halo games are a Modern reminder of the "DOOM" series, Fixed sights, linear levels and although very entertaining (specially if you're a fan) you can't help but notice that the developers did not take into account that shooters have changed a LOT since Halo 3 and I dare say farther back than that.
So lets not waste time getting into too much detail, If you know Halo GET this game, You HAVE TO. (Its the best one, just throw out HAlO 3 and the HORRIBLE ODST!)Apart from that Multiplayer is EXACTLY like Halo 3/ execpt Firefight mode (trust me gets old after a few plays) The "new" additions are not even worth mentioning, theres a space dogfight thats very good but its over so soon its an insult to game diversity!
Physics and Graphics are ecxellent but thats to be expected. Theres just nothing about Reach that makes it different from all the other Halo games. Thats good in its own sense but coutiously reminds us that Halo games are at an end.
Bottom line: Best gameplay so far, great story (except fot the first Halo) BUT DON'T MISTAKE "BEST" FOR DIFFERENT, ITS THE SAME HALO WE ALL KNOW!!!