So I’ve never done a video game review before, but that sure as hell ain’t stopping me from starting.
Anyways guys, Halo Reach has been out for ages, and being the lame ass Halo fan that I call myself, I recently bought a pre-owned copy for a tenth of the retail price. Call me a heretic and a cheapskate or whatever, but I didn’t even know there was a “Halo Reach” till a couple of months ago. In addition, the thought of playing as a “less-than-new” Master Chief copy would be…somewhat underpowered for my likes of spray & pray in Legendary mode.
However, despite whatever initial expectations or beliefs I had about Halo Reach, they were all blown away as soon as I fired up the Xbox 360.
So Reach opens up with some pretty sick OST (it’s called Winter Contingency) and goes to a cut-scene where you see a damaged Spartan’s helmet on the ground. Essentially, if you haven’t picked up on this already, it’s the end-game scene that you’ll come across when you beat the game. Although I’m usually not a fan of direct spoilers as such, I would say it adds more of a “sentimental” feel when you’re playing through the levels. As in, it gives the player a sense of “imminent and absolute doom” and whatever you’re pulling off successfully in the missions will not save Reach. If I were to come up with a brief reason as to why Reach was so much “better” than the other Halos, it’d be undoubtedly the story aspect of Reach. It’s simply one of those “hero-sacrifices-life-for-greater-good” themes (see Saving Private Ryan) which appeals so much to good ol’ sentimental me.
Aside from the obvious story aspect, Reach also has several crucial differences from the recent Halo. Reach, being in a chronological timeline that’s earlier than that of Halo: Combat Evolved, has a health system similar to that found in Combat Evolved. Another interesting aspect of Reach is that each individual has an “armor ability” that can be picked up. For example, some of these armor abilities include projecting a hologram, sprinting, jetpacks, bubble shields, and the infamous armor lock. Other than that, there isn’t anything else too new about Reach. Obviously, there are “new” weapons, but I’m seriously not going to list them all here.
Obviously, as with Halo 3, armor permutations were able to beget; however, this time, not only does the inventory greatly increase, you can actually see the permutations in the campaign. That’s right. You can even change the helmet-on-ground scene to whatever permutation you wish! Oh, and a slight detail that might be missed or taken for granted in Reach is the availability of the “female spartan”. As with all previous Halo games, all the spartans were only available in the male-physique…but now you can have a spartan with a beautiful ass (lolwut).
Before I finish, let me just point out that you actually play as a “Spartan team” during the campaign. Best part is, you don’t have to do everything yourself now, and in addition, you get some cover-fire support. While this might sound ridiculously OP (which it is on normal difficulty), the fact that your whole team never fights in full numbers is the balancing aspect. Otherwise, why bother with Heroic? Just go onto Legendary.
As with all the Halo releases, you can expect a mixture of a awesomeness. From multiplayer to the OST, everything in Reach proved itself to be noted as the best Halo thus far (or at least I’ve played so far). In fact, in comparison to what I’ve heard about Halo 4, I’m certain most people are sticking with Reach (campaign-wise), and of course, Reach totally blows past Halo 3. Undoubtedly, Reach has renewed my fanboy status for Halo and I’ve gone as far as to purchase the Master Chief Play Arts Kai figure, but that’s a story for another time. Thus, I’d say Reach is by far the best Xbox 360 game I’ve played in ages, and if you haven’t already played it, you’re definitely missing out!