It’s finally here, after months of PR buildup in true Microsoft style, Halo Reach has been released and looks to be the big exit for developers Bungie, who have now worked on Halo for 10 years and whose Reach is the last Halo game they’ll do. Does Halo Reach live up to its predecessors? Yep! Does it offer anything new? Not much. Is it still a huge load of fun? You bet.
Halo has always had a heavy focus on a clear cut, cinematic campaign, ever since the first one, up until Halo 3. And now Reach takes it to a new level. While the campaign is pretty much told in the same variety as previous Halo games, with lots of cut scenes and huge set pieces, it generally takes everything to a new level, including characters, story, plot and even the set pieces. It’s the best campaign in the Halo franchise, and is actually a prequel to all the games in the franchise. We won’t dive too much into the story, only that it centers around the human world Reach, which is under attack by aliens. You’ll have to check out the game for the rest, but rest assured, you’re in for a ride.
Gameplay wise, it’s the same Halo we’ve known for years, and actually, is a bit too much like previous Halo games. Granted, that’s a great thing — the gameplay in the previous games was wonderful, however, we kinda expected some new gameplay mechanics for Reach, especially considering this is Bungie’s last Halo game. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything new, there are new vehicles and even a space battle as well. Halo reach also offers lots of customization features, where you can unlock and customize your character for both the campaign and the multiplayer, and it’s all presented in a wonderful and intuitive menu system. One of the setbacks, as it was with previous games, is the friendly AI, which isn’t the smartest. The enemy AI on the other hand, is quite good.
Multiplayer wise, it’s one of the best multiplayer games out there, with a stunning variety of games and customizations, ranks, unlocks, and an extensive level editor. It’s Halo multiplayer at its best. It also sports the Firefight feature from Halo 3 ODST, and the general refinements from years of Halo games. However, there is a limited amount of maps and some of those remakes from previous maps. In all, Halo Reach is the best game on the Xbox 360 of 2010, it has a wonderful campaign, lots of content, lots of customizations, and some of the best multiplayer on Earth, Halo Reach belongs to any Xbox 360 player’s game collection.
Awesome and polished gameplay
Lots of content and customization
The story has some cliches
Large set pieces bring down the frame rate
Limited amount of multiplayer maps
Friendly AI often gets stuck
Overall score: 9/10