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post #1 of 2 Old 09-18-10, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Dale Rasco
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Halo: Reach Review

Game Title: Halo Reach
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Bungie
Genre(s): Shooter
Players: 2-16
ESRB Rated: ‘M’ for Mature
Release Date: 9/14/2010

Story: (5 out of 5)
Gameplay: (5 out of 5)
Graphics: (5 out of 5)
Audio: (5 out of 5)
Overall Rating: (5 out of 5)


Halo: Reach is a prequel to the first game, Halo: Combat Evolved. In this story, you play as Noble 6, a Spartan soldier of the UNSC who is part of a larger group of Spartans stationed on Planet Reach that must battle their way through hordes of Covenant Grunts, Jackels, Skirmishers, Elites and Brutes as their mission slowly unfolds before them.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the story itself as I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t played it but, I will say I personally thought that this is by far the best Halo game of the series. In my opinion, Halo: Reach is one of those rare gems that deliver far and above expectations and the story does a fine job of bringing the whole Halo universe full circle in a bitter sweet ending to Bungie’s involvement with the series.

‘M’ for Mature: Blood and Violence


Halo: Reach’s gameplay is about as flawless as it gets. Transitions are smooth and controls glide through the levels. There is enough new stuff in this game that even avid hardcore Halo gamers will be impressed. The mechanics have been refined and it shows as the player effortlessly traverses the different challenges set forth. The addition of the new armor abilities system gives gamers a couple of options such as infinite armor, holograms, jetpacks and sprinting and brings back staples such as invisibility and shield deployment as well however; each is on a timer and must regenerate after use. The only problem that I had with the new system is forgetting which armor I had from time to time. There’s nothing like trying to evade a horde of enemies by sprinting away only to end up deploying a shield…. Doh!!!

There are a couple of new vehicles scattered throughout the game but the space battle from your own ship, (sabre) is something that felt very refreshing halfway through the game. The sabre handles very smoothly and has the same basic mechanics of the banshees and changes the gameplay up very nicely. I’m not good at most ‘dogfight’ games but this one is so refined that it makes playing it a real pleasure.

Another unique feature, for Halo anyway, was the character customization. The player earns points going through the game that can be spent on buying upgrades to their armor. However; probably the biggest change in character customization is the ability to play as a female Spartan. These customization options finally gives players the ability to step outside the Master Chief role and play as a character that is unique to their own personality. Personally I have stacked up my points so I can spend some time customizing before going into round two.

The entire campaign took around 8 hours on normal and I am about to embark on the heroic or even legendary in a co-op with Dave so I’ll update that part later. I also found the gameplay to be very addicting. I started at 10:00 am on Friday and finished the game about ten hours later breaking only for lunch and stretching. I didn’t want to stop playing and never reached that “throw the controller across the room” point either.

Once again, Bungie has upped the ante on the multiplayer front. With 17 maps, new modes such as firefight and new options for teaming with those more in your own league, the Halo Reach multiplayer feels like the most comprehensive and complete multiplayer offering from any developer to date. Log in to Xbox Live Gold and have a blast. The action is sure to be fast and frantic and loads of fun.


Halo: Reach is far superior graphically to any other Halo game hands down. The textures are simply amazing and the depth of the detail throughout the game is simply infinite. The cut scenes are beautifully rendered and look more like something out of Mass Effect 2 than the cut scenes from older Halo titles. The landscapes are very grand in scale and come across as such. The landscapes range from living breathing environments to smoldering death and all come across gorgeously.

The only negative I will mention, and this may completely be a hardware issue, is that some of the movement in the cut scenes seemed to be stymied by possible frame rate issues. Hopefully it is hardware related; my Elite 360 may need an upgrade.


Three words: “Off The Chain!” Halo: Reach sounds absolutely incredible. Explosions are boomy and bass is very deep and penetrating. Dialogue is very clear and well articulated. Voices are extremely resonant and have tons of texture. The growls from the skirmishers are a bit haunting when coming from the various channels and will have you quickly spinning around looking for them.

There is some absolutely fantastic low end stuff in this game. Explosions, quakes and other planetary affecting destruction can really rattle things in your room. Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori’s score also needs to be mentioned as they have done a phenomenal job with the music throughout this game. There are a couple of throwback pieces of music but there is a lot more in the way of new music that add a ton atmosphere to this game.

I haven’t gone too far into the extras but may update at a later date.

To put it simply, Halo: Reach is a perfect end to Bungie’s involvement with the Halo franchise and leaves me wondering how any other developer is going to be able to step in and follow up after such an incredible finale. Reach has an interesting and engaging story, near flawless gameplay, incredible graphics and truly epic sound. It may be the ultimate shooter for the Xbox 360 and any fan of the genre or of the franchise owe it to themselves to run out and buy this game! Until next time campers, have a good day and in case I don't see ya later, a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night!

Dale Rasco

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas A. Edison

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post #2 of 2 Old 09-18-10, 01:59 PM
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Re: Halo: Reach Review

I think that's a pretty fair review. This is Halo as it started out, and this is the gae Halo3 should have always been. There are a couple niggles, one of which is the at time, totally useless friendly AI if you want to be gunner and let them drive the jeeps for example, but all in all its a polished a title as you'll see anywhere. Also, you will see the odd frame rate drop as the game tries to portray epic scale, but thats probably as much to do with hardware as anything else, so I wont gripe about that, especially as its only really a slight drop.

I'm loving this, and its the first time Ive felt like Halo is like the original game. I fell out of love with the series, and after being dissapointed with H3, didnt buy any more titles, but I'm really glad I bought this one, its a cracker. Some of the graphical effects simply wow you, and for me personally its one of the best looking games anywhere to date on consoles.

5/5 from me too.
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