It has been one week since the most anticipated game that I can remember finally came to us. Halo: Reach is here and chances are if you have an Xbox 360, $60 laying around, free time, and even a small passion for gaming, you already bought the game on launch day. Furthermore, if you have a a lot of free time, willing to skip work/gym/family obligations/etc., you already beat the game like we did. Halo: Reach is a grand achievement and I could not think of a better way to spend my gaming time.
As I said above, you already own the game. What I will say won’t persuade you to buy it or rent it or skip it. I do want to point out where I think Bungie excelled and where they may have fallen short. I think the campaign is awesome. The story is a little too much ODST and not enough Halo 3. There is a clear protagonist but he/she often is a background character. I do like how they tied the story into Halo: CE, but it could have used more. I’m not going to spoil anything. I would have liked more cameos. A lot more.
The new armor abilities are a welcome addition to the items from Halo 3. Sweet a gravity lift — this is going to help me how? Now I have a jetpack and you are all fucked. Much better. The DMR > Battle Rifle. The Magnum scoped pistol is a blast and a makes a great comeback. Since the enemies have a vastly improved AI, the need for ranged weapons is much increased. Taking into account the game will get progressively harder on co-op, you need to keep you distance and fight smart. If you try to rush enemies and melee, you will be dead. Even on Normal.
The multiplayer is perfect. Yes, I said it. Perfect. You can rank up by doing anything: Campaign, Matchmaking, Firefight, Forge, whatever. If you really care about ranking, hope into the Arena and test your mettle. If you want to play with friends, build Firefight levels, crank up the skulls, then do it. This game rewards you for playing however you want, whenever you want. The weekly and daily challenges from Bungie keep things fresh. I know there are not a lot of maps, but there will be more. Bungie has kept a team to fully support Reach for the near future. I’m sure the maps won’t be free, but who cares? More Halo equals win.
I’d have to say that the release of Halo: Reach is somewhat bittersweet. As gamers, we did get the most complete Halo title to date. The sound and graphics are unmatched in the series. The multiplayer is huge and the new Forge World will let users make their own maps and game types of which Bungie will pick the best. There is not a better value out there for your money as far as games go. No one is entirely sure what will happen next with Halo. Does Master Chief crash on Marathon? Is it the Forerunner home planet? Will we ever see any of this again? My guess is yes. Until then, lose yourself in Halo: Reach.