I’ve been looking forward to Halo Reach since I completed ODST. In my opinion ODST was never a complete game, and was more like DLC. Granted it had the addition of the Firefight mode, but the fact that you got a Halo 3 multiplayer disk in the box, always made it feel a little off.
So last week I finally got my hands on it, and I have to say I love it !
***The following review contains massive spoilers***
The game is based before Halo Combat Evolved (Halo 1) in the Halo timeline, and apparently ends literally minutes before Halo 1 starts.
You play as part of a team of Spartans called Noble team, and your character is labelled Noble 6. You are joined by the team leader Carter, his second in command, Kat, heavy weapons specialist, Jorge and Emile and a marksman Jun. As the game plays out via a fantastic storyline, you and your team are sent on a suicide mission which spans over 10 distinct missions which end with you finally delivering the Forerunner artifact into safe hands.
Unlike the other Halo games, your crew would keep removing their helmets during cut scenes the game, which gave it more of a personal feeling, this did however make it slightly distressing when your team get bumped off. The situation goes from bad to worse, and throughout the entire game all of your teammates get killed in 1 way or another. Some of them do it for the greater good, some just get snipped. To be honest at the end, you don’t even survive; the game was like running with a handful of red shirts.
The missions are varied enough to keep you interested, with multiple vehicle levels, however the game only took me around 8 hours to beat, so there was chance of getting bored. The combat itself seemed a little more solid, and the weapons somehow felt a little heavier (if that makes sense). I would however say that the level designs were very “firefight”. A lot of the areas I fought through, I thought, “I bet this will be a firefight map”.
I especially like the addition of the abilities which include a jetpack, active camo, sprint, armour lock and a “dummy” twin. Throughout the campaign you got the use the jetpack for half of a level and I don’t believe I used the active camo. The other items however where usable for the majority of the game. Personally I used the “dummy” twin for the majority of the time, as I could send him on his way, and flank from behind. The AI however was occasionally a bit silly, and I’d see the dummy stuck in a wall, as it seems to go as the crow files.
As I write this, I’ve not touched on the mutliplayer as yet (as I normally wait for the matchmaking to sort itself out), however I like the fact that you earn currency within the campaign, which can be used to upgrade your character is a bonus. I also like the fact that you can level up too as you run through the campaign. Once you’ve changed your characters gear, this has no benefit on the campaign game play, apart from the look of your character.
The mood of the game was quite emotional, if you’ve played the other Halo games, you’ll have a good idea of the storyline, and just how bad the Halo war actually gets. This game being a prequel, as you can imagine, you’re in a no win situation. Just when you think that your current mission is over, all hell breaks loose.
Now the final mission for me was epic, not only was it an epic battle, (so many brutes, so many elites), to finally get to the end, hand over the package to find you weren’t done. You have to then fight your way to the top of a gun tower to assist the Autumn (the huge ship) in escaping from Planet Reach. Once this was done, cut scene, credits, then another cut scene showing the invasion……and then I was shocked to get the HUD back, and the prompt come up saying Survive !
Now I’m not sure if there’s an achievement, or an alternative ending, but I lasted for about 5 minutes before I couldn’t take anymore, and had the out of body experience showing me getting stabbed with an elites sword. All I can say, is sit, watch and enjoy the credits, and be ready with controller in hand….you’ll need it !
The game is fantastic, very cinematic, and absolutely loved it, and with only 8 hours play through, I’ll be heading back in for some of those achievements and a bit of co-op, as the larger more open world maps may allow for a different gaming experience.
Approx Time taken to beat – 8hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:5/5]
Games TrailerTags: Artifact, Complete Game, Distinct Missions, DLC, Emile, Forerunner, Games, Halo 3, Halo Combat Evolved, Halo Multiplayer, Handful, Helmets, Jetpac, Map, Marksman, Safe Hands, Suicide Mission, Team Leader, Teammates, Timeline, Weapons