We’ve finally come to the end of the HALO series (from Bungie at least). Admittedly, I was initially worried because I was not a fan of ODST and Halo 3 wasn’t as epic as I thought it was going to be. In fact, Reach didn’t excite me until I saw some of the gameplay for the first time. Once I was able to get hands-on time with the game it gave me more hope that this game was going to bring it back to what I loved about the series. And it did.
In Reach, you play the part of Noble 6, an elite spartan soldier who is part of a team of similar spartans sent on special missions to assist the forces battling against the Covenant assault on the planet, Reach. Fans who have read the books, already know what’s going to happen, and even though I knew it was a lost cause to fight, I was still very fascinated to see where the story was going to go.
As far as game play is concerned, it’s pretty standard for the Halo series, especially if you’ve played ODST. The one thing that I enjoyed with the in Reach, is the fact that your allies are smarter, and not just the other members of the Noble team. The general marines are so much more useful than what they used to be.
The new controls in this installment are the flight controls. I think that being able to fly, especially while in space combat, was a nice addition to the game. The controls are relatively easy to learn and both of the missions involving aircraft were original and fun.
Graphically, this game is beautiful– from the details on the armor and the NPCs to the breathtaking environments. And as now almost expected from HALO games, the soundtrack is great and really supports the story and gameplay.
One of other things that really excited me with Reach, is that was that I enjoyed playing multiplayer again. I tried the multiplayer in HALO 3 but there was just something that made it less fun than it had been in HALO 2. But Reach really brings it back to what I loved about HALO 2 multiplayer. I enjoy the tweaks to the weapons and I don’t really mind that the battle rifle is gone from the game. I also enjoy the load-outs where you can choose which class you want to play. The multiplayer modes are the same that long time players are used to with the additions of multiplayer Firefight and Invasion, both of which are my two new favorites.
I think that Bungie hit it out of the park with this game. They’ve taken what has worked in previous games and kept in mind all those complaints from players and built one heck of a final game. The ending that brings us right back to the beginning really is poignant and made me want to stick in the original game and start all over again.
So, if you’ve been a fan of the series I highly recommend picking up the game. It’s a solid end to the series and one with which I think most fans will be happy.