Halo: Reach for Xbox 360

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An enjoyable, classic Halo experience.

Aug 31, 2011 (Updated Aug 31, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Fun
Forge World is awesome
New weapons
Awesome story
Armor abilities
Classic Halo gameplay
Epic Music
Gorgeous graphics

Cons:No final boss, although this is just a personal preference
Slightly repetitive combat

The Bottom Line: If you like shooters in general, give Halo: Reach a go. It's just classic Halo but with added goodies, amazing graphics and epic music.


I'm not a very big fan of the Halo series. Having said that, you might think that I didn't enjoy Halo: Reach. In fact, you're wrong. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed playing Halo: Reach all the way to the end.

Halo: Reach is a prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved. As far as I know, the story is based on the fall of planet Reach, an Earth colony where civilians live and the Spartan super soldiers are trained in combat. The planet was raided by the Covenant and nearly every Spartan left behind on the planet were eradicated. Some Spartans escaped on the UNSC ship Pillar of Autumn, which is revealed at the end of the game to be the ship that crashed on the Halo and started the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. This game goes further in detailing that story by showing Noble team's efforts in containing the Covenant attack force.

As you can probably guess, the story is very good. This is expected considering the Halo series is one with a detailed backstory. Everything that happens in this game foreshadows events that occur in Combat Evolved, and explains the origins of several things in that game, such as where Cortana, Master Chief's companion AI came from.

The combat in this game is no different than the combat in the other Halo titles. The only difference is there are a few new weapons added. Speaking of weapons, most of them have a sort of dated look to them. This is most likely intentional since the game is a prequel, and thus it's likely that the weapons you use are earlier models. Another difference is a new set of items called armor abilities. These abilities, jetpack, camouflage, sprint, and "armor lock," which is a temporary shield that prevents damage but locks you in place, add a new layer of strategy to the Halo: Reach battlefield.

Halfway through the game though, the combat takes a dramatic turn. You end up piloting a space fighter to take down a Covenant super-carrier. Being a big fan of space battles, this was a very fun part of the game and I wish it was its own game.

Your shields in this game also work differently. In Reach, you have two layers of health. The first is the signature recharging shields. They work exactly as they do in the other games as far as I know. The second layer is a more traditional health bar that you can only refill with health packs.

The game has a wide variety of game modes, some of which include Slayer, King of the Hill, Headhunter, Stockpile, Generator Defense, Invasion, Firefight, etc. as well as slight variations of each, all of which you can customize to create your own slightly different game modes with custom rules. Of course, this wouldn't be a Halo game without the Forge game mode. The levels available for you to play with are all modified versions of the main story areas save for one new level called Forge World, which is a massive map designed solely for Forge mode. My friend and I spent hours on Forge World just coming up with some crazy but fun battlefields. I would imagine these custom Forge Worlds make for some interesting Online Multiplayer experiences.

In Halo 3, as far as I know you were able to customize your character, but with limited options. In Reach, your customization options go further. You can create your own symbol and there is a wider option of various helmets, torsos, leggings and boots available. You can even change your character's voice. You can purchase more customization options through in-game credits, or cR, which you earn based on how well you do in a multiplayer match.

The music in this game is awesome. It's all cinematic orchestral scores, like one you would find in a full theatrical film. The music for the main menu is very grand and gives you a sense of the scale of this game, and it gets bonus points for being an actual remix of the Halo theme instead of a rehashed version. It really feels like you're watching and interacting with a movie.

One final thing I'd like to talk about is the graphics. The graphics in this game are amazing. I mean really amazing. I found myself frequently staring in absolute awe at the game environments. This is a beautifully detailed game, some of the best I've seen on the 360 to date.

The only negative points I can think of is the ending wasn't very satisfying. There was a massive invasion of various Covenant, but that was about it. I'm a guy that loves his final bosses, and when there wasn't one, I was fairly bummed. Another thing is, as I've said already, the combat is a bit repetitive and is pretty much the same as the other Halo games with some slight differences. The story made up for it though.

Again, I'm not a huge fan of the Halo series, but I did enjoy Reach quite a bit. If I could enjoy it, then I would imagine a true Halo fan would enjoy it more than I did. Heck, even if you like shooters in general, I recommend you give this game a try.


Recommend this product? Yes


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