Halo Reach Review

Introduction

Halo Reach was the fifth Halo game to be released for the series. It was developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios in 2010 and is a direct prequel to Halo Combat Evolved.

Review

Planet Reach is under attack by Covenant forces. You play the role of Noble Six, a soldier in a Spartan Assault group that’s meant to help save Reach. Or at least protect the civilians on it while they try to escape. You and your squad mates must fight until you can’t anymore, as it’s the Spartan way. I expected the game to be kind of vague on storytelling. But this really pulled me in. You’re not a complete and utter badass killing machine, but instead one guy, on a squad, trying your best to do your duty.

So instead of a man who knows how to do everything under the sun. Hacking panels, fixing spaceships, and disarming a nuke, you have your crew to rely on. So everyone was their own fleshed out person. There were even some pretty emotional scenes that played out throughout the story. I felt bad during them, sure, but a few times I didn’t really care because I felt I didn’t get enough time with the characters to care. But it was interesting to see another event that happened in the war against the Covenant. There was even a showing of how a main character from the series came to be. Though when it happened I was sitting there going “yup, that’s this person.”. It was a bit obvious.

Now I missed quite a few story beats unfortunately. Mainly because of the subtitles not being implemented well. During the before and after level cutscenes, there’s subtitles. Big and bold so anyone can read. But throughout the level, people will be talking, sometimes about important things, sometimes not, and there are no subtitles to be found anywhere on the screen! Plus the firing of the weapons would usually drown out whoever was talking. I tried to turn down the sound effects volume to be able to hear it all easier, but lo and behold there was absolutely no option to do that either!

The gameplay itself is fairly normal though. It’s Halo. If you’ve played one before, you know it’s a first person shooter and how it works. But if you haven’t, it’s not necessarily a typical shooter. There’s no aim down sights button, so you are hip firing all your weapons, and you need a mix of everything to be able to take care of enemies easier. Melee an enemy so their shield drops, then hit them with a shotgun blast. Or shoot them till their shield drops, then melee them to instantly kill them. Or find a vehicle and run everybody over! You can also share the fun in co-op play for the whole campaign.

For those who love messing with each other there’s even friendly fire. My co-op partner and I loved messing around with each other. At one point we were driving a tank and I accidentally shot a wall while strafing the tank. We both blew up, but we had such a good laugh because of it. You can also use “skulls” in each level if you’d like, so you can ramp up the fun. These act as little modifiers for the entire mission. One may not let you regenerate your shields, while another may make you restart the entire level if anyone dies. I never used any of them, but they are here for anyone who wants them! Though they’ve been a main staple in the series for a while.

One thing that wasn’t fun though, were the controls. These were easily some of the worst controls I think I’ve ever dealt with in a shooter, and I’m convinced that I’m just going to have to deal with them while playing through the series. Or not? Who knows! Either way I couldn’t stand these controls. The left trigger was the grenade button, the right bumper was to reload, and X (or square if you play PlayStation) was to run! But you could only run if you had the ability equipped. You could get other abilities but they all felt useless. Except for the jetpack of course, because it’s a jetpack! But if these are the default controls for the rest of the games, I guess I’ll need to look to see if I can configure them to be better. I truly hope so.

Rating

Rating: 6 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Enjoyable Story
  • Co-op Play
  • Fun Variety Of Gameplay

Cons:

  • Controls
  • No Subtitles In The Levels
  • The Armour Skill

Summary

This was an enjoyable adventure for a direct prequel to Halo. I enjoyed playing the entire game in co-op. What I didn’t enjoy was the fact that subtitles didn’t show up in the levels, the armour skills were stupid, because why do I need a skill to run? Plus the default controls were absolutely terrible! Maybe if you find a control scheme you like you’ll have more fun. This was an enjoyable entry all in all though.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: Bungie Inc
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Microsoft Game Studios
Publisher Socials: Twitter

Images curtesy of https://www.igdb.com/

Halo: Reach E3 2009 Teaser Trailer

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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