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Old 12-13-2010, 03:54 AM   #5
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Halo: Reach - Xbox 360

I must confess, every iteration of Halo that is released I get sucked in by the hype! I totally borght into the 'Finish the Fight' Halo 3 marketing campaign and have got myself into a similarly frenzied state over Halo: Reach upon release. Whilst some hardcore gamers are rebelling I ask: is the attention Halo gets such a bad thing. The industry I love gettin massive exposure to rival the biggest movie release can only be good and to be honest I love getting wrapped in the hype.

This is the game Halo 3 really should have been. The visuals are greatly improved over Halo 3 and the whole game possesses that Bungie level of polish and customisation. You no longer take the role of the Master Cheif. Instead you are simply 'Noble 6'. This allows the experience of Halo Reach to feel more personal. Also in addition to halo 3 is the overall ranking system and customisable character that is consistent across all game modes. It brings the whole experience together nicely.

Everyone knows how Halo works. If you are not one of the people who have played the 40 million copies sold then let's just say this. It's an FPS but unlike the sharpshooting Half Life or Call Of Duty series the combat Style is very different and purist shooter fans may not enjoy it. Utilising power weapons is a must, close combat strafing followed by a punch after a few shots is another technique but singular pop an shot head shots is not the way to play this. On harder modes enemies can take multiple head shots with ease. The AI is intelligent. They will retreat when getting shot at and come out to hunt you. However the single player campaign has not really changed it's style since the first Halo. It's now a 10 year old formula. Don't get me wrong the story unfolds nicely and it's a joy to play but I do feel the formula is in danger of becoming stale. Sure there is a 4 player coop mode which is a blast but the single player doesn't have the same depth as the now 5 year old Half Life 2.

However, as with so many shooter nowadays the multiplayer element of the game is where Halo really shines. All the gameplay questionmarks raised above actually aid the multiplayer experience in my opinion. I have many a time tried to get into Call Of Duty multiplayer only to be killed within seconds with an insane headshot from a 13 year old with way too much time on their hands. Halo is different. The gameplay mechanic often allows you to retreat and you can actually have enjoyable duels with competitors. The multiplayer goes as deep as you want it to. Just fancy a deathmatch. The matchmaking system will have you in a game within minutes! Want to create maps, delve deeper into the different multiplayer modes or even create maps and customise the games weapons...? It's all there and Bungie serves there community well with daily and weekly challenges that add a special something to the game. For me, I am a child of 4 player Goldeneye and later 4 player Halo on 1 screen with friends. Reach evolves this further by allowing you to play a team deathmatch with your mates around one screen against other teams online. It's a personal highlight of the game for me as there is nothing better than a night with the lads, pizza, beer and deathmatch Halo.

It seems fitting that Reach is Bungies last Halo because I honestly question the next step for The series. It's no longer the pinnacle of console graphics like it once was and the only thing that keeps it in the higher echelons of gamers hearts is the deep storys huge production value as well as the games huge fan base! Add to this the ridiculously good multiplayer experience, which improves on Halo 3 in every department. Whilst the single player is good. It somehow lacks the epic memorable moments that benchmark Previous Halo games and the formula is on the cusp of going stale. For this latest instalment of Halo though it ranks up there with some of te best experiences on the 360! But the future remains unclear!

Pros - arguably the best multiplayer shooter I have played. Great story, despite predictable ending. Rousing soundtrack
Cons - single player format hasn't changed since Halo on original xbox. First person purists won't like the bullet spray playability.

Overall - 90%
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Last edited by GrantXP; 12-15-2010 at 01:55 AM.
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