Video Games

‘Halo: Reach’ outstrips any other game this fall

By Chris Baca ’11
THE ROUNDUP

“Halo: Reach” is by far the best game to buy this fall and because this is Bungie’s last entry for this franchise, “Reach” is a game nobody can miss.

The “Halo” video game series starts in 2552 and pits the Covenant, an advanced alien coalition against a space colonizing humanity.

When first starting “Halo: Reach” the player is greeted with the character customization screen.

It is here that one is able to customize the Spartan’s color, emblem and nearly every piece of armor that is visible, right down to the color of his visor.

Everything is upgradable with hundreds, if not thousands of variants available for purchase using “credits,” the in-game money system.

While there was customization in previous “Halo” titles, they pale in comparison to the staggering amount of options available in this game.

The changes made and customizations to the character are no longer limited to online play and the character is visible in the campaign and in every cut scene involving Noble Six.

Although this is a little touchy, it really allows the player to get into the game because they are no longer playing a generic Spartan.

The graphics in “Reach” are beautiful and should be familiar to anyone who has played either “Halo 3” or “ODST.”

While there was a bit of lag, mostly during big battles or cut scenes, the game play was fluid and exactly what expectations are from a “Halo” game.

The interface is well built with no surprises, and commands are snappy and responsive with no lag.

Noble Six replaces Master Chief as this title’s protagonist and plays a very important role to the events on Reach.

This includes destroying enemy equipment, piloting fighters in space, and saving scattered remnants of resistance around Reach among other things.

The campaign takes about nine hours to complete on heroic difficulty and, thanks to a new scaling system, will get harder depending on the amount of people playing

With other first person shooters, the campaign takes a back seat to multiplayer however, with “Reach” this is not the case.

This is by far the most realistic of any “Halo” story and portrays the very real cost of war, mainly through loss.

During the story there are more than a few parts that show heroic sacrifice that, although are necessary, still weigh on the player and on Noble Six.

The sounds presented in “Halo: Reach” are solid and the music is simply amazing.

Each weapon has its own distinctive chatter or whine and the noise of combat, at times chaotic is done very well.

This multiplayer component is what sets this game apart from all other first person shooters, most of which only utilize one player per system online play.

This game is the culmination of all of the other “Halo” games and as such is includes campaign (two player local, or four player LAN or through Xbox Live), online matchmaking (up to four players on one Xbox through split screen), offline split screen (for all game types), LAN (for all game types), firefight, forge and theatre.

The game play is fast-paced and intense in both online multiplayer and offline campaign and firefight.

This style of game will keep the player entertained for months, if not years due to the newly revamped forge and game creator.

The game ships with forge world maps all made by the developers using only the tools that come with the game.

This combined with the file share that Bungie offers for free, means the player can either download community made maps and game variants or if one is more creative, make and share their own.

If making maps doesn’t hold the players interest, then there is also the game creator which allows anyone to create new and fully customizable game types which are also sharable.

All in all, “Halo: Reach” is the best game to purchase this fall due to its customization, replay value, solid game play, amazing graphics and multiplayer.

Recap:

Campaign 10 out of 10

Easily the best first person shooter campaign that is available as of 2010. Two to Four player cooperative game play only sweetens the deal.

Presentation: 10 out of 10

Amazing interface, great customization and a game that has so many features; it is a wonder Bungie fits it on one disk.

Graphics and Sound 9.5 out of 10

Both truly amazing combat sounds and music placement feel right. There are a few laggy scenes or sequences, but all in all beautiful graphics.

Game play 9.5 out of 10

Halo: Reach utilizes the tried and true methods of “Halo 3.” This game has familiar mechanics and physics that anyone can easily adapt to.

Lasting Appeal 9.5 out of 10

From firefight to campaign, from matchmaking to forge and everything in between, there is a ridiculous amount of content in this game that will keep the player coming back for months, even years.

Out of 10 this game earns a 9.5