Review by valdin_450

"Halo Reach: Truly an Exercise in Mediocrity"

So how does the most anticipated game of the year stand up to scrutiny? Well, if you were hoping for a quality game, then look further, MUCH further than Halo Reach.

Graphics:

The in-game textures look like they're original Xbox quality and there is a BIG problem with them popping in. Frame rate is noticeably bad in areas, and the motion blur doesn't help to hide it. In my opinion, the best looking parts are the flying segments, although the cutscenes in general aren't too bad.

Sounds:

The sounds are all mostly good except the dog pant sounds when you're sprinting (which apparently is something you can't do without a special armor) and the voice acting, which sounds forced and dull. Very lethargic, I guess you could say.

Gameplay:

If you've played any other Halo game, you've played Reach. Most of the levels go like this: You're told about some Covenant structure. You drive there, destroy it, and then fight off waves of enemies. The coding feels pretty lazy too. My friend and I found an entire field of grass where the developers didn't even bother trying to make the grass look like it grew out of the ground. It was just floating around 6 inches above the ground. The enemy AI is another example of the poor coding. Often it is unfair and provides frustration rather than challenge. There is almost no reason to recruit soldiers for your fireteam since they won't ever do anything helpful, and will actually get left behind most of the time. When they ARE with you in a big firefight, it won't matter because, like I said, they don't do anything, but also the enemies never focus on shooting them. They immediately hone in on you, showing off impressive sniper-like abilities with any gun they use, but most often with the one shot kill weapons. Thankfully, though, the obviously tacked on campaign is only about 5-8 hours depending on the difficulty you chose and the player's skill level and doesn't really add anything to the canon of halo that fans don't already know.

Multiplayer:

If you were hoping for a good multiplayer, then I sure hope you loved the multiplayer in every other Halo because that's all you're going to get, except this time the matchmaking actually got worse. Remember those playlists you loved? Well too bad, since you'll usually end up playing team snipers no matter what you choose. "At least there's bound to be plenty of maps!" I might hear you say, but sadly that's not what you're going to get. There are 13 maps (with some not even being fully original), and in some gametype/map combos, you can't even go everywhere in the map. "Yeah, but they gave you forge, so you can just make your own maps!" Is your rebuttal, I imagine. Well, yes, that is true, but there's no matchmaking for custom maps.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately, Halo Reach boils down to a copy + pasted multiplayer with bad matchmaking and a tacked on campaign that Bungie obviously didn't care about. Truly, Halo Reach is an exercise in mediocrity.

Final Score: 5/10
Rent it if you're a fan of the series, but I wouldn't suggest buying it until much later when it's quite cheap.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 09/16/10


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