Review by nastynate3118

"It would be a reach to call this game great."

Introduction

Halo: Reach is the first Halo game I've ever played, so I am writing this review with no other game to compare it to. I think this helps because it seems that some bash this game when comparing it to the other Halo games. It is a shame, because I think this is a halfway decent title that for the most part I enjoyed playing. The game is hampered by some gameplay problems and a convoluted plot that ultimately deny it from being considered “great”.

Gameplay – 6.5/10

The game is a standard first-person shooter and is very easy to get into. You explore different world shooting aliens and completing missions. I would not describe anything about this game as being particularly innovative or complicated as it is all very much to-the-point. I will say that playing on Xbox Live is very fun and addicting as you are able to play in all kinds of matches and gain experience.

Sadly, I really can't dive into more detail about the gameplay. All you do is run around going from checkpoint to checkpoint killing anything in your path. The game lacks focus and often times it can be pretty confusing in terms of trying to figure out where you are supposed to go. As a result, the gameplay gets very repetitive a few hours in and as a result becomes pretty boring. I enjoyed the end areas of the game but that is far too long for things to get interesting.

Interface- 9/10

The interface in Halo: Reach is pretty strong. The only real thing it is missing is a map, but all menus are organized pretty well and the design for the Xbox Live setup screens is well-done. I like that there are plenty of checkpoints throughout the game to guide you along even though the direction of where to go next is not always clear.

Story- 7/10

The story follows the exploits of your character in a prequel to the original Halo game as s/he progresses through a series of missions. The plot is pretty oblique and has a hard time really explaining what is going on and as a result can be a bit hard to follow. The dialogue in this game is pretty paltry and suffers from bad writing. I would describe the presentation and plot of this game as very average.

One thing I will say as a positive is that the ending is fantastic. I will not spoil it here but it provides an emotional punch that the rest of the game was lacking.

Graphics - 10/10

The graphics are visual eye-candy. Everything looks great and detail is abundant in every area of the game. I love the small touches the developers used on the character you play as and the amount of customization you can have over them is astounding. The enemies are animated very well and their movements are very natural. In a word, the best way to describe this game's visuals is amazing.

Sound/Music - 7/10

The music in this game is barely noticeable. There is a nice main menu theme but for the most part music takes a backseat in this game, which is a shame. The sound effects and voice acting are pretty strong and I like the variety to the sound effects. Overall, the audio is pretty average and could have used more of a soundtrack.

Play Time/Replayability - 8/10

I finished Halo: Reach in 6 hours and 15 minutes. This is noticeably short for a first person shooter, but I did play it on the easiest setting. It is also a bit of a bit of blessing due to the repetitive gameplay. The lack of variety makes it a chore to play through again unless you go for the various achievements or try the tougher difficulties. The true bulk of replayability comes from the multiplayer, not the single-player mode.

PROS
+Excellent online multiplayer
+Easy to get into
+Menus are organized nicely
+Emotional ending
+Amazing graphics
+Strong sound effects and voice acting
+Various difficulties and achievements

CONS
-Gameplay lacks focus and becomes repetitive
-No map
-Average, vague plot
-Music is basically a no-show
-Repetitive gameplay drags down replay value

Final Recommendation

If you're going to play Halo: Reach, play it for the multiplayer. The single-player mode leaves a lot to be desired and gets pretty boring fast. The ending vindicates it and makes the experience worth something but the journey to get there is not enjoyable. As I stated before, I have never played another Halo game and am not really into first-person shooter games, so this is what I noticed. The three games I grew up with from the FPS genre were Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Goldeneye 007 so in essence those are the standard bearers for me. Halo Reach doesn't even come close to those games but it does offer a fun time-passer, especially on Xbox Live. There are better games out there, but this one is above average and deserves some attention.

Final Score: 7.92/10 rounded to 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/14/12

Game Release: Halo: Reach (250GB Xbox 360 Limited Edition Bundle) (US, 09/14/10)


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