Review by snoozelburg

"It's Halo. Again."

Halo has been a giant of console FPS since the original on the Xbox. Halo 2, 3, and ODST all carried on the same formula, with almost no major changes. Now Bungie bids farewell with Reach, the first game that's felt fresh since the original.

Armor abilities add some unique gameplay decisions (as well as some LONG overdue additions, like sprinting (and arguably jetpacks)). Weapons have changed, but it's the same Halo feeling. The Needle Rifle, Concussion rifle, the Grenade launcher, they're all new, but they all feel familiar. Nothing revolutionary, and many weapons feel like obvious replacements to other Halo weapons, (The DMR is basically a semi-auto replacement for the battle rifle) and even the new ones aren't revolutionary, just something new to Halo (like a rocket-launcher style covenant weapon).

The story is pretty weak. It's tough, and it's fun to play through with a buddy, but Noble Team feels pretty emotionless and it's really hard to care about most of them. Not to mention anyone who knows anything about Halo can already tell you how the story ends. I won't say anything here, but the end result of the war on Reach has been mentioned since the first Halo. Overall, story mode isn't the strength of the game.

Multiplayer is, and always has been the strength of Halo. It hasn't been changed overwhelmingly, or really at all. Most games connect fairly quickly and lag hasn't been any issue (for me, at least). It's overall pretty much the same. Player who leave mid game can't be replaced (although that does have the upside of meaning you won't join a game only to have your team losing 56-12). The style of voting for game types and maps is a nice change from simply being told what map you're playing on in other games, although it does mean if you like an unpopular gametype you probably won't be playing it much, and if you dislike an extremely popular one, that's just too bad for you. Firefight mode, akin to Gear of War's Horde pits a team of Spartans (up to 4) against waves of covenant. It's a nice change of pace but it's not something you'll probably be playing too frequently.

Chances are you probably know if you want to buy Reach or not already. If FPS is one of your favorite genres, you'll probably enjoy Halo. Those who are uncertain, I'd advise giving it a try. If you've never played Halo before, theres never been a better time to give it a try. And of course if you generally don't like FPS, Reach probably won't change that.
What can I say? It's Halo. It's not that different, but at least there have been some significant changes this time.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 09/27/10

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