‘Halo:Reach’ Meets Expectations

Story by Felix Gallo
Entertainment Editor

[Rating:5/5]

As the camera pans a burnt wasteland void of all life during the intro “Halo: Reach,” a Spartan helmet with a plasma hole in the center of the visor lays in the dust.This foreshadows the whole point of the game: the fall of the Spartan’s home world, Reach.

Only once in a long time does a game like “Halo: Reach” come out that completely surpasses all expectations.

Not only does it incorporate the stories from the previous bestselling “Halo games”, but it adds features–like assassinations and new game modes, such as stockpile and invasion–not seen on any of the franchise’s earlier games.

The game begins with completely redone graphics, which increased the gameplay tenfold. Players move more realistically than in previous games, and the guns and the armor look more believable. This is an improvement on “Halo 3”, which played like an expansion pack for “Halo 2”.

Composer Marty O’Donnell completely outdid himself with the game’s soundtrack. The music adds great ambiance and is an important part of the campaign as the music is able to convey the feeling of those epic and sad scenes “Halo” is known for.

The campaign mode in “Halo: Reach” completely outdoes those in previous games by allowing more character personalization and smarter artificial intelligence. Yes, ladies, players can now choose to be female, which leads to unique dialog options. In addition, the Spartan customization allows players to feel like they are truly present in the game.

Aside from the campaign, there are also new multiplayer modes: “Headhunter”, “Arena”, “Stockpile” and “Invasion”. And of course, multiplayer is where the game really shines. My least favorite of the new modes is “Headhunter” because players tend to camp, grenade spam and use armor lock in order to collect skulls. In “Stockpile”, players collect scattered flags around the map to score points. “Arena”, which is for the more hardcore players, allows for realistic tournament style competitions. My favorite new mode is “Invasion”, in which players switch off as either “Spartans” or “Elites” and take turns defending or taking important enemy locations, much like “Call of Duty’s” “Headquarter” mode.

The only flaws I found in “Halo: Reach” were the occasional lag and grenade spammers and overused armor lock in multiplayer.

Overall, “Halo: Reach” is an amazing game with great graphics, awesome music, and mind-blowing multiplayer additions. If this is truly “Bungie’s” final Halo game, then they are leaving it with a bang.