Monday, September 20, 2010

Ten Reasons Why Halo: Reach Is The Best Halo Ever

Nowe, after five days of gameplay [noncontinuous thankfully] I have pulled out the top ten reasons why Halo Reach is awesome. These are opiniated and I didn't include some of the obvious reason like the weapons, maps, and stellar pics but looked to what stood out form the previous halo games.

Prior to playing Halo: Reach, I wasn’t a huge Halo fan. I was probably somewhere in the ten-thousands on the consummate Halo fanboy leaderboard, having merely “liked” Combat evolved, not played much multiplayer and only thought about Master Chief once before I went to sleep in the run-up to the Reach review event. But having completed Bungie’s Halo swan song, I deem it to be the best Halo game ever – and here are ten reasons why:

1. Because it’s Bungie’s Last Halo

You can imagine the insane brainstorm session Bungie had at the start of Reach’s development, with orders from top Bungie brass for the Halo team to do whatever they like, just raise the bar so impossibly high that 343 Industries will have to “crunch” for three years solid just to create game fit to walk in Reach’s shadow.

2. Because Derek Carroll Says It Is

Halo multiplayer designer Derek Carroll is an honest man. He eats fish on Fridays, considers television to be a vice and doesn’t even tell white lies to save people’s feelings. This is why we believe him when he told us “We set the bar really high. We don’t know what the next Halo game will be but, Halo: Reach is the best Halo”.

3. Because It Has A Jet Pack

Bungie takes a great campaign game with sprawling, tiered map design and then gives Noble 6 a limited amount of three-dimensional movement with a jet pack, opening up the boundaries of experimental shooting and hinting at the emergent potential of Reach’s multiplayer online gaming.

4. Because It's Truly Legendary

Bungie knows how to spin a good yarn. You know the feeling that you’ve just played a role in small but epic piece of fictional history? Combat Evolved players will know what I’m talking about: that yawning sense of gravity imbued in your every decision. Every level of Reach has that in spades and Noble 6 is the very definition of a legend.

5. Because SPARTANS Never Die

Okay I’m chomping at the bit here… I want to give you some details of Reach’s final level so badly, but the merest mention will spoil it for true Halo fans that have saved themselves for the official launch. All I will say is, it’s one of the best-conceived, most ingenious series sign-off’s I’ve ever played.

6. Because Map-Making Rocks

Halo 3’s Forge World was fairly inaccessible to all but the most dedicated cartographers, and even then some sterling maps emerged from it anyway. Bungie has made Forge World a lot easier to use for all while giving top-end map makers even more control over their creatons.

7. Because Firefight Has Evolved

Bungie has applied the same treatment to Firefight 2.0 that it has to Forge World. Creating new multiplayer modes has expanded to give mode-makers the option to fine tune enemy types and how they appear, manipulating skulls and uploading maps for community perusal and play. It gives life to Reach way beyond what you get in the box.

8. Because Your Gran Can Play Too

Yup, you heard it right. Reach’s Trueskill means players will be rated within around ten games or so according to their skill levelm then matched to the appropriate online games. Players of all levels can muck in with team and multiplayer games without having to worry about beating their two-second average life span or finding a decent challenge.

9. Because It’s The King Of Vehicle Combat

It’s a testament to the overall quality of Halo that it can feature the most diverse and exciting vehicle combat in the genre, yet not be known as the shooter with the cool cars. From the mundane Warthogs to Ghosts, Banshees, an entire level devoted to space flight in the Sabre and the awesome Scorpion, we haven’t enjoyed vehicle combat this much since we first played Destruction Derby.

10. Because It Will Last Until Oblivion

When Microsoft wanted to turn the last servers of the original XBox Live off, a hardcore contingent of Halo players kept them going for weeks by refusing to log off. Halo fans will be playing Reach well past its “sell-by” date and undoubtedly well into the life span of the next generation of Microsoft console. And they’ll still be playing when those servers are inevitably switched off, too.

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