Halo is one of the biggest gaming phenomenons to ever exist, if not THE biggest. Let's face it, Mario, Link, Captain Price, Kratos, and even Gordon Freeman want to share the same spot as Master Chief or the Rookie from ODST. However, with this being Bungie's final game in the franchise, the popularity will eventually drop until another franchise succeeds it. The question is, would you want to play a game that may or may not be the finale you would want out of a series as famous as this? Let's take a peek, shall we?
It's no secret that this is a prequel to everything Master Chief will do within most of the franchise. The fall of Reach of an essential part of the Halo storyline and one slip-up can ruin the entire plot of the game and make the future (or past, in this case) seem disconnected. It really does pay off that the story is very well done. Basically, you're a new Spartan named Noble 6, a guy that talks as much as Rambo. That is to say, very rarely. Noble 6 is part of an elite group of Spartans. The entire group, while nice for gameplay, aren't really special and lack a lot of character. Regardless, I did feel bad when some of them kicked the bucket. You do nothing more than go from one place to another, shooting the hell out of anything in sight, yet the plot connects all of this together very well, leading to the very end of Reach and making sure all plot holes are gone. This is probably the second best storyline of the games in the franchise (Halo: Combat Evolved is still first in everything).
The gameplay is the most important part of any game (hence GAMEplay) and it is just so that the overall feel of the game is flawless. While Halo 3 seemed like an oversized piece of shit to me, Reach has been able to bring me into a level of fandom for Halo that I have for few other game series. The crosshair is not on center, as it has been for a while, but I quickly got used to this and was able to pull off headshots with ease. Nothing is as satisfying as shooting a grunt RIGHT IN HIS FUCKING FACE! Seriously, you'll have that feeling a lot.
The gameplay has also been tweaked considerably. For instance, regenerating health? Nope. You have a regenerating shield, but the health requires med-kits, obviously a throwback to the original. This added a lot of challenge to the gameplay that just made the game even harder than it already is. Trust me, that last level will have you chucking your 360 controller across the room. I got so mad at that last part, I, a seasoned FPS player, almost cried... and yes, I chucked the controller across the room. Why did this all happen? I didn't have grenades. Also, the control has been altered. I want you to guess what button does melee attacks. B? No. X? No. LT? No. Right stick? No. Left stick? No. RB? Yes. Of all buttons, RB. What the hell, man? Aside from that, the gameplay is undoubtedly Halo at its finest.
Graphics are something I need to address. While the environments look fantastic and character models are bad-ass, there's some stupid blurring thing. On a SD or HD TV, this blurring effect occurs. I don't think it was intentional, but it looks REALLY weird. Even if it was intentional, it doesn't belong in the game. The worst part about it is how noticeable it is. Plus, the framerate can drag a bit at times. The soundtrack is very reminiscent of the original and is one of Martin O'Donell's finest accomplishments. Still, the original game had a better soundtrack. The voice acting, while I didn't hear too much of it due to gargled sounds coming from ally helmets, is fantastic and genuinely made me feel about one character in particular that almost made me cry out of sorrow when he got blown the hell up. AND HE SAVED ME, TOO!! *sobs like a little schoolgirl who can't get the new Barbie doll* Overall, presentation is very well done, though not without its flaws.
I know what you're thinking. Where's the multiplayer part of the review? Well, I don't have Xbox LIVE. Yeah, you heard me right. So... I'm gonna give you a link to a review of someone that usually shares the same opinion of a game as I do. Don't think of me cheating or anything, but I'm just giving you the biggest chance of having the same opinion as I. Subscribe to this bastard. He's awesome. Halo 3 Multiplayer Discussion
In the end, I realized that Reach actually isn't the Halo game I thought it would be. It exceeded my expectations by 3000, since I had very low expectations in the first place, and generally gave me a great time for about 9 hours. While many would complain about this length, I'm pleased with it. It was adrenaline filled and gave me enough thrills to last a while. Besides, I have more games to review. This is definitely worth a purchase.
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