As I fired up my Halo: Reach disc to get a taste of the multiplayer almost a year ago, I didn't know what to expect. I had a brand new Xbox 360 and I bought into the hype of Halo. Ever since I played for the first free month of my XBL Gold subscription, it's been the sole reason why I keep on renewing it.
The amount of multiplayer options itself is fascinating. There are a huge number of choices to choose and a variety of different game types. There's the standard Team Deathmatch, Big Team Battle(my personal favourite), which consists of 8v8 battles featuring vehicles and large, sprawling maps. There's also Free for All, Multi-Team(4 teams of 3) which includes the Rocket Hog Race which is a blast. Another favourite is Living Dead which is Zombies with a twist. 12 players, 8 humans with shotguns and pistols, 4 Zombies with Energy Swords and High jumps and in some cases infinite sprint. The Zombies have no shields and are easy kills. This is the most played playlist with all the humans huddling up in one corner and killing the Zombies. If you get killed by a Zombie you are 'Infected' and spawn as a Zombie. This goes on till the last human is killed. You will also find a few wacky game types such as Hockey or Action Sack.
Reach has a wide variety of vehicles like Tanks, Helicopters, Banshees, Jeeps, and ATV's. Each vehicle has a its positives and negatives. The Banshee can fly high but is extremely vulnerable to the Sniper rifle. The Tanks are extremely slow and tough to manouver. The Wraiths are the Covenant's version of the tanks that shoot energy projectiles, but can be taken down by using jetpacks.
There are so many guns in Reach that it's almost impossible for me to list each one down. There's the DMR that is used for close-mid range combat. There are assault rifles, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, grenade launchers, plasma grenade launchers, concussion rifles, etc. This is one game that does not have a shortage of weapons to play with.
The Energy sword is a one-hit kill in CQC and the gravity hammer can break a vehicle with one hit. There is another weapon that shoots a green orb that immobilizes a vehicle for a few seconds. There are no Iron Sights though, so a few people may be disappointed(like I was initially).
The game initially had around 14 maps but an update in March or April added a host of new maps and now the total might be around 40. Yes, 40! My favourites are Hemorrhage and Abridged. Most of the maps feature a symmetrical design with quite a few changes.
There are loadouts that you have to choose from, such as Sprint, Jetpack, Armor Lock, Camo, Evade or Hologram. It's safe to say that Jetpacks are insanely fun to play with and surprisingly are not included in more games
The gameplay of Halo: Reach allows you to play as you like, a lone-wolf or a team player. In objective game-types the team that sticks together wins. If a player captures a flag, he is virtually defenseless since he cannot use his guns. The player can only win in a CQC with a melee. Warthog's can seat 3 players and so can Falcons. The Mongoose can carry 2 players and is used for quick transport.
Th game rewards you with credits for every kill you obtain or assist you get. There are a set of daily challenges that you complete to earn credits and those help you in buying Armor upgrades which are for visual effects only and don't affect your health. There are a host of badges that you receive for almost everything that you do in-game that increases your commendation %.
The audio of the game is great as you can hear bullets that whiz by your head and temporary deafness when your health is low. The animations of performing an assassination or entering/exiting a vehicle are super-slick. The environments look beautiful and the graphics are more cartoony than realistic.
There is also Forge World where you can spend your credits to create new maps. You can download maps that other people have created, you can create videos and share them(but to upload them to Youtube you need to pay a fee). Through Forge World you can play Halo as a shooter, a racing game, or a 3D platformer.
The reason I keep returning to this game is because I have a lot of fun playing it. There are times when I'm laughing out loud while playing it due to the number of stupid things that happen in the game. Driving the warthog off a cliff and killing your teammates or racing to get the best vehicle once the game starts.
The game doesn't come without its problems though. There are a few players who tend to team kill or purposely drive their vehicle off a cliff. In a few maps the vehicles can be very overpowering in the start and it's not much fun until the vehicles are demolished and you can proceed further in the map.
I have played only one Firefight match up till now, and this because I never find anyone to play with. I don't know whether it's a problem with my connection, but it is frustrating that I can never play a Firefight match.
All in all this by far the best Multiplayer game I have played and I have put in around 150 hours in this game, yet I don't see myself stopping any time soon.