Halo: Reach – impressions

Although I’ve never been as die hard as some Halo fan boys (and gals), I did think Halo: Combat Evolved was one of the best shooters on the original XBOX.  Its control style and gameplay going on to revolutionise many modern day shooters.  Where would we be now without regenerating health?  For example.  Also the enemy A.I. was cutting edge at the time.

By the time Halo 2 came about I felt the game was rushed, not as polished single player campaign-wise as the previous game.  Therefore I never completed it.  I also felt it paled in comparison to another game that was launched around the same time – Half-Life 2.  By the time Halo 3 was out, the series seemed to have become swamped by the multiplayer, of which I could certainly understand the appeal and the overall quality can’t be ignored – with again some of  its ideas, such as matchmaking going on to influence the likes of Modern Warfare.

So here we arrive at the latest and possibly last Halo, Reach – game developer Bungie’s much maligned final entry in the saga, and this time they have pulled out all the stops.  On first impressions, this feels like a much more focused and polished game compared to the last two, with the story and overall quality ramped up – from the gorgeous vistas of the mammoth world to the expertly done enemy A.I.  It feels like I’ve come home, and once again Halo is a  game I feel genuinely privileged to play.   Add to this weapons and vehicles, some new, some familiar, and really, whats not to like?  Also for once the difficulty seems pitched just right (I’m talking about Heroic).

The multiplayer is superb, with promotions, leagues and a variety of maps – meaning that this is something I see me coming back to for months.  I did feel a little short changed by the small supply of maps and predict a DLC rip-off on the horizon, but the wealth of modes and options make up for this short coming.

Overall an instant buy for any fan of First Person Shooters, multiplayer and just pure quality gaming!


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