Microsoft and Bungie do it again with another Halo title. Master Chief has not been found yet in this title and the player controls a person in Noble Team, a squad of Spartans on planet Reach, instead. This is the last planet on which the humans took a stand before the war took a dismal turn.
Reach has players control of the newest Spartan of Noble Team, Six. During the start of the game, the squad is there to investigate a mysterious communication. From there the group is thrown into the conflict on Reach because the Covenant are using the planet to spearhead the war. The team then finds itself in search of an artifact that will turn the tides of the war.
Reach puts all the pluses from the previous Halo games into practice. The action is non-stop and fast-paced. There are a lot of enemies to fight and the gun battles are large. In fact, at times, there is the feeling of being overwhelmed in a large scale war. There is a big mix of vehicle combat and ground combat and even a space mission.
Reach also features a great co-op story and it is very fun completing the objectives. In co-op mode your partner will come and aid in fighting enemies that seem to be relentless, especially during the times that Six is separated from the rest of the squad. The squad AI, unfortunately is not as good. There are times in which the AI controlled character goes off and does not help when the Covenant are around.
Bungie implemented new gameplay elements for the title. The first is the use of a power up system with guns and armor. The game puts to use each of the various weapons and armor layouts throughout the story; all are needed in order to complete the game. You can also customize Six’s look by unlocking different items via completing objective in single- and in multi-player modes.
Halo: Reach multiplayer is amazing. There is a ton of different content in terms of game modes as well as map creation, and a video viewer. Bungie has put it all together perfectly and it is very easy to understand and navigate. There are daily and weekly challenges that use each of the different game modes. Of course, you will need an XBLA gold account for multiplayer, and the multiplayer really is a must for fans of the franchise.
Reach is the best game in the series. It is also potentially the last game that developer Bungie is creating as Microsoft has a new development team, 343 Industries, to take over all upcoming Halo projects.
Halo: Reach is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood, Violence.
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