Halo: Reach

Halo: Reach is a very well polished shooter with some excellent multiplayer that contains minor language and basic sci-fi violence but with plenty of multi-colored blood.
Ben Randall - Guest Reviewer
Content at a glance:

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ Genre: First-person Shooter Rating: 3 of 5 (average) Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent) Violence: 2 of 5 (heavy) Adult Content: 4 of 5 (barely present)

In case you have been living in a cave for the past decade you have probably heard of Halo.Halo has always been known for its top-notch multiplayer, fun vehicles,intelligent and fun to fight enemies, well made campaigns, and Master Chief. Halo: Reach continues these traditions, that is except for the Master Chief part, as in Halo:Reach you control Noble 6, the newest member of Noble Team as you battle the invading covenant forces.

The controls in Halo: Reach are tight and work very well, and Bungie manages to make the gameplay feel fresh with the addition of armor abilities, which are an evolution of the Equipment found in Halo 3. There are six armor abilities: Sprint:which lets you sprint for a period of time. Jet Pack: which lets you fly for a for a short period of time. Holographic Decoy: which sends a hologram of you forward for 10 seconds to draw enemy fire. Drop Shield: which creates a temporary semi-spherical shield that heals you and will dissipate faster when attacked. Armor Lock: which lets you lock your armor, becoming temporarily invincible but stationary. Evade:which is covenant and can only be used by elites.In the campaign you can switch out your armor abilities when you find a new one, while in multiplayer you choose loadouts, which function similarly as classes do in the Battlefield games armor abilities. These are very fun to use as you discover new strategies to use them. There are also several new vehicles such as the Revenant: a covenant light infantry support vehicle that can carry a driver and a passenger. The Falcon: a helicopter like vehicle that can carry a pilot, two gunners, and three pilots in the campaign, but can only carry a pilot and two gunners in multiplayer. In one level there is a space fighting sequence that, while not being very deep, is a fun change and doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Story/Campaign: Halo: Reach is a prequel to the main Halo trilogy and ends right where Combat Evolved starts.Its story is easier to understand and follow than those of past Halos. Also the campaign of Halo: Reach has a much darker tone than past Halo games, and there is a sense of despair throughout the campaign. The campaign will last about a standard 8-10 hours depending on skill level.

Multiplayer: Where Halo: Reach really excels is in its multiplayer. The level of customization is incredible as you can alter just about anything about a match. There are also 12 different multiplayer custom game types, one notable addition is Invasion, which pits Spartans vs Elites. Firefight mode has you fighting off wave after wave of covenant, first introduced in Halo 3 ODST, Firefight has reached its true potential in Halo: Reach as you can customize each wave to whatever you want it and there are different game variants. The one aspect of the multiplayer that could be considered lacking is the amount of maps, as there are only 13.

The soundtrack for Halo: Reach is excellent and really adds to the overall atmosphere as it swells and dips with the action. The sound effects are equally impressive and each weapon has a distinct sound.

The new graphics engine developed for Halo: Reach works very well, though a the frame rate gets a little choppy when there is a lot of action happening onscreen. The graphics may not be the most technically stunning out there but the whole art style is gorgeous to feast your eyes on.

Halo: Reach obviously contains a lot of violence, as it is a First-Person shooter and there are a lot of ways to inflict violence as the Halo arsenal has been expanded even more(my favorite addition is the plasma launcher).I feel the violence easily could have been T rated. The most intense thing that happens is in one cutscene somebody gets impaled by an energy sword(but it is far away so it is not that graphic). Enemies and allies do shed blood when they get shot(or blown up, or stabbed)but most of it is purple or blue or orange, though one alien race(the brutes)do have red blood and you and your allies do have red blood. And blood also does get on the ground and walls and will stay there. Also you will find a lot of dead soldiers and civilians with their blood splattered on ground or walls next to them throughout the campaign.

In the campaign’s dialogue there are about 3 SOB, about half a dozen d*mns and h*lls and b*stard, and during firefights marines will infrequently shout b*astard and d*amn.

Halo: Reach is an overall great package and the culmination of what Bungie has been doing with the Halo games for the last decade thus it is a fitting swan song for Bungie, as this is their last Halo game. The ESRB rated this game M, but I feel that it does not exceed the content of T rated game.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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