inFocus

“Every Legend Has a Beginning”

Publisher: Microsoft + Halo’s Graphics have never looked better.
+ Nonlinear huge environments. 
+ Soundtrack.
Developer: Bungie
Genre: FPS
Release: 09/15/10  
ESRB: Mature - Not playing as Master Chief.
- Occasional frame-rate dips.
- Duel Weilding is gone.
Platforms: Xbox 360
Halo: Reach Video
Length: 04:40

Halo Reach had  so many epic battles capturing them all would’ve been impossible, but here’s a glimpse of some of the action we’ve capture along the way.


Microsoft’s juggernaut franchise has returned, bringing us  one of the most highly anticipated titles of this generation; Halo Reach. This title is actually a prequel to the entire Halo franchise that we’ve all come to know, but one thing is for sure, Halo Reach pushes the Xbox 360 to heights never expected to “Reach”. Come join us as we take you through one of the greatest first person shooters this universe has ever known.

It has been a while since we’ve published a review here at the Lens of Truth and due to recent events, we’ve been very shorthanded and really busy behind the scenes. One thing is for sure, Halo: Reach is one title that can’t be ignored. We put this master franchise through our scope to bring you our full in-depth review of Halo Reach. So, without feather adieu, we bring you our Halo Reach review.


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Shawn Writes; “I still remember the day when I walked into my local Gamestop and heard the most amazing sound coming from a big black box sitting out of view in the far left coroner of the store. My ears lead me to one of the greatest introduction cinematics created, Halo: Combat Evolved or simply Halo 1. Right then and there, I was hooked. At the time Microsoft’s first console was struggling,  competing with Nintendo Gamecube, and Gamecube was dominating the market share. Microsoft needed a killer app to survive, and the Halo universe was born. Now, nine years later five titles have been launched, a slew of novels  published and Bungie’s final installment to the Halo franchise is finally here with Halo Reach. From the get-go Halo Reach was expected to exceed its predecessors in every aspect, but the question remained; “to what extent?” Well, your  questions have been answered because Bungie has done exactly what we were expecting with Halo Reach, bringing us another masterpiece and proving to the world Halo is still the King of the FPS.


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Halo: Reach is actually a prequel to the series, which exposes the events leading up to the exact second where Halo 1 starts.  This time around you take the roll of a  SPARTAN-III, simply known as Noble Six. Like Master Chief, your character is a generically engineered super shoulder whose main objective is to obliterate the covenant (an advanced alien race sworn to exterminate the human race) and regain control over the planet Reach. As you battle your way through the countless waves of covenant it becomes clear Bungie has raised the bar once again with their super advanced A.I. Some battles could easily take 10 to 20 minutes to complete especially when playing on Legendary mode. Furthermore, environments in Halo Reach look spectacular, utilizing the industry’s latest rendering achievements. Halo: Reach was a superb game in so many ways, but the one thing that could have been improved on, was the choppy frame-rate I encountered. Oddly enough, this wasn’t  just found when in the midst of battle, but I witnessed this throughout in-game  cut-scenes. Regardless, Halo: Reach was phenomenal and anyone without this gem is missing out on something special.

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Aaron Writes; “For me, Halo: Reach is the culmination of everything that is great about the Halo franchise. By far, Reach showcases the most intense battles and the smartest A.I. in the entire series. Besides the incredible Star Wars-like firefight my favorite addition has to be the Jetpack, and this is especially so, in multiplayer. There’s nothing like meeting your opponent 30 feet in the air to engage him in battle. At that point, I can’t help but feel like I’m Wang Chi from Big Trouble in Little China in his final battle against Lightning…just awesome! I feel, the only thing missing from Halo: Reach is of course, the Master Chief. Even knowing the games’ story beforehand and, that Planet Reach will fall, not having The Chief around is still a bit of a downer. Should that stop you from playing Halo: Reach? Absolutely not.”


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Jason Writes; “After ODST, I was a bit more reserved then the rest of the staff while waiting for Reach. But after the time that I have spent on this game, it is without a doubt, the best way for Bungie to bow out. I still feel awkward about not playing as Master Chief, but the campaign is what has set Halo apart from other FPS titles, and Reach’s campaign is arguably the best in the series. The decimation of Reach by the Covenant is an epic event and Bungie told the tale perfectly. On the multiplayer side of things the new loadouts add a feel of “Call of Halo” to the game, but the gameplay and maps are the best out there. Those on the staff know I usually never hang around for too long on most FPS titles, but I will be playing Reach for a very long time. This tile is not to be missed, not only for the quality of the game, but for being a piece of gaming history. Reach may be the final installment in the most revolutionary FPS series ever”.

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Multiplayer\Forge: The Halo multiplayer experience has always been top notch. Besides the Jetpack, which is awesome, being able to switch your style of play in multiplayer by way of the “Loadout” menu is a fantastic addition to the series. Although we weren’t really interested in the new “armor lock” ability (which makes a player invincible at the expense of moving), or the hologram (which spawns a clone of yourself sending enemies chasing after your decoy), they could both be very helpful to the players who favor them. If building your own levels in the Forge level creator is more your style, Bungie has added a number of options.  The main addition is “Forge World”, which allows players a canvas to create any kind of map they desire. Objects can now be phased into other objects giving players  almost endless possibilities of creation.

PRESENTATION / STORY GRAPHICS
A new graphics engine and another outstanding soundtrack make this the most polished Halo of all time. As for the story, it loses a few points by fans already knowing the outcome. Bungie’s new rendering engine has  improved on every graphical aspect of its’ predecessors  and then some, by  including top notch HDR lighting, enhanced physics,  and legendary AI  enemies.
GAMEPLAY / CONTROLS REPLAY VALUE
Halo: Combat Evolved revolutionized controls for the entire FPS genre, and in Halo: Reach, thankfully, they stay the same…perfect. The campaign should take you around 10 hours on Legendary. As for the Multiplayer, we’re talking about one of the most popular online series of all time, replay value is HIGH.
OVERALL (NOT AN AVERAGE)
There’s no doubt about it, Bungie’s farewell to the Halo franchise is the most robust entry in the series. Halo: Reach offers players an epic campaign, fantastic audio & visuals, and a multiplayer that is so addictive, you may need to seek counseling in a few months to stop playing it. Nevermind being a Halo fan, if you’re at all interested in First Person Shooters, you owe it to yourself to pick-up and play Reach. Now that Bungie is leaving the series, chances are you won’t play another FPS quite this good for a long time.