Sunday, 10 October 2010

Reach Report

This is my very first internet blog post/Games review ... so bare with me.

G’day all you Lovely internet people out there. Today I will be reviewing the one and only Halo Reach. Now I know what you’re thinking, Reach … The fifth instalment into the halo games, how can Bungie have made any improvements … I mean, just look at the cod games…
            Through sheer skill, that’s how.
Somehow the Good people at Bungie have secured their fifth title as more than a mere re-hash. They have created a fine fitting prequel that their fans have long been hungry for. After the somewhat disappointing ‘Halo: ODST’, Bungie had to do something to please their fan base. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying ODST was a bad game; it’s just that there was so much more that bungie could and should have done.
            Reach however goes a step above and beyond what we were all expecting with a whole host of new features for us to play around with.


            The first improvements I’ll discuss are the ones made to Forge. Forge for a long time has been my Favourite feature of the Halo Games, as it has allowed me to really let my creativity loose. So imagine my surprise when I no longer need to go through obscenely long measures just to get two walls to create a ‘cross’, all you avid Forgers out there will know of this frustration.
            The way that Bungie have counters this, is by allowing items/objects to have three states of existence. The State that has allowed me to crate without limitations, is ‘Phased’ this means that the object will not react to any other objects until placed, where it fixes itself into the map. Long gone are the days or setting spawn times just to merge objects.
            Another new thing that they have done is allowed us to forge on the Campaign maps, which I understand has got certain members of the community complaining about how ‘Bungie are too lazy to create Separate Multi-player maps’, However this is exactly what I have been looking and waiting for. Finally I can create an infection map on one of the ‘main’ levels.
            Bungie have also created the mother of all Forging maps, dubbed ‘Forge World’ this monster of a map allows you to create almost anything on it. I personally have created a number of levels on this, and am still finding out new things to do. The possibilities on Forge world really are endless.
            One final feature they have added to forge that really interests me, is the ability to colour certain pieces of scenery. You want that set of forerunner blocks over there to belong to the red team? No problem, just bring up the menu and change their colour to red. Problem solved, as simply as that.
            The controls feel much smoother on the whole as well, allowing players to do a whole lot more with their ideas. There is one criticism I have with Forge however, and that is the lack of ‘object zooming’, that’s right, the ability to move the object closer to the camera and vice versa. Instead this has been changed with the ability to ... move the camera closer to the object, which sort of ruins the whole aspect of the ‘Object zoom.’ Never the less, Forge has still managed to remain my all time Favourite part of the Halo Franchise.


            Multiplayer itself has always been a large part of the Halo games, be it blasting each other with shotguns on the fabled Blood Gulch, or mowing each other down in warthogs on Zanzibar. The halo games have always delivered with Barrels of fun.
            Halo Reach is no exception to this and with the added ability to customize your Spartan with Armour that you have bought using the Credits you earned for simply being awesome, allows the player to feel more connected with the character, as they have built them up from scratch.
            There are a number of new multiplayer game types up for Grabs on Reach, including interesting variations of old classics, such as king of the hill. One G.T in particular has grabbed and held my attention off all others, this is Invasion. I think that part of its charm comes from the fact that you start off with quite useless weapons, then as your team progresses, you unlock new and incredibly awesome Armaments of Death and Doom.
            Invasion involves capturing territories in order to advance through the game. I know that this just sounds like a re-make of territories, but the point of Invasion, is that you cannot actually progress until you have captured the objective, be it blowing up a generator, or stealing a power core; This instils a kind of unity as your team, because you no longer split up to go after separate territories, you all band together in order to complete the objective and proceed.
            There have been criticisms about Matchmaking recently, as you cannot search for individual game types, only the categories they fall into (Rumble pit, Big team etc etc) However, I feel that this adds a nice little charm to the Halo online experience, as you have no idea what they next game type will be until you have a chance to vote. Again the whole voting proves could be viewed as a bad thing if you are the only one who wants to play Invasion, when the rest of the team all want Swat, but this just creates more variety in the game types, by throwing players out of their comfort zone which is not done very often in online games.


            I’m sure you can all remember that beautiful moment from Combat Evolved when you stepped out of those tight corridors and into that lush green valley that seemed to stretch on for miles. If there is one thing that has remained memorable to the Halo campaign, it was how the player felt small in comparison to the chaos of the war. In no other Franchise, have I needed to fight off the Equivalent of three wraiths and a metric Shiz Ton of enemies.
            As with the last few Halo games, this one promises to pack a punch in terms of its campaign, what with a great story and great characters. Sadly there will be no Johnson … or Buck. Instead Bungie have made up for that fact with the delightful personas of Noble team. During my Time with noble team, I truly felt connected to them and (even though they are invincible, as with every campaign character in almost every game I know of) wanted to keep them safe and protect them.
            Sadly though, this campaign is not all that long, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in strength and determination. The story that Follows Reach is one of Comradeship, survival and hope.
            If you are one of those people crazy enough to own an Xbox 360 or not yet own Reach, I highly suggest heading over to the link at the top and picking up a copy, I hope you enjoy your time on reach as much as I did. 

1 comment:

  1. I worried that Reach wasn't going to be as good, but I'll take your word for it. I'mma pick up a copy tomorrow- see you on Live :3