Hmm maybe I should use “Jackoquick” as a tag for any shotgun fast reviews I post…
Microsoft has now created an event level moment for each game in the main Halo series. Don’t believe me? You haven’t clicked the link above. And yes, that’s a REAL person in a jet pack in Trafalgar Square in the article above. But now the review…
Class was torture last night, knowing that my pre-order copy of Halo: Reach was on my front porch sitting in a vinyl packing envelope from Best Buy. Once I ran home (at 10pm) I tore it open, sat down with my tacos, and popped it into the Xbox360 with my 40″ HD TV. You do a quick customization of your armor and then off you go into the campaign.
The intro sweep of the planet was on par with a Discovery Channel or National Geographic special, beautiful landscapes and then the harrowing shot of your beaten and bashed-in helmet.
Halo Reach will not end happily.
For those that don’t know, the Halo game series is a 3 game main arc of the Master Chief, a future super soldier left with the task of fighting the Covenant, an alliance of aliens set on the destruction of humanity. Imagine the Independence Day aliens, the Predators, and that 4 eyed guy from Monsters Vs. Aliens teaming up with the Mars Attacks baddies. That’s the intimidation factor involved with facing the covenant. Over the 3 Halo games, long story short, you save the universe, but the prequel that is always referenced is the Fall of Reach, an outpost planet where the Covenant pulled a Pearl Harbor on mankind. Yes, I just compared a real life tragedy to a video game, but that’s an analogy folks, but the bottom line is that you enter the Reach experience knowing that you will, ultimately lose.
You are playing a game that you will 100% lose. Let that sit.
What a game.
You join Noble Team as the new sixth member on an elite tactical squad sent to investigate insurgency on Reach. Very quickly, you learn the personalities of other players and sadly, start to become fond of some of them. I’m finding that Jun and Jorge are two characters that are well written and humanized to the point that I’m already sad that they are going to meet some terrible demise.
The graphics are great, though at times there are some shiny edge lines on the figures that are an accepted side effect of modern hyper-realistic graphics rendering engines. But the game play is fluid when multiple targets are on-screen.
I’m not huge on multiplayer death matches and games on XboxLive as I do not enjoy playing against foul mouthed 12 year old rich kids who think Good Charlotte is “classic punk”, but Halo: Reach does have a feature outside of campaign that I did think was a blast (literally and figuratively), the Firefight.
Firefight was in Halo 3:ODST but this was my first experience playing it; I passed on Halo 3:ODST as it felt/looked more like add-on content, and reviews were definitely not kind to it in comparison to other Halo games. For one person of multiples, Firefight allows you to take on multiple successive waves of attackers, and is great practice for using different weapons, working on maneuvers/combo attacks, and strategy. I played alone last night with just myself as a single Spartan fighting incoming drop ships and was amazed by the intensity and fun at just having nonstop action.
So after playing 2 out of the 3 gameplay types, I’m already giving this a 9 out of 10, and would highly recommend to fans of shooters and sci-fi. If you’re a “Call of Duty is better” fanboy, then go play Call of Duty. But don’t call a great game like Halo “weak” and I won’t call a great game like “Call of Duty” weak. Fair enough?
Thus speaketh the Jackalope.