Halo. The most prestigious, the most loved, the most grandiose shooter franchise of all time. It is said that console shooters would be nothing if it weren’t for Halo. Halo: Combat Evolved is to console shooters what Half Life is to PC shooters. Often placed amongst the likes of Goldeneye 007 and Half Life 2, all Halo games are, definitely, some of the most influential and qualitative titles out there in the market.
But what exactly is so good about the Halo games? Is it the fast paced, exciting gunplay? Is it the extraordinarily tight controls? Is it the highly refined and polished and addictive online experience? Or is it the element of strategy, the use of cover, the sheer fire-power one experiences while playing through a Halo game? It’s hard to point out, actually. For most of the part, Halo games do nothing that other shooters in the market do not. But whatever it is, it makes the Halo franchise magical, irresistible, and the most lovable franchise out in the market.
The Halo saga has been running strong for almost ten years. Launching on the Xbox with Halo: Combat Evolved, the franchise has spawned 5 games, and all of them have been remarkably good. With legends ranging from Halo to Halo 2, each new entry has a lot on its hands, and has a lot to live up to. All of the games bearing the name Halo have been extraordinarily good, and we expect nothing less off Bungie’s upcoming First Person Shooter epic, Halo: Reach.
Halo: Reach, set shortly before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved, will be releasing this September, and with just a month between us and its release, our impatience grows.
Here is a breakdown of what we think the game will be. Sit back, enjoy the read, and let us know what you think via your comments.
Halo games have been known to be great, but they have always had some- many, in fact- issues. The graphics, for one, have never taken full advantage of the potential of the system the game is on. The story has always been barely enough to carry the game upon its shoulders. Halo games have always been gameplay-centric, though that isn’t exactly a bad thing. But will Halo: Reach change that? Let’s have a look.
Halo: Reach is set shortly before the events of the first Halo games, and is set in the same backdrop of the war against the Covenant like the other Halo titles. Though the player will not be assuming the role of Master Chief in this games (he will be making a guest appearance, though), we will be taking the role of a SPARTAN, known by the name Noble-6. Working under his Noble team leaders, and the last Noble survivors, Carter-A259 and Kat-B320.
By the looks of it, Halo: Reach’s story is nothing out of the ordinary- a typical Halo game by all means. But the leaked ending that we reported on yesterday (it has now been deleted from the Youtube database), which, by the way, was 100% authentic, looked bloody awesome. Not only does Halo: Reach look good, with sharp and clear graphics, epic set pieces and detailed environments, the game seems to have great presentation, and a wonderful story. But we’ve only seen six minutes of the entire game, so I think it’s too soon to comment.
But we should remember, Bungie have a thing for surprising their fans, and with an all new, story-driven campaign, they might just do it again with Halo: Reach.
Unlike all other Halo games before, the graphics of Halo: Reach seem to be outstanding. Not only are the character models and the enemy designs very innovative and creative, the environments, the set pieces seem sharply detailed, and look downright epic. Great attention is being paid to detail, and it looks like, this time around, Halo: Reach will have “darker” and “grittier” graphics, as opposed to the typically “colourful” visuals of Halo, Halo 2 and Halo 3.
I am pretty sure we can all look forward to clearer, sharper and more impressive graphics in Halo: Reach, which might just raise the bar for graphics in upcoming shooters.
Halo Reach will have several gameplay changes from previous Halo titles. Much like Halo 3: ODST, Halo Reach will not give players the ability to wield two weapons at once, i.e dual wielding. Equipment power-ups, instead of being one-time use power-ups as in Halo 3, will be permanently usable items for players until and unless they are replaced. These power-ups will include a hologram, where the player spawns a “dummy” twin, jetpack, active camo, sprint, and “armor lock”, which makes the player invincible in exchange for the loss of mobility (thanks Wikipedia).
This time around, Forge will be set in a large map known as the Forge World, which will have several maps created by Bungie developers, which will be available on the discs that are shipped to the stores.
Other changes in multiplayer are pretty neat. Like the new feature called “Loadout” lets the playr pre-determine what kind of weapons he/she would want at respawn. Even the veto system has been improved, so now players will be able to vote for their favourite maps and game modes out of the given choices.
To make the multiplayer more replayable and longer lasting, players will be awarded with credits, which can later be used to aesthetically customize armours.
The multiplayer will also focus many new modes such as Invasion, Headhunter, Generator Defence and Stockpile. In Invasion, which is probably the most interesting of all, six players are divided into two teams of three, and will have Spartans battling against Elites. Elites vie for control of territories to disable a shield guarding a navigation core; once the shield is disabled, they must transfer the core to a dropship—the Spartans must prevent this from happening. As the game progresses, new loadouts, vehicles, and areas of the map become open.
As is pretty apparent, Bungie is putting in a lot of work into making this game the complete Halo package. Not only does the single player look completely epic, the multiplayer looks as fun, addictive, innovative, fresh and enjoyable as ever, if not more.
The big question- will Halo: Reach be worthy of a 10/10? All over the forums, the same statement has been popping up- Halo Reach is the Xbox 360’s final shot at an exclusive 10/10 title. Not Gears of War 3, not Fable III, not Forza Motorsport 4. Halo Reach is the only title that has a shot at being an AAAAE title.
From what we can see, it’s a sure shot 10/10 game. Apart from concentrating even more on gameplay than previous Halo games (and that’s saying something), the game seems to feature a brilliantly presented compelling story, great soundtrack, and sharp, detailed visuals. For all we know, this might turn out to be the definitive Halo title, and the mote refined shooter experience ever.