Sunday, October 10, 2010

POPped Review: Halo:Reach

Halo:Reach has been out now for a few weeks and some have breezed through the solo campaign; and others could care less about the solo campaign and it's all about the online multi-player.  For me it has been all about taking my time and hiding in the corner.  As we've discussed before, I'm not a gamer who is out for blood and to dominate the top shots on XBOX.  Nope.  I'm a dude who likes playing games that are fun and want to have fun in the process.  And Halo:Reach is not just a fun game, it's a great game.  

Bungie has been able to re-brand a franchise that many of us thought was ready to go away.  For what is already legendary in the world of console games, trying to bring a prequel into the mix is difficult.  But Bungie did the right thing and did not include Master Chief in this.  They created a story that would lead us into the first Halo and did it brilliantly.  As Spartan Number Six, you are thrown in with a squad already established together on the planet Reach.  This is a world where the Covenant has taken over and at first you need to lead squads of soldiers to try and end this.  It becomes apparent that this will not happen but it is up to your squad to not only help evacuate humans still on the planet, but to safely transport something from the planet that may help in defeating the Covenant.  

Along with the story, the game play and graphics have also taken a giant leap forward.  My buddy Jeff is an avid gamer and as he told me before, "I don't like first person shooters."  He decided to give Halo:Reach a run and he could not put it down.  From the jet packs to piloting through space and a city; he was won over.  If you've also felt like him with FPS', I think it will do the same for you.  

That's not to say that everything in the game is perfect.  One of my biggest criticisms of gameplay is the pause between the story to actual gameplay.  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 does a great job of transitioning from set up to actual play.  Where as here, once we leave the CG story and are getting a visual of where the next scene will take place there is a couple of seconds while the screen goes to black before the gameplay starts back up.  But that's not too big of deal in the grand scheme of things.  However, when you get to the end of the solo campaign and the credit screen comes up, wait through it.  There is an additional scene you may have not known about.

As we've already seen, gamers have been waiting for a game that is a worthy addition to the Halo franchise.  And they came out in droves to the tune of $200 million in the first 24 hours.  This makes it one of the biggest entertainment openings ever.  Once again Hollywood has noticed this as word has come out that Steve Spielberg is looking over the possibility of a reviving the idea of Halo movie.  But while we wait to see if this comes to be or if we will once again be let down, we can at least pop in Halo:Reach and live out the action.  And if you're me, hide in the corner and see if your squad can take everyone out before you run into the mix yelling, "Tah-da!"  Yeah, I'm that idiot.      

POPped with a Needler
Jungle Jesse