Halo: Reach Boasts New Tech, Bigger Battles

It's easy to think of Halo: Reach and yawn, imagining yet another Halo game using the same old Halo formula and the same old Halo tech. Listen to Bungie detail the game, though, and your optimism may come sneaking back.

Reach is the cover feature in the latest issue of Game Informer, and the piece inside gives us our first real look at Bungie's next "proper" Halo title.

Probably most interesting, to me at least, was the revelation that Bungie's engine - which by ODST had started showing signs of ageing - has been massively overhauled, with big increases in not only the level of fidelity on display, but in the number of enemies and objects that can be on screen at any one time.

This means much bigger fights than you've ever seen in a Halo game, and these major engagements will form many of the game's key moments.

Another key piece of information is that in many areas the game's been stripped back, to bring it more into line with the original Halo, to which this title is serving as a prequel.

The shield/health system from Halo 1 is back, and both spiked and flame grenades have been removed from the game. Equipment has also been simplified, with a single slot created for power-ups that be swapped in and out like a third weapon.

One final thing that was buried in the article: the facial animation for all the game's characters has been outsourced to Image Metrics, the company behind that amazing "Emily" clip from a few years back. So expect a raised eyebrow or two.

[Game Informer February 2010]


    Whats with the 4-player coop concept these days. Like its cool and all by why 4? Why not 5 or 6 or even 10?

      I may be wrong, but what I got from the tailer was that it indicated to me that there will be 6 player coop?? But i'm probably wrong.

        4-player co-op is expected here, with the 2-people-per-console limitation enforced again.

        And while more sometimes means better, it can also backfire considerably. Four seems to be a standard number (probably due to the number of controller ports on consoles for generations), so it makes sense to continue with four player co-op.

      Xbox has four controllers.

        Xbox LIVE.

        Halo's Previous Engine only ever supported 4 playes, so if they've overhauled the engine, then no doubt they're probably upped the Co-Op capability for more people.

        It'll of course be 4 Player Local Co-op...but you may be able to introduce more.

        And as for 10 player Co-Op...that'd be shit, too many people just ruins the fun. I'd say 6 is the absolute Maxium...

    Yawn... optimism faded a long time ago and is never coming back.

    I'm always apprehensive when they mention bigger battles. Bigger battles seem like they would be better, because more is better, right? But from what I've seen, more usually just means more annoying, less well scripted. Some of the best encounters in games are with only a handful of enemies, scripted in a way that makes it interesting, or with an interesting mix of enemy types, or around an environment that encourages different sorts of tactics.

    I hold out hope for this, if only because I know it'll be a good game. It'll be interesting to see if Bungie can turn this from good to great again.

    Halo FTW! only 3 games matter any more

    COD MW


    BTW trials HD rocks! :P

      As much as I risk getting flamed for this, I do have to agree. Besides another couple of awesome games like Bad Company and IF GoW redeems itself after gow2's joke, you're spot on ^.^

    Wait they're taking stuff out? "Another key piece of information is that in many areas the game’s been stripped back, to bring it more into line with the original Halo, to which this title is serving as a prequel."

    How is that a good thing? Unless they can replace them and build a better system of using the things they have, but i think them saying taking them out is a good thing because it brings it in line with halo 1 is just code for "we couldn't be bothered thinking of a way of letting the players have them, and we know people are going to buy this game no matter what so we don't care"

      In line with what I mentioned before about bigger not necessarily being better, the same goes with more not necessarily being better. Personally I enjoyed ODST quite a bit because the experience was pulled back and restrained that bit more than Bungie have been doing recently. It gave it a bit more of a focused tone, and force them to think about the encounters just a little bit more.

      We don't want Halo to get quite this ridiculous...

      'Stripping it back' might be laziness, but I'm more inclined to believe that it was done to 'streamline' the experience, and to keep in-game technology to a level similar to Halo 1 for continuity reasons (as strange as that sounds given the ~9 year difference in release). Doesn't sound like they've changed it too drastically anyways.

      They have to take stuff out as most of it wasn't available in the original Halo so the stories can dovetail together. This should mean that they are forced to concentrate more on story and interesting scenarios for battles rather than just having an endless choice of weaponry. I think this is a good move. The original Halo still has some of the best levels of Halo like "Assault on the control room".

      As for the 6 player question earlier, this stems from some dialogue in the trailer welcoming the new guy as the 6th member of the squad. I doubt this means 6 players. My guess is that it gives them some characters to kill off over a trilogy (my guess) which then lines up with the Master Chief (after a few promotions it would seem) being the only Spartan left. Fortunately, a prequel allows them to use Sgt Johnson again after needlessly killing him off in Halo 3.

    Halo's too old. It peaked with Halo 3.

      Try telling that to everyone who made Halo 3 the most played on Xbox Live for the whole year of 2009. A whole two years after the game was first released. The most played game on Xbox Live which has over 20 million users.


    Hey look... more Halo.

    At least they put some thought into character animations this time. The human facial animations in the last 2 games were terrible.

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