Community Review: Halo: Reach

What’s better than one person doing a review? A whole community! Halo: Reach was released yesterday, and we’d like to know what you think. Considering picking it up? This is the thread you need to see. Already played it? Or perhaps just the multiplayer beta? We need your thoughts below!

For me, the first Halo was amazing. When the second came out, I took a day off work - to discover I only needed half a day. The third and ODST were much the same story. Nonetheless, my relationship with Halo has been like a child taking a bath at night. I never want to get it, but once I do, I don't want to get out. I play the campaign through without putting down the controller, try out a bit of multiplayer, get teabagged and insulted by a preteen, and then move on to something else.

This is the first Community Review where we haven't had time to play the game yet (oh don't worry, we'll make time), so there's a few things we want to know.

First - what do you play Halo for? If you play it for the story, does Reach deliver? What about the multiplayer side of things?

What new things does it bring to the Halo universe or indeed the genre? How does it explain these new things, given we're actually going back in time? How does the new Forge functionality work? What crazy things can you do with it?

Much has been made of the squad element - how present is this really? How much more enjoyable is it in co-op? And what of jetpacks and space - worth the hype?

Leave your thoughts below...


    I am a long time bungie fan, and I love it. Best halo game to date, campaign is very well put together and reach has the best online experience I have played in a while. If you loved any halo game, you will love reach.

    I never thought much of it until I bought Halo3 cheap last year. I've since played all the games and enjoyed them thoroughly, and am at the stage that I preordered Reach; the only time I ever have preordered a game.

    Bastard thing ain't turned up yet...

    It's definetly the best one (yet?) out of all of the Halo serious ofcourse. I never played online alot when it came to Halo 3 but this whoa... This I spent atleast a good 4 hours online before I even played campaign.

      Was supposed to say series not serious. **Facepalm**

    The squadmates are awesome, I utterly despised the ODST team in Halo: ODST, all they did was annoy the fuck out of me while i was trying to play.

    Reach on the otherhand, teams you up with a bunch of badasses, Jorge is definitely my favourite noble to do missions with, followed by Jun (he's the sniper, right?).

    The game itself is gorgeous and plays like a dream. I'm glad the whole silly covenant chatter and excessive purple is gone and they've brought the brick-shittingly intense enemies from the original. This would have to be the first time since the first Halo that i've panicked at the sight of hunters.

    Online is amazing, as is expected and the armour abilities add a lot to the experience. Hologram in particular can be hilarious/badass when used well in slayer. Also, about damn time Infection was in matchmaking.

    Great game worthy of the hype, packed with a ton of stuff to do, you'd be mad to pass this up.

      I love Jorge, he's freaking awesome.

      As someone who thought the first Halo was pretty good, and the others pretty meh, I quite enjoyed this. Co-op was fun, and I positively loved the jetpacks. Who needs stairs? The campaign was over way too fast for me, which was a damn shame. I wish they made Co-op so that I could be Jorge or something, while Player 1 was Noble 6. This, the campaign length, and the frame rate (during cutscenes) were my biggest points of annoyance.

      But it's a pretty fun game. And this is from someone who thought the others were quite meh.

      Also, I haven't played online. 1 - Don't have a 360, my friend does. 2 - Said friend is quite cheap and dislikes the concept of paying to play online. 3 - Well, I can only imagine there'd be people like this online:
      I joke :P

    The world itself is soo pretty... it's like when you got out of the crashed pelican in the Halo CE, and you saw the horizon streaching up into the distance... it's that feeling all over again.

    The DMR is awesome, although I've gotten used to being able to zoom with the left trigger and that's not even a selectable option in Reach.

    But it's still Halo, the old techniques work just as well as ever... grenade then shoot and melee what's left. The armour abilities are great and the assasinations are heaps of fun, but it sucks that you have to sneak up on elites (campaign) to do them.

    Flying the sabre is awesome... even though the area you can fly in is limited, it's still highly enjoyable.

    I'm not finding the Noble team that endearing... but it's nice being able to pick up a fireteam on the fly.

    My biggest complaint is the horrendous friendly AI. Any vehicle requiring more than 1 person isn't usable on Legendary because they either can't aim or drive up walls.

      I always drive but in a particular section with a warthog with a bloody missile launcher i put the bloody warthog right in line with the BIG sentry gun i wanted to destroy and the AI would not shoot, not at all, stupid bloddy idiot.
      So i get out to take control of the missiles, blow the sentry to bits just as the AI hops in the drivers seat and heads straight for the cliff.
      Luckily i jumped out just as it drove off and got to watch the AI piloted Warthog of doom explode at the bottom of the cliff.

      And that about sums up how bad the team AI is.
      4 player Co-op solves this problem and other than the AI i am absolutely loving the campaign.
      should finish it tonight then have an all weekend LAN planned for some serious co-op and firefight.

      as i havent finished yet i cant comment on if i prefer the campaign to Halo CE but i think its clear so far that its better than 2,3 and ODST.

      ps. Space combat was an awesome novelty and the stage directly following it was great (definite halo CE moments there

    My opinions are fairly limited, as I haven't had much time to play. I'm about half way through campaign on Heroic, mucked around with Forge briefly this morning and I'll probably start hitting up multiplayer/firefight come the weekend.

    First off - I play Halo because I like the balance of mechanics. I play through the campaigns on multiple occasions but not for the story, but because I enjoy the encounters. I'm finding so far with Reach the set pieces are enjoyable and varied, and the pacing is pretty damn good. I'll definitely hit it again to see how the AI varies, to see how it goes on co-op.

    On the squad element, I've come across it a couple of times so far but it didn't really add anything for me. I didn't feel a compulsion to keep them alive, and they didn't really add anything in terms of offensive power as they were just more like cannon-fodder.

    I think the armour abilities are a lot of fun, and really vary the way you play a level. For instance, I found myself using hologram a lot in campaign as it was very powerful in tricky situations to buy a bit more defensive time. Whether it will work in multiplayer is another thing, but I found they affected my aggressiveness and were a very good compliment to the gameplay.

    I think I've written enough for now, I'll come back and add thoughts when I've played some MM. :)

      Ah, when I'm talking about the 'squad', I meant the little random groups of people who you pick up from time to time.

      The squad of spartans are, while a bit generic, good to be around and fun to fight in. The bit before the sabre level is a great example of that.

    I picked it up at midnight and took the day off on Tuesday to savor it.

    I've only made it 50% through the campaign in the five or so hours I spent with it and it wasn't until I went to check out any new bits and peices in Halo Waypoint, that I realised I wasn't logged in to Xbox Live through out most of the day.

    I played the Multiplayer Beta and while I loved the gameplay the community of preteens really kill any sense of companionship. (Im 31) I don't understand for a game that is MA15 how sooo many of them are still singing higher than Justin Beiber startled by a spider.

    That aside I'll be adding worthy Kotaku's and TOG's and the few Xboxer's I know to explore Fire Fight and hopefully campaign in Legendary mode.

    I know you get a few people that will whinge about Halo and the Hype but the amount of polish that Bungie but in their titles are second to none. Not only do you get an engaging campain that supports up to four people online. There is tens of multiplayer modes as well as a scored survival co-op mode (Fire Fight). Then you have all the moders and machinima folks happy with Forge.

    Then finally you have the Bungie forums and with player stats and video and screenshot submission. It is an amazing technical feat in itself.

    I'll line up on day one and buy whatever Bungie sell next likely on Xbox (although I own a PS3). The game is everythingn you expect from a great developer and I indend to extract every byte of fun from the over 6Gb of Halo: Reach goodness.

    XBL: Oz Stonewolf (pre-teens will be removed instantly)

      *Stuff I forgot to mention*

      I play Halo for the storyline and I guess to relive the nostalgia of the first two. I had a PS2 and a housemate bought home an Xbox and Halo: Combat Evolved. Within a fortnight I had returned the PS2 and store credited it too an Xbox.

      We use to share our local network with bridging software so that we could play LAN games with others around Melbourne as the original didn't support XBL.

      I've read the books and played through all the single player games. The original story was by far the best. Halo 2 and 3 felt a little like the butchering of the Matrix trilodgy but it wasn't a complete disaster as the gameplay was changed enough to introduce new tactics.

      I think the prequel was made from a story point so that gameplay could be redesigned a new and previous decisions could be remade without pressure from the Halo lore confusing the issue.

      I'm enjoying the Single player and the pacing is nice but it does feel a little force feed in to environments they can reuse in multiplayer for better or worse.

      I don't think the A.I controlled squad stuff works. The soldiers just die and the Noble 6 guys are Bad Company 2 invincible. It will work much better in co-op as it did with H3 I'd imagine. I'm curious how they do the cut scences etc. I guess they just let you pretend the guys you are playing with are the other noble team members. I've heard the difficulty scales with number of players which is a massive welcome change.

    I love it, one of my favourites, though probably not as much as number 1. I do however have a few minor complaints. These aren't a big deal, and I still love the game and there is more good than bad, but you will probably hear plenty about the good from other people, so I'll just talk about the bad from my perspective.

    Firstly, it still feels like Halo. Combat hasn't really changed though I do think the enemies are better looking and smarter and the weapons are more interesting. Armour abilities are a nice touch and can sometimes be a tough choice, however I found I often completely forgot about my ability running through the campaign.

    Sometimes the graphics look gorgeous, however I have found that in some cut-scenes there is some blurriness on movement and pixellation. This may just be the settings on my tv however I have heard the same thing from a friend. There is even one point where you take the gunner position on an aircraft where I found there was a lot of texture popup (ie Mass Effect 1) and distant shades weren't even being drawn properly. By shades I mean the covenant turrets, I could see their bases, but not the turret itself, and could only shoot them by aiming at where the bullets where coming from.

    I am a little disappointed that there aren't more 'wow' moments in the campaign. It felt like they tried hard to make these in ODST though they didn't necessarily 'wow' me. Here there are some moments that are definitely cool, a couple of scenes of large scale battles where you jump into the fray, however I still feel like these don't compare to the ones in Halo CE, for instance the fight towards the end of Two Betrayals where you have to fight through a Covenant defensive line to get to a banshee while it is under attack by the Flood.

    Finally the team-mates I found to be satisfactory but that's about all. They're certainly more useful and more intelligent than the marines in the earlier games however I still tended to forget they were there and run ahead doing my own thing. Rarely was I in a fight where one saved my life or flanked an enemy I was attacking.

    In the end it is still a great game, I loved it and will keep playing it for much time to come. However it feels like with each game Bungie has added a little big more shine to the game, I was hoping here we would be given something that would truly take my breath away like the original Halo did. This doesn't do it, and perhaps my memories of Halo CE are simply seen through rose tinted glasses, but it is still a fantastic game and with all the options of firefight, matchmaking and forge, not one I'll stop playing for a long time; if ever.

    Picked it up at midnight, played for an hour then went to sleep... so I could get up 4 hours later and spend the next 5 days at uni, attending a conference. Unfortunate timing :/

    I watched my boyfriend play the single-player campaign. The scenery is really beautiful especially in the cut scenes. Game controls are basically the same for all the Halo games, nothing to complain about. One thing I found funny but annoying at the same time was the inability of the Noble Team Spartans to drive vehicles or even hop into them: a lot of the time Noble 6 had to go back, walk around, push them to make them get into vehicles.

    Played the original on PC, loved it, played the second eventually, was in no rush, got to play the third ahead of the rest of the world because I was working at a games shop at the time, and eventually got around to playing ODST on a friend's copy.
    Reach is the first one I've paid full price for, albeit a bargain full price. The others were either rented or borrowed.
    Gotta say I'm not a huge fan of the series, although I haven't played Reach yet.
    The games feel fairly samey, despite the obvious polish, and only the first made a real impression on me.
    Then again, I haven't had much experience with multiplayer, which some people seem to think is the next coming, but as a primarily singleplayer adventurer, I rarely complete more than two playthroughs.

    The release of a Halo title has become a bit of a father-son event for me and my son (who is now 19)ever since we lined up to get Halo 2 at a midnight launch. So I made sure i got the day off work and we played for 7 hours (5 hrs Campaign/2hrs multiplayer).

    Seeing our original xbox 360 console is actually my sons I decided to spring for the Reach console bundle as well so we system linked on 2 screens for co-op campaign.

    First obvious thing is that Bungie have put a lot of effort into the storyline. The expanse of ground they cover is quite extrordinary. I liked how they linked in the storyline with the original Halo although it doesn't explain the more advanced weapons and vehicles or why Brutes are on Reach (I think this is a mistake even though the Brutes are mentioned in the books as well).

    Lots of nods to the original Halo in the settings and mission tag lines which was good. Also good for a change not to have "the Flood" and also no "Library" type level that sucks. Overall very enjoyable. A few nice surprises included as well.

    For those who have yet to finish campaign, make sure you stay until after the credits, this time for a little playable content that was pretty much a perfect way to finish it off as it answers a question that will form in your mind late in the game.

    Still have yet to find a mission that can compare to the original "Assault on the control room" or "two betrayals" but maybe that's just the nostalgia.

    Overall very happy and based on our multiplayer Beta experience I can see we will be playing it for quite some time yet. Bungie seem to just be able to produce the good that creates great gameplay with the new abilities especially the jetpack making multiplayer pretty awesome.

      Awesome to hear you playing Halo with your son.

      Halo CE was THE game for my Dad and me. Best 2 player co-op fun ever

      OMG. Assault on the Control Room has to be one of the greatest levels in video game history. And it's so great not to have any flood around this time. In CE it was all fun and games in 343 Guilty Spark, but every single other level in CE, 2 and 3 was a total pain. Reach is awesome, but Noble Team has never existed until now, which is interesting. The novel and the game have totally different story lines, being Noble Team didn't exist, and The Pillar of Autumn was in space when Reach fell in only a few hours. I don't get it???

    I don't pay for xbox live gold, so I'm mostly getting this for the campaign and possibly local MP. I'm getting it delivered from the UK, so it won't be here for a bit.

    What can i expect with the campaign? I'm hearing a few worrying reports that it's gone the ODST route, and delivered a campaign that even a novice can finish in a few hours. This makes me sad, the Halo 3 campaign was a great length, and great fun in Co-op.

      A novice probably could finish it in a few hours - on Easy.

      Try it on Heroic. Bet it takes you a lot longer.


    1. Play the game on legendary from the start for the full experience.

    2. Forge world is everything i wanted in halo3 as a level editor - it's amazing!

    3. Seems models and textures are less complex in the Halo Reach engine, obviously allowing more to be happening on screen - but still HD - very halo(1), pretty and perfect. In my opinion graphics in halo3 where crowded with TOO much high detail.

    4. Copy the game to the HDD for faster cut scenes, any one else experience laggy, blurred cut scenes?

    5. Great last installment to Halo. Didn't cut me as deep as I thought the story would, but by the third time playing through the campaign (normal, heroic, legendary), the story sinks in and you can see where they went wrong and how reach fell.

    Good luck to Bungie's future games!


    Preordered Reach and was very dissappointed in the game play.. Nothing much more worth saying, game isnt great.

    For some reason whenever I play Firefight with my friends we always have red ping, and I have really good bandwidth (that normally lets me host just fine)

    oh and they screwed up the motion detector - when you get in a vehicle it still says 25m when it should be a lot greater

    I don't understand a lot of people saying they do not pay for online?
    It is free, you just create a new live account and get a free month, then create new again and again..

      Isn't that limited to three new accounts with a month live per console?

    Been a Bungie fan ever since Pathways into Darkness. (Also look at my username). I'm one of those gamers that love the narrative of the Halo Universe. Granted it has never been very deep esp in the games themselves but it's worked as a sci-fi space opera.

    I was disappointed that it did not tie in at all with the novel, even the re-editted version that just came out or so I've been told. Now I know they had to change the existing narrative a bit to make it fun but pretty much tear out the last few chapters of the book in this case... Also the lack of a cut scene or anything that of a the Covenant Fleet smashing the UNSC fleet mid way through the game makes it a touch confusing in the middle. You go from taking out the last of the covenant insertion fleet to returning to the surface amidst grand scale invasion. For a UNSC Fortress World it sure is undefended in orbit.

    Multiplayer is also a blast but still feels very Halo 3 for me, just with jetpacks. Looking for a few more people to do some co-op - Gamertag: Ithikial

    My 2 cents - Still a great game!

    I've only played campaign but so far I'm disappointed. It's definitely like Halo: CE on a grand scale which is a good thing but it's also taken all the bad things about Helo and amplified them.

    AI is dumb as a post, both friendly AND enemy. Textures are woeful, sound is disappointing (a first for a Halo game). And there's some sort of networking issue that means I get booted off Xbox Live anytime I'm playing Reach, but not when I'm playing other games.

    Ok where the hell is the screenshot from.

    ive finished Reach and every other Halo and i have never seen that creature

      I was just going to say the same thing.....It looks kinda like flood mixd with a prophet mixed with a pipe plant from mario.....

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