Halo: Reach - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: Microsoft
  • Genre:Shooter
  • Developer: Bungie
  • Release Date:Sep 14, 2010
  • # of Players:1 player, 16 online
  • ESRB:M - Mature (Blood,Violence)
  • Platforms:
Game Description:Halo: Reach, developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by acclaimed developer Bungie, is the blockbuster prequel to the best-selling Xbox franchise of all time. It represents the culmination of Bungie’s 10 years of experience crafting groundbreaking Halo games. In Halo: Reach, players experience the fateful moments that forged the Halo legend. It’s the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers, and their final stand on planet Reach, humanity’s last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth. This darker story is echoed by grittier visuals amid a backdrop of massive, awe-inspiring environments. Characters, enemies and environments are rendered in amazing detail by an all-new engine designed to deliver epic-scale encounters against the cunning and ruthless Covenant.
G4TV Rating
5 / 5
  • Avg User Rating
    (277 Ratings)
    4.6 / 5
  • Rate This Game
Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta Hands-On

Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta Hands-On

By J.P. Shub - Posted Apr 21, 2010
After going hands-on with the upcoming Halo: Reach multiplayer beta, I can honestly say this is the Halo experience I have been waiting for. As a diehard fan of the series, I was excited to try out all the new additions, yet was secretly worried that things like jet packs, armor locks, and assassinations were going to be gimmicky add-ons that would throw off the delicate balance of battle in my beloved Halo. I am happy to say I was wrong. Even in this early version of the game, Halo: Reach feels tight, balanced and most importantly, fun.

Halo: Reach
At first, I found the redesigned controls to be a little difficult to get a handle on. The right bumper now triggers melee and the left bumper controls the new armor abilities. Until I wrapped my head around this change, I often found myself meleeing the air while trying to reload and pick up weapons. Fortunately, once I got a grip on the new layout I found it to be very natural and intuitive. Having all the key action take place on the 4 front buttons makes sense and adds even more speed to the already quick pace of Halo multiplayer by keeping your fingers ready for action at all times.
I have to take a moment to mention the upgrades to the look and sound of the game. Reach has an updated and finely tuned engine that is a definite evolution from Halo 3’s. Details really start to jump out the closer you get to objects, and if you take the time to freeze the animations and explosions in the Theater mode, it looks pretty amazing. I was shocked to see individual teeth in the mouth of an Elite while he was being assassinated. The sound design has also seen a noticeable upgrade. The guns sound fuller, the footsteps clearer, and when you get too close to a grenade, you’ll get a nice shell-shocked ring that drowns out other sound for a few seconds. 
Halo: Reach
Despite the pretty surroundings, the biggest game changer for me is the new armor abilities. Depending on the game type and race you are playing, you will have different armor abilities to include in your loadout. They have replaced dual wielding and equipment, and frankly, that is fine with me. I personally enjoyed double-fisting SMGs, but forgot about that as I quickly learned how powerful and useful these new reuseable abilities are. Since the Spartans and Elites are now two very different creatures in Reach, their armor abilities vary slightly. The default ability for the Spartans is Sprint. This burst of speed is something that I have wanted in a Halo game ever since I got used to using it in the Call of Duty games. It works extremely well and I think will end up becoming the favorite ability of the most skilled Halo players, as it allows you to close the distance between you and your opponents and can make getting those quick melee shots easier than ever before. However, the Elites aren’t left out: they have their own speedy Evade skill. Evade gives them the ability to roll out of harm’s way with a quick move in any direction that you control. As much as I enjoyed sprinting as a Spartan, I think the Elite’s roll is even more useful. It saved my hide a couple of times and allowed me to turn the tide of combat.
The other armor abilities include Active Camo, which works just like it did in previous Halo games where you can turn invisible for a brief period of time. The difference with this one is that when the player stands still, they turn totally invisible. While useful, I think this ability will quickly become a camper’s dream come true. It comes with a motion jammer that affects anyone close by as well as the player triggering the camo. So if you see your radar start go crazy, you know you need to be on your toes.  
Halo: Reach
Next is Armor Lock. When you trigger this ability, the game switches to a 3rd-person view and gives you a short burst of invulnerability as you crouch down and punch the ground. It is a life-saver when triggered at the right time. In a single Armor Lock move, I was able to deflect a Wraith’s cannon blast and survive a Ghost’s charge. When it discharges it lets off an EMP burst that will take down the shields of anything near you. I believe this particular ability will finally help level the playing field when facing vehicles. And for all the doubters on the boards thinking this will become a last ditch crutch for low level players to lean on, you are wrong. It takes accurate timing to pull off properly and leaves you very open for attack when it expires. If anything, seeing someone go into Armor Lock could make them an easy mark if you wait for it to expire. 
Finally, there’s the Jet Pack. Easily the most talked about new addition, it does exactly what it says. With a quick flick of the left bumper you can send your warrior 30 feet into the air. I was really surprised at how natural this felt and used it frequently to quickly get back into action after a respawn. However, when using it, I also found myself to be an easy target. I predict that hardcore Halo players will be playing “noob” duckhunt as waves of players joyously test this feature out in the open. 
Halo: Reach
The last new feature in the game that grabbed my attention was the assassination move. I have a feeling this was Bungie’s way of incorporating a more eloquent version of the “teabag” into a Halo game. This move is purely for show since it does not replace the single hit, back of the head melee kill. Instead, when you get the jump on an opponent, all you have to do is hold the melee button down and you will trigger the assassination animation. There is a risk involved: while you are performing the move you are vulnerable to attack. But the visual reward does make up for it. There are Elite and Spartan specific animations, and they are all really satisfying to pull off and equally humiliating to watch when you are on the receiving end. 
Tune in to X-Play all next week to see tons of new footage of Halo: Reach in action, as well as some pro-tips straight from the Bungie developers that will definitely give you an edge when the beta drops on May 3rd.

Comments are Closed

  • nodrodee

    Looks real good, but has a long way to go to look as good as Killzone 2. But I'm sure this is just pre-alpha stage

    Posted: April 22, 2010 5:52 AM
  • Str84twenty

    Seems very cool, but nothing is getting in the way of me and Read Dead Redemption!

    Posted: April 22, 2010 2:59 AM
  • DKBomber13

    Halo 2 was the last Halo multiplayer I was interested in. I really didn't care for Halo 3 multiplayer at all. Now Halo Reach has really caught my interest. It seems to really be changing the battlefield, which in my opinion, Halo desperately needed. Good luck Bungie.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 10:59 PM
  • austybosty1919

    I wish HALO can just break loose from Xbox's chains and come ut with HALO for both ps3 and xbox. that would be verry nice. since some idiot stole my 360 i have turned to the ps3 and now will never go back! like they allways say "once you go black, you never go back." lol, sorry to any dark skined people who may be reading this.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 9:13 PM
  • SliQuid

    game seems awesome..halo fan since day one..its the reason for my xbox purchase..getting use to the fact that online multiplaying is so big..i have spent many hours wasting time playing halo by myself..played some halo online and was impressed but dissappointed in the cheesy players and combat/strategy skill..this seems to have an online balance which i like but still dislike the jetpacks..solo players will agree..guess ill have to wait and see..halo 1 was still the overall best of them all...

    Posted: April 21, 2010 9:11 PM
  • Tactical Ninja

    ODST was a waste of time but Reach hows a lot more to offer

    Posted: April 21, 2010 8:57 PM
  • spiralking04

    At first I didnt pay much attention to Reach. Now that Ive read up on tons of info about the game, I cant wait to play it. I loved how Halo C.E. played and had a huge disconnect with Halo 2 and Halo 3. This seems like the Halo game ive been waiting for.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 7:08 PM
  • ironmaiden12

    Halo reach looks awesome. I don't know about the jet packs though. If you ask me they kind of ruined halo 3 with the big ass jump. But otherwise it looks like im gunna have a lot of fun playing it.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 6:43 PM
  • chadster303

    I'm thinking Bungie purposely made ODST a little dull just to make Halo: Reach seem a million times better, and feel like an eternity waiting for it to come out so people go crazy buying it. Everything looks sweet, I'm really liking the new armor and the way you go about unlocking it, much better than Halo 3's armor. I have a good feeling I won't be buying too many games after I get Reach.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 4:28 PM
  • PeterParker23

    REACH is going to be [FRICK]ing EPIC! I can't wait for MAY 3rd!
    I'll be there! probably getting OWNED since I havn't played MULTIPLAYER
    in over a MONTH but hey, it'll be fun no matter what!!

    Posted: April 21, 2010 4:00 PM
  • AngelsandDemons

    Why the freak did they change the reload button?

    Posted: April 21, 2010 3:27 PM

    they shouldve just made halo 4 instead of reach

    Posted: April 21, 2010 3:25 PM
  • nightsnipe

    so do you HAVE to use that 2 second assassination or can you just use the old school style. I don't want an unnecessary animation just wanna be able to kill people

    Posted: April 21, 2010 2:43 PM
  • bonbickenbach

    I can't wait to REACH and grab it off the game shelf, LOL

    Posted: April 21, 2010 1:52 PM

    wow... no sony fanboys here so far. I'm impressed, guys (Y)

    Posted: April 21, 2010 1:10 PM
  • losangeles117

    Bungie is getting better and better. Can't wait for REACH.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 12:54 PM
  • D00M5XaXL0T5

    i can't wait what e3 was in store

    Posted: April 21, 2010 12:37 PM
  • Jiffer

    Killing another game, one release at a time

    Posted: April 21, 2010 12:29 PM
  • dlo14

    reach falls 2010 !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted: April 21, 2010 12:23 PM
  • Apsilon34

    I'm really excited for this game. From what the article saids the game play seems so fresh and fun, the armer abilities and the assassination are definitely going to make things more difficult in a good way. Halo Reach seem to have the same feel about it that Halo CE did where you could play it as much as you want and not get Bord of it, not that I meant say any of the other Halos are boring, I found all of them to be entertaining. I will definitely be one of the millions of Halo fans glued to my TV when the beta starts, May third can come soon enough.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 11:29 AM