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
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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

  • aushole

    What happened to firefight? Is it something they're keeping in the dark? The Reach beta seems like a perfect place to start testing matchmaking capabilities for a firefight-like game variant. Really hoping they didn't scrap it for Reach.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 10:49 AM
  • autobotninja27

    can we regenarate health in multi?

    Posted: April 21, 2010 10:43 AM
  • autobotninja27

    So excited. but Im still wondering if we are able to regenarate health in multiplayer? i know we wont in the campaign version. does any one know?

    Posted: April 21, 2010 10:36 AM
  • quinzee

    i think halo reach will get me into halo full time again after 3-4 years. looks great. just need to start practicing before the beta comes out, because im total n00b right now

    Posted: April 21, 2010 10:23 AM
  • JKing215

    I know I'm getting downranked for this, lol, but I feel as though it's only a matter of time before at least one of these new abilities get exploited to a frustrating degree. Somebody will find something out, and what-do-you-know? unbalanced game all over again. I've been so disillusioned by Halo, that I need to see it to believe it.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 10:09 AM
  • UltraViolence74


    Posted: April 21, 2010 9:36 AM
  • ViciousTide

    Playing Magic the Gathering's 2nd Expansion on April 30th, until May 3rd for Halo Reach Beta! ODST sucked! I traded my Halo3 disc in for ODST, why didn't anyone else follow suit? All I was doing was playing multiplayer, and ODST came out with multiplayer disc on it's on...lol, I buried the ODST disc somewhere...Playing Assassin's Creed 2 ($30 bucks on Gamestop's Game day!) and the economic system rules with your own Villa, GTA4 that is what you are missing, a Fking economic system to buy towers with your riches, some idiot programmers there. Anyway, Microsoft programmers are the best in the world, and when they dipped their hands into Halo, it turned heads, and jumped shot all expectations for future games. Sell that copyrighted code for every FPS to record video using data points and reinitializing them with the game engine, what a brillant thought, especially with your amazing compression codes too! Reach, can't wait! Join the 3 million of us on May 3rd!!!

    Posted: April 21, 2010 9:31 AM
  • ScrubsMcGrubs

    It's about time someone moved the melee button. I've been saying for years that it would be far better on a shoulder button. This may be the first Halo MP game I actually enjoy.

    In before thumbs down.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 9:16 AM
  • quesadia

    PLEASE make the range on this "insta kill" animation very close. I don't want any AVP BULLSPIT in my halo

    Posted: April 21, 2010 9:15 AM
  • mattgindago

    I'm going to preorder this right now.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 9:13 AM
  • MyXxBitterXxHeroics

    bungie has done it again!
    there goes my life.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 8:44 AM
  • GamebustaZX

    this looks awsome fainally something to was the bad taste of halo ODST out my mouth that game would have done so much better if it had matchmaking for firefight I cant wait for a new ep of xplay because when they take breaks like this the next time its on they have alot of stuff to show

    Posted: April 21, 2010 8:00 AM
  • awmace5

    ima die hard fan of halo 2 so i am definitley getting this. love the jetpacks too. CANT WAIT..... well actually i can cuz ima play red dead redemption til it comes out

    Posted: April 21, 2010 7:52 AM
  • IBloodstormI

    This game is going to be a culmination of everything that was great from the last 4 Halo games. The only way it gets better is including some of the vehicles from Halo Wars. I want a Locust!

    Posted: April 21, 2010 7:46 AM
  • GDM

    can't wait

    Posted: April 21, 2010 7:44 AM
  • bobbyman128

    Every time I read about this game, I want it more and more.

    Posted: April 21, 2010 7:13 AM
  • kilCanvas

    I wasn't thrilled with ODST, but I have to admit I'm definitely looking forward to Reach!

    Posted: April 21, 2010 6:15 AM