Saturday, 22 February 2014

Reaching Too High

Last week I finally got round to playing Halo: Reach, the prequel game to the overly popular Xbox series of first person shooters.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the Halo games, in fact it was the disappointing cliff hanger to Halo 2 that made me go out and buy an Xbox 360 and a copy of Halo 3.  I got to the end of the game and thought ‘you fucking bastards!’ as the credits began to roll and immediately walked to the nearest Game and bought a 360.

I never once believed that Halo 3 would be the end of the franchise, no matter how much the company said it would be.  After all if such statements were true then we wouldn’t be stuck in sequel hell with things like Final Fantasy, Police Academy, Resident Evil and so many awful fucking horror movie franchises.  So here I was, presented with yet another poor excuse of expanding the series without having the balls to commit to a proper sequel (this game did come out before Halo 4 remember).

'Reach' does give us some fun space flying sections to break
the tedium.
Halo: Reach is a game that tells you exactly what’s going to happen with the fucking title.  After all, you’re barely five minutes into the first game before the characters mention how Reach got totally fucked up and everyone died.  It’s no surprise then that you’re playing through one long suicide mission with no hopes of seeing yourself or any of the other NCP’s live past the closing credits.

With the obvious outcome put to one side the game itself was somewhat enjoyable, not the worst fps I’ve ever played by far.  The game starts with you as a new member of the Spartan Noble Unit, and given the chance to choose to play as either male or female.  I know such choices don’t amount to much in games where the most you see of your character is their hands but it was nice to have the option to play as an armour clad badass who grunts in a female voice rather than a male one.

Halo: Reach gives you a variety of missions, from roaming the sunny hills and valleys of the titular planet, infiltrating a Covenant spaceship (because we’ve never done that in a Halo game before, for fuck sake!), a futuristic city and aerial dogfights.

The Covenant come to fuck some shit up.
Whilst the locations in the game feel like a standard Halo checklist just being ticked off one at a time the way they play are at least a little bit more interesting with the inclusion of jet packs (though not in nearly enough of the game for my liking) and flying a fighter ship in space.

At the end of the day though whilst their isn’t anything particularly wrong with the game (other than possibly needing more levels.  Seriously I finished it in like a day!) it just doesn’t quite do it for me.  I think one of the main problems with this game, and something I’ve noticed from the Halo series on a whole since its move to the Xbox 360 is its dependence on multi-player to really sell its games.

'Reach' lets you play as a female Spartan, mine had pretty
pink and purple armour.
The biggest problem I have with the series are its mouth breathing teenage cunts of an audience who do nothing but play Halo multiplayer all the time, spouting complete fucking shit through their mic’s and blowing the fuck out of anyone who hasn’t played the multiplayer for two hundred fucking hours.  The single player campaign feels more like an add on, something to give the players to do when not playing the main game, multiplayer.

Not the worst game in the series but more fan service and an excuse for Microsoft to rake in more cash from a disc release of something that would be more at home as an Xbox live release.  Whilst it was a fairly entertaining waste of my time I’m glad I only spent £4 on it.


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