Halo: Reach screenshot
Halo: Reach screenshot

There's only so much hype you can take for a Halo game these days. Microsoft wants us to believe it's going to be the biggest game of the year, but it's fooling nobody: that's either going to go to Red Dead Redemption or Call of Duty. It is, however, going to be a landmark moment. It's Bungie's alleged last hurrah for the series, for a start, and it also raises a very important question: can a multiplayer shooter released in 2010 possibly survive without a persistent perk and levelling system?

But oh, you might say, Halo: Reach does have persistence. You get doused in beautiful sprays of experience every time you finish a game, for instance. But all this does, unless Bungie is keeping something very secret, is go towards adorning your character in swanky bits of cosmetic armour. It's like Call of Duty 4 (which came out a couple of months later than Halo 3) never happened, and it's surprising how a multiplayer game without weapon unlocks now feels like unexplored territory.

What it does, though, is clearly prove that Bungie believes it doesn't have to play catch-up with anybody else: it's a confident team, and that self-belief is both exciting and promising. And if you spend months and months playing the game you can unlock Master Chief's voice for use in Firefight mode or, if you've got even more XP banked, emanate electricity from your character.

Or, if that's not your cup of tea, there's always single-player. And you still get XP for that, too. Bungie community manager Brian Jarrard demonstrated to me a slice of the game's fourth mission - Tip of the Spear - at gamescom 2010.

First things first, the difficulty has been tweaked since Halo 3 and ODST: it's now harder, for a start. And enemies scale in co-op, meaning a group on Legendary should have a significantly more challenging time of things if they want to clear the campaign. I dread the thought.

Anyway, the context. Kat and Noble Six have been tasked with taking out some Covenant anti-air encampments so a UNSC bombing force can obliterate a hefty chunk of the alien masses invading planet Reach. They're mostly on their own, because some rather nasty explosions have unfortunately murderised the rest of the regular marines padding out your squad.

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omfg-bbq's Avatar

omfg-bbq

Is it true MS aren't handing out review copies but doing review nights like uk ign podcast said?
Posted 12:09 on 01 September 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

Seen two ads for this during Night Cops last night, was quite stirring.
Posted 12:04 on 01 September 2010
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ draytone

Heh yeah probably not a lot even if i get a fiver off, thats £5 i don't have to spend and a game that i'll never play again off my shelf.
Posted 15:40 on 25 August 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone@ Endless

I bet you get about 50p for ODST :P
Posted 15:30 on 25 August 2010
Endless's Avatar

Endless

For me the fact that the 'level upgrades' are not weapons or perks is part of the draw. To have to pile hours into a game to get the perfect set of weapons and perks reeks of WoW-style advancement and phat lewtz systems that I abhor.

Keep the game consistent, someone thats played 50 hours shouldn't have their experience and familiarity of the game to boost their battlefield prowess. Not a better weapon to make the battlefield unbalanced.

Reach is one game i can definitely say i'll be getting, no questions. And right about that time i'll get rid of ODST in trade-in lol.
Posted 14:24 on 25 August 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

My first Halo game will be this, pre-ordered it last week. Think quite a few of my mates are getting it as well so some multi-player will be played.
Posted 10:32 on 25 August 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

Better pre order this cz I know I'm going to want this when it comes out.
Can't wait for the co op aswell.
Posted 10:22 on 25 August 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Can't wait to play this 4 player CO-OP great times!
Posted 10:18 on 25 August 2010
IndoorHeroes's Avatar

IndoorHeroes

Same, typically I don't get overly excited for Halo games but everything I've seen of Reach make it seem like it'll really deliver a lot of value for money.
Posted 10:02 on 25 August 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Nice read. Getting quite excited for Reach, seeing as its 3 weeks away.
Posted 09:09 on 25 August 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 14/09/2010
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 394 10
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