Format: XBox 360
Approximate Time Spent playing at time of writing: 260 hours
Modes of play: TBC
This is a solid fun challenge game with mainly good checkpointing & fantastic AI that makes even fairly standard FPS encounters more interesting. It’s good in single player and actually better in co-op as finally, for a Halo game, they recognised that playing in co-op makes the game FAR easier, and so now you’re rewarded with different Achievements for single player and co-op completion.
What stops this game from scoring higher here is that as you increase the difficulty setting your viable combat options become reduced to almost nothing. You basically have to make overcharged plasma pistol shots followed by headshots for the majority of the game & it gets a bit samey. It’s a shame as it means you either get a low challenge level and variety, or an interesting challenge level but repetitive gameplay.
The other problem with co-op is that it still allows the flaw in all Halo games that means one player can hang back as a ‘respawn’ point. This makes the entire game almost ridiculously easy, no matter the difficulty setting, as you can simply slowly grind your way through every enemy even if you die 100s of times by applying this technique. At least in Halo Reach there is a Skull modifier that allows you to turn OFF the ability to do this, and once I discovered this (I think it’s called “Iron”) the whole game became far more interesting as I played the latter half of it co-op with Navan with that Skull on to make it a more interesting challenge. But it really should be the default!
Competitive Gaming Design Review:
Read my thoughts on Halo Reach as a competitive game here.
Competitive Game Review:
One of the more fun competitive FPS titles I’ve played is let down by a few bad decisions, bad maps and sometimes seemingly unbalanced abilities.
None that matters. Cosmetics grind but that’s fine.
This is a “more than the sum of it’s parts” overall score as Reach is pretty darn good at everything & just has so much to offer, it’s a shame it never really found a tight competitive game mode.