Opinion// Halo Reach: The Multiplayer

Posted 24 Sep 2010 16:39 by
I was there at Gamestars Live in London. Four hours queueing up to play five minutes of Halo 2 only to find out that we weren't allowed to turn Inverted look on. Still, I got to see the sky and my feet for a while so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

English dick
Halo 2 came and went and although it was very good, the levelling-up system split my friends up. We were no longer playing amongst ourselves because you couldn't get any XP for doing so. It kind of forced you to play with randoms - and we all know how that ends up. I've been called a “little English dick” enough times by my mother, thank you very much.

Halo 2 felt like it was missing something held dearly by the first. Maybe that something was nostalgia. Or maybe it was because I was too busy wondering where the hell my trusty pistol went to; or why I was so pre-occupied with working out what the best dual-wielded weapons were?

By the time Halo 3 hit the shelves I think I might have been a little Haloed out and it didn't help that Call of Duty 4 was waiting in the wings ready to jump in and change the world. The days of sitting up all night trying playing Noshi, Attack Defend and plain old Death Match were behind me. There were UAV's to get online for Christ's sake.

Fast forward three years, (Yes that's right, Halo 3 came out three ruddy years ago) and the prospect of playing a completely new Halo multiplayer suddenly appealed. It had been a while since I last put in the Halo 3 disc and although every time I did I had a fantastic time, it didn't draw me back for good.

However, CoD was starting to get a little old. Getting sniped from the other side of the map moments after spawning for a death-from-above-kill stopped being fun a long time ago. I felt out of my depth and I started to feel as though I simply didn't have a chance online. It was time to move forward or, in this game's case, it was time to move back.

Halo Reach provides an interesting concept. It's one that many games try and achieve but never do: it goes back to its roots. In both the single and multiplayer games, Reach reviews what made Halo: Combat Evolved so good and tries to mirror it in every way, while at the same time managing to pick out key features from the rest of the series and seamlessly incorporate them.

Out with the dual-wielding and in with the more effective, and fun, basic weapons such as the pistol. Gone are the extra, unused and frustrating 'special' grenades and back to just having plasmas and frags. Well, what do you know? Stripping down a game a bit can make it more fun.

Despite Bungie making the decision to cut most of the gaming elements back, it actually keeps on some of the finer additions from the later games - all the while improving them. The sword is no longer the powerhouse it once was, and the shotgun is now pretty much useless from further than 15 feet away, making its user think more about dropping their needler instantly for a bit of sword ownage.

Feel the power-up
Power-ups have been kept on, with the use of Force Fields, Bubble shields, sprinting and the like all leaving the gamer with a tough choice in what to take into battle. All the power-ups seems to require skill. Some more than others, but the more skilful power-ups provide more advantage. You may get shot in the head with a sniper rifle by an enemy who is floating above you with his Jet Pack, but you'll drop to the ground fully in the knowledge that it required skill to do so. It doesn't make the kill easy to swallow, but it helps a little.
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PaulRayment 24 Sep 2010 16:07
Right, it's stuff like this that makes me wonder why I've never 'got' halo online. Maybe I need more friends :-(
Dan 25 Sep 2010 04:33
this sounds like I could have written this. I feel the same and have been through halo 1 and 2 before cashing out and figuring never to return.... Just when I thought I was out, Reach pulls me back in.

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elmo 25 Sep 2010 09:49
Scary isn't it!

I swear at times i have an S-Pad in my hands!
gingineer 27 Sep 2010 12:35
I have fought off getting an Xbox so far but it is very difficult when i read things like that. I miss the old halo and it sounds like reach is top quality. I'll have to visit a friends house to play it.
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