I have to say I’m not a big Halo fan-boy. Sure back in the day I had some flipping excellent nights of dragging my original XBOX round a friend’s house, system linking, getting some junk food delivered and getting rowdy with 7 mates playing deathmatch on Halo 2. But besides that, I’ve never been a huge fan. None of the previous games held my interest long enough to complete the bloody things. I never really enjoyed the design of the enemies either. I’ve never given enough of a crap to get into the lore. But the plasma grenades, there’s something I will always love. I don’t know what it is about games where I can forcibly stick high explosives to enemies?
ODST felt like quite a waste of money when I bought it. Haven’t actually played it much at all to be honest, there was something about it that just didn’t feel right, something didn’t click. Which makes me wonder why exactly I decided to purchase Reach. It’s not as if I had a purely positive experience with the previous games. But for whatever reason (I suspect Jon Shute is to blame) I picked it up.
I have to say I’ve really enjoyed it, to the point of completing it. The storyline went in one ear and out the other I’m afraid to say, but that’s more of an issue with me I reckon. When I sit down to play a game it takes a lot for me to really get into a story. AC2 and Red Dead Redemption did a good job of drawing me in, but in this case it was:
Voice over: Something bad is happening, look.
Cuts to squad of Spartans.
Squad Leader: Blah Blah Blah Important Duty.
Random Squad Member #3: You are new, we don’t like you.
Sorry, Reach. I was just in “I want to shoot enemies and stick grenades to their faces” mode. I have probably done you an injustice.
But the shooting and sticking was most excellent. There are lots of tasty little set pieces to get you from one side of a map to the other. The controls are fast, smooth and responsive. I have to agree with Melmoth over at Killed In A Smiling accident. The human weapons just feel a lot better than the alien equivalents, feels like they pack more punch. Although I love the big smashy hammer. Any game with a big smashy hammer wins extra points in my book.
I’ve played a couple of quick sessions of co-op (Campaign and Firefight) and this is something I hope to do a lot more of in the future. I think I can get my money’s worth out of this title. Good work Reach, you helped slightly change my opinion on Halo games!