Halo: Reach (Bungie, 2010)
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Designers: Marcus Lehto (creative director), Daniel Jack, Tyler Nickles, Dante Dabbicco, Logan Ridge
Halo: Reach begins in unexpected times and places. A land, and a time, without Master Chief. People at Bungie must have tons of guts -no doubts about it- to start a Halo game without its main icon. The reason for this choice is under everyone’s nose: this game rocks. Even without the Chief. It does not need him. This is the most refined Halo game to date, the most balanced, the less annoying, the one with the best pace. It lacks something, yes, and I will explain this later on, but if I should advise anyone a Halo game, a Halo for starters, this would be the one.
Halo: Reach puts the gamer in a spartans group called The Noble Team. A heavily specialized team of six people with the Gunner, the Heavy-Gunner, the Chief, the Sniper, the Intelligence-girl, and the all-rounder, the player itself. This is clever. The old Halo games had just one icon. An empty shell where any player could recognize himself. But Master Chief is not a person one could sympathize with. It’s a lonely warrior, one used to see people die all around him. And you with him. In Reach you have five brothers in arms and this creates a tension. Call it camaraderie, call it friendship, call it respect. Love is in the air this time, and the whole game gains something in perspective.
But Halo: Reach is not yet the perfect Halo game. Halo 3 had some better-designed battles, more things happening at once, better Brutes, the flame-thrower, some small classy-details even if plain worst graphic (pretty disappointing at that time, yet strangely fascinating and classy years after). Reach doesn’t have a single ill-designed chapter like any previous Halo (The Library in Halo: Combat Evolved and Cortana in Halo 3 to name the worst among them) but still some settings can’t give me the emotions I expected from a Halo game (Exodus and Tip of the Spear are simply not exhilarating as the perfect Halo should be). So, 343 Industries, show me what you can really do. Give me the best Halo to date. This is my challenge to you, and your challenge to the world.
click on the thumbnails for the full galleries