If you’re wondering where our Halo Reach review is, well I’m here to tell you all about it. I scored the game last Tuesday, exactly a week ago today. I’ve been playing through the campaign all by my lonesome because Steven and Marc-Andre are completely obsessed with NHL 11. Hopefully Steven is able to pump out a Spidey review before too long. Keep putting pressure on him, it’ll happen ;)
Anyways, for the past week I’ve been making my way through the campaign on Legendary. With Halo I find Normal way too easy, but playing through the entire game on Heroic just seems like a cop-out. So Legendary is it! I’ll tell you this right now, it’s by far the most difficult Halo yet. I don’t want to get into too many details right now, because that’s what the review is for. What I will say is, this is the perfect game for co-op fans. The age-old rule still applies, keep one buddy behind and let the other advance. If you happen to have four players, all the better. You can complete the entire campaign on Legendary within a day’s play. By yourself though, things are far from simple.
For one thing, the checkpoint system is your worst friend. I can’t tell you how many times a checkpoint went off right when I had no ammo and a ton of brutes right around the corner. This forced me to try and find an alternative path, but often I would actually have to restart that mission. Ok, that’s a lie. I say often, but the truth is I only did this once. I did get stuck several times because of the checkpoint system though. Every time it happened I got a little more frustrated.
Another potential issue for those wanting to score that A Monument to All Your Sins achievement, is the way you think you’re going to have help early on, only to find out…surprise, you’re all by yourself. During the first few missions you have Team Noble by your side. These guys are completely invulnerable. This allows you to sit back and let them do most of the work. Sounds good right, well not exactly. You see the partner AI is as dumb as a doornail. I can’t begin to tell you how often the team just waited for me to get into the fight. I didn’t want them to do everything for me, but the fact they couldn’t kill a single grunt was a little ridiculous. On the flip side the enemy AI is the best I’ve seen in any Halo. These guys are brutal! They’ll throw tons of grenades your way, back off when their shields go down, and flank you…constantly.
One of my issues I’ve always had with this series, particularly on Legendary is that your enemies require a ton of ammo to take down, whereas you only take a few. I’d love it if it were the same for both, two shots, and everyone dies. That at least seems more fair. Ok, I’m starting to veer off a bit here. Let’s get things back on track. If you plan to play through the campaign on Legendary, just make damn sure you have a lot of ammo, and be prepared to take out everyone, all by yourself. By around the fourth mission, you start to go at it with marines, and they get killed within seconds. If you’re not up to the challenge, just play through the campaign with a buddy. Just note, you can’t get that one special achievement unless you go it alone. Good luck!
Outside of these two issues with the Legendary mode, I want everyone to get out there and give this one a go. It’s my favorite Halo since the original. Something about 2 and 3 never really clicked with me. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy them, just that they felt too much like me-too games. The first felt original, had a mysterious storyline, and was all around a fantastic game. With the second and third I never really liked where the story went. It just didn’t have that same mysterious feeling the first one did. Again, this may just be me. If you’re a hardcore fan of the trilogy, just ignore me. With Reach I loved how the Flood weren’t forced into the game, this one is purely about Planet Reach and the invasion. It also ties perfectly up with the original. George Lucas could take notes about this. The story is also that much more interesting because of this mysterious background. All around, I think anyone who really loved the original Halo will find a ton of joy with Reach. Everyone else who adored 2 and 3, you’re going to love this one too. It fits perfectly with the others, and lets you know what happened right before the Pillar of Autumn embarked on her classic voyage.
All I have to do now is play through a few multiplayer games to see how Firefight is, and that’s about it. I already played through the first three missions with Steven and Marc-Andre, so I know exactly how co-op feels. Sorry for the delay with the review, but as I said, I really wanted to finish this bad boy off on Legendary…alone. Now that I’m finished, I can get back to work…which is exactly what I’ll be going to do right…now!