Halo: Reach - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: Microsoft
  • Genre:Shooter
  • Developer: Bungie
  • Release Date:Sep 14, 2010
  • # of Players:1 player, 16 online
  • ESRB:M - Mature (Blood,Violence)
  • Platforms:
Game Description:Halo: Reach, developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by acclaimed developer Bungie, is the blockbuster prequel to the best-selling Xbox franchise of all time. It represents the culmination of Bungie’s 10 years of experience crafting groundbreaking Halo games. In Halo: Reach, players experience the fateful moments that forged the Halo legend. It’s the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers, and their final stand on planet Reach, humanity’s last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth. This darker story is echoed by grittier visuals amid a backdrop of massive, awe-inspiring environments. Characters, enemies and environments are rendered in amazing detail by an all-new engine designed to deliver epic-scale encounters against the cunning and ruthless Covenant.
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5 / 5
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    (277 Ratings)
    4.6 / 5
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Halo: Reach Beta Impressions

Halo: Reach Beta Impressions

By Andrew Pfister - Posted May 04, 2010

We were fortunate enough to get a jumpstart on the Halo: Reach beta this past weekend, and some of us devoted our Friday, Saturday, and Sunday hopping between Powerhouse and Sword Base, learning weapon and choke locations on the map and getting a feel for which of the new armor abilities we liked the most. Keep in mind that none of us should be considered Halo experts, but hey...we like what we like.

Halo: Reach

Andrew Pfister

Halo multiplayer and I have an abusive relationship. I want to like it, I really do. I recognize and respect the beauty of its balance, the constant strategizing you need to stay alive and keep your kill/death ratio in the positive, and how every 1-on-1 showdown can turn into an epic survival story.

I also hate getting headshotted from halfway across the map 0.17 seconds after turning a corner, so you can imagine the emotional rollercoaster that was this past weekend playing the beta. So far, though, I've been doing much better in Reach than I ever did in Halo 2 or Halo 3 multiplayer. I'm not exactly sure why that is (maybe I'm more patient than I was back then? Nah…), but as someone who has always favored team-based objective games, I’m really enjoying the new Headhunter and Stockpile modes. I have to rely on a bit of luck in Headhunter, scoring most of my points as a scavenger when multiple people die and I'm the one left to pick up the scraps. But my evasion skills (and intelligent use of the active camo armor ability) makes me great for collecting flags in Stockpile. I'm also playing defense around our capture point, to make sure that nobody on my team picks up my flag, takes it out, then puts it back in and poaches my points (that's happening, so be careful on Stockpile).

I'm also doing fairly well on 1-Flag CTF, which so far is vastly more fun on Powerhouse than Sword Base. On offense, I like to go Stalker off the bat and either make a quick run for the flag or the rocket launcher tucked away in the back drainage. I'm not particularly talented with the rocket launcher, mind you, I just like to keep it out of enemy hands as long as I can. When we switch to defense, I turn on the jet pack and go straight into flag pursuit mode -- it's easier to get a bead on the flag carrier and the surrounding battle area from 50 feet up.

But the thing with Halo for me -- and it will always be "the thing" -- is that I'm only having fun when I'm in an equally-matched party. I don't need to be first place in kills (like that's ever happened), or even have a positive K/D, I just don't want to be completely and utterly destroyed by someone who's played Halo multiplayer religiously for the better part of the last decade. And the beauty of Halo's high level play is what damns it for the rest of us not-as-talented folk. For example, that round of Team SWAT where I got murdered five consecutive times from headshots I couldn't even see -- sometimes immediately after I spawned (fix that, Bungie). I'm not sure why matchmaking decided to place me in that group, considering that I changed my social preferences according to my talent level, but it immediately soured an otherwise pleasant weekend of earning credits, clutch flag-capping, and the occasional revenge kills. But unlike H2 or H3, the pseudo-class system is going to bring me back with an open and hopefully more patient mind.

(P.S., please fix grenade splash damage.)

(P.P.S., the announcer's vocal inflections on "Oddball!" are awesome.)

Halo: Reach

Ernie Moreno

The Reach beta has been an interesting experience to me. Along with the new (currently) overpowered weapons and the new integration of class selection, I have to say that the multiplayer is a major improvement to Halo's online experience. That's not to say that the beta doesn't have its problems. As I mentioned before, the new weapons in the game seem way overpowered and make the game feel unbalanced. Since this is a beta version of the game, you have to assume that this will be tweaked before the end product. Also the melee bash seems to be a bit buggy, at times resulting in a very weird scene of dying and then watching your opponent die like they had just been unplugged from the Matrix.

Aside from such balance issues, the game experience seems much more streamlined and varied. Instead of always being the same Spartan over and over again, you can choose to play the game differently than just run and gun. The beta is definitely an upgrade to a great multiplayer experience that can be enjoyed by everyone, even if you don't play 18 hours a day. It offers great options that allow you to match with people based on skill level or connection rate. It's also a much more forgiving game, as it doesn't punish you for not having played it for a week straight. All the classes and powers are available to everyone, putting players on a equal playing field from the beginning. All in all, the beta is a great experience, especially with the addition of jetpack bashing, an occasional assassination animation, and awesome tank-stopping shield explosions. This game feels like one of the best multiplayer experiences to date.

Halo: Reach

Patrick Klepek

Ignoring my skills (or lack there of), far and away the biggest personal turnoff for engaging in the multiplayer in games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is pacing. Those games are so damn fast; keeping up with what's happening is its own meta-game -- an acquired skill. Death might not be a brutal Counter-Strike-esque one-shot experience, but against skilled players, it's not far off. Halo, however, is a heck of a lot slower. By comparison, Halo is actually mellow, which is why I've always found myself drawn exclusively to Halo to scratch a multiplayer itch.

I've sunk less than an hour into Halo: Reach's multiplayer beta, but the thrill of my first headshot with the Designated Marksman Rifle, the child-like laughter after floating into the air with a jet pack and flailing to the ground after someone marked me from across the map, and the knowledge that entering into a one-on-one matchup with someone in Halo doesn't always mean the combat will be over in a fraction of a second is what's making the experience work.

I might not be any good at Halo: Reach now or ever, but Halo multiplayer has consistently given me something that other competitive multiplayer shooters evade with novices: fun.

Eric Eckstein

I'm not going to judge the beta too harshly, as definitely there was a different breed of early adopter this past week, but man, it was brutal going back to multiplayer Halo. I'd spawn and die. I'd round a corner and die. I'd be off on my own and die. It was frustrating, infuriating and not a whole lot of fun. It didn't help that it was my first time playing in a while and that Sword Base is a horrible confusing mess of a map.
I'm really looking forward to Reach's matchmaking, which didn't work that well with only 3,000 people playing at one time as I found myself leaving groups only to be matched with the same folks on the next search. However, there was one shining moment: I got my greedy hands on the hammer with my Stalker class so I could hide and whack-a-mole fellow Spartans. One Hammer spree later, I was finally positive K/D and life was good. Until the next match. And the next one. And the one after that. Maybe tonight will be different…

Halo: Reach

Stephen Johnson

Whether Halo: Reach’s multiplayer will be fun depends on the matchmaking. When I played the game this weekend and early last week, the beta was limited to “friends and family” of Bungie. Friends and family of Bungie are damn good at Halo…at least, I hope I don’t suck that badly. I got killed a lot, often without even knowing how or why. One-shot deaths by over-powered lasers and other too-strong guns suck.

If the matchmaking system ends up putting me in games with other people who haven’t devoted their entire life to playing FPSs because they have jobs and/or other interests, and the weapons are balanced, Halo: Reach will be fun to play in the adrenaline-drenched, anything-goes style of Halo 3’s multiplayer. Also: I gotta imagine the various overpowered weapons will be given appropriate nerfs. When these changes are made, Halo: Reach multiplayer will be about as fun as Halo 3. The new armor abilities are cool, and the feel is slightly different than previous games, but if you’re more of a casual, let’s-have-fun multiplayer player, Halo: Reach is a lot like Halo 3. It honestly seems more like a fine-tuning than an overhaul. 

Moye Ishimoto

Please note that I love anything Halo related, so my thoughts are completely biased and unfounded. Halo: Reach was awesome, all because of the jet packs. JET PACKS!! I spent most of my time on the beta trying to fly around the maps, which meant I was a pretty easy target (more so than usual) for all the hardcore players in the game, and so I didn’t really pay attention to the game (more so than usual) and died a lot (more so than usual). Overall, I thought the options of different classes provided a good angle to the gameplay by giving us more than one area to learn, figure out and excel in. They each seemed to equally prove their advantages and disadvantages, so I’ll be curious to see which class people will pick in future games and what will work best for me. Let me rephrase that: what will work best to keep the rest of you guys from shooting at me.

I also didn’t come across any teabagging, which I liked because things like that hurt my feelings. Sometimes Halo players are mean and should be nicer to each other. Like, stop shooting at me. I’m just trying to explore the world with my jet pack. Leave me alone.

Halo: Reach

Comments are Closed

  • Flight_Eagle

    Moye's post was my favorite.

    Also, yes. People do need to be nicer. Especially those12 year olds. They think they're so bad, throwing the F-bomb everywhere. Then you beat them, and they call you a names and leave.

    Then there's those "Pro" dudes that...well, act like twelve year olds. That one is a win/lose game, but still.

    Over all,i love the game. Really fun, reminds me of Halo:CE.

    Posted: May 8, 2010 5:16 PM
  • Geomancy

    Most of the weapons--pistol, needler, sword, shotgun, grenades, assault rifle, sniper rifle, rocket launcher--feel balanced to me. The pistol is most excellent.

    The DRM and needle rifle seem underpowered. I use them as much as I can in order to get a feel for them, but so far I've gotten few kills with them (other than in SWAT matches). Maybe I expect too much from the DRM because of its physical resemblance to the Battle Rifle. I'm looking forward to the Halo: Reach campaign to help me get a better feel for these weapons.

    The class abilities are okay. They seem to work pretty well, and they mix things up quite a bit, but I can't help feel that a gimmick has now become central to the game. I hope Bungie provides a match-making mode without armor abilities. That being said, I think the armor abilities will make the campaign a hell of a lot of fun. Lots of variety.

    All in all I'm a little disappointed with the beta, mostly because I feel ill-equipped without a Battle Rifle. Not that I exactly dominate with the BR in Halo 2 and Halo 3; it's just my go-to weapon of competence. I guess I'll need to use the pistol as my go-to weapon in Reach. At any rate, I went back and played Halo 3 multiplayer last night to enjoy a familiar feeling.

    Posted: May 8, 2010 1:17 PM
  • Lacking_Fractal

    My only complaint so far is that spawning takes too long in invasion. Other than that the beta has mace me happy very.

    Posted: May 8, 2010 12:30 PM
  • Tman88

    The beta's running smoothly. The only issue I see with it is with the DMR. The DMR has a lot of potential but needs to be a little faster and a little more accurate. Other than that, I don't have any major issue with the beta.

    Posted: May 8, 2010 11:26 AM
  • megagamer41

    I have been playing the beta for a while now that for some reason I almost ALWAYS end up an elite. Also the plasma rifle feels way to overpowering of the assault rifle. Also you shouldn't have to headshot a dude like 3 times for him to die.
    I hope these things get fixed in the final version of the game.

    Posted: May 8, 2010 10:22 AM
  • tybigdog12

    Halo Reach multiplayer realy steped it up, i love the new armor abilities my favorit is the armor lock just because it gives u time to thinck out your next move is. The jetpack im not so sold on because u get up an the air everbody can see u an your a siting duck up ther and if the person is nice with the DMR, or the Needle Rifle your dead. the Como is good to for the fact that u can hide in plan sit. last but not least is the Sprint abilities but i feel like it makes the games fast now that your not walking to miles per hour. But what i think bungie needs to fit as it says in the article, The splash damge and the melee system i found it to be more pain just because if someone has sprint abilitie they can run up to u an hit u two time before u can do something and another think the article said that the weapons is over power i feel like the weapons has i nice balance to then like the sniper, in halo 3 it was my favorit weapon to us but now i can go around no scooping people beacuse of the new accurate symtem

    Posted: May 8, 2010 6:11 AM
  • M6000

    I like the beta I'm just tired of getting sword base all the time it's like the new snowbound it sux

    Posted: May 5, 2010 11:54 AM
  • Reavemplar

    I really enjoyed the beta but I found some of the game types to have a pretty steep learning curve. Also, the frag grenades are much more powerful than the plasma grenades.

    The armor abilities were fun to play around with, but I agree with the need for the sprint to be longer, or at least recharge faster. An the stalker sucks. I played with it for so long to try to be sneaky, but it's just impossible! the radar-jammer that follows you around if like a beacon for where you're at, and you can tell where anyone is so it puts the other person at the advantage. The jetpack was cool, but I didn't like how slow the boost was for getting up off the ground. You can't use it to run away from anything. I'm still not sure of what to make of the armor lock, I'll have to play some more with it to figure out why I always end up dying when someone else uses it against me.

    All in all, I enjoyed the matchmaking. I played for 2 hours today and stayed in the same basic group for most of it which cut the search times down tremendously!!!

    Game on

    Posted: May 5, 2010 11:14 AM
  • smurfdiggler

    Is it just me or do the Alien weapons seem pretty useless other than the needler?

    Posted: May 5, 2010 10:18 AM
  • Mark Flow

    i think elites need more then just a roll ablility they need their own special powers to so playin with them will be cool and not just rolling around

    Posted: May 5, 2010 10:02 AM
  • dukesnugglez

    Where are the Elites? I need the roll ability!!!!!!!!!

    Posted: May 5, 2010 6:37 AM
  • Hector Krios

    I don't see why so many people think the weapons are too powerful. Everything seems pretty balanced to me, so whats wrong with having weapons that actually work?

    The shotgun is finally good again--it hasn't been that way since Halo: Combat Evolved. The grenades are finally good again as well. They can't kill you when you are right on top them but you will be very close to death. That is the way it should be. Grenades were a staple of gameplay in Halo: CE. You could explode a grenade underneath someone, then one shot to finish him/her off. Grenades were way underpowered in Halo 2 and still not quite up to snuff in Halo 3.

    And the DMR is a good gun. If you need it to fire faster to use it effectively then you just suck at using it. It's a five shot kill, and at its current rate of fire, 5 consecutive shots will almost always kill someone that is charging at you will an assault rifle before they kill you.

    And concerning complaints about the reticle showing decreased accuracy... bullet spread was always in halo, they are simply showing it now. It's a welcome touch and and doesn't at all feel like the decrease in accuracy in games like Call of Duty. It's not something you even have to pay attention to with the assault rifle, and it causes you to actually aim with the DMR.

    In general I find the beta to be balanced and genuinely fun--a true successor to Halo: CE. Its surprising how much mileage players can get out of those 2 maps. I've played for 12 hours and I'm still not bored of them.

    Posted: May 5, 2010 6:36 AM
  • Domiro425

    yea like aerindel_prime said about the new melee attack. i think that it is awesome to. i mean thats how a real spartan goes to war. i also like the way you have to get health packs again just lke halo ce.
    everything about has improved. only one thin i wish that the ar had the same 60 round loud sound like it did in halo ce overall just an awesome game.

    Posted: May 5, 2010 5:11 AM
  • Aerindel_Prime

    I really like the new melee damage system.

    The DMR isn't very usefull, but maybe I just don't know how to use it. Maybe if it was faster or more powerful.

    Needler finaly seems cool again, like it was in CE

    Camo is just about useless, everyone can still see you by the distortion and you lose motion tracker and sound.

    Jet pack is awesome. I can finally move around the map without getting stuck behind walls and in dead end corners. I love being able to boost up and see where everybody is and then land and run through cover to the fight. The physics seem perfect, you really have a feeling of weight and acceleration.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 11:39 PM
  • badwolfdante

    Fist off Love the game. Cant wait!
    But there one or two things I don t agree with.
    Like not being able to choose if your a Spartan or elite. I really liked using both. also I think that both the Spartans and elates should be able to use every power available.

    The other thing is that I feel is that the covenant new needler carbine thing isn t as powerful as the new re-make of the battle rifle. and that it takes longer to kill using it.

    I just think that either side should NOT! have anything special because that it just makes it uneven. yeah I figure in reach Humans lost but I really don t think the elites should be better. also the Spartans feel a bit stiff to use.

    Other then that I really enjoy the game. I just cant wait for new maps and better game types.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 11:23 PM
  • Blakeaphobia

    1.I think the grenades don't have a wide enough damage radius and don't do enough damage. I'll throw a grenade into a crowd of three. the only thing it does is take down the shield of the guy it's under and slightly damage the other two's shields. 2. I also believe that they either speed up the fire rate of the DMR or make it burst fire because the only kills i've gotten with it is in SWAT (NO SHIELDS!!, only sprint perk, and DMRs with Magnums) 3. The laser rifle and sticky grenade launcher are overpowered. I think the sticky grenade launcher should at least be only on the vehicle levels only. Other than that, this game is excellent!

    Posted: May 4, 2010 9:00 PM
  • Mark Flow

    anyone in favor of seein different weapon loadouts? i ammmmm

    Posted: May 4, 2010 9:00 PM
  • peterIrishman24

    DMR is a huge improvement over the BR because it is actually suited well for it's class as a medium range weapon. The BR could destroy anyone at any range in the hands of a pro which made me sad because I'm bad at using burst weapons.anyway the classes are great and well balanced but grenades are too powerful and the AR seems weak at times(it should be though so don't worry about it. The needle rifle is great and so is the plasma rifle but they seem too similar to the DMR and AR, not a big deal though really. One last thing, the beam rifle/sentinel beam/sniper shouldn't really have the 2X zoom in capability, it just doesn't seem necessary and the regular sniper rifle expands a bit too much after every shot, it just doesn't feel as effective as it should.
    PS: plasma grenade launcher PWNS... maybe too much, but it's worth it.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:21 PM
  • MrNicEgUy76

    the beta is pretty good for the most part, but the grenades are out of control powerful, i hope they change that in the new relaese, they should be an assistant to the weapons not take over as the main weapon a lot of people use, but then again that's classic halo, grenades grenades grenades

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:08 PM

    all i wanna say is, the MDR needs a slightly faster fire rate and sprinting should be built in...

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:07 PM