Halo Reach Limited Edition Features:
Game disc housed in recovered ONI ”black box”
An exclusive Elite armor set for use in multiplayer modes
Artifact bag containing Dr. Halsey’s personal journal and other classified documents and effects that unravel long held secrets from the “Halo” universe
“Halo: Reach,” developed exclusively for Xbox 360, by acclaimed developer Bungie, is the blockbuster prequel to the landmark “Halo” video games franchise. “Halo” is one of the biggest video games series in history, and is the top selling franchise on Xbox. “Halo: Reach” is the culmination of 10 years of award winning “Halo” games that have raised expectations for what can be achieved in a video game.
“Halo: Reach” tells the tragic and heroic story of Noble Team, a group of Spartans, who through great sacrifice and courage, saved countless lives in the face of impossible odds. The planet Reach is humanity’s last line of defense between the encroaching Covenant and their ultimate goal, the destruction of Earth. If it falls, humanity will be perched on the brink of destruction.
Welcome to Noble Team. ”Halo: Reach” immerses you in the ominous and heroic story of “Halo: Reach” as you play as a member of Noble Team, a squad of iconic Spartan soldiers, each with deadly talents as unique as their individual personalities and customized gear.
An Intense and Epic Campaign. Live the events that set the stage for the “Halo” trilogy as the UNSC and Covenant clash at the height of their military power. New weapons, vehicles, and abilities complement the familiar “Halo” arsenal for the largest-scale battles ever witnessed in the “Halo” universe. Fiercely cunning artificial intelligence (AI) adds depth and complexity to each encounter, helping make every play-through a unique and challenging experience whether players go it alone or connect with up to three friends to launch a cooperative assault.
To match the ambition of the most epic campaign in Halo’s history, the battle continues online where Halo: Reach’s dramatically expanded suite of multiplayer offerings will once again redefine the landscape of online gaming and deliver an unequaled experience to millions of Halo fans. “Halo: Reach” sets a new standard for competitive gameplay, customization, matchmaking and community integration. With the addition of the new social settings, you can play with the people you want to by finding like-minded teammates, voting on preferred maps and gametypes and keeping an active roster. In addition, all new multiplayer experiences offer more variety for all types of players. “Invasion” lets players battle as Spartans vs Elites through intense, objective-based battles. And the highly competitive “Arena” lets players hone their skills in an all-out competition for ranking and bragging rights. 1
Stunning Technical Advancements. “Halo: Reach” takes a significant leap forward with all-new engine technology representing the next generation of art, audio, AI, animation, and Hollywood-style special effects. Power through massive scale combat across sweeping open environments and fight up close and personal alongside new characters and creatures as you unravel mysteries buried deep in the “Halo” universe.
Player Customization & Reward. “Halo: Reach” gives you the ability to customize and personalize your Spartan with a staggering array of armor accessories that will appear in both multiplayer and campaign play. Across every game mode, you’re rewarded for everything you do, for every style of play, earning valuable credits that can be used to unlock additional cosmetic upgrades via the Armory.
Halo Reach Review; Author: Mark Scott
Reach for the stars
Microsoft has the biggest hype machine in gaming - not that you'd expect any different of the world's richest company - and if you ever doubted that, just wait until the launch of Kinect later this year. Before the new motion sensor rolls around, though, Microsoft's marketers find themselves on more familiar territory, banging the war-drum for a name that's been synonymous with Xbox from the start: Halo.
They're banging that drum particularly loud this year, because this latest offering, Halo: Reach, will be the last in the series by its original creators, Bungie. And, perhaps, because last year's Halo 3: ODST, while an interesting spin-off in a lot of ways, wasn't quite the epic, spectacular sci-fi shooter fans had come to expect. So Microsoft has been keen to let us know that Reach would be everything we expect of a Halo game
And it absolutely is - despite the fact it doesn't star the iconic hero of the first three games, Master Chief. That's because Reach takes us back to a time just before 2001's Halo: Combat Evolved, when the alien crusaders The Covenant invaded a human colony called Reach, searched it for artefacts and then mercilessly wiped it out. You know from the start, then, that this isn't going to end well.
"The action is never less than thrilling and spectacular."
In Reach, you play the unnamed sixth member of a squad of Spartans - the cadre of armoured super-warriors that Master Chief belonged to. The story deals with their doomed defence of Reach - although there's another thread to it which neatly brings things full circle with the first game, and gives some uplift to what would otherwise be a pretty depressing ending.
Story-wise, it's all rather serious, and although your squad-mates are likeable, the attempt to go for war-movie pathos doesn't work quite as well as the original trilogy's comic-book quest to save the universe. And while Master Chief might not have been the most complex character videogames have ever seen, you still miss him.
It scarcely matters, though, because the action is never less than thrilling and spectacular and the wholesale destruction of a planet is a hell of a backdrop for it. Starting relatively quietly in the backwoods, Reach is an unstoppable crescendo of awesome sights and sounds that's arguably at its most memorable in the middle, when you get up into orbit for some space dogfighting (flying the new Sabre fighter) and starship sabotage before plunging planet-side to take part in the desperate defence of a city under Covenant attack. The graphics have a beautiful, hand-painted look throughout, more subtle than the previous Halo games but still far more colourful and vibrant than most shooters.
Other highlights of Halo: Reach's campaign include the fact that the Elites are back - the toughest foes from the first game, who later on were sidelined in favour of the less interesting Brutes, and even became your allies. Neither will you be fighting the often annoying and simplistic bio-menace The Flood this time. That makes Reach the best possible showcase for Halo's brilliant, undpredictable enemy AI, which combined with the excellent, open level design means the game never plays the same way twice from any checkpoint, and the action remains more fluid and tactically varied than any other FPS.
"An unstoppable crescendo of awesome sights and sounds."
You've got a ton of new toys, too. There are some fun new weapons and vehicles, especially on the Covenant side, although it was the human classics we loved most - Halo's vanilla pistol has never been bettered. But the big change is the armour abilities, which include a useful sprint and a brilliant jet pack. They can only be held one at a time, but they can be used indefinitely as long as you wait for them to recharge, and they work much better than Halo 3's equipment.
All these toys are available in both the campaign and Reach's enormous suite of multiplayer modes. As well as new modes in Halo's famous, much-loved competitive multiplayer, you get a hugely expanded version of ODST's co-op defence game, Firefight, a similarly improved version of the Forge map editor mode, and the video replay Theater. You can now earn Credits across all modes of play which you then spend in the Armoury to customise your own Spartan - even in the single-player campaign. It's all tied together by much better matchmaking and the most seamless, fully integrated online interface anywhere.
If there's a criticism of Halo: Reach - and it's not that easy to come up with one - it's that it's a very similar package and experience to Halo 3, overall, although it's been improved in a number of areas. It's not quite the same without Master Chief, but it's still made to the very best of Bungie's ability - and you can be sure that it will never be the same without the Seattle studio at the helm. Thankfully, in its superb multiplayer and the infinitely replayable campaign - with its perfectly-judged difficulty levels, Achievements and four-player co-op - Reach will last you a very, very long time.
+ The best action and biggest spectacle in any FPS campaign this year.
+ Peerless multiplayer, online integration and community features.
+ Elites are back! No more Flood!.
- We miss Master Chief. Even though he never said anything.
- We've been here before; Reach is an evolution of Halo 3, not a revolution.
- The story takes itself a bit too seriously.