X'10 - HALO: REACH
By DowntownJimmy (08.20.10)
Continuing with the Microsoft vibe (and no, it’s not because it was a Microsoft event) we have a true big daddy in Halo: Reach. Reach is a sad tale as Joseph Tung – Halo: Reach’s Lead Producer inspiringly professed ‘Reach is Bungie’s last halo title and a true labour of love.” This labour of love is apparent as soon as you see Reach running in full motion, Halo: Reach is beautiful and even after witnessing all the other games in the event showroom, Reach stands out as one of the best.
The Halo: Reach Beta which exceeded a million players was a full out hit and for the most part was a success (read our article on Halo: Reach’s Multiplayer Beta Impressions.) You all know about the multiplayer, so you don’t need another rambling of how awesome it is. On the floor, Microsoft had a large Reach display running with multiple consoles running Firefight. Yes, Firefight rocks and now with matchmaking support and changeable parameters, it will likely be the mode of choice for online warfare.
However, the real story (for us) wasn’t the hyped up Multiplayer Firefight mode, it was in a darkly lite back room running a one-monitor demo of Halo: Reach's single player campaign. Subjugated to the back we got to meet Reach’s lead producer Joseph Tung as he showcased some of the customization options for the multiplayer, which carry over to the single player game. The idea of playing your online avatar from your multiplayer sessions in single player is a brilliant tool to immerse the player in both aspects of Halo, and since we’re not playing the Chief, why not. From here we explored a little bit of the Forge World, which already seems ripe with limitless possibilities. Everything from large battlefields to small spaces for 4x4 matches has been allocated, making this one of those “if you can think it up, it can be done” scenarios.
After a brief showing of the Forge World, we jumped into the single player campaign “camera’s off” and we began. In Joseph’s custom made character, call sign ‘Noble 6,’ we drop down to the Earthlike colony of 'Reach' establishing our military presence. Noble 6 along with the rest of the UNSC special ops team explored the countryside discovering a distress signal, and then headed straight into the battle against the disorderly forces of the Convent. The action seemed to be flowing with a familiar pace and one that Joseph stated any ‘Halo’ fan could essentially blow through. Legendary will be a little harder this time around, so Halo fans might want to think about a giving themselves more of a challenge when the boot up the disc. For the single player campaign, we didn’t get to see too much more, which was a shame, but when you think about it, Halo: Reach is shipping in a few weeks, it’s not so bad (tears). Undoubtedly Halo: Reach will be everything the fans expect, look for September 14th.