I wanted to post this to spark a discussion about the Halo: Reach campaign. Compared to the other installments, sans ODST and Halo Wars, Bungie created art. Yeah I said it, a piece to be played and enjoyed well into the future. As the STLGamer crew and myself played through the game, I noticed the two differences between Reach and the previous Halo games. In my opinion, it was tone and the absence of the flood.
Bungie took the one big piece out of the ODST ‘expansion’ and built on that for Reach. The dark tone was made apparent in the openning cutscene of the game, sewn into integral parts of the campaign, and showed its ass after the credits. For me, seeing that helmet, stuck in the ground as if it was planted by the covenant, at the beginning of the game let me know that this was not going to be a happy ending (not too mention that I was keen to the story of planet Reach). One by one you learned about your Noble team and soon they all died. But they all just didn’t die like the Carmines from the Gears of War series (well not all of them at least), they all died trying to give Reach one last push for salvation. The one part that got me was when Jorge (spelled like Hor – Hey but spoken like George) took off his helmet grabbed Noble 6 by his arms and through him off the covenant ship thnking that he sacrificed himself for Reach. The music, the muffled in-space audio, and seeing myself being thrown in first person added to the immersion of the ‘experience’. This was one example of the epic tone of the game.
As for the ending, I heard that there was a unique epilogue after the credits but really Bungie?!?! Seeing my HUD pop up, gun in hand, and seeing the words “Current Objective: SURVIVE” blew my mind. It’s just something you have to experience.
To my second note, the lack of Flood being in the game is pretty self explanatory. There is no flood because the game is not on a Halo. But because of that, the story does not suffer from their existence. Sure, the use of a Shotgun to the flood feels good, but the story arc that explains why and how makes no since. You try and make a vampire/zombie species have an exuberant back story, dont’ worry….I’ll wait. Suffice it to say that the previous Halo game stories are really interesting until their stopped short to come up with something to do with the Flood.
All in all, Reach is an epic story. And it should be played even if you’ve soured on previous Halo games, or if you’re a newcomer to the series (really????). At least in my opinion. What do the rest of you think????