Halo: Reach is a fantastic game. It has an exciting single player campaign with multiple difficulty levels, and a robust multiplayer system that you can pick up and play any time of the day. Halo: Reach is a whole lot of fun. You should go play a round of firefight right now!
Okay, that should have distracted all of the big-time Halo fans long enough for me get this Midnight Rant up without being bombarded by angry emails and text messages. Here’s the truth, Ranters: Halo: Reach is as shallow as a kiddy pool. Reach is a KFC Double Down chicken and bacon sandwich. You know, that sandwich that’s great for lunch one time, but the next day all you want is a meal instead of a stigma?
Playing through the Reach campaign once is great: you get those achievement points; you can talk about it with your buddies at the bar on Friday night; you pretend to empathize with the emotionally inept soldiers in the Noble squad because real emotional connections are for sissies; it’s all good fun. Then you forget about it because you bought the game for multiplayer anyways. It’s not like Reach has Master Chief in it anyways.
Multiplayer is just as vapid and puerile as it get though. At least in Modern Warfare 2 your time turned into unfair combat advantages on the battlefield, i.e. weapons, perks and the like. Halo: Reach gives you an emblem for you name-tag and unlockable armor accessories. Don’t pretend this isn’t dress up, gentlefolk, because when you pop into ‘The Armory’ to spend your well earned cash on the latest stylish visor and chest-piece, you’re only one degree from Bratz Makeover. But that’s besides the point (really though, think about it), because I’m trying to say is that Reach multiplayer has everyone tricked. The complex matchmaking system, variety of maps, playlists and gametypes is all a glamor put over your eyes. It’s all the exact same thing. It’s not a bad thing, but it isn’t enough to feel like it’s worth coming back often to see what’s changed.
Of course, the true source of fun in Reach comes from playing with friends, or even the random social interactions you’ll have with people from the internet. An enjoyment that could be found just as easily in Modern Warfare 2, or Bomberman, or even Uno for that matter. It’s the same experience you had with friends in Halo 3, Halo 2, Halo Wars–err.Â There’s nothing inherent to Halo that makes the social experience better than those other games, except perhaps the fact that a lot of your friends probably have the game.
Halo: Reach is a fantastic game. It has an exciting single player campaign with multiple difficulty levels, and a robust multiplayer system that you can pick up and play any time of the day. Halo: Reach is a whole lot of fun, but it is shallow and unrewarding and that will never change. At least we’re all swimming in the shallow pool together, right?