This article will contain SPOILERS for the ending of Halo: Reach. If you have not finished the single player campaign of the game yet, you will be ill-advised to read this article. However, if you did complete the game are a part of the thousands of people playing online right now, feel free.
Those of you who are familiar with the Halo-verse know that Reach is the prequel to Halo 1. Will that in mind, the ending of Reach where Noble 6 delivers Cortana to Captain Keyes was nothing short of fitting. Halo has always been about playing the hero and Noble 6 was definitely the hero in Bungie's latest. The post-ending gameplay where you (and maybe three of your friends) made the last stand on Reach was incredibly powerful and reflected a mixture of both desperation and courage.
The decision to have Halo:Reach conclude the way it does was an important creative decision of Bungie's. Creative director Marcus Lehto explains the tone of the game and how the ending sequence fits the planned design of the themes and story of Reach:
"Well, the game's a tragedy overall. We wanted to tell the story of the Spartans sacrificing everything they had, and we thought it would be a cop-out if we didn't really bring it to a true ending with the Spartan that you create and that you fight with through the entire campaign and all the way to the very bitter end."
Executive producer Joe Tung shares his thoughts on picking the ending amongst other ideas they have and the deeper significance of it to the franchise.
"I think the inside scoop about the ending is that it was one of the parts of the game that we wrestled with for months, and there were many different iterations with the ending. There was a point where the ending didn't happen at all like it happened now. It was so important to us that the game ended well. Not just from a game perspective, but from the perspective of Bungie saying goodbye to the entire universe."
You can find the rest of the interview at 1up.
Halo has always been a large staple of the gamer diet. Since the industry-changing release of the original Halo hit as the Xbox first launched, it has been nothing but a must-play title among the masses. On top of that, it has become a part of everyday pop-culture and the Halo franchise has helped raised the bar of first person shooters and online play.
I couldn't agree with more with what Tung and Lehto described about the ending gameplay and the kind of allegory Bungie was going for. When I first started playing it, I did want to do my best to survive at least for a little bit against the increasing odds. With the ending of game being what it is, I think Noble 6 should replace Master Chief as most important Spartan.
Halo: Reach is out now and exclusive to the Xbox 360.