One of the most anticipated games this year just happens to be getting better and better when it comes to features. As the title says, Halo: Reach will be getting campaign co-op matchmaking, most likely influenced by the inclusion of Firefight matchmaking.
The announcement was made in a rather anti-climatic way in the Bungie Weekly Update:
"Totally Unrelated Question 4: Can I haz Campaign Matchmaking?
Totally Related Answer: Yes."
Thinking about it, I don't think there's any other way Bungie could have announced this particular feature. Everyone was probably salivating in anticipation for this particular feature and now, they can finally rest assured. There's a lot about Reach that's going to be pleasing fans, including the remake of the popular Halo 2 map, 'Ivory Tower' (Now called 'Reflection').
I'm very happy that Reach will be getting co-op matchmaking. Online gaming is getting to the point where playing with random gamers in a cooperative mode is becoming more of a norm and not having that kind of feature is an inconvenience. When Halo 3: ODST's Firefight mode did not include matchmaking, it made the feature incredibly difficult to utilize. I mean, who can really schedule friends to play online?
Online co-op campaigns aren't anything particular new, but Halo titles have had some pretty decent campaigns and it's always better with more people, especially when each player can be a member of Team Noble. I do find it a bit unusual that it took Bungie this long to finally integrate a feature like co-op matchmaking into their games. It seems like it's a staple of many shooters, including Gears of War 3 (featuring its own 4-player co-op), the recently released (and reviewed) Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, and even an older title like Rainbow Six: Vegas. Playing through a story with another human being adds that depth to the game that is nigh available when you're just playing the game by yourself.
I have high expectations of Reach's campaign already being fun, but adding in the extra human element will make it much more memorable. Everyone likes sharing those "dude, did you see that?!" moments when they play games and no doubt, Reach will have more than it's fair share of them.
Team Noble battles for humanity in Halo: Reach on September 14, 2010 exclusively for Xbox 360.