Halo Reach is launched!
A major new video game, Halo: Reach, was launched on Tuesday, 14 Sep. It was one of the biggest launches, and will be one of the biggest games, in the history of interactive entertainment! Gaming is big business these days -- it's bigger and makes more money than the movie industry. The fact that Reach is the fruit of another joint project between Bungie and Microsoft Game Studios makes it all the more exciting.
Make no mistake, this game will be huge. It will be a phenomenon. On the day it was launched, it had already broken Halo 3's record for the highest number of players online.
My review of the game
Halo: Reach is a true masterpiece; an inspired work of genius, a work-of-art in its own right! I do not say such things lightly. Reach will influence the future course of the industry. So highly-charged with innovation and creativity is this game, that it will literally inspire new works of art, like Halo 3 did, e.g. beautiful raw screenshots and videos (seriously, check out these landscapes) and ingenious Forge fan-art.
I played the campaign for the first time yesterday, on launch day. Wow! What a game, and what an engrossing story. I'm really enjoying this game, and very much look forward to getting stuck into multiplayer. I participated in the Reach beta, as blogged at the time, and it's immediately apparent that the game is now more polished and perfected. Visually, this game is stunning. It's an epic experience, and one that feels completely original and new, from the spectacular scenery of planet Reach to the improved HD graphics. And yet, the game is unmistakably Halo, it still has that characteristic look and feel, from details like scenery, sounds, and occasional evocative Gregorian Chant type choral music, to the overall style of the universe generated by the upgraded unique game-engine.
I reccomend playing Reach on Legendary difficulty to get the most out of the campaign, and unleash the full power of the AI in Reach, which I believe to be the best in the industry. There's potential for some terrific "this is impossible" dead-end feelings that remind me more of Halo 1 and 2 on Legendary more than Halo 3. The game overall seems simple, without all the hidden skulls, elusive fanatical achievements, and prominent hidden layers, that we had in Halo 3. The achievements are all very much easier than those infamous Halo 3 challenges -- it was often said to be "almost impossible" to acquire all of those achievements, and for good reason. (I've aquired all achievements in Halo 3 and ODST, and believe me no other game has had so many achievements/trophies that were so profoundly challanging to earn!). Armour abilities work beauifully, like a kind of "class" system, and adds a whole new dimension and innumerable more game-play options to the game -- both single-player and multi-player.
Halo has always had the best website and the best stats available on any game on any console, and Reach builds on this proud tradition. (Check out my own service record on Bungie.net!) Where Bungie leads, others follow. (E.g. It was recently announced that Black Ops, which is the next (sixth) iteration in the Call of Duty series, will have an in-game video capture feature (theater mode) and split-screen mode -- features pioneered by the Halo series.)
Admittedly, I'm a Halo fanboy, but justifiably so. Thus, I could not help myself... I preordered my Legendary Edition copy of Reach on the first day when it was possible to do so, and have my pre-order and Legendary armour enabled. ;)
I'll add to this review when I've played more, so watch this space...
Halo Reach premiere
I was at the Halo Reach launch event on 9 Sep! Watch this space and follow me on Twitter for more info and exclusive content. You may have noticed me mention this already on Twitter, and it was previously announced by others including nikthakkar and BazSingh. My Xbox gamertag and Bungie.net username is: cbjoe.
Exclusive: videos I uploaded from the Halo Reach launch event, including never before seen multiplayer maps and gameplay footage!
- Recomended video: me playing and winnng a Reach multiplayer game.
- Reccomended video: Rio Ferdinand (England captain) and Jameela Jamil (TV presenter) preparing to play Reach (celebrities vs gamers).
- More videos on my YouTube playlist: Halo Reach premiere.
Exclusive photos I uploaded from the Reach premiere!
This awesome photo of me posing with the infamous Sniper Rifle from Halo is inspired by a screenshot of me in-game, which is my trophy shot as featured on my Halo 3 Service Record on Bungie.net profile.
The Reach premiere in London was a truly epic event! For updates online, follow me or check out the Xbox UK's Facebook page. See also the Facebook page for the event. listing some of the highlights, including a "celebrities vs gamers" tournament. I can't help but be impressed by the graphic design my ticket for the Reach Premiere blue carpet event in London. There's a video on Xbox UK's Facebook page showing some highlights -- PIxie Lott is on there, what more do you want??
Video: "The Battle Begins" (Halo Reach campaign trailer)
A new trailer, "The Battle Begins", has started featuring on TV and in cinemas over the past few days.
Video: "Deliver Hope" (Halo Reach live action trailer)
The live action trailer, inspired by the multiplayer experience is superb.
I recently wrote a blog post anticipating Reach and participated in the Beta.
Watch this space for more info when the game launches...
14 September 2010