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Smitty

Halo Reach Spoilers thread - Beware!

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The Hunters seem a lot easier to kill in this. The exposed area on their backs is massive now.

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The Hunters seem a lot easier to kill in this. The exposed area on their backs is massive now.

Once you take out the armour there, which is bloody hard at times.

Love the new covenant vehicle...

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Did a perfect run on legendary yesterday on my retail copy (Tesco - of all places!), and it's still absolutely brilliant.

Now for firefight!

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Did a perfect run on legendary yesterday on my retail copy (Tesco - of all places!), and it's still absolutely brilliant.

Now for firefight!

Tesco online I assumes?

Want this fucking game bad.

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Tesco online I assumes?

Want this fucking game bad.

Yes mate, ordered thursday with the cheap codes, sent friday and got it yesterday.

The more I play the more I'm enjoying it - there are so many nods to the other games:

I must have stopped on at least three occasions in the campaign and thought "this is that multiplayer map from Halo 2/odst...it is!". I still think the ending is a bit pants - the race bit is just not as good as Halo CE (I mean come on, stopping for a tiny road block??? Spartans would just jump that shit on the Mongoose and keep riding right to the Pillar ffs) and the final bit is a shooting gallery but I guess the context of what you are doing makes up for it.

For sure, as a Halo fan I'm totally in love again.

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I noticed that the mission sub-headings for each section are named after lines of dialogue etc in the previous games and books.

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Wrapped up legendary yesterday. Amazing.

Strangely though - one of the levels didn't pop the achievement so had to go back and do it.

Loved it though - some amazing moments.

The grunts were a pain in the ass in this one though - red dot on headshots seemed to not pop them all the time.

So many stand out moments!

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The grunts were a pain in the ass in this one though - red dot on headshots seemed to not pop them all the time.

So many stand out moments!

Not if they're wearing a helmet (the ultras), no.

You have to pop that off first.

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I noticed that the mission sub-headings for each section are named after lines of dialogue etc in the previous games and books.

Yeah, it's a cool way of naming them :)

I love the description for the IWHBYD skull "but the neighbours dog beat me to it!"

:P

Do you play online at all Smitty dude?

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Just how stunning does that level look, with the Pillar of Autumn :o

When it takes off...

Somehow looks better than the rest of the game.

Well, goodbye Halo as we know it.

What a ride.

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What does Emile say before he dies? Can't remember, don't remember cringing or anything though.

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I'm a big arse Halo fan and have loved all the games, including this, but I would say it's my least fave...along with Halo 2. I've not seen anyone else mention this, so I can't tell if I'm imagining it or what, but there is definitely a noticeable lag to the aiming and responsiveness in this game that none of the others ever had. I felt it straight away in the beta, and it seems even worse in the final game. Almost like I'm playing with a PS3 pad ;)

I also can't help but feel like ever since the first game, Bungie seem to have continually dropped the ball in regards to their gun sound FX with each passing game. Am I the only one? Not only is the 5.1 mix really iffy (and has been that way in the last 3 games now), but the weapon samples themselves sound (and subsequently, they feel) incredibly weedy and puny. I miss the old booming pistol sound effect for example. So satisfaying and meaty.

Don't like the control layout on this game either (melee on RB?), but I'm sure I can customise that so it's not a biggie.

But I guess for those reasons the combat just doesn't seem as fun as it should here, which is a shame as the missions themselves and the visuals are lovely. I really dug the last couple of levels in particular, and it really drew me in towards the end, story-wise. Just wish it all felt "tighter" with the gunplay. Still can't beat Halo 1 in that department.

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Interesting to note that Jun isnt shown dying. Ever.

Taken from Halopedia:

Jun's current status is unknown, as he was not seen in the levels after The Package. He is most likely KIA but listed as MIA, as he was never seen nor mentioned in later levels in the game or in Halo: First Strike, where Dr. Halsey is shown safely in CASTLE Base. It is possible that Jun sacrificed himself to get Dr. Halsey into CASTLE Base.

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S'ok...

Had a few framerate issues and motion blur at the beginning (might have been my eyes adjusting as going from COD4 to Halo 3 back in the day was similar) which isn't really good enough.

I found the characterisation a little awkward and tacked on. Moreso than usual with Bungie, anyway. The Russian girl's death was beyond parody: the piano music, the strange suddeness and then lack of grief and reaction to it. It was quite grin inducing, really. I think they expected the profound shock/grief of the moment to carry it and the silencewould somehow compound that or whatever, but it was no Aeris/Meryl/Sniper Wolf/ - it wasn't even whatever Niko Belleci's girlfriend was called. Then, once that theme of sacrifice had been set the rest of the deaths seemed like everyone trying to out hero everyone else. You'd have thought Emile would have seen death coming with all those precedents. More Final Destination than Band of Brothers.

The gameplay still hasn't recaptured CE's...magic. I suspect it's a number of things. I reckon the original stock of enemies and weapons has been too widely expanded: the sniper Jackals, jet-pack Elites and those completely unmemorable bug things can easily be gotten rid of. I'm more ambivalent about the Brutes. There were moments where it felt as if they were easy cannon-fodder for the developers to fill out a few corridors with, but I agree with Smitty that they do add something to the mix at times - the last level in particular, I had a great extended gunfight with them over the landing pad, probably my favourite. They're clearly not as dumb as they were in Halo 2, and people seem to forget the Flood in all the Halo CE love-ins. They were fucking awful. With the weapons, I don't know if it's a reflection of my online preferences, but if I didn't have the Battle Rifle - which they've tweaked again to make it even better - or at least a pistol, I felt like I was hugely disadvantaged. The Plasma weapons have never been up to much for me (the pistol has its uses in conjunction with other bullet weapons, obviously) but that set, with all the new additions, - the splicer, the green anti-tank whatever - it's too much.

As with the gauche characterisation and storytelling it seems like a bunch of stuff that Bungie seem beholden to just to create a universe that no one really cares about all that much. The Elite, Grunt, Jackal set-up may not be a realistic force that could conquer planets, but I don't really care. It worked. That group of three were like chess pieces that perfectly complemented each other. I used to feel a genuine sense of having out witted them as I wacked the last fleeing grunt over the head or scattered a bunch of Jackals with a frag. Now, there's still the queen, the knights and the pawns, but there's also the knights with the jet-packs, and the pawns with sniper rifles. It doesn't get it quite as right. It just feels messy. It doesn't have the same essence. The end with the Pillar of Autumn (which is a lovely bit of fanservice) almost had me wanting to play Halo CE through with Reach graphics, but it's probably for the best they leave it well alone.

It's a fine, fine curtain call for a series that brought me into the FPS genre at the start of the decade. And then dragged me kicking and screaming into a sometimes serious online gaming habit - that brought a lot of laughs, naturally. But I'm more than content for them to move on and build something as fresh and exciting as the original was all those years ago. I think, out of the shackles of the Halo universe, they can make something really brilliant again.

Tl;dr - An Edge 8.

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