Before deeply elaborating on my opinion of what made Halo: Reach worse than the original trilogy, I need you readers (and hopefully 343) to understand why I wright this thread, and the reason is to stop 343 making the same mistakes that Bungie did with its swan song to Halo, which I still love as it is. I will summarize my claim in one sentence: The reason Halo: Reach was worse is that it was much less "Halo: than the originals. And not just story-wize, but also gameplay-wize AND graphics-wize. And while I welcome change in any way 343 may imagine, I do not welcome the change of Halo’s essence and feel, which were lost among the change that Reach brought with it.
Reach’s story was flawed. For one, it didn’t even hit close to its potential. There was no mystery, nearly no epicness that Halo is used to give us. There was no forerunners (except for the last twenty minutes of one level), there was no flood (thankfully, cannonically speaking) . It didn’t feel like Halo. And even what it did well wasn’t good enough. The ending was clearly rushed. We didn’t see Reach’s glassed surface in the end. The end didn’t achieve what the beginning aimed to. And where was that Scarab battle we were all waiting to see?
If there’s something I always admired in Halo games, it was the way they managed to tell a story which was both a war story and a sci-fy epic. Halo Always hit the perfect spot when trying to balance the two story elements. Reach didn’t do so well there. It felt more like Call of Duty: Future Warfare than it did Halo.
But that was not the worst flaw of the Reach Campaign. It was REALLY flawed mostly because it broke the canon in a way that reminded me of Star Wars.
The gameplay was the closest thing to Halo in the game. It had all that was Halo inside it. But then there are the Armor Abilities. These are fun additions to the game and franchise (excluding Armor Lock). But… the element of choice they introduced shattered one of the things Halo’s gameplay and Multiplayer were well known for: balance. This shattered what could have been a fun addition to the game and made it yet again less Halo.
AAs were not the only gameplay fault in the game. Among these there are of course player speed and bloom, both of which helped push Reach away from Halo and therefore make it a worse game than it could have been.
The graphics in Halo: Reach where good. They had amazing vistas and sky-boxing, they held many a polygon and were purely good. But they WERE NOT Halo. The character models were rough, the animations were not smooth and the overall style was so much less Halo than even ODST.
Overall, it wasn’t one of these specific featured that tore “Halo” away from “Reach”, it was the combination of all of them together that did this.
For Halo 4, please give us change. Please give us the unexpected. But keep the game as “Halo” as possible. Thank you.