Why Reach is still the crown and gem of the series

Halo Reach is still my favorite Halo game, even, despite the latest Halo. There are a number of reasons to this…but if only Reach integrated the more advanced HUD-link system that Halo 5 utilizes and pulls from Halo lore. I’ve often wondered why the way a Spartan, or Marine aims their weapon was never really portrayed in the games. It’s always painted the impression that Master Chief, like Ramboo, shoots from his hip. In the Halo books, weapons are never described as having sights, but, instead, what is deemed “HUD-Link.” Not too unlike today’s gun camera technology…or better still, how fighter pilot’s lock-on system works for guns and missiles…but enough on that.

So why Halo Reach is still the best?

1.) Art direction - Like all Halo games before and after it, Reach’s story is told/ shown from “a human’s perspective.” As such, the game used a more realistic color pallet, with effective use of grain and more of a rustic and human technological look. Let’s face it, humanity’s technology is inferior to Covenant or Forerunner. Halo games before and after Reach have always been vivid and cartoony. Reach is the way I would prefer all Halo games to feel…since, well, our protagonist has never not been human, with exception to the missions where you played as the Arbiter. Also, Spartan armor felt true to the original artwork and more “human Jugger-battle suit” and not “Cyborg Ninja,” like Locke’s armor, or any of those found in multiplayer…especially, that stupid peacock helmet and armor. They got way too gimmicky over the armor and art designs. Everyone running around Multiplayer now looks like Raiden from MGS. It does not feel like Halo, but rather plays like Halo.

2.) Campaign - I don’t know if anyone else has realized this, but we never got that game where Chief was legitimately with blue team. Halo Reach is the closest we get up to this very day. We got to play as Chief and blue team for a little in Halo 5, but it didn’t feel like Chief and Blue Team. From the time the very first Halo game released, all of that was already in Master Chief’s recent past. Halo CE literally took place right after he involuntarily separated with blue team. Since then, the whole subject has been avoided, though the books referenced blue team quite often, even events that took place after Halo CE’s storyline(Halo, First Strike). For instance, we never got a blue team oriented Ghost of Onyx cross-over game. Bungie had just completely axed out blue team and only focused on MC. So where is all this going? Well, if you read the books, you’ll know that Bungie released Halo Reach as an analog to The Fall of Reach book. Meaning, you aren’t playing as blue team, nor Chief…in fact, you aren’t even Spartan II…yet, you are mirroring events not unlike those found in the Fall of Reach book, but as an analogous crew…albeit, a bit more of a lively bunch. Spartan II’s are more boring and tamed in personality. Their sense of humor, dry…but they are effective. Halo Reach absolutely remains the most true and realistic feeling Halo game of all time. It told us a story from human eyes, showed us what the covenant is like from human eyes…but you also felt more vulnerable and covert and not as “Jason Statham,” starring as Master Chief…which is what every Halo titles tends to aim for. Even in the books, there were very mortal aspects, near deaths, suit breaches etc. You also genuinely cared for those in your Spartan squad. I don’t think I felt like that in ANY Halo game.

3.) Powerups/ and Sprint - Armor lock was a lovely concept, pulled from Halo lore. When a brief and sudden impact is detected, the Spartan’s suit should lock to protect its inhabitant from damage. Though, with the way Master Chief employs it, it would technically mean that they cannot be destroyed by anything short of a missile…and Finally! you can sprint in a Halo game!

4.) It was the last game to feature the lovely-most up to date Firefight co-op mode

5.) The needle rifle…the all time best covenant weapon. Enough said.

6.) Customizability - You can pair any chest piece with your selection of shoulder pads, gauntlets, knee pads/ boots etc. You can unlock and equip tactical accessories on your helmet, remove the blast shields from certain helmets, equip varying tactical vests to select from…you name it. You could even go as far as to equip a different shoulder pad on each arm…not unlike Spartan Carter’s setup. Armor colors were more realistic and less loud and obnoxious.

7.) Assassinations - Finally, you could assassinate another player! I don’t remember assassinations in Halo 3, but maybe it was there(?)

8.) Space flight - I will not forget the feel when, in the campaign we were racing to takeover the Longsword launch facility to bust into orbit. Very Neil Blomkamp…beautifully done.

[Edit]
9.) Someone pointed out the “invasion” aspect of Reach. Playing as an Elite was great fun. I believe you did also do this in Halo 3, however.

How Reach touched me is indescribable, but there are those I can point out. Really, it just worked out to be Bungies formula to an evolved Halo experience, and that’s why it received so much flame, at first. As time passed by, Halo 4 and 5 helped to make Reach more appreciable(sorry Bungie, we let you down in our appreciation for such a masterpiece). Simply put, Halo purists were rough on Reach and its reputation is still tainted as a result. Perhaps it was too much, too soon. Also, the fact that you did not play as Chief did not set well with many Halo fans…particularly those unfamiliar with the books and got used to there only being one Spartan in their life. Many did not like ODST for this reason. But mostly, many who played and enjoyed earlier Halo games were avid arena shooters…not unlike those who support Quake and Unreal…but Halo needed to evolve and get away from some of that simplistic “bounce and shoot” appeal and ground itself a bit more to appeal to a modern generation. To me, bounching and jumping has become an old fashion gimmicky mechanic that hailed from a day where games weren’t advanced enough to be exciting, so what did you do to make them more exciting? Add lots of anti-gravity and firepower and eventually, the anti-grav rail gun sniping player is born. Guys, there will always be the classics.

Don’t forget about playable Elites. That’s the main reason I like Reach best.

You only had to say “firefight.”

That said, while I respect your opinion I also have to respectfully disagree. Every PvE mode within the game was outstanding. Multiplayer was marred by armor lock and reticle bloom. The game was visually impressive, but doesn’t compare favorably to either of the installments that have come along since, particularly Guardians. A more powerful console is, after all, a more powerful console. Everything looks better on the One.

Nevertheless, when backward compatibility catches up with Reach you can bet I’ll be sliding it in go back for some sweet, sweet gruntpocalypse. It just isn’t possible to get enough of that.

I feel the personal connection to your own spartan is what made the game better for me, instead of a pre defined character. I like the idea of this is me if I was a spartan. Had Halo 5 given the option to have Osiris be lead by your own Spartan instead of Locke I would have enjoyed the story much more.

> 2535449206212102;2:
> Don’t forget about playable Elites. That’s the main reason I like Reach best.

Very true!

> 2533274806699805;4:
> I feel the personal connection to your own spartan is what made the game better for me, instead of a pre defined character. I like the idea of this is me if I was a spartan. Had Halo 5 given the option to have Osiris be lead by your own Spartan instead of Locke I would have enjoyed the story much more.

Another very good point. It could be why I cared for and felt more connected to the squad. The fact that you were your own avatar.

> 2533274873843883;3:
> You only had to say “firefight.”
>
> That said, while I respect your opinion I also have to respectfully disagree. Every PvE mode within the game was outstanding. Multiplayer was marred by armor lock and reticle bloom. The game was visually impressive, but doesn’t compare favorably to either of the installments that have come along since, particularly Guardians. A more powerful console is, after all, a more powerful console. Everything looks better on the One.
>
> Nevertheless, when backward compatibility catches up with Reach you can bet I’ll be sliding it in go back for some sweet, sweet gruntpocalypse. It just isn’t possible to get enough of that.

I guess I didn’t have any aversions to armor lock, nor did I realize it as being a problem. It was tricky to use, but if you were good at it, you could turn the tide in your favor using it. It also prevented a lot of run-over accidents from both friendlies and enemy alike.
Not sure what reticle bloom is. I’ll have to go back and see if I have any issue with the reticle in the game.
Graphics are naturally always going be handed to the latest installment. It was a clean game, none the less. No jaggies, incredibly polished and balanced, but nothing exactly Crysis or even Halo 4 or 5, for that matter. I’m talking mainly from a gameplay and campaign/ story perspective.

> 2533274792195095;7:
> > 2533274873843883;3:
> > You only had to say “firefight.”
> >
> > That said, while I respect your opinion I also have to respectfully disagree. Every PvE mode within the game was outstanding. Multiplayer was marred by armor lock and reticle bloom. The game was visually impressive, but doesn’t compare favorably to either of the installments that have come along since, particularly Guardians. A more powerful console is, after all, a more powerful console. Everything looks better on the One.
> >
> > Nevertheless, when backward compatibility catches up with Reach you can bet I’ll be sliding it in go back for some sweet, sweet gruntpocalypse. It just isn’t possible to get enough of that.
>
>
> I guess I didn’t have any aversions to armor lock, nor did I realize it as being a problem. It was tricky to use, but if you were good at it, you could turn the tide in your favor using it. It also prevented a lot of run-over accidents from both friendlies and enemy alike.
> Not sure what reticle bloom is. I’ll have to go back and see if I have any issue with the reticle in the game.
> Graphics are naturally always going be handed to the latest installment. It was a clean game, none the less. No jaggies, incredibly polished and balanced, but nothing exactly Crysis or even Halo 4 or 5, for that matter. I’m talking mainly from a gameplay and campaign/ story perspective.

I would be the last person to want to see esports used as the yardstick for measuring much of anything, but… if you introduced armor lock into HCS game play you would have riots in the streets. The words “over-powered” and “unbalanced” get used way too much on these forums, and are often used incorrectly, but if they were ever appropriately applied to anything then it would be armor lock.

Reticle bloom was very controversial at the time, although in a watered-down form it has become a core feature of the game. Put in Halo 2, fire your gun at any rate, fast or slow, and your reticle stays exactly the same and your shots land exactly where you are aiming. Put in Reach, fire your gun, and the faster you fire the larger your reticle becomes and the more inaccurate your shots become. It’s an interesting mechanism which is intended to force the player to pace shots, theoretically adding a new skill to the overall practice of aiming. In reality it just made serious players feel ripped off because you could be “on target” but have no guarantee that your shots would actually hit.

These two features were not the only reasons that Reach was the end of an MLG relationship for Halo, but they were the big ones. And again, don’t give a tinker’s damn about MLG, but I can kinda see their point on both features.

But of course none of these things matter compared to the power and the glory that is FIREFIGHT. That alone makes Reach a truly great game.

I never saw armour lock as a problem, it was bad to use in a one v one as it just delayed their death. It actually made Infantry vs Vehicle a balanced scenario compared to the “they have a vehicle … Might as well bend over in the corner” feel the Halos had in the past and have now with 4 and 5.

> 2533274875901332;9:
> “they have a vehicle … Might as well bend over in the corner” feel the Halos had in the past and have now with 4 and 5.

XD

I agree with you 10000%

My biggest disappointment with Halo 5 and what Reach did right is commendations. Why there are no commendations for the H5 campaign is baffling. It added replay ability to the campaign that isn’t there in H5. Plus Firefight is better than spartan ops and oh wait there is nothing other than campaign in H5. Reach did so many things right which 343 has yet to match in their games so far. Hey warzone is good but as I have gotten older it gets harder in PvP and I prefer PvE which is such a small part of warzone it’s not enough. Honestly since Fallout 4 released I haven’t touched Halo 5 since, had they had a firefight mode then that wouldn’t be the case.

> 2634471746327483;12:
> My biggest disappointment with Halo 5 and what Reach did right is commendations. Why there are no commendations for the H5 campaign is baffling. It added replay ability to the campaign that isn’t there in H5. Plus Firefight is better than spartan ops and oh wait there is nothing other than campaign in H5. Reach did so many things right which 343 has yet to match in their games so far. Hey warzone is good but as I have gotten older it gets harder in PvP and I prefer PvE which is such a small part of warzone it’s not enough. Honestly since Fallout 4 released I haven’t touched Halo 5 since, had they had a firefight mode then that wouldn’t be the case.

Man, I’ve been saying that for weeks! Halo Reach had almost everything the fans wanted: playable Elites, Firefight, Invasion, split screen, commendations everywhere, graphics, vehicle diversity, and great voice acting. Halo 5 really disappointed me in content and longevity.

> 2535449206212102;13:
> > 2634471746327483;12:
> > My biggest disappointment with Halo 5 and what Reach did right is commendations. Why there are no commendations for the H5 campaign is baffling. It added replay ability to the campaign that isn’t there in H5. Plus Firefight is better than spartan ops and oh wait there is nothing other than campaign in H5. Reach did so many things right which 343 has yet to match in their games so far. Hey warzone is good but as I have gotten older it gets harder in PvP and I prefer PvE which is such a small part of warzone it’s not enough. Honestly since Fallout 4 released I haven’t touched Halo 5 since, had they had a firefight mode then that wouldn’t be the case.
>
>
> Man, I’ve been saying that for weeks! Halo Reach had almost everything the fans wanted: playable Elites, Firefight, Invasion, split screen, commendations everywhere, graphics, vehicle diversity, and great voice acting. Halo 5 really disappointed me in content and longevity.

Don’t get me wrong I liked the campaign for H5 but commendations for it seems like it should have been common sense. But as I said in another post about Halo Reach it was the pinnacle of the Halo franchise to this point. It got so many things right, I do feel 343 can do better and they would be smart to add a PvE Warzone gametype which doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch since there is already PvE elements. 343 would also do well taking some notes on Reach to make a COMPLETE game.

> 2634471746327483;14:
> > 2535449206212102;13:
> > > 2634471746327483;12:
> > > My biggest disappointment with Halo 5 and what Reach did right is commendations. Why there are no commendations for the H5 campaign is baffling. It added replay ability to the campaign that isn’t there in H5. Plus Firefight is better than spartan ops and oh wait there is nothing other than campaign in H5. Reach did so many things right which 343 has yet to match in their games so far. Hey warzone is good but as I have gotten older it gets harder in PvP and I prefer PvE which is such a small part of warzone it’s not enough. Honestly since Fallout 4 released I haven’t touched Halo 5 since, had they had a firefight mode then that wouldn’t be the case.
> >
> >
> > Man, I’ve been saying that for weeks! Halo Reach had almost everything the fans wanted: playable Elites, Firefight, Invasion, split screen, commendations everywhere, graphics, vehicle diversity, and great voice acting. Halo 5 really disappointed me in content and longevity.
>
>
> Don’t get me wrong I liked the campaign for H5 but commendations for it seems like it should have been common sense. But as I said in another post about Halo Reach it was the pinnacle of the Halo franchise to this point. It got so many things right, I do feel 343 can do better and they would be smart to add a PvE Warzone gametype which doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch since there is already PvE elements. 343 would also do well taking some notes on Reach to make a COMPLETE game.

If 343 tried hard, they could easily top Bungie and Halo Reach.

HALO REACH was the downfall of Halo.

+1 for this, really can’t wait for Halo Reach to come back to backward compatibility. I swear if my data is reset )=

Was and still is garbage
To cod-ish…requires no skill and only attracts bad kid scrubs

> 2533274806699805;4:
> I feel the personal connection to your own spartan is what made the game better for me, instead of a pre defined character. I like the idea of this is me if I was a spartan. Had Halo 5 given the option to have Osiris be lead by your own Spartan instead of Locke I would have enjoyed the story much more.

The customizable character immersed you into the universe better than any story with a pre-made character. We had an actual reason to fight, to protect our SPARTANs, which is you personified. I agree that Reach was a rare gem in the Halo series, maybe 343 can take notes from that premise…

Reach make me feel like my character was inserted into the storyline and not an outsider third person perspective like some games too. While this is okay end diesel plot device . Reach any genuine emotion and style to it that was unique to the game. It’s by far my favorite story wise . As for mechanics I really don’t worry about those things like most players . Yes, there’s patterns and timing and all that junk . Although reach was my first Halo game as a reward for my Microsoft beta I can’t remember which one exactly. It seems to be a lot of ungrateful sentiment about this is not our game when it comes to different forms of Halo games. While people are in title to their opinions , it strikes me as stagnant . What I’d like to see more reach storyline , yes and no. Yes it would’ve been great if the story was a bit longer and so on . And no because it was executed well . Whenever a new game in the series comes out it has to be different and has to change , evolve if you will . Would I pretend to know how to tweak Halo four or five , certainly not, nor would I want to . But I am looking forward to returning to Reach when it comes to the Xbox one . Hope to see you all on Reach