Why Reach's Campaign Failed

In this post, I will be comparing District 9, and Halo: Reach. Keep in mind that there are many spoilers in this post.

Reach was meant to have a dark feeling, of loss, and treachery. The deaths of Noble Team were supposed to have meaning, to be sad. This is why the campaign wasn’t satisfactory.

Bungie took the road of emotion. To show how malignant the covenant were on Reach. Noble Teams death was supposed to portray this, which is why Reach failed.

I will be getting back to Reach, but first think about this. Of course, this requires that you have seen “District 9”. District 9 was an extremely emotional movie. The producers of District 9 executed what Bungie was trying to do with Reach.

There are about 5 characters that most people get really emotional about in District 9.

The main character is a human ambassador. He has to communicate with the aliens. Later, he becomes one of the aliens himself. Now everyone is trying to harness his ability to use the alien weaponry, and you feel extremely sorry for the ambassador. He just wants to live peacefully with his life, but also feels sympathy for the aliens.

The killer: A human who has a passion for killing aliens. He will stop at nothing to kill the three aliens and the ambassador. The Killers is truly malignant. As we watch the movie, we all hope he dies a painful death.

The aliens are treated very poorly. There are three main aliens they focus on:
The Hero: The alien that is making a certain fuel to allow his ship to ride back to his home planet to get the other aliens to help. This Alien tries to hard to save his people, and while humans stop him, we feel extremely emotional about this.

His son: This little guy saves the day. From the beginning we love this little critter, and hope to god that he won’t die.

The friend: This is the friend of the Hero, and he is told to make sure the humans do not get this fuel. We feel agony when he is killed trying to defend the fuel.

I think I can surely say that a lot of people became attached to the characters in district 9, and them dying would leave us saddened.

Now halo fails to display any of this. You can relate “The Killer” to the covenant. It’s just that the covenant don’t seem as menacing. We don’t feel an urge for them to die, like many did with “The Killer”. Since Bungie was trying to take the emotional turn of the game, this is a key part. They failed to execute it.

The aliens and ambassador relate to Noble Team. They are just fighting for there cause, and in Halo’s perspective, they are fighting for humanity, and Reach. Though in Reach, the acts of bravery Noble Team goes through does not have a very big effect on our hearts, if any at all. It is almost as if it’s just another death, one less person on the team.

Now a bungie.net user, GenisisX77, brought up a good point. He felt that he would be emotional if Chief, Cortana, Miranda, or Johnson died, but not Noble Team (or at least Jun).

I agree, I would be sad if Johnson, Chief, or Cortana died. (miranda has not much of a relationship with anyone besides Johnson, she just yells in your ear, while we all miss cortana.)
This is because they have all are extremely close to each other. Together they have been through so much. If Chief died, seeing Cortana drop to her knees and start crying would really put an impact on me. They’ve been together so long, their bond was unbreakable. Why did this have to happen?

Halo 3 succeeded with Johnson, but not so much Miranda. I also think I remember an elite shipmaster dying, one of arbiters friend. Another close bond being broken, that is emotional. Although I do think I just made that last bit up… don’t know where that came from.

To sum it up, Reach failed to display true emotion, which can be seen in District 9, and that is why the story failed. Bungie took the emotional turn, but failed to execute it.

Ironically I just got the movie today!

Okay, I agree with your points, however it is much more difficult to potray those things in a game. Also note the fact that people didn’t have enough time to ‘relate’ to the character, you really only got the background knowledge and little bit about the kind of Spartan they were. It was also a short campaign in comparison to the others besides ODST.

Reach was about the demise of a planet which was highly protected. Which it was barely shown. The War of the Worlds seemed more suitable in what your trying to say. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JJDQGRGWsY
Skip to 1:30. Helicopters = Falcons = Hummers = Hogs = Tripods = Scarabs, and etc.

> Ironically I just got the movie today!
>
> Okay, I agree with your points, however it is much more difficult to potray those things in a game. Also note the fact that people didn’t have enough time to ‘relate’ to the character, you really only got the background knowledge and little bit about the kind of Spartan they were. It was also a short campaign in comparison to the others besides ODST.
>
> Reach was about the demise of a planet which was highly protected. Which it was barely shown. The War of the Worlds seemed more suitable in what your trying to say. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JJDQGRGWsY
> Skip to 1:30. Helicopters = Falcons = Hummers = Hogs = Tripods = Scarabs, and etc.

If we had seen Jorge activate the button as he lowered his head it would have been a bit more impacting. If the phantom hadn’t been just standing there (maybe just flown over and picked up the field marshal) then Kat’s death would be a bit more impacting. But those two were the least of the [disapointment?].

Carter, if he had looked more wounded somehow it would have been better and if the scarab had sealed off the spartan’s entrance. If emile had actually been paying attention but had been overwhelmed, it would have of been better.

If they all had been more present, interacted more and shown more of their personality, it would have of been better. You know how in the vidoc, Kat takes cover behind Jorge? Maybe use the same idea on the part were they are on the Olyimpic tower, then have Kat explain her suit got damaged. If bungie wanted to put is with just a few members of Noble team, they should have of made it a bit like Halo evolutions’s HEADHUNTERS. Coordinated events that have an impact on other things somewhere else. Let’s say on tip of the spear, make it so that there are many phantoms inside the spire but then Carter get’s the covenant attention by shaking the beehive and in doing so providing Jorge and Six a chance to take down the spire’s shields.

It didn’t have any emotional investment along with not having a sense of scale. Reach didn’t feel like a massive military stronghold. It felt like some backwater colony with one space station and 4 frigates defending it. There were no massive battles besides Tip of the Spear, and you couldn’t even really participate it. Reach didn’t feel like it was in danger that much, it seemed like the covenant spent more time -Yoink- around then destroying the planet until the last 2 levels. Having the battle last over a month took away the suspension of disbelief in the Novel where a planet with a home fleet of 100 cruisers and 20 MAC platforms was crushed in a couple hours. Reach had lost its feeling of being invincible and it was extremely disturbing seeing it laid to waste in the novel where everyone is frantic, the Marines, the Fleet, and even the Spartans, something Reach failed to capture. There was no sense of urgency. most missions consisted of you running errands, not defending a planet from a massive invasion.

I remember seeing the first trailer for reach that showed nothing but the planet rotating as the Covenant fleet was detected. You felt like everyone was in it and that something serious was about go down. then the first plasma torpedo hits the planet.

“Oh my god, there’s still people down here!”

“Oh, this can’t be happening…”

“We NEED you in that fight Noble One!”

I just felt the game was going to end up being more impressive.

> It didn’t have any emotional investment along with not having a sense of scale. Reach didn’t feel like a massive military stronghold. It felt like some backwater colony with one space station and 4 frigates defending it. There were no massive battles besides Tip of the Spear, and you couldn’t even really participate it. Reach didn’t feel like it was in danger that much, it seemed like the covenant spent more time -Yoink- around then destroying the planet until the last 2 levels. Having the battle last over a month took away the suspension of disbelief in the Novel where a planet with a home fleet of 100 cruisers and 20 MAC platforms was crushed in a couple hours. Reach had lost its feeling of being invincible and it was extremely disturbing seeing it laid to waste in the novel where everyone is frantic, the Marines, the Fleet, and even the Spartans, something Reach failed to capture. There was no sense of urgency. most missions consisted of you running errands, not defending a planet from a massive invasion.
>
> I remember seeing the first trailer for reach that showed nothing but the planet rotating as the Covenant fleet was detected. You felt like everyone was in it and that something serious was about go down. then the first plasma torpedo hits the planet.
>
> “Oh my god, there’s still people down here!”
>
> “Oh, this can’t be happening…”
>
> “We NEED you in that fight Noble One!”
>
> I just felt the game was going to end up being more impressive.

Yes, there was no real full scale battles. The trailer implied there was going to be some in Reach, but that obviously never happened.

Ok, we are going against a entire covenant fleet, lets throw in a couple warthogs, see if we can take them out.
/smartness.

Exodus was a bit better then the rest, but there was no real emotions coming from the civilians. No, “Oh my god I left my husband! Please, don’t let him die! please!” This would entice you to save the husband.

Just saying guys, you’ve known MC, cortana, Johnson, etc. for almost 10 years. You only knew Noble Team for one game. You have to put that into account.

Quote from my post:

I agree, I would be sad if Johnson, Chief, or Cortana died. (miranda has not much of a relationship with anyone besides Johnson, she just yells in your ear, while we all miss cortana.)
This is because they have all are extremely close to each other. Together they have been through so much. If Chief died, seeing Cortana drop to her knees and start crying would really put an impact on me. They’ve been together so long, their bond was unbreakable. Why did this have to happen?
|

That why I think Bungie chose the wrong path. They chose emotion for Reach. The fact is, they couldn’t execute it with no backstory. They shouldn’t have chosen emotion.

I think if they went for emotion they should of came out with a book about noble team or something to give them more back round.

Maybe I’m the only one, but I felt a lot of emotion in Reach. Over the course of a single campaign, I was able to learn so much about each Spartan, and I felt sadness for each one of them as they passed.

As for sense of scale, that didn’t really bother me. The first few levels played like skirmishes because that’s what they were. It wasn’t until New Alexandria that things truly went to hell.

> I also think I remember an elite shipmaster dying, one of arbiters friend. Another close bond being broken, that is emotional.

Wait when did this happen?

OT: I agree but Jorge’s death moved me as did 6’s. Carter’s was sad but not that sad; and the rest were just: Oh they’re dead.

> It didn’t have any emotional investment along with not having a sense of scale. Reach didn’t feel like a massive military stronghold. It felt like some backwater colony with one space station and 4 frigates defending it. There were no massive battles besides Tip of the Spear, and you couldn’t even really participate it. Reach didn’t feel like it was in danger that much, it seemed like the covenant spent more time -Yoink- around then destroying the planet until the last 2 levels. Having the battle last over a month took away the suspension of disbelief in the Novel where a planet with a home fleet of 100 cruisers and 20 MAC platforms was crushed in a couple hours. Reach had lost its feeling of being invincible and it was extremely disturbing seeing it laid to waste in the novel where everyone is frantic, the Marines, the Fleet, and even the Spartans, something Reach failed to capture. There was no sense of urgency. most missions consisted of you running errands, not defending a planet from a massive invasion.
>
> I remember seeing the first trailer for reach that showed nothing but the planet rotating as the Covenant fleet was detected. You felt like everyone was in it and that something serious was about go down. then the first plasma torpedo hits the planet.
>
> “Oh my god, there’s still people down here!”
>
> “Oh, this can’t be happening…”
>
> “We NEED you in that fight Noble One!”
>
> I just felt the game was going to end up being more impressive.

So true. So freaking true.

My suggestion, 343, if you see this…Add that ‘fear’ factor into the expressions and voices of the Humans. Not as much as they would if they encountered the flood obviously.

But keep in mind, 90% of the time; Any encounter with the covenant resulted in death and destructions on a planetary-scale. There was no “oh my god, the covenant’s here” response…it was all just emotionless and boring. Wheras that trailer posted above brought SOME of that to life. The fear, the urgency, the defeat.

THIS is what’s needed in the new halo game.

Also; bring some of the ideas that battlefield 3 is implementing with animation systems (they’re taking the stuff from fifa–arguably the GREATEST GAME EVER ; )__) and it’s supposed to be nuts.

Also; The AI in Reach was just HORRIBLE. I had to spend 30 seconds lining up perfectly in order to get Kat into my warthog…as well as marines. This shouldn’t be an issue. I honk, they get in. Simple as that.

Character Development, epic storyline, please.

That’s all I want.

All I have to add is this:

When all the Defiant map pack things were leaking, and I saw Condemned, I at first thought we were close to a star. I then realized that that was Reach. I found the game did get me to care about the planet, however slightly, but it failed to come full-circle in one thing: it never actually showed me the dead planet. I paused the video on Condemned and just kind of marveled at it and uttered, “This is what Bungie was missing. They needed to better show that this happened to Reach; the surface is pure lava and the surrounding space is filled with UNSC ship debris.”

As for Noble Team, I do agree. The first fail is that none of them ever develop in any way. They come as they are, stay as they are, and die as they are. Secondly, nothing about the plot revolves around the characters, so we might as well just be John again. Third, the execution of Noble’s death was rather poor. It lacked any reflection time or true feeling.

Is it really fair to compare a plot of a video game to a plot of a movie? I mean, it’s not like the storytelling standards of video games reached other storytelling mediums. The storytelling in Halo: Reach is very poor, but we shouldn’t compare it to a movie. It should be compared to other video games for crying out-loud. But it would be appropiate to compared Reach to other games within it’s genre. For example, Half-Life 2’s storytelling curb stomps Halo: Reach. Even COD4 had a better storyline than Reach; Gaz and Griggs death actually depressed me a fair bit than any of the Noble Team members.

I will say that Reach’s storyline isn’t as bad as other shooters, such as Gears of War 2, Killzone 2 (haven’t played 3 yet), and Modern Warfare 2.

you guys also have to put that halo 3 had the best campaign, becuase of the misadventures i used to have with my friends. also it was epic and not badass, which bungie tried to display in reach, sigh sometimes i just wonder if frank o conner had to do something big with halo.

> Is it really fair to compare a plot of a video game to a plot of a movie? I mean, it’s not like the storytelling standards of video games reached other storytelling mediums. The storytelling in Halo: Reach is very poor, but we shouldn’t compare it to a movie. It should be compared to other video games for crying out-loud. But it would be appropiate to compared Reach to other games within it’s genre. For example, Half-Life 2’s storytelling curb stomps Halo: Reach. Even COD4 had a better storyline than Reach; Gaz and Griggs death actually depressed me a fair bit than any of the Noble Team members.
>
> I will say that Reach’s storyline isn’t as bad as other shooters, such as Gears of War 2, Killzone 2 (haven’t played 3 yet), and Modern Warfare 2.

It’s more the fact that they tried to do it. ODST was executed extremely well. They did not go too far with it. In Reach they did, and it backfired.

Or they didn’t take their time on Reach’s campaign. ODST was a factor in this.

> Or they didn’t take their time on Reach’s campaign. ODST was a factor in this.

Erm…No. ODST was given a small team and only one year. It would’ve had no impact on the overall workings of Reach.

> > Is it really fair to compare a plot of a video game to a plot of a movie? I mean, it’s not like the storytelling standards of video games reached other storytelling mediums. The storytelling in Halo: Reach is very poor, but we shouldn’t compare it to a movie. It should be compared to other video games for crying out-loud. But it would be appropiate to compared Reach to other games within it’s genre. For example, Half-Life 2’s storytelling curb stomps Halo: Reach. Even COD4 had a better storyline than Reach; Gaz and Griggs death actually depressed me a fair bit than any of the Noble Team members.
> >
> > I will say that Reach’s storyline isn’t as bad as other shooters, such as Gears of War 2, Killzone 2 (haven’t played 3 yet), and Modern Warfare 2.
>
> It’s more the fact that they tried to do it. ODST was executed extremely well. They did not go too far with it. In Reach they did, and it backfired.

The character development was quite average for Halo 3: ODST, but it was certainly better than Halo: Reach’s pathetic attempt of developing Noble Team. It’s clear that the ODST members were given a lot more characterization, than Noble Team’s interchangeable characters. The only character who was somewhat developed in Reach was Jorge, and he died way too early to care about. I also felt more emotion in ODST than I did with Reach, which was supposedly a “powerful” and “emotional” tale of a planet’s destruction, followed by moments of trite tragedy and cheesy heroism. ODST’s nighttime levels depressed me a fair bit, where I barely felt anything in Reach.

I know what I’m about to say is controversial, but I have to say it: ODST’s Campaign > Reach’s Campaign.

I’m sorry I disagree, Halo Reach’s campaign was amazing.

> I’m sorry I disagree, Halo Reach’s campaign was amazing.

If only I could say the same thing. :frowning: I will never understand why anyone would think this was the deffenitve halo. (cant spell)