Worst. Campaign. Ever... ~ an analysis

(Well, I say an “analysis”, this is more of a -Yoinking!- session about why the campaign is awful.)

Reach’s campaign is abysmal… In fact it’s difficult to know where to start here because my complaints about the campaign involves just about every single thing in it. So let’s start with the so-called “story”.

There are no words to express how awful (what can laughably be called) the story was, there wasn’t even an actual plot until the end of The Package - and even that was designed as a way to shoehorn Halsey, Cortana, Keyes and some Forerunner BS in order to make the battle of Reach look more important than it actually was just to bring the story full circle (which is what Halo 3 achieved, this was NOT supposed to be the aim of Reach). We never even learned what that “latchkey” artefact was or what it did… And before anyone says that it held the coordinates to Halo, Cortana already had those when she analysed the rock at Sigma Octanus IV.

Then there were the sterile, one-dimensional characters… The only straight-thinking person in the Reach campaign is Halsey, and she only appears twice with very little dialogue - yet retains more of a character than Noble Six himself from the her brief appearances. I didn’t care about any of Noble Team, I was never given a reason to. We didn’t know who they were, other than a group of Spartan-IIIs who should have been dead with a Spartan-II who was a carbon copy of Kurt from Ghosts of Onyx (and thus, the only “good” character, but Bungie did away with him not even half way through the game).

See, the biggest mistake Bungie made here is telling us that we’re going to experience a much more human story. Bullshyte, this statement is immediately rendered invalid by the fact the main characters are Spartans. They are NOT emotionally-driven characters, if they wanted a human story then they’d have done a better jb by having the story follow the plight of some Marines/ODSTs with Buck.

So if anyone else found themselves thinking things like, “huuuh,” or, “lolwhaaat,” when you’re seeing how illogically people like Carter act (telling Emile to stay by an empty door when the Field Marshall who has data on SWORD Base runs away instead of ordering him to pursue), you really shouldn’t blame yourself or think you’re stupid.

No, it was Bungie who dun goofed. Don’t worry, my lovelies, I’m here to share your pain…

The space combat wasn’t particularly great either… Honestly I was thinking initially, “how can you go wrong with that in Halo?” but Bungie managed to do it somehow with a process involving:

  • Sitting around…
  • Shooting some Banshees.
  • Sitting around…
  • Shooting a little more
  • Listen to the pilots whine about being shot
  • Shooting a little more
  • Call it a day.

Long Night of Solace was completely illogical. All we did was shoot at Serpahs and then blow up a Super Carrier with a slipspace drive because apparently there was not a SINGLE nuke on the UNSC “fortress world”. Yeah, that’s really good writing right there. And apparently 60% of the UNSC Fleet was out taking the poodle for a walk…

Then there was the horrific level design which basically focused on you going from Point A to B in order to press a switch and progress to the next area to repeat the process with some Covenant in the middle. Gone are the days when you were going somewhere for a reason, not just any reason, but an inventive one. Like in Halo CE when your destination was always a set thing (be it saving scattered Marines, finding a hidden map room or boarding a Covenant ship to get Keyes’ neural implants) and it always had significance to the plot. In Reach? Not at all…

So no, Reach most definitely did not have a great campaign at all. It was flawed in so many ways it just isn’t funny, truly it’s the Phantom Menace of Halo.

Oh, I forgot to whine about Nightfall - perhaps the worst mission in Halo, right up there with The Library and Cortana. So it’s basically a faux attempt to recreate the circumstances and tension of The Truth and Reconciliation from CE, and it fails miserably.

Honestly, any level that can be completed in 4 minutes by simply running past everything is clearly flawed. The stealth aspect lasts about 5 seconds and then it just goes back to regular shooting, it’s so mind-numbingly boring I have no way to formulate my displeasure into words.

yea it sucke…

Sidenote: i miss the flood:(

> yea it sucke…
>
> Sidenote: i miss the flood:(

I’m personally surprised that the Flood weren’t shoehorned into the game at some point, like when you had to defend Halsey’s lab. Would have been the perfect time to just have them pour out of the latchkey structure and attack Noble Team…

There is no way I could ever agree with you more on this. I thought I was alone when it came to Reach’s campaign. It was just awful. In fact, so awful that I never actually finished it. Going back to get those achievements isn’t that worth it to me to suffer through that “campaign.” To be honest, the only way I kept myself going in the campaign was to add a storyline of my own, which essentially boiled down into my Spartan being and independent contractor sent on a babysitting mission to make sure the rest of Noble Team didn’t mess up.

How bad does a campaign have to be when a player, for the first time ever, has to make up the storyline to redeem the game? All of Noble Team was just a bunch of whiney incompetent people. Ever notice how you were the only one actually getting anything done effectively? Dr. Halsey was a nice addition I guess, but to be honest I just wanted to shoot her because she came off as a total B-Word. The campaign lacked so much. I don’t even know where to begin. All I know is that this is by far the worst campaign in a video game I have personally seen. Bungie dropped the ball on this one.

> There is no way I could ever agree with you more on this. I thought I was alone when it came to Reach’s campaign. It was just awful. In fact, so awful that I never actually finished it. Going back to get those achievements isn’t that worth it to me to suffer through that “campaign.” To be honest, the only way I kept myself going in the campaign was to add a storyline of my own, which essentially boiled down into my Spartan being and independent contractor sent on a babysitting mission to make sure the rest of Noble Team didn’t mess up.
>
> How bad does a campaign have to be when a player, for the first time ever, has to make up the storyline to redeem the game? All of Noble Team was just a bunch of whiney incompetent people. Ever notice how you were the only one actually getting anything done effectively? Dr. Halsey was a nice addition I guess, but to be honest I just wanted to shoot her because she came off as a total B-Word. The campaign lacked so much. I don’t even know where to begin. All I know is that this is by far the worst campaign in a video game I have personally seen. Bungie dropped the ball on this one.

Beautifully put. I never could have foreseen how far the campaign could be screwed up, especially as they had a template for everything they did right in CE, 2, 3 and ODST.

I disagree. The end sequence was amazing, but even the most “flip a switch” mission ONI Sword Base had an important mission: defend sword base. You went around in an open world mission. (I cant remember the last time a halo game gave me two objectives that far apart and said go ahead in any order you would like) You established communications, prepared the AA guns, and then you fought your way up to retake sword base. It seemed an important base then, and Bungie brilliantly comes back later to show you just how important your previous actions were when you realize the true importance of sword base.

The night mission had an important mission too: scout and set up charges on that pylon. I do think Bungie could have done a better job making you feel like that pylon was important though, cause 5 mins later kat just shruggingly blows it up and it doesnt seem to have much effect on the covenant. If you don’t see the purpose in Long Night of Solace then you are beyond saving. That ship was much more important than “saving some soldiers” or “finding a map room”

> Then there was the horrific level design which basically focused on you going from Point A to B in order to press a switch and progress to the next area to repeat the process with some Covenant in the middle. Gone are the days when you were going somewhere for a reason, not just any reason, but an inventive one. Like in Halo CE when your destination was always a set thing (be it saving scattered Marines, finding a hidden map room or boarding a Covenant ship to get Keyes’ neural implants) and it always had significance to the plot. In Reach? Not at all…

Can I borrow your Rose Tinted Glasses because I’m not seeing the difference here?

You say there was a ‘reason’ in CE but really it still boiled down to ‘go here, press button/kill bad guys.’ Silent Cartographer for example was just go press this button, then press this button, then go here - if you really want to frame the dicussion in those terms. AotCR was just ‘go to end of level and press button.’ ALL the Halo levels are built from similar building blocks.

> > Then there was the horrific level design which basically focused on you going from Point A to B in order to press a switch and progress to the next area to repeat the process with some Covenant in the middle. Gone are the days when you were going somewhere for a reason, not just any reason, but an inventive one. Like in Halo CE when your destination was always a set thing (be it saving scattered Marines, finding a hidden map room or boarding a Covenant ship to get Keyes’ neural implants) and it always had significance to the plot. In Reach? Not at all…
>
> Can I borrow your Rose Tinted Glasses because I’m not seeing the difference here?
>
> You say there was a ‘reason’ in CE but really it still boiled down to ‘go here, press button/kill bad guys.’ Silent Cartographer for example was just go press this button, then press this button, then go here - if you really want to frame the dicussion in those terms. AotCR was just ‘go to end of level and press button.’ ALL the Halo levels are built from similar building blocks.

yes CE levels can be boiled down to A–> B push button but in reach that was litteraly it. there was no boiling that needed to be done it was just A B push button. In CE there were REASONS to go A B and push a button that moved the plot like where you had to toss nades in the vents to blow up the ship to destroy the ring. All of CEs missions tied in with each other while in Reachs you had to wait till mid game for a plot to develop.

I disagree with you, I found the Reach campaign very, very enjoyable.

I like the campaign. It was fun. I liked CE, ODST, and 3 better, but I still liked Reach.

Campaign Mission Design:
Bungie said Reach gave them room to explore and try new things in the campaign. I can definitely see what ideas Bungie was aiming for. Ideas like plat-forming with the jetpack on Exodus, turret defence in The Package, space combat in Long Night of Solace, and the on-rail shooting segment in Tip of the Spear. They’re good ideas, but they weren’t fully explored at all. It felt very underdeveloped, short, forgettable and just not that fun (aside from space combat). Perhaps extend these moments or add more pressure/ intensity. There are few (if any) memorable moments or high points in Reach’s campaign because of the lack of variety. They all seem to blend together into one big mush.
During the first 75% of this game, activating switches seemed to be the main/only objective in Reach. Do you know how boring that is Bungie? Someone should really go back and count how many there are. Do you know just how many levels ended by activating a switch? Four. Four out of nine levels: Winter contingency, Tip of the Spear, Exodus, and The Package. To add to this lack of variety, the majority of switches involved activating/deactivating AA guns. How many freakin AA guns are in this game? Again, the lack of variety hurts the campaign considerably.
To add to the lack of objectives, there was also a lack of story through 75% of the game. The story is very, very thin here and I don’t need to tell you that. Th-this is just so disappointing. This is absolutely no over-arching story at all. This isn’t good Bungie, not good at all. I’m so flabbergasted I don’t know what else to say.
One thing that really bugged me was the lack of explanation and clarity ranging from character back-story to the planet Reach itself.Take this clip for example.Do you think the average Halo fan/casual gamer would have any clue about Dr. Halsey and the relationship she shares with Jorge? Why wasn’t this explained to the player? Not only would it have created sympathy toward Jorge, it wouldn’t established who Dr. Halsey was and why she’s important to this campaign. There are many others, but unfortunately I must move on or I’ll run out of space.
(As an aside, armour abilities felt like they were shoe-horned into the campaign. It would have been cool if armour abilities had more important roles that are essential in completing a mission. For example, wouldn’t it have been cool of an entire battlefield became under bombardment by covenant airships, and the player had to use drop shield to traverse his way across? Or maybe a high octane chase where the player chases an elite using sprint. I don’t know…something like that. Something more creative instead of just plopping them in there.)
This is kind of nitpick, but did anyone else find it disappointing that the “Defend [insert character name]” sections of the game were just firefight encounters in disguise? I mean if it says “Defend Jun” wouldn’t you expect Jun to die (temporarily) if you don’t defend him? It came off as very cheap. I thought this would be an added layer to the gameplay but no…it’s not. It’s just an illusion to give the player the impression that the gameplay has changed without actually changing anything.
Untapped Potential:
If this is a game about a planet being invaded and being utterly destroyed by the entire covenant armada, wouldn’t you expect to witness the mass invasion and the planet’s annihilation? It baffles me that these key moments are completely non-existent. Instead of a cut scene or epic level, the player is introduced to the covenant by this simple phrase, “The covenant is on Reach. I repeat the covenant is on Reach”. That’s it?? It wasn’t even that great of a line. In fact, it was an awful line. Bungie, if you want to create an epic game, this isn’t the way to do it.
The same can be said with the game’s ending. The player hardly saw Reach in ruin. Sure Sword Base was in tatters, but that’s really the only indication that Reach is going to hell. Jeez Bungie, the game’s marketing message was “Remember Reach” and" From the beginning, you know the end" and the player hardly saw any of “the end”. How wasn’t this in the game? Why wasn’t the ending more dramatic? Why was the entire game lacking in dramatic and climatic effect? For a story that was supposed to be emotionally investing, removing the most dramatic moments was a huge mistake. The cut scenes were flat, characters were flat, and environments were flat. Honestly, there’s just no uniqueness here. Nothing stands out.
Secondly, I thought that the campaign should’ve explored more interesting locations on Reach. Space, New Alexandria, and the mountainous areas were all neat, but it would’ve been better if you added to this collection. I mean, you had a whole world to work with. What about a snow, desert, or forest level? During the campaign, the player was always around the same terrain. After awhile, it got…kind of boring. It all looked the same. It definitely looks pretty, but the same mountainous areas just don’t hold up after 2 levels. Again, lack of variety is your main problem.
Having a very thin story means little emotional investment. Relationships are created when going through tough hardships, solving problems, and struggling to meet a common goal (and don’t tell me “defending reach” is the common goal; that’s just pathetic). Reach’s “Destroy this”, “Defend that” design gave me little reason or opportunity to form a bond. It was just a bunch of generic missions without any underlying purpose.
For a Halo game, the campaign really disappointed. Where were the epic, large-scale battles? where were the moments where the player felt like a hero? Where’s the sense of accomplishment? Where the hell is the story?
If Bungie attempted to make the player feel like they had a purpose (which ties to accomplishment) and feel emotionally invested, the player would hopefully feel hopelessness when these are taken away(ie. when Reach gets destroyed/noble team dying). But unfortunately, how can you take something away when your given nothing to begin with? Bungie assumed we cared about the planet and characters and didn’t even try make the player’s decide for themselves. This is one of the biggest problems Reach suffers from. If Bungie made the players care, the campaign would’ve felt drastically different.
Reach lacked a feeling of purpose/accomplishment on the whole. 2/9 levels is just not good enough. That’s 22%. And 22% is a failing grade. The last two levels worked because the player was striving to reach an overall goal; get Cortana to the Pillar of Autumn. If you’re trying to reach an overall objective, you-the player- has a purpose. The same cannot be applied to any of the other levels. Did the missions ONI: Sword Base and Nightfall connect to each other and progress an overall story? No, they did not.*

I disagree with this thread, I think the Reach Campaign was pretty good.

No, it’s not perfect, but it had improvements from previous Halo Campaigns. I think one reason why some people hated it is because it didn’t have Master Chief or that it had little to with a Forunner installation, which we have become accustomed to.

For gameplay, the graphics for Reach was the best of any Halo game, the Covenant looked much more realistic and fearsome in Reach, the enemy AI were sometimes very clever, and not to mention some cool vehicles like the Falcon or Revenant. I don’t know why you hated the space mission, since that was actually pretty fun. As for your ‘we fight Banshees, then we have to wait after every fight’, that’s not a concept that Reach introduced, that’s existed in some form in pretty much every Halo Campaign. I also liked the missions, they were longer and more numerous than Halo 3. Also Bungie purposely made your ally AI not as smart so that they wouldn’t fight the whole battle for you. It’d be pretty frustrating if you had a bunch of kills stolen by your Ally AI.

Story-wise, it wasn’t the best of the Halo Campaigns, but it isn’t awful as you say it is. Bungie said it was to be more human because the whole Campaign is taken from the UNSC’s point of view, as the Covenant never speak english and are completely alien. Some of the Spartans may be boring in terms of dialogue, but what else are they supposed to say? They’ve been raised to be super-soldiers, so it’s not like they’re going to be asking “how’s your day?”. And you complain that the latchkey discovery was a lame excuse to make the Fall of Reach seem more significant rather than a simple invasion. If Bungie just made the story about Reach being invaded, even MORE people would be complaining about Reach’s story, and so would you. As for the whole nukes issue, they didn’t want to do that, cause nukes are probably not going to destroy a super-carrier, that’s why they used their plan. Maybe you just weren’t following along sometimes?

Also, nearly every mission in Halo games has been about going from point A to point B, so don’t complain about Reach having that cause it is far from new to the series.

Reach is one of my favorite Campaigns, mostly in terms of gameplay. I honestly don’t understand why it’s “popular” to bash Reach, because I think it was a great game.

Looks like Bungie has disappointed some…

halo reach has the best campaign in halo histery it and if u dont like ie your a master chief fan boy and did not get the story at all, if u dont like the campaign u have to play all over so u can get the pont of the whole thing

> halo reach has the best campaign in halo histery it and if u dont like ie your a master chief fan boy and did not get the story at all, if u dont like the campaign u have to play all over so u can get the pont of the whole thing

Coming from someone who not only sounds like child, spells history wrong, and has horrible grammar overall, this one is inclined to believe you are really bad troll or something much worse.

Play the other Halos, even 2 smokes Reach’s campaign out of the water. This one enjoyed Reach’s campaign and customizable Noble Six but to say it’s the best? Meh…i’ll have to disagree.

I enjoyed the Reach Campaign, yes the acting could of been better and the Spartan 3’s didn’t seem as smart as the books make spartans out to be. While I’m not saying its the best, or better compared to the other Halo games it was enjoyable. My only complaint was you didn’t really…feel like the planet was under massive invasion cause the entire game was centered around the one continent. I would of loved to see some UNSC/Covie ship to ship bombardments but alas was not to be. But even still the campaign was enjoyable

> You say there was a ‘reason’ in CE but really it still boiled down to ‘go here, press button/kill bad guys.’ Silent Cartographer for example was just go press this button, then press this button, then go here - if you really want to frame the dicussion in those terms. AotCR was just ‘go to end of level and press button.’ ALL the Halo levels are built from similar building blocks.

And if you generalize ardently enough Halo’s just a hyper-advanced etch-a-sketch. Both are just “move controls, make moving lines appear on screen.”

That doesn’t excuse Reach’s non-existent plot and tedious gameplay, though, because however you decide to render it, it’s still -Yoink-.

> halo reach has the best campaign in halo histery it and if u dont like ie your a master chief fan boy and did not get the story at all, if u dont like the campaign u have to play all over so u can get the pont of the whole thing

Either you’re a little kid, or your trolling for those who hate Reach.

my personal opinion on this is that even though reach mission choreography is poor at best, and it lacks dynamic characters. The only dynamic characters in the franchise (as told from the games) are master chief and cortana.

Even with all of reach’s campaign flaws it still had the best AI and mission ascetics that immersed players into the game. And yes you may say: “is this noob seriously saying that reach is the best because of its graphics?” well, while that may be a generalization, that is very much what I am saying.

Reach’s skyboxes, gameplay fluidity, and smart AI made the campaign fun, interesting, user friendly (easy navigation), and challenging on high difficulties (even though h2 and hce are about as hard).

The thing that destroys reach is it’s mission choreography, you can run past so many key parts in all the reach missions that for any reach campaign veteran, the game is very easy on legendary.

While halo ce (IMO) is a close second, and may even best reach campaign marginally: it had great mission choreography (firefights where every last enemy must die), however, due to its lack of ascetics, missions like “the library” were cryptic, frustrating, and hard to navigate. Not generally hard, just very user unfriendly.

Reach’s campaign is a great addition to the franchise and in my book its the best telling of a story. Not the best story ever told.

> > halo reach has the best campaign in halo histery it and if u dont like ie your a master chief fan boy and did not get the story at all, if u dont like the campaign u have to play all over so u can get the pont of the whole thing
>
> Coming from someone who not only sounds like child, spells history wrong, and has horrible grammar overall, this one is inclined to believe you are really bad troll or something much worse.
>
> Play the other Halos, even 2 smokes Reach’s campaign out of the water. This one enjoyed Reach’s campaign and customizable Noble Six but to say it’s the best? Meh…i’ll have to disagree.

you gotta stop sayin “this one” dont know how you think it sounds but it just looks stupid. agreee with your own opinion tho on the game, cept i really like the lone wolf mission, that was nice, specially the lil piano bit.