(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.