If you have a gamer in your house or just like to watch a lot of gamer-friendly TV channels like SyFy and Comedy Central, then you have probably heard about Halo: Reach, the latest Halo video game for Xbox. So what is it and why is everyone talking about it?
First of all, lets take a brief look at the history of Halo. Halo is a science-fiction, first-person shooter game created by Bungie and owned and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The first Halo game was released in 2001 as a launch title for the original Xbox and tells the story of Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced super-soldier. Players take on the role of Master Chief as they play through the game, battling aliens while they attempt to uncover the secrets of Halo, a ring-shaped artificial planet.
The original Halo was followed up by two sequel games–Halo 2 in 2004 and Halo 3 in 2007–and a slew of spin-off items including expansion pack games, novels, comics and animated films. Peter Jackson has been involved with a live-action movie since 2005 but this movie seems to be in limbo (again) at the moment.
Now that we are all caught up on our Halo history lets talk about Halo: Reach. Reach arrived in stores yesterday (September 14, 2010) and will be the last game in the franchise to be developed by Bungie. Reach’s story line is a prequel to the first Halo and tells the background story that leads up to the first game. It’s a lot like the Star Wars prequel movies except that fans of the Halo series really like the Reach prequel.
In Reach, players take on the role of Noble 6, part of a six-person squad battling the same alien group from the first game. The main action takes place in a campaign mode that involves running, driving and flying around huge environments filled with the alien combatants who are armed with deadly weapons that can be picked up and used. Weapons play a huge role in all Halo games and are part of the reason why these games are rated “Mature” by the ESRB. In addition to the campaign, which can be played by up to four players in the same room or online, Halo: Reach also includes an online multiplayer mode that allows up to 16 gamers from around the world to battle each other in a variety of challenges.
Halo: Reach and the other Halo games are some of the most successful video games to date. The games feature amazing graphics, interesting story lines and stunning science-fiction visuals. This franchise has a die-hard fan base and early reactions to Reach are that it is the best Halo title ever. As I mentioned above, these games are violent and bloody and while I’m looking forward to playing it this weekend, it definitely is not a game we recommend for the young gamers in your household.