Monday, 20 September 2010

Halo Reach - First Impressions


I've only played a couple of times on a Halo title.  I started the campaign on the original when a lodger had one of the the original Xbox's and I'd played online Halo 3 with AT ages ago.  So getting an opportunity today to play through around half of the campaign mode of Halo Reach was a pretty much a new experience.  Are Bungie the genius game developers that they are lauded as?

Well lets get straight in there and say, this is a fine game.

I can't pretend to know much about Halo lore but Reach (a planet) is apparently a legend for Halo gamers and the story is, I believe, heading for a bleak ending.  Gameplay is about as far removed as you can get from Call of Duty, it's bright colourful and the futuristic gun play and alien enemy do indeed 'take you to another world'.

The interplay between you and you team is nicely done during cut scenes, think Gears of War minus the grunting and the conversations during fire fights are often invaluable.

Most of all though this is fun.  Yes Bungie are taking the mythos they've created a tad too seriously, don't be taken in by the TV advert there's not much genuine emotional weight here, but the gameplay is excellent and the sound... fuck, the sound is just amazing.  From the booming soundtrack to the biggest explosion it might be the best I've heard.

The graphics?  Well, they're almost perfect.  The draw distance is astonishing at times and all of the environments I've seen so far are brilliantly realised.  There's occasional moments where the game engine clearly struggles to keep up with the sheer amount of things going on but for the bulk of it the game stands up.

Great stuff so far then, I had a little blast online, but died a lot.  More on that if I actually invest myself as this was borrowed from AT.

My first FPS experience on the 360 and  I hate to say it, but that controller might be better for this kind of gaming...  *falls at the feet of Mr Sony, begging for forgiveness*

Later this week, Friday, I'll have the Sony Move controller.  I'll let you know my first impressions on Friday evening, but I'll be tweeting live as I get stuck in.