2010.09.15Halo Reach

Closer to ODST than to the original Halo, Halo Reach (XBOX 360) is a lot of fun so far. In the solo game, you’re member #6 of “Noble” team – you’re called “Six” throughout. They took a page out of the ODST playbook here, and kept "Six"'s helmet on the entire game (so far) -- keeping the character as vanilla as possible to let you see what you want to see and be what you want to be. Plus, at the start of the game, you're asked whether you want your player to be male or female. "Six" finds himself working with a female member of the team called “Kat.” They did an excellent job of making "Kat" just feminine enough -- standing still and with the helmet on, it's hard to tell "Kat" is female at all. I give Bungie big props for that. I have to believe that playing "Six" as a woman would give your character a similar look. The weapons have a better “feel” in Reach – it’s grittier – not effortless like when the Master Chief fires them. (Speaking of which -- No dual-wield.) And they’ve added little touches like deafening and ringing in the ears for close explosions and so forth. There's something for everybody here-- FPS action, driving warthogs and bikes, piloting choppers, AND flying a space fighter. So far, flying the fighter has been my favorite part of the game -- and I absolutely STINK at fighter-type games. Bungie, I applaud you! The game looks great and plays beautifully!

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