The struggling video game industry — sales are at their lowest level in four years — is hoping that the much-anticipated new title Halo: Reach will revive its fortunes. With gamers lining up at stores around the country to pick up a copy, Microsoft predicts that the fourth installment of its hugely successful Halo franchise will be the biggest seller yet — potentially a landmark hit comparable to the film industry's Avatar. Does Halo: Reach deserve the hype? (Watch a firefight from Halo: Reach)
Best. Game. Ever: Halo: Reach delivers an "epic story" with "incredible pacing, and a spot-on mix of old and new elements" that make "Reach's campaign Halo's best yet," says Matt Cabral in GamePro. A number of Reach's new "weapons, vehicles and enemies" available in the game are different than anything Halo players have seen before. And these "additions only scratch the surface of the fresh discoveries you'll make" while playing through the game. Gamers everywhere should get Reach now.
What's the big deal? "I know I should agree" with all the rave reviews, says Keith Stuart in The Guardian. But "I don't." Since the beginning of the franchise, "I never enjoyed the game's approach to epic action, its sonorous choral score, its po-faced characters, its matter-of-fact portrayal of mass galactic genocide." I also "dislike the weapons," which "often sound like cheap wet fireworks." And while the game's designers are "astonishingly talented," their "vision of a human civilization in the 26th century says nothing to me." I'll prefer Gears of War, thanks.
"Is it wrong not to love Halo?"
It has its shortcomings — but is still great: To be honest, says Martin Robinson in IGN, Halo: Reach's storyline isn't "a particularly great one." It's "more human" than past iterations, but "not more engaging." That said, "if you're playing Halo for a well-told story you're frankly in the wrong place." Not only does the game deliver thrilling "climactic moments" and "well-worked" missions, the game's multi-player function is "truly exceptional." If "any other console shooter can better" Halo: Reach, that will "be one hell of a feat."
"Halo: Reach UK Review"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- How to make corn dogs
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
Subscribe to the Week