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on September 14, 2010
Halo: Reach - Circa 2010

- Tried and true (Halo) FPS experience that many other games have copied over the years.
- Great Co-op Gameplay allows up to four players to go through the entire game from start to end.
- Great graphics which look way better than that of Halo 3 and ODST; also there are a lots of new animations for the characters as well as tons of new unique enemy voice work to boot.
- Vehicle and turret shooting are the same as ever (for a Halo game); which is good; but the nice addition here is the new helicopter type of vehicle and even a small section of the game where you can control a space fighter.
- Armor Abilities really help out and give you a new edge in combat. Also you have a night vision mode which works and looks like the one from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
- Intense multiplayer versus action either by yourself on a team; the mode has plenty of different options to choose from. This is a pretty good upgraded version of the famed Halo 3 multiplayer that now has new maps, modes, abilities, and graphics for you to enjoy.
- Fire Fight mode allows up to four players to fight waves of enemies on unique maps (based on those in the campaign) using team work and skill.

- Some slight lag and slight blurring at the more intensive moments in the game (with lots of things happening all at once).
- Can't play Forge maps in Fire Fight mode.

- A Sci-Fi First Person Shooter with quick pacing and intense fire fights. Note: that unlike Call of Duty: Modern Warfare this is a sci-fi First Person Shooter and as such your guns must first break an enemy's energy shield before you can really hurt them also everyone is wearing battle armor so you'll still need lots of shots to kill an opponent. The thing to do here is make your shots count more so you will need to do overall less of them to an opponent; example use energy type guns to break an enemy's energy shield and always try to do head shots to your enemy for extra damage. Coming at an enemy guns blazing and either not using the right guns and/or not aiming well will only get you killed pretty quickly.
- Gameplay wise this plays pretty much like Halo 3 but with the life bar from Halo 3: ODST. The missions themselves are pretty fun and take the best bits from Halo 3 and ODST into new experiences.
- The campaign levels can be played by either yourself or with up to four other players cooperatively at one time on any stage.
- The Story is an overall a combat story going from mission to mission with nothing really tying into the overall Halo lore until the last chapter.
- Intense multiplayer action online through Xbox Live with matches as small as one on one and as big as 16 players (and even offline without using Xbox Live using either spilt screen, or system link). Halo Reach is set up similar to that of Halo 3 but with some new modes and all new maps. But much like Halo 3 in the sense that you're given a rank when you play multiplayer (this rank can go up or down at any time) this rank is representative of your skill and your matched with others of your skill type, that way new unskilled players and hardcore veterans will not often play against one another, unless they make a special match themselves that ignores rank.
- An all new Fire Fight mode (Fire Fight was originally in Halo 3: ODST), Fire Fight which plays similar to Hoard Mode in Gears of War 2 is a mode where either by yourself or with up to four other players cooperatively can play a stage about the size of a multiplayer stage and you fight against enemies that are found in the games story campaign levels in waves. You get points and an overall score on your performance for these stages.
- There is no Master Chief in the game as well (the famed character from Halo's 1 through 3). Instead you play an assortment of different SPARTANS who were on the planet Reach when it was attacked. As far as the overall Halo story goes, your team is made up of SPARTAN IIIs (with one SPARTAN II). SPARTAN IIIs are cheaper to produce and have a bit less overall combat ability then the famed SPARTAN IIs (Master Chief is a SPARTAN II). Luckily for your team they have been given all sorts of prototype armor and weapons normally left only for the SPARTAN II's to have (note not even the Master Chief had a chance to get this stuff yet).
- NO FLOOD, it should be noted this Halo title has no FLOOD aliens within it (if you've played Halo's 1 through 3 you'll know what I am talking about).
- Forge World works like a much upgraded version of Halo 3's Forge mode is a mode that lets you make and edit your own map and build your very own maps from the ground up but adding/placing walls, ramps, towers, ect you can add or take away any and all of the objects, weapons, vehicles, spawning points and flag zones. This is all done in real time in one huge worlds (and not separate maps like in Halo 3) and you can even invite your friends into this mode while you're making the map(s) or just goofing off.
- Theater Mode works just like in Halo 3 it is a video editor that lets you record and play back any and all matches from Campaign, Multiplayer, and Fire Fight, and even Forge World from the point of view of any player that was there in either first person or third person (you can even swap to a in a orbit-cam where the camera circles around the player) all of this in real time. You can also pause the video/action at anytime and still look around as a camera as well as well as fast forward and rewind the events as they unfold. BUT don't forget you must save your videos before you turn off the game or you will lose the ability to save those matches. Also note that while viewing these "videos" you can take a picture or record a snippet of footage at any time and save it to your Xbox 360 and have your friends check them out later on your profile.

- Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360)
- Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360/PS3/PC)

- There is three small cameos from characters from previous halo games, honestly the cameos are very small and are not earth shattering to the games over all story.
- Don't put down that controller once you beat the game as there is a surprise post credits.
- People who pre-ordered this game either at Amazon.com or Gamestop got a preorder code for some extra armor parts for their characters.
- The Limited edition comes with a download code for more extra armor parts for your character as well as a Halo Reach patch and a mini book with some back story on the game from the point of view of one of the stories characters.
- The Legendary edition comes with everything found in the limited edition plus even more download codes for more extra armor parts for your character (like giving you a avatar a flaming helmet much like the Bungie staff had in Halo 3's multiplayer) as well as a small figure set of the games main characters design by Todd Mcfarlane of Spawn fame.
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on September 22, 2010
I'll try to keep this brief:

1) I've been playing FPSes since before Wolfenstein 3D and Doom kicked off the contemporary genre as we know it. (I've been playing video games in one form or another since the early 1970s.)

2) The only aspect that interests me is the single player campaign. The last time I enjoyed multiplayer was Quake III on PC, around 10 years ago. None of my friends still game, and I quickly learned the hard way that playing online w/ anonymous strangers is a pit of snakes that I have no desire to subject myself to.

3) Halo 1 has been one of my all time favorite games since I first played it in June 2002. (My review from around that time is still there, if you care to dig for it...) For the record, my Bungie fandom began in 1995, when a co-worker gifted me with a copy of Marathon.

4) I have enjoyed each of the Halo sequels very much, but felt that they all fell short of the greatness of Halo 1 in various ways.

5) Halo 1 is still my favorite in the series and probably always will be, but of all of the subsequent entries, Reach comes the closest to matching its awesome radness. My expectations were sky high, and yet it managed to somehow exceed them. I've already played through the campaign at least four times and will play it many more times in years to come. Buy with confidence, even if you have no interest in multiplayer.
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on September 14, 2010
Skipping out on this game is doing yourself a disservice if you were a former HALO fan. I hadn't played Halo 3 in months because I was bored with it. There's a lot of content here and I'm glad to say this game is worth every penny of $60 and I've been very entertained. Yes, it's still Halo and "more of the same", but they've changed enough about it to make a new Halo experience, not just another rehash. ODST was a joke of a game compared to Reach and having owned it almost made me skip out on Reach.

The campaign spoilers will go at the bottom of the review.

I'll put in some of the major stuff I've noticed but I'm sure I'll miss a lot.

There's a new graphics engine and the graphics in the game are superior to any other 4 player split screen game I've played, and I make a special effort to purchase as many of them as I can. The graphics are certainly not Killzone 2 level, but very high quality. MUCH better than Halo 3. I was very pleased when I played the BETA that the new engine still plays in HD when doing split-screen and that it's split horizontally. The blood and shield effects are very well done. You have a night vision mode instead of a flashlight now, similar to ODST. The sound effects are pretty darn good. They finally made the sound of a grenade somewhat deafening. The music, as usual, is very well done and adds a lot to the experience.

The new engineering packs have really added to the game and are what really makes Reach a different experience. Your options that you'll find in the campaign are sprint, hologram, bubble shield(that also heals you), cloaking that doesn't work well if you're moving quickly, what I'd call an ostrich or turtle shield that turns you invincible but immobile and unable to attack and a jetpack. My personal favorites are the bubble shield and the hologram. The Covenant have a roll instead of a sprint in multiplayer.

The enemies are much more mobile and capable of dodging than they were in the past. I beat it on heroic and found the game to be more difficult than the past games, but certainly manageable. The Covenant have engineering packs too. They use the roll very well. There are a couple of new enemies/variations that make the game a little more diverse, but for the most part you've encountered most of them before.

There are new weapons. There is no dual wielding. Both factions have weapons that are very similar now, I suppose it made balancing the game easy. All the weapons seem more effective than they were in the past (probably explains why there is no dual-wielding). The particle beam gun is pretty neat as is the covenant grenade launcher. The rocket launcher can lock onto vehicles. There are some of the old goodies, but there's a new covenant needler battle rifle, a covenant multi-lock plasma/rocket launcher and a couple of other new guns. The battle rifle is single fire instead of burst. There's the awesome pistol from the original Halo. There are two animations in how you melee something when you're holding a weapon. You can also backstab/knife someone now and it shows a little cinematic of you letting them have it instead of them just dying in with an ordinary hit.

There's a health-bar under your shields like HALO 1. There's no red screen when you're injured either, just a red bar. This is a huge plus for me. It's the perfect system.
Customizable characters are a great addition. You get credits for every kill you make, and you can use those credits to make your character look different. New helmets, new kneepads, new add-ons etc. It's a great way to make people feel like they have a real in-game Avatar. As far as I know there are no benefits combat-wise to having new armor, it's just visual. This is how I like it. In Call of Duty games you have to play the game for quite a while to unlock all the weapons and upgrades and it gives experienced players an unfair advantage online. In Reach you should always have a level playing field, you'll just look spiffy if you play a lot. Your customized appearance is in the campaign and multi-player, even the cutscense as they're rendered.

Vehicles. The ghost has been nerfed. It was my favorite vehicle. I got a 27 kill spree on one in Halo 3 so I'm disappointed. The invincibility power ruins running people over. The guns on it are not all that effective either. There's a mini wraith vehicle that is pretty awesome, it can carry other people too. There's a missile launcher mounted to a Warthog also. The humans have the VTOL aircraft with side gunners again.

Multiplayer is where this game really shines. No games does online split screen shooter as well has HALO. The engineering packs/loadouts add a new dimension to the game. Sprint and roll makes the game much faster than it used to be. Not every game mode makes use of the loadouts so if you're a purist you've still got options. Some of the packs don't seem too effective on some game types but sometimes it's fun to just mess around. There's an invasion mode where you play Covenant VS NSDF and try and capture objectives. It's a lot of fun and a great new challenge. There are 3 more classes available with different engineering packs. I also played some firefight (like ODST, but with some new modes) and it was great fun. You can put a human player on the covenant side to make it even more challenging.
HUGE NEGATIVE: No 4 player split screen in Big Team Battle, the Campaign, or Firefight. I expected this for the last two, but Big Team Battle has always had this option. 3 or 4 players split-screen Big Team Battle was what I'd do 90% of the time I've ever played Halo. It probably didn't run very well with the new engine, and that's unfortunate. Taking this away from the game took away A LOT of value for me. I should remove a star but there are still a variety of other options for you to play. I still think the game deserves 5 stars but the loss of 4 player split screen Big Team Battle really hurts the game's playability as a "party game".

Negative: DLC. I was a fan of DLC until Bungie/MSFT disabled some game modes on my original copy of Halo 3 because I didn't want to buy their overpriced map packs. That's shameful. Charging $5+ for 3 maps is shameful. This game might be great now but once they release a couple of map packs the price of playing the full game goes up and up and up. If I lose game modes I'm dropping this review to 1 star. Matchmaking doesn't have much variety. There are more maps than what the playlist is using over and over. Of course the game could use some more maps but I'm not willing to pay much for more of them considering how easy it is for them to make a map with the included editor. Many of the multiplayer maps are in the campaign anyways.

Negative: The double punch in multiplayer, it's not as easy as it was in the beta but it's still how you'll die about half the time. I actually like it but I know it'll annoy a lot of people as sometimes not firing your gun at all is the best strategy.

Negative: Matchmaking still doesn't work perfectly, but the option to vote for different game types/modes makes it a lot more enjoyable.

Negative: In invasion mode the humans seem to win the majority of the time. This may or may not be because of their weapons loadout. The assault rifle is easier to use as the shots hit instantaneously and you don't have to lead your target like you would with the plasma gun.

Negative: You can spawn off of your teammates now which seems like a cool idea but I don't like it. One guy will make it past your defenses and then suddenly it's 3 guys. Spawning in mid-air and falling to your death seems to be a big problem now too. If someone is flying around they shouldn't be an option for spawning.
The campaign is awesome and has a good storyline. There's a Spartan 2 (like master chief) on your squad. I liked that there are some indigenous creatures on Reach. It makes it seem more like a real planet. I didn't have to fight any flood in the game and for that I'm grateful, they're pretty lame. There's no Courtana interrupting you every 2 minutes either like in Halo 3. There is a space flight-sim which is actually really well done. It made me miss playing Wing Commander. The only mission I thought was kind of boring was one where you're flying around from rooftop to rooftop on a VTOL. 8/9 on the missions is pretty darn good. It was pretty interesting that some of the tough enemies could dual wield but it's not an option for you.
The voice acting is OK. Your squad is pretty cool and the cut-scenes are fun to watch and easy to skip. If you've read the books (I haven't) you'll know the ending to the game, eventually everyone has to die at some point. You'll probably like the commander and the Spartan 2. It's great getting to know your squad and then watching them bite the dust. It gives you a feeling of urgency and resolve to complete your mission no matter the cost. There were a few surprises at the end for me. I thought you were just trying to defend the planet. Apparently there's a greater cause. I appreciated that you don't have to put up with the Covenant storyline at all. You don't play the `other side'. The Covenant in Reach remain a powerful and mysterious enemy.
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on January 5, 2013
based on the fall of reach novel...this game lets you join Noble team...an elite group of Spartans..who are assigned to defend the planet at all costs...but if you read the book..well you know the story, so i wont go into that..

You play Noble six a new spartan assigned to the team..then,when all hell breaks out on Reach..your team is put into action. Now the fun begins!

the game play on this entry in the halo saga does NOT dissapoint the combat is fast and intense..youll earn your stripes on this one.. the firefight mode is excellent and is my favorite its way better than halo:odst's in my opinion

the graphics here are stellar..although not as jaw dropping as halo 4 but,they are still something to behold..and since this is Bungie's last halo..they pulled out the stops..the animation is crisp and fluid the cut scenes and music are dynamic.. the online play is also very good..

you see some familiar faces for the "first time " like cortana..where you have to protect and deliver safely to capt keys of the pillar of autumn ( from the first halo) as well as dr halsey...and last but not least a brief glimpse of a new spartan named john117(you know who that is )

the last mission after the game credits end is called "lone wolf" where Noble six has to fight off the covenat forces alone on reach..basically a last stand..it adds to the tone of the game.. after that you get dr halsey giving a speech on the future and praise of the fallen spartans..

Bottom line..in my opinion enjoy the game, but also check out the book...its worth it!

bravo bungie
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on March 4, 2012
I have played Halo 1-3, I skipped ODST. I like this Halo quite a bit, although I have to admit that i found the first 2 chapters somewhat boring. It takes off and gets pretty exciting by the time you hit chapter 3 or 4.

Their are even more weapon and vehicle options than the previous Halo's. You can team up with AI which can also be killed by the Covenant.

Their are no Flood enemies in this game, as it takes place chronologically before the Halo trilogy.

I personally have been having trouble joining a xbox live coop campaign game, and when I say trouble I mean I have not been able to do this at all. I did read online that people who own the 4g console have this issue for some reason, although I'm not sure why. I did buy a HD and it is in my Xbox.

If I had any criticisms it would be the cartoonish art. It is not overly so, but it does not compare to Gears of War 3, or Modern Warefare 3 in terms of art. It is still very good however, especially the background and landscapes which are beautifull.

This is a game you won't regret buying if you like sci-fi's, shooters, or both. I see around 100k people playing it online still.
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on October 8, 2011
In short, this is a fantastic game and I would recommend this to any gamer, FPS fan or not. The campaign is epic, multiplayer is just darn addicting, and the other modes are simply the icing on the cake.

CAMPAIGN: (no spoilers)

Halo Reach's campaign takes place just before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. You are put into the shoes of Noble 6, a member of a Spartan squad called Noble Team. During the campaign, you help out Noble Team in their defense of Reach against the Covenant, a courageous effort against impossible odds. The campaign is reasonably long, logging in at about 7-10 hours on your first playthrough, increasing or decreasing with difficulty or skulls activated. The campaign is very epic and entertaining, featuring a wide array of enemies, vehicles, and locations to discover. The graphics are excellent, though not ground-breaking. And on top of all that, the masterful music of Marty O'Donnell is put in, adding even more emotion to the story. Though the overall campaign is not as good as some of the past titles, it is still excellent and is highly recommended.


In a nutshell, the multiplayer of Halo Reach is awesome, providing many new changes (i.e. armor abilities, new gametypes, maps), but still being the tried-and-true Halo multiplayer that we've grown accustomed to over the years. Some new weapons and vehicles have been added in, which are all very cool. Finding and joining a match is easy as pie, and you will find hosting a game with many friends has been made a lot easier. There is some occasional host migration, but not enough to detract from the overall experience. A cool new feature of this game is the sheer level of customization that you can put on your character, like armor pieces, helmets, coloring schemes, emblems, clan tags that you can use. You get most of these by earning credits from playing campaign, multiplayer, and firefight, but some are unlocked by default. These changed apply to multiplayer, firefight, and even campaign, appearing in the cutscenes as well. Offering new game modes like Invasion and returning classic old ones like Infection, Slayer, Big Team Battle, Grifball, and Assault, the multiplayer of Halo Reach is grand.


Returning from Halo 3: ODST, Firefight is Halo's version of Horde or Survival mode from many other games, adding in many new and interesting features. You can go it alone, invite some friends, or find a match (finally) with up to 4 people. You can adjust so many aspects of Firefight, including ammo, player traits like shielding and movement speed, enemy type, how many spawn, difficulty level, etc., and this makes an already great experience even greater.


Forge has returned from Halo 3, and is Halo's level editor. While you cannot change the level design itself, you can put in and delete weapons, structures, scenery, vehicles, and much, much more while in Monitor mode, easily switched to and from with the D-Pad. And the best part is that this is all done in real time, meaning that you and a bunch of friends can both work on the map or just fool around, as you can switch to a normal player easily. This makes for some hilarious mayhem and awesome finished products, so it is top-notch.


Theater from Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST has returned, which is pretty self-explanatory-a place where you can record, rewatch, and edit your recent game sessions. While I have not used the feature much, it is very cool when I want to record some gameplay where I did really well, highlight the best parts, and put it in my file share so that my friends and the world can see.


In custom games, you can create your own game modes and game types that can be played with your friends. There's lots of room for creativity here, whether you want Superman-like, fast-moving, high-jumping Spartans facing off against each other, or slow, lumbering soldiers struggling to race to the other side of the map. It is a very fun mode to use, and what you do with it is completely up to your imagination.


Overall, this is a fantastic game and sets a new standard for what modern FPS games should be. You definitely get a lot of bang for your buck, and time spent playing this game is certainly time well spent. And for you parents out there considering getting this for your kid(s), I would only recommend it for youngsters 11 or older. There's a surprisingly low level of violence, blood, and profanity in this game, a level of which I consider a "T" rating. It's at your discretion which ages you let play this, but again, it's not that violent compared to most other games. So if you haven't already, do yourself a favor and buy this game now. It's a steal for $25 (writing this in October 2012), and it's even more fun if you have lots of friends to game with. I hope this review helped, and Remember Reach!
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I've been playing Halo since the very first installment of the franchise, through 2 and 3, and concluding with the rushed ODST. Halo: Reach is the culmination of all that has come before.

Like the later iterations of Halo games, there is both a shield system that recharges over time and health that can be restored through health packs. Additionally, there are armor abilities: jetpack, camouflage, sprint, and a shield. Multiplayer is expansive but basically the same game we've come to expect, capable of supporting large groups of combatants on even larger battlefields. Where Gears of War is about crowded, dirty in-your-face fighting, Halo has always been about leaping across massive fields to engage your enemy from a distance. The title "reach" is appropriate. Speaking of Gears of War, the Firefight multiplayer option shows the game's influence, which is Halo's version of Horde mode.

After being underwhelmed by Halo 3: ODST's single-player campaign, I was curious if Halo: Reach would do any better. The campaign setting is a bold move, taking place in 2552 before the very first Halo: Combat Evolved game. Humanity is in losing the war with the alien Covenant and is slowly retrenching as it evacuates over 700 million civilians off of the planet known as Reach.

Our heroes are Noble Team, the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) special forces unit that consists of Spartan supersoldiers. The team is led by Carter-A259 (Freddy Bosche), the handsome but grim leader of the group. His second is Kat-B320 (Alona Tal), the only female on the team who has a cybernetic arm. There's also giant-with-a-heart-of-gold heavy weapons specialist Jorge-052 (Hakeem Kae-Kazim), marksman Jun-A266 (Sunil Malhotra), and the bad attitude skull-faced Emile-A239 (Jamie Hector). You play Noble Six, who like Master Chief never takes off his helmet but does have a few speaking parts. We know that Master Chief was the last of his kind at the beginning of Halo, so things aren't going to go well for these soldiers.

Noble Team goes on a series of increasingly futile missions, rescuing top secret data from research bases, evacuating important civilians, and delaying attacks long enough for civilian transports to escape. Along the way, Noble Team falls apart a little at a time.

Despite the improved graphics, better AI, and new gizmos, this is still the same Halo we know and love. It also means there's still no bathrooms of note, every room is huge, and despite civilians running around in confusion the entire city of New Alexandria looks more like a shopping mall than any place people actually might live. Halo is about big, open spaces, but as a setting it never actually feels inhabited by anyone before you begin playing.

The voice actors are a mixed bag. The design team obviously tried hard to make the characters culturally diverse, but that unfortunately left us with Kat sporting a dull monotone Russian accent. As she has the most speaking parts, this makes for some terrible dialogue. I was relieved when Kat finally died.

What Halo: Reach does right is high drama. I've always felt that Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori's stirring score was much too epic for a first-person shooter like Halo, but Halo: Reach lives up to the promise of its music. Reach's music rises to a crescendo that is both stirring and heartbreaking.

There's a surprise twist near the end of the game that makes Halo: Reach personal and firmly ties it to the other installments. And after the game ends, there's a post-credits sequence that makes it all the more poignant. Halo: Reach takes the franchise about as far as it can go without substantially altering what was originally a world that existed simply for jumping-and-gunning. It's a great send off for the franchise, but for players accustomed to Gears of War's innovations like using cover, it's a bit of a reach.
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on April 22, 2016
It is almost redundant by now to praise Bungie for having intuitive gameplay; it’s fast, tense, and incredibly well thought out in terms of level design and set piece battles. The addition of the armour abilities and the incredible AI make the game challenging and frenetic in terms of minute-to-minute action. While it was frustrating at times to die from random airborne plasma blasts, it turned the game into a trial and error, pathfinding exercise that created an interesting tension that hung on every decision you make on the battle field, which are markedly more vast than previous Halo games. While that does sound overly forgiving of me to say, the reason Reach gets the benefit of the doubt was the fact that replaying a battle never felt monotonous. Approaching a situation is a dynamic task that is made all the more interesting with the constant barrage of lateral events happening at once, and it takes careful planning to learn exactly where you should run in Rambo-style, and where you should take your time.
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on March 18, 2011
Great game, no surprises there. My kids had no problem with the motion, but the through-the-eyes handheld camera "cinematic" look made me ill after about 20 minutes, so we play in small chunks so I don't blow large chunks. Fun game, though--and despite the constant war, there's little actual gore, fright or bad language. The good guys are clearly good, and the bad guys clearly bad. So from a language and morality standpoint I was okay with letting my smaller kids play this. It's not nearly as "mature" as many other games, and the violence is a lot more like Star Wars than the "historical" kind of war games.
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on January 20, 2015
Good game. I just hate the ending. I feel like this is one of the few games that has such a sad ending. Obviously anyone who has played Halo 1 and 2 knows Reach was destroyed. I just wish there was another way to end this game other than the way it ends. Otherwise the game-play is good and on par with games of the time.
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