January 25, 2010

Halo: Reach, Will Be the "Definitive Halo," More Like Halo: CE

Normally, this story would be saved for my news segment, "The Daily Sync," or whatever I decide to call it in the future, but to me I'm jolted with encouragement that I can't wait until later.  Who needs a Jolt with an article like this?

And I'll be honest, witchya.  When 2010 started, all I knew about Reach was it was a prequel Halo title, and more than likely I was gonna buy it and finagle a day off from work to play it from midnight on.  I've always liked the story, probably more than the solid gameplay (which I do like, sans multiplayer).  One of my favorite levels was Cortana from Halo 3 because it was this awesome rescue mission, a mission with a personal purpose against towering (and Legendarily-frustrating) odds.  Another favorite Halo thing of mine ... the Arbiter.  Compared to Master Chief, the Arbiter has a much more meaningful story arc, very much a Pauline character, and my favorite in the cast of the trilogy.

All this to say, I prefer story and campaign above all.  I play Halo for it's story and appropriate gameplay mechanics over twitchy multiplayer.  And thankfully, there's an article out today that encourages me.

Through Bungie's website, another portion of a larger interview given to Edge concerning Halo: Reach popped up today.  Two "leads," Niles Sankey and Chris Opdahl, chatted to Edge about the campaign's design.  Chief amongst design goals is "adding more tension and drama."  To the story?  I hope so, but here Opdahl is referring to the "shield mechanic"  But with what I read earlier, Bungie's "cinematic" approach will still lean strongly towards an engaging plot.  How can you not, really?  A story that you know is going to end tragically has this dramatic irony that has to be present and can't be skirted aside to focus on cool abilities (though those need to be there).  In order to accomplish their goals, a huge influence has come from what's been done in the past:  the design of the original landmark title, Halo: Combat Evolved.

"Halo: Combat Evolved was about mystery and exploration - sure there was the amazing sandbox and vehicles that's the hallmark, but it's slower," says Opdahl.  In comparison, Halo 3 is "a high action movie."  In order to make the "definitive Halo," Reach's design will be a combination of the two, exploring the planet Reach and garnering info about the Covenant, but also having massive battles that have not been seen in the Halo games.  It's good to hear that Bungie isn't just making another Halo, but a complete experience that utilizes everything they've invented and done well (level design and all), magnified by 10,000, supervised by the most dedicated eyes.

And Sankey and Opdahl didn't even work on Halo 1 or 2.

My anticipation for Reach has undergone an exponential growth this month.  I don't know if I can take it!  I'll even take the multiplayer Beta if that's the only taste I'll get for a while!


  1. I can't wait to play this game. I saw a few things about the graphics upgrade and I can't wait to see it in action.

  2. Yeah, I'm pumped, too. I just received my Game Informer magazine last night in the mail and can't wait to read up!