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Halo: Reach Beta Impressions

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500mph 30th April 2010, 10:05 Quote
Patrick. He's not a Spartan.

Anyways, I am looking forward to jetpacking behind my mate and stabbing him in the back.
PegasusM 30th April 2010, 10:06 Quote
Well written piece, I look forward to this and hope Bungie can deliver in terms of the singleplayer too. More of the same isn't a bad thing as I still play ODST frequently with my housemates.
rollo 30th April 2010, 10:16 Quote
Another halo game

Haven't played it since halo 3

Bungie are outta ideas and should either make a new franchise or make halo 4
CardJoe 30th April 2010, 10:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Another halo game

Haven't played it since halo 3

Bungie are outta ideas and should either make a new franchise or make halo 4

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/2010/04/29/bungie-signs-10-year-deal-with-activision/1
javaman 30th April 2010, 10:31 Quote
Anyone here ever played grifball?
500mph 30th April 2010, 10:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
Anyone here ever played grifball?

I didn't know they actually made it into a game. Awesome.
memeroot 30th April 2010, 10:37 Quote
I think ODST was the perfect representation of a fps on console... I await to be proven wrong
technogiant 30th April 2010, 10:40 Quote
What about the new engine....does that offer any noticable improvements.
I don't know if they are running out of ideas but there is only so much that you can do, it's only because it is part of a series that this critisism is being used against it, you wouldn't say the same of a new game that wasn't part of a series that used standard fare multiplayer modes.
My favourite mp mode was seen in cod3, it was called "war"...you had to sequentially capture control points...it was linear in that you didn't have to defend previous points as they could not be recaptured out of sequence....it really gave a focused less chaotic game play experience....great shame I haven't seen it's like since.
p3n 30th April 2010, 10:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by technogiant
What about the new engine....does that offer any noticable improvements.
I don't know if they are running out of ideas but there is only so much that you can do, it's only because it is part of a series that this critisism is being used against it, you wouldn't say the same of a new game that wasn't part of a series that used standard fare multiplayer modes.
My favourite mp mode was seen in cod3, it was called "war"...you had to sequentially capture control points...it was linear in that you didn't have to defend previous points as they could not be recaptured out of sequence....it really gave a focused less chaotic game play experience....great shame I haven't seen it's like since.

TFC?
SatansBudgie 30th April 2010, 10:51 Quote
what are the new available classes of spartan like?
do they add enough variation for individuality of players?
technogiant 30th April 2010, 10:53 Quote
Does that mean Team Fortress classic?....haven't played that....if that has that "war" style of mp mode I'll have to give that a go.
technogiant 30th April 2010, 10:56 Quote
I've got my doubts about the head hunter mode where you pick up the skulls from your kill, how are you going to do that if youve sniped someone from across the other side of the map, someone else will just get there first and pick them up or you'll get killed as you hike across to get them.
CardJoe 30th April 2010, 11:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by technogiant
What about the new engine....does that offer any noticable improvements.
I don't know if they are running out of ideas but there is only so much that you can do, it's only because it is part of a series that this critisism is being used against it, you wouldn't say the same of a new game that wasn't part of a series that used standard fare multiplayer modes.

The new engine felt exactly like the old engine, though maybe with a few extra lighting effects. I honestly couldn't tell the difference at the time and only found out after I played it.

Incidentally, there is a that can be done with FPS games and I can - and do - level these same criticisms at other games when it is relevant. Just look at Dead to Rights, The Passing, M+B: Warband to name a few. Or C&C4 to see the opposite.
SatansBudgie 30th April 2010, 11:02 Quote
might be that only you can pick them up. Or you have a pick-up speed advantage
(e.g. like the mw2 care package system)
Stewb 30th April 2010, 11:05 Quote
Interesting to see that the criticisms of stale gameplay were not levelled against MW2 in its review. At least bungie have bothered to add a couple of new mechanics
CardJoe 30th April 2010, 11:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SatansBudgie
what are the new available classes of spartan like?
do they add enough variation for individuality of players?

They are exactly as you'd expect. Pretty much everyone I saw went with the jetpack or improved armour. They don't really add individuality (because everyone has them and everyone ends up using them in the same way) but they do provide a tactical option should you want it - though a very short-lived and occasional one.

There's no real depth to it as there is in, say, Just Cause 2's grapplehook or parachute - it's just "Oh, I have a jetpack so I can get up to that bridge quick and get the rocket launcher." or "Oh, I have the active camo, so I'll stay here and snipe people."

That's not to say it's not good - the game is still fun - but it is to say that it isn't groundbreaking, imaginative, or particularly worthy of the level of praise that Bungie seems to expect and receive.

At the end of the day, while Halo: Reach is still going to be fun for a lot of people, I honestly question whether it's fun enough to really justify spending £30 - £45 on, especially for those who already own the other games and therefore have access to a nearly identical experience in many ways.
Phil Rhodes 30th April 2010, 11:07 Quote
Quote:
Halo is a phenomenon

Only because people like Joe Martin keep saying it is.

The first Halo game could better have been subtitled "Combat not evolved at all - in fact, combat precisely the same as every other first person shooter, in every single respect". Lacking in pithiness, I grant you, but considerably more accurate.

Bloody "phenomenon", I ask you...
Stewb 30th April 2010, 11:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
They are exactly as you'd expect. Pretty much everyone I saw went with the jetpack or improved armour.

Just out of interest how mayn games did you get? And were the people you were palying against playing for the first time as well? If it was juts a few games and the others were new, then that may explain it (who won't choose jetpacks the first tim ethey play :p), if it was a while that is a bit dissappointing. Had hoped that they would add variety :(
CardJoe 30th April 2010, 11:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewb
Interesting to see that the criticisms of stale gameplay were not levelled against MW2 in its review. At least bungie have bothered to add a couple of new mechanics

Jesus, I wish people would give it a rest with that talk. :(

Modern Warfare 2 wasn't just the same. It had new features and content, new modes, weapons, structure and rewards. On top of all that it took the combat, pace and design of MW1 and honed them incredibly. Do people still have a beef with the servers? Do people cheat or break the system with exploits? Yes, but the former doesn't impact on my above point and the latter happens with all games that get a big following. The fault there is inherent to the audience, not the game.

Halo meanwhile has already honed the multiplayer component and it did it a fair few games ago. Since then it's stayed still and that fact is now becoming noticeable - as well as relevant because of the expectations and popularity built around the series.

Also, if you really want to get into the subjectivity of it all, I didn't write the multiplayer component of the Modern Warfare 2 review. :p
CardJoe 30th April 2010, 11:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewb
Just out of interest how mayn games did you get? And were the people you were palying against playing for the first time as well? If it was juts a few games and the others were new, then that may explain it (who won't choose jetpacks the first tim ethey play :p), if it was a while that is a bit dissappointing. Had hoped that they would add variety :(

Not sure how many games I played, to be honest - but I played it for a fair few hours and with pretty much all the other journalists in the UK who have written about the game in the last two weeks. There were some newcomers in the mix, but there were also some people who claimed to be regular players. Personally, I've not played Halo since ODST - but I can hold my own and have been good enough to beat people from Bungie in the past, if that means anything. I was in the Top 3 in all the matches I played.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Only because people like Joe Martin keep saying it is.

The first Halo game could better have been subtitled "Combat not evolved at all - in fact, combat precisely the same as every other first person shooter, in every single respect". Lacking in pithiness, I grant you, but considerably more accurate.

Bloody "phenomenon", I ask you...

Phenomenon is different from quality though, isn't it? The Spice Girls were a phenomenon, selling multiple millions and pushing the whole 'Girl Power' angle. They were hugely popular - an undeniable phenomenon...but they also sounded ****ing ****.
fingerbob69 30th April 2010, 11:30 Quote
Will they port it to PC?
MacWalka 30th April 2010, 12:13 Quote
I'm actually really looking forward to this. I love Halo 3 and looking at the videos of Reach, it does look a lot better. I can notice the graphics looking nicer and especially in single player where they have shown they can have more enemies and allies running around than they used to.

I like the thought of having Spartans vs Elites and each team has different characteristics. I can't see too much wrong with Halo3 and IMO just needed a few tweaks to give it a better experience. ODST was rubbish though, mainly because all my Live friends didn't buy it and I couldn't do Firefight properly as you couldn't get a random online game though.
Stewb 30th April 2010, 13:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Not sure how many games I played, to be honest - but I played it for a fair few hours and with pretty much all the other journalists in the UK who have written about the game in the last two weeks. There were some newcomers in the mix, but there were also some people who claimed to be regular players. Personally, I've not played Halo since ODST - but I can hold my own and have been good enough to beat people from Bungie in the past, if that means anything. I was in the Top 3 in all the matches I played.

Thanks, so seems like it may actually be a balance problem rather than a case of "ZOMG, I can fly"- *picks jetpack*. Will find out myself though when I can play later today :)

Earlier post:
Quote:
It had new features and content, new modes, weapons, structure and rewards.

Reach does actually have all of these. I know it doesn't have as many new weapons, but the number of weapons is small to begin with so there isn't much to work on :p. DMR, Needle rifle, focus rifle, plasma repeater, grenade launcher, plasma launcher. That's quite a hefty set of additions to a game with relatively few weapons. As to modes/structure/rewards, you covered modes in the impressions ;), and look at the arena for structure, they have also redone the entire armour unlock/rank system (I admit this is like MW2, but the daily and weekly challenges sounds like it will add to the addiciton beyond make kills, have XP).
Quote:
break the system with exploits? ... and the latter happens with all games that get a big following.

Care to name a system breaking Halo 3 exploit? :p

As to the point of honing the experience. I do actually agree 100%, MW2 did improve greatly. Halo has had it for a while. But IMO (others would vehemently disagree I know) I would prefer bungie to stick to tried and tested fun than try to mess around in their final halo game and bugger it up :D
CardJoe 30th April 2010, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewb

As to the point of honing the experience. I do actually agree 100%, MW2 did improve greatly. Halo has had it for a while. But IMO (others would vehemently disagree I know) I would prefer bungie to stick to tried and tested fun than try to mess around in their final halo game and bugger it up :D

Yes, you shouldn't fix something that's not broken, but at the same time you should always be trying to push things forward. Even aside from that, you shouldn't expect players to be bowled over by things which are same-old, same-old - much less pay through the nose for them.

For me, it's going to depend on the strength of the singleplayer game. If the SP is good enough and long enough to warrant the cash then I won't mind the slightly staid and uninspiring multiplayer. If it's short and boring and the multiplayer is in the same staid state then I'll be mightily disappointed.
FelixTech 30th April 2010, 14:09 Quote
I have always bought Ninty (although now it's more PC), with my brother owning the xbox, so due to moving out I haven't played Halo 3 yet. Someday I'll get to "finish the fight" :)
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