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Halo Reach landed in stores on Sept. 14, and it couldn’t have been a bigger hit. As an avid fan of the Halo franchise, I purchased Reach to see if it was worth the money and all the hype, and it was just one incredible head-rush after another.

Halo Reach: Rebirth of Halo series

 Halo Reach landed in stores on Sept. 14, and it couldn’t have been a bigger hit.
 As an avid fan of the Halo franchise, I purchased Reach to see if it was worth the money and all the hype, and it was just one incredible head-rush after another.
 This prequel to the entire Halo series starts on the colonized planet Reach, a large naval yard for the human race where they build ships and heavy armament. Most importantly, Reach is also the location of the top secret SPARTAN-II project that produces the SPARTAN-II super soldiers, the most iconic of which is John-117, the Master Chief.
 However, while the first three Halo games focused on the Master Chief, and Halo 3 ODST focused on a group of human Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, Halo Reach’s main character is Noble 6, a SPARTAN-II who tries to defend Reach from the alien collective known as the Covenant.
 I’ll be the first to admit that the Halo games are one of the few first-person shooter games I’ve played that has a good plot-line.
 Fleshing out the characters, environment, and timeline are the most important things when playing games like these— if you didn’t play the game just for the blood and violence, that is.
 “It was a nice rebirth for the Halo series; it gives a little bit of back story. It’s a good mixture between Halo 3 and ODST; you’re not Master Chief, but you’re still a Spartan,” sophomore Spanish major Sean Simmons said.
 Reach introduces an entirely new array of weapons and vehicles along with keeping some of the tried and true models.
 For example, not only do you have the human rocket launcher, but there’s also a grenade launcher that, while it may look lethal, takes proper aim to do any real damage.
 On the Covenant side, however, is what I consider to be one of the best new weapons the franchise has to offer: the Concussion Rifle, which is a version of the plasma rifle with more power behind a solitary blast. 
 The graphics and illustrations in Reach are by far the best and most realistic I’ve seen during the evolution of the Halo games.   Water and smoke effects, even the facial expressions on some of the minor characters, were just some of the small details I noticed that made the game, along with the fantastic story line, even better.
 The music, composed by Martin O’ Donnell, really enhances the gaming experience, as well. There are portions that make the battle sequences more interesting and create a groove of music for the player to fight to.
 “It’s a very percussive style, and it makes you want to shoot the enemy and keeps you motivated through the game,” senior English major Kim Wright said.
 However, with all these good things about Reach, what’s wrong with it?
 I don’t know about the rest of the Halo fans out in the world, but it was interesting being the lone Spartan among a group of human survivors.
 Not only that, but during the original Halo games, the Master Chief barely spoke; in fact, he only had about 15 or so lines during Halo 3. In contrast, Noble 6, while he doesn’t speak much, still talks more than a Spartan, a symbol of absolute courage that only a handful of people posses, should.
 In fact, all of Noble Team, the group of Spartan soldiers featured in Reach alongside Noble 6, spoke a bit too much, making them seem somewhat more human and even a little weak compared to the “strong and silent” Spartans.
 Microsoft and Bungie, the two studios that produced the Halo games (with the exception of Halo Wars, which was produced by Ensemble Studios in conjunction with Microsoft Game Studios), have truly created a masterpiece for the Halo franchise.
 I would give this game a 9.5 out of ten; even with the personality flaws of Noble 6 and the rest of Noble Team, the story, graphics, and music pick up the slack. So, if you’re a Halo fan or you enjoy fighting your way across distant planets, then Halo Reach is right up your alley.

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