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Halo: Reach after four years.
Date: 8/26/14 3:33 am

So I started a playthrough of Reach on heroic a few days ago, just finished it up. I normally don't post about it every time I decide to go play a Halo campaign, but it had been a while (I'm not sure I've made a completely straight shot through the game in over a year, actually), and this playthrough left a little bit more of an impression than I expected.

-Yes, I'm aware that Reach isn't quite four years old.

-I still think the timeline being more than a couple days long is stupid.

-Noble Team still looks stupid when responding trollishly to incoming fire.

-I've made a lot of noise in the past about how Reach's final act doesn't respect Halo 1's narrative. I haven't really changed my mind on this, but time has taken some of the edge off.

-I still think the gameplay has some pretty big issues. Like some instakill sources that come suddenly with poor warning. That said, I felt less monotony from long-range rifle ping-offs than I have in the past. I think overall I played more aggressively than I sometimes have, and heroic felt like something of a sweet spot for challenge without requiring dumb boring tactics.

-I think I've grown to appreciate what the game is, overall, doing with its narrative a lot more than I used to. Not in any particular qualitative sense; the way I perceive it isn't any different, but I like it more. Noble Team still doesn't feel very interesting in their own right, but they're actually doing a better job than I think I used to acknowledge, as flavour for the plot to bounce off of.

-So, about complaints that the music wasn't really as distinctly striking as Marty's previous work. I used to agree with the sentiment, but I wasn't sure that it could be meaningfully improved upon, and I felt that the music was serving the game about as well as it possibly could. I think I've changed my mind. About the first part. Reach's soundtrack is powerful and iconic and striking, and although perhaps not quite as unique and distinct as the previous soundtracks, it's still very distinct.

-Reach's visual design and graphics. Um, wow. I've traditionally shoved it a notch below Halo's peak. I don't think I do any more. Lots of smelling the roses on this playthrough, and I really fell in love with it more than I have before. The material model is very expressive and works great with the art design (and wow at how awesome armour looks). And the sky... stunning use of carefully-placed layered transparencies and sometimes lighting to give the impression of depth and scale. It really began to strike me going through Nightfall, and noticing some of the level's main lightning art flash against the crags. This looks glorious in motion on a TV:


tl;dr It seems like Reach might be on a trajectory toward aging well.

Messages In This Thread

Halo: Reach after four years.uberfoop8/26/14 3:33 am
     Re: Halo: Reach after four years.NotTheVacuum8/26/14 8:32 am
     Re: Halo: Reach after four years.thebruce08/26/14 10:22 am
           Re: Halo: Reach after four years.CARDO 8 ATL8/26/14 10:50 am
     Re: Halo: Reach after four years.serpx8/26/14 11:59 am
           Re: Halo: Reach after four years.NotTheVacuum8/26/14 7:21 pm
                 Re: Halo: Reach after four years.uberfoop8/26/14 7:34 pm
     Re: Halo: Reach after four years.Kermit8/26/14 1:27 pm
     Re: Halo: Reach after four years.JDQuackers8/26/14 1:35 pm
           Re: Halo: Reach after four years.uberfoop8/26/14 7:50 pm
     Re: Halo: Reach after four years.Louis Wu8/26/14 4:12 pm
           Re: Halo: Reach after four years.thebruce08/26/14 4:58 pm
           Re: Halo: Reach after four years.Cody Miller8/26/14 10:12 pm
                 Re: Halo: Reach after four years.Avateur8/27/14 1:57 am
                 Re: Halo: Reach after four years.Louis Wu8/27/14 11:03 am

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