Ever since their invention, video games of all shapes and sizes have consistently risen in popularity and they show no signs of stopping anytime soon. In recent years we've seen the development of shockingly realistic graphics as well as the introduction of various different ways for the player to become even more integrated with the game, such as virtual reality.
However, amongst the constant release of new systems and games, it can be easy to forget the classics. Although what defines a classic varies depending on who you ask, I am willing to argue that most often what many people define as classics are those which first instill in them a passion for games.
Although my first game was "NASCAR '06 " for the PS2 it would take many more games, from "Star Wars Battlefront II " (that being the original, or at least the only one that matters) to "MX vs. ATV: Unleashed" and even a switch to the Xbox 360 before I would find a game that truly resonated with me.
It's been just over 8 years since "Halo: Reach" was first released in the US and yet, despite its tenure, the game still holds the same appeal as it did back in 2010. Playing the game now is like taking a step back in time but, instead of being bittersweet, one can savor every moment spent in it. There are so many amazing things about "Reach" that it would be almost futile to describe them all. However, in an effort to spread awareness about this amazing and addicting game I've decided to compile some of my favorite things about it and share them here.
The first time I played "Reach" was a mere month after the game had been released. I was hooked from the opening credits onwards. One of the most compelling aspects of "Halo: Reach" is the sheer attention to detail, whether it be in music or design, that the developers put into making this game. It was evident from the onset that as their last "Halo" project, Bungie intended to go out with a bang that even Master Chief would be proud of before passing the "spark" to 343 Industries.
Although the graphics can't compare to what we have today, at the time they were top notch. The cut scenes paired with the music and atmosphere of each mission have always been a key component of the "Halo" series and "Reach" is no exception.
While aesthetic beauty is an important aspect to any great game it's nothing if the gameplay is terrible. Fortunately, "Halo: Reach" has what in my opinion is some of the most balanced, exciting, and intriguing gameplay in any game to date. Whether it be online multiplayer or in the game's stunning and beautifully written yet tragic campaign, "Reach" always had something to offer.
If you got tired of playing Big Team Battle you could switch to Infection and if you got tired of that you could even participate in the "Halo " franchise's famous sport, Grifball. While some may argue that the game suffered from glitches none of these were game-breaking and if there were any that were, Bungie was sure to fix them.
The online multiplayer of this game was what really sold me and has ingrained "Halo: Reach" in my brain as the best game in the "Halo" franchise if not out of all games. The never-ending rewards system, the highly variable game modes including custom maps and modes (I've literally played Halo chess on this game), but most of all the community surrounding it are what make "Reach" stand out from other games.
The "Halo" community has always been a tightly knit one but "Reach" really brought everyone together. If you ever played the game in its heyday you'll know that the servers were always buzzing, people were always talking and looking for matches, and it became extremely easy to make friends from all over the world. This game was truly a social hub for gamers.
Some of my fondest memories of this game come from things that today might seem incredibly mundane to others; camping by the grav-lift room on Sword Base armed only with a shotgun during a game of infection knowing that I was the only one left alive just waiting for an enemy to round the corner, jumping off of the spire in a BTB game to hijack a Falcon that had kept myself and several teammates pinned down for the entire game, taking out that last pursuer with the final round in my sniper rifle to ensure that my teammate returns the enemy flag to our base.
These were the things that made my "Halo: Reach" experience. Whether it be just by myself or with an entire posse of up to 10 of my friends at once I never took any of it too seriously. Although it was a game, and a great one at that, some of my greatest memories came from "Halo: Reach" and for that reason along with so many others I am grateful.