Halo: Reach
Halo: Reach
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Halo Reach | First time playing! (Part 2)
Halo Reach | First time playing!
Details
Halo: Reach is an upcoming first-person shooter video game for the Xbox 360. It is part of the Halo series, and it is scheduled for release during 2010. Its world premiere was held on December 12, 2009, at the Spike Video Game Awards.


Gameplay

Halo: Reach is a shooter game with players experiencing gameplay from a first-person perspective. A system of single-use equipment found in Halo 3 is replaced by reusable and persistent armor abilities, which remain with a player until they are replaced: examples include active camouflage and a sprint ability.

Synopsis
Setting

Reach takes place in a futuristic science fiction setting during the year 2552, days before the events of the 2001 video game Halo: Combat Evolved. Humans, under the auspices of the United Nations Space Command (UNSC), have been waging a long war against a collective of alien races known as the Covenant. By the events of Reach, almost all of humanity's interstellar colonies have fallen. Reach is the UNSC's most fortified world after Earth, and serves as a military and intelligence hub.

Characters

The game follows the actions of Noble Team, a UNSC special operations unit composed of elite supersoldiers known as Spartans. Players assume the role of an unnamed new addition to the team, identified by the call sign Noble 6. Noble Team's leader is Carter-259, a no-nonsense soldier. His second-in-command, Kat-320, has a bionic arm; together Carter and Kat are the only two remaining original members of Noble Team. The other members include heavy weapons specialist Jorge-052, Emile-239, and marksman Jun-226.


Development

Halo: Reach was announced on June 1, 2009, at the Microsoft E3 2009 press conference. A trailer was shown and details were released including setting and timeline. It was announced that an invitation to the open multiplayer beta of the game will be available in Halo 3: ODST. Reach will be the last Halo game developed by original Halo developer Bungie. Future Halo games will be overseen by Microsoft subsidiary 343 Industries.

As Reach ends with the destruction of the titular planet, Bungie focused on making sure that players still felt a sense of accomplishment and success. "It is a challenge overall to ensure the player feels they're doing the right thing all the way to the end," said creative director Marcus Lehto.

Bungie made it a goal to capitalize on every aspect of the Xbox 360 hardware to make every part of Reach look better than Halo 3. Originally, the plan for Reach was to port existing Halo 3 assets and update them, but as 3D Art Lead Scott Shepard noted, "The more we started looking into this, the more we found that realistically we could rebuild each asset from scratch with a huge increase in quality without significantly investing more time." Texture resolution and polygon counts for models were increased; the Reach assault rifle is constructed of more polygons than an entire Marine character from Halo 3. The prequel concept also gave the art team an opportunity to redesign key enemies, weapons and elements of the series, though Scott stressed that they remained true to the spirit, if not the letter, of the original designs. Artists found inspiration in the original concept art for Halo: Combat Evolved; the shape for the redesigned Covenant Grunts came from a sketch by Shi Kai Wang done ten years earlier. Much of the engine was redesigned.

To increase replay value, the developers focused on improving the artificial intelligence. Rather than scripting enemy encounters, the developers focused on a more open world or sandbox approach to battles.

Audio

Martin O'Donnell returns to score Reach. With the game's music, O'Donnell wrote more "somber, more visceral" music because the plot is character-driven and focuses on a planet that is known to have fallen. The music piece shown in the world premiere of Halo: Reach, was the first music he wrote for the game, which he hoped he could use as a starting point for developing further themes.

Multiplayer beta

It was announced on December 12, 2009, when the game officially debuted, that the multiplayer beta would take place in spring of 2010. The game Halo 3: ODST will be used as a key to access the beta. At the Microsoft X10 Event Microsoft announced that the beta would be available on May 3, 2010.


Release

According to a survey by Gamesindustry.biz, Reach was chosen by industry professionals as their pick for the top-selling game of 2010.