It was never going to be a quiet and subdued affair; the release of a new Halo game is met with even greater furore than a new Call of Duty game. It is arguably the single most popular franchise on any of the next generation consoles and after just 24 hours of release, Halo: Reach has topped most of the UK’s gaming charts and has broken the record for the game with the most number of players taking part in online games at any one time.
While the previous Halo games were undeniably popular there were still some gripes with the action; not least the fact that the graphics were only ever revamped and modernised from the first game. The pre-360 graphics have now been updated with a graphics and gaming engine built completely from scratch which offers greater looking environments and people as well as improved frame rate and more fluid gaming motion.
More than 2 million people played the game online yesterday and were undoubtedly benefiting from the improved combat system too. While the game does remain linear for the most part, the battles themselves are far from being rigid in how they will play out. Every time you play it, each preconceived battle can and probably will play a little differently.
The group aspect of Halo: Reach has also been improved so that you can actually rely on your AI squad mates to occassionally pop up with a useful and life saving kill.
One upgrade that has proven slightly less useful is the customisation ability. As you progress through single and multiplayer games you will be rewarded with the opportunity to further enhance the look of your character. You won’y find any major game-playing benefit from doing so and this may harm the game’s long term multiplayer popularity which tends to see games remaining in the charts for longer.
Were you online playing Halo Reach yesterday?