Halo: Reach Reviews

Halo: Reach

Halo: Reach

The long goodbye.

"Remember Reach." The marketing slogan for Microsoft's latest sci-fi blockbuster is so very Halo. Portentous, epic and heavy with martial sentimentality, it also has a slightly overconfident belief in the resonance of the fiction behind these excellent shooters.

Reach, it is assumed you'll know (and care), is the name of the planet where humanity's war with the Covenant - in full swing by the time Master Chief's adventures began in Halo: Combat Evolved - started. Reach was invaded and catastrophically wiped out by the zealous aliens in their search for the artefacts of a lost civilisation. This genocide and the doomed struggle to stop it are the events portrayed by this, Bungie's fifth Halo game (and its mawkish advertising).

Reach is also what people will call this game, though, and that slogan sounds as though it's inviting you to venerate it before the fact. After Halo 3: ODST's flat stop-gap, Bungie and Microsoft are fervently willing this game to be a classic, and its position as a prequel and as Bungie's last Halo has infected both publisher and developer with a kind of backwards nostalgia for a brand new game. Remember Reach; this is where it all began; this is the game we were always trying to make; this is a monument to Halo's greatness. Gaze on it and be humbled, and think of the non-existent millions who died to bring it to you.

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