Halo: Reach PC – Best Version of Halo Yet? Final Verdict
Halo: The Master Chief Collection arrived on PC in early December, and with it came Halo: Reach. With the exception of Halo 2, the Halo franchise has not been available on PC, and fans are excited to play on a high performance computer. Playing Halo on PC offers gamers a better Halo experience than previously possible. The campaign and multiplayer remain what they were, but the gameplay and the game’s graphics have seen real improvements. 343 Industries is looking to make Halo withstand the test of time, keeping all of the previous titles popular. Adding the Master Chief Collection to PC will get the job done in that department, and adding Halo: Reach to the collection will help as well.
The Halo series has always delivered, giving gamers a campaign worth playing. Halo: Reach is no different. The campaign remains a true work of art, and furthers the Halo story before Master Chief’s narrative began. The campaign’s playtime comes in at 10 hours from start to finish, but co-op, achievements, collectibles, and finishing it on legendary should keep players around even longer.
The story follows the members of Noble Team. The player steps into the shoes of Noble Six as he travels across Reach, defending it from The Covenant. Along the way, they discover the Covenant’s plans and must try to stop them from destroying Reach. By the end of the story, fans may see some familiar faces and voices of the Halo series if they have played any Halo games before. The game’s story takes place right before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. Those familiar with that game know how it ties into the rest of the series. What this story does is expand upon the past, and gives Halo more depth. Halo: Reach is more than a standard prequel. It is a needed story to continue Halo’s overall narrative, and without it, the plot would not be the same for other Halo games.
Halo: Reach’s multiplayer is smooth, and had no apparent issues on launch. There were no matchingmaking problems or server related troubles. Previous titles had major launch issues with multiplayer, but 343 Industries has managed to avoid them. The game runs well while playing multiplayer, and finding matches is quick and easy.
Halo: Reach has a few options for multiplayer: social, competitive, custom games, and Firefight. All four modes offer different, but enjoyable experiences. Social allows players more PvP options. There are a variety of options to choose from regarding the type of match, such as Team Doubles, Slayer, Objective, and more. Competitive is more limited in choice, and offers two possible playlists: Team Hardcore and Invasion. Custom games give players the option to choose game type, map, score needed to win, weapons, and more. Another multiplayer option is Firefight. This is different than standard PvP, and is instead a wave-based mode where players can team up with friends or fight solo against the Covenant.
Multiplayer also includes customization options for one’s Spartan and Elite. Players can change their armor, and choose from different helmets, shoulders, chests, and more. There are options to change visor color, armor color, and gender as well. Players are limited in customizing aspects until they progress and unlock them. As players rank up, they will earn season tokens that can be used to unlock items during whatever particular season it is. This is a new progression system for the Master Chief Collection, and will try to simplify and encourage players to unlock content.
Playing Halo on PC may take some getting used to for long time Halo fans. Once they get used to playing with a mouse and keyboard, gamers should have no problem enjoying Halo. One problem with Halo: Reach for PC, however, is that there are no options for alternate key bindings. The game works well with mouse and keyboard, but players can always use controllers on PC as well. Halo: Reach offers a stable experience and smooth gameplay. Aiming and shooting at the Covenant has never been easier. The ability to snap to targets with the mouse while still moving and jumping makes Halo: Reach that much more enjoyable.
The upgrade to the graphics is apparent, but not as large of an improvement as some may expect. The game has limited graphical settings, making it difficult to adjust where needed. The game was originally for the Xbox 360 and released in 2010, so bringing it to modern PCs likely presented challenges. That said, this was not a remaster like Halo: Combat Evolved. Halo: Reach was ported to PC, and with it came natural graphical upgrades, because after all, it’s being played on a higher quality machine.
The most noticeable improvements are the lighting and frame rate. Back in the days of the Xbox 360, frame rates would hover around 30 FPS, or sometimes lower. On PC, Halo can run unlimited frames. Having a high-powered PC and high-frequency monitor will pay off when playing the game. Running Halo with 60 or 120 FPS is night and day compared to playing it on the Xbox 360, as well it should be. The difference between the Xbox 360 and PC is stark, and having those extra frames is a big help in how well the game looks and runs.
Halo: Reach has never been better, and it feels incredible on PC. The campaign remains the same, but with better gameplay and graphics. The story remains a staple in the Halo series, giving needed depth to Halo’s narrative. Multiplayer has seen small, but welcomed changes, such as the new progression system. For a 2010 game, Halo: Reach looks amazing, and is leaps and bounds better than before. The unlocked framerate is one of the best quality of life changes needed for Halo, and 343 Industries delivered. The only complaints are the limited graphics settings, and not many new features were added.
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