is the fourth and final Halo title to be developed by Bungie Studios and the fifth overall game to be released by Microsoft Game Studios. A prequel to the Halo trilogy, the game takes place on the planet Reach, a major planet of the Halo canon and home to many ONI secrets. The story follows Noble Six, a new replacement for the Spartan III-filled Noble Team. Six's gender and appearance are completely determined by the player; the gender and customizations are recognized across the board in both Campaign and Multiplayer, with properly matching voice acting in cutscenes to boot.
Elites can be given different suits of armor, but they are male only.
Reach still retains all the features of previous Halo titles. Campaign
is present along with support for up to 4 players across Xbox LIVE and system link, with the new ability to be able to drop out of a game without ending the run for all the other players. Firefight
returns from Halo 3: ODST with a deep set of customization options and game limits. In addition to that, players can take control of Elite warriors and play against human Spartans in Firefight Versus
which is a simple team change away in the lobby. Forge
makes a glorious return from Halo 3 and is a whole lot more useful this time around, with built in object merging, coordinate editing, and more gadgets and toys at your disposal. While it is not a full on geometry editor like Far Cry, it gets the job done. Competitive Multiplayer
is of course present with all new game options and returning old ones such as 4 Team Flag and Bomb. Theater Mode
is back and now supports making film clips in Firefight and Campaign modes. When you take screenshots in this mode, Bungie.net will even identify you in a screenshot with a quick mouseover, Facebook style.
As Bungie moves on to new pastures with a new IP set to be revealed sometime over the next year, 343 Studios (an internal Microsoft team) will take over the Halo series. There is no ETA or idea on what their first Halo project will be. Bungie is planning to support Reach for the time being with DLC and matchmaking updates for the time being, with those updates more than likely being assumed by 343 in the distant future.
Welcome to the Halo thread, dear reader. We've been here since the release of Halo 2 a scant six or so years ago. All we care about in this community is having fun playing the game. You do not need to be a FPS god or know all the maps to play with us. Feel free to jump in and enjoy what the game throws at you. You'll be accepted and loved as long as you're not an asshole like Evil Badman.
Just like Halo 2 and 3 before it, Halo: Reach eschews the old clumsy server list model for the Matchmaking experience. Instead of manually trawling through a gigantic server list, Bungie attempts to lay out a suitable cross section of gametypes and maps that the community will enjoy. You can't be kicked out of a game for playing too well, nor do you have to put up with 5 hour games of CTF set to 50 points to win (those are available as part of Custom Games). New to Reach is matchmaking support for both Campaign and Firefight. Below is an overview of the Reach playlists as best as the OP can keep up with them, gleaned from the Bungie.net Playlists Page
These playlists are the tried and true versus multiplayer you've been playing for many years. Teams and groups of Free For All players try their best to out-gun, out-flag, out-bomb and out-play their opponents. There is no more distinction between Social and Ranked like Halo 3 anymore; every Competitive playlist supports parties up to the maximum player count, and the Trueskill rank system is now hidden from view.
8 players. Free For All only, featuring Slayer, Elite Slayer, and a smattering of objective games.
8 players. All Infection, all the time. Features both the Living Dead and new Safe Havens gametype.
8 players, up to two teams of 4. 24/7 deathmatch funtimes. The bread and butter of Halo online.
8 players, up to two teams of 4. One shot, one kill. Currently Slayer only. One of the more popular destinations next to Team Slayer.
8 players, up to two teams of 4. Load out with your long rifle and begin engaging people at long distances.
8 players, up to two teams of 4. No Slayer to be found here, just flags and bombs and lots and lots of balls.
4 players, up to two teams of 2. You and a buddy fight another dude and his bro. Have fun!
12 players, up to six teams of 2. Both Slayer and Objective gametypes can be found in here. It's crazy!
Big Team Battle
16 players, up to two teams of 8. Duke it out big style in Slayer and Objective with high player counts and high players. Curiously, BTB is the only Competitive playlist that is limited to 2 players per box (all others support 4 players on one box).
12 players, up to two teams of 6. The new gametype for Reach, Invasion has two maps that were explicity designed for it and has one more coming in the next DLC. Featuring a different spawn system than the other playlists and multiple phases per round, it is an interesting new take on Objective gametypes. Try it at least once!
Don't feel like shooting other humans in the face? How about some Covie AI? They can't play loud music over voice chat and can't send you racist text messages. Sounds good to me. This is where you will find the matchmaking for both Campaign and Firefight. Both of these modes use a different networking model than Competitive multiplayer which relies on everyone having low latency internet connections, so if you are lagging in this category but not Team Slayer... there you go.
4 players, up to 2 per box. The game offers you a map; you vote for the difficulty, or None of the Above to get another map. No skulls are on. Just get to the end alive.
4 players, up to 2 per box. The game offers you a map; you vote for the gametype. Currently Heroic 24/7. Runs for One Set. Hilarious gametypes and fun are to be had in here; play everything from Sniperfight to Fuel Rod Gun Fight, where you start with a FRG. Or perhaps you'd like to play Fistfight, which starts you with a hammer and sword (Evade is probably the most fun AA to use in this gametype). Walk speed is 120% and you have overshields. You have unlimited lives
4 players, up to 2 per box. You vote for a map and gametype. Currently Heroic 24/7. This playlist is closer to the classic ODST experience: you have a limited number of lives that are pooled. Once the lives are gone, it's game over. It does have a time limit.
1 player, 1 per box. Have a bad internet connection? Don't feel like playing with other people? Score Attack is your destination. Play in this playlist to post leaderboard high scores on each gametype and map; friend high scores will be displayed in the upper left hand corner as you play. Running for One Round, options include Gruntpocalypse and Mythic Score Attack. This playlist also counts towards any daily or weekly challenges that require "Firefight Matchmaking".
This will be the home of gametypes and setups that are not Bungie created, and can't truly fit into either the "Competitive" category or the "Arena" category. Go here for stuff outside the norm. Or stuff way
outside the norm.
8 players, two teams of 4. Load out with an extremely reduced weapon set and map layout. You think you are hardcore? Well, don't talk about MLG in this thread, go to the MLG Forums
for MLG discussion, as this is not a community that is into MLG. But if you think you have the patience and at least four Xs in your gamertag, queue up in this playlist. Contains both Slayer and Objective gametypes.
8 players, two teams of 4. Hammers, swords, and the new addition of Armor Abilities should provide a refreshed look at this gametype born out of the Red vs Blue community. Arm the neutral bomb by launching the bomb carrier or slipping through the defense and explode in spectacular fashion. Will apparently have Classic (no AAs), a version with Evade, and a version with Sprint.
Community Slayer, Community BTB, etc
Various configurations, limited to 1 local player per box. This is the proving grounds for maps submitted via the Community Cartographer process or the Forgetacular contest. Limited to a single local player as to allow Bungie to include more maps in it. Play these maps, and then leave feedback for them in the Optimatch forum!
(March 1, 2011 to May 31, 2011)
4 v 4 Slayer, 2 players per box
Are you a serious business player? Want something a little less social and a little more cut throat? Arena is your new destination. Essentially replaces the Ranked playlists from Halo 2 and 3. No more grinding out or boosting to a 50 or a General rank to be displayed in a lobby, Arena is a seasonal affair with division placements. Boosters and hardcore players can no longer earn max rank in a playlist and "park" there for the next 3 years; you must play each season to earn a Division and rating again and again.
When each new season starts, the game will tell you how many games you need a day for a rating, and how many daily ratings you will need to get a Division. The possible Divisions that you can be slotted into are Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Onyx and are all determined by the percentage of players with your daily rating. For example, Onyx is reserved for the top 5% of all Arena players in Reach. Not only that, but just because you have earned a division does not mean you keep it! If more players qualify for your division, you could be pushed down to a lower one. If you want the top tiers, you're gonna have to play more than just the minimum required games.
The Daily Rating is determined by your Rating from all of your qualifying games. Based off a public formula, the Rating replaces the visible 1-50 Trueskill rank from Halo 3, and can fall anywhere from 0 to 2000. Bungie has the ability to change this formula post-ship. Due to the nature of having a public formula and the complexities of balancing scoring for kills in a non-kills oriented gametype, Objective gametypes are not planned for Arena at this time and may never show up inside this category. It is purely a Slayer (and Spartan only) experience.'
At the end of each season, your stats and division placement will go on the back of your "baseball card" for permanent viewing by yourself and other players, and everything begins anew.
Halo: Reach obviously supports downloadable content. Is is now confirmed that the game supports both Multiplayer and Firefight DLC. No word on if the game will ever have new campaign DLC, but it is very unlikely.
Reach also has much better support for split userbases than 2 or 3 did. 2 required everyone to download the maps to play the game; 3 made it optional, but due to player complaints of DLC not being common enough, Bungie eventually required DLC for most of matchmaking. Not for Reach. While there will be a DLC-only playlist for purchasers at release, DLC will remain OPTIONAL for the rest of matchmaking. The game now considers DLC ownership when searching for games while matchmaking, so you should have DLC as an option fairly frequently - the system will attempt to match you with other DLC owners first.
The Noble Map Pack (800msp)
is a fairly large map, compatible with up to 16 players. Features the Forge palette of Forge World, including all the Structure pieces from that map for you to build crazy maps with. Looks to play similiar to Valhalla and/or Containment. Breakpoint
is a massive underground map designed for the Invasion gametype. Time to blow up some buildings soldiers; this appears to be the first Invasion map designed around an Assault based final phase. And finally, Anchor 9
takes it's visual appearance from the Sabre section of campaign, but everything else is new. Designed for 4 v 4 encounters, this symmetrical map is sure to be fast and deadly.
The Noble Map Pack also comes with 250 extra gamescore for you achievement whores out there.
The Defiant Map Pack (800msp)
Created by the fine folks at Certain Affinity, who did the Blastacular Map Pack (Tombstone and Desolation) for Halo 2. They've also made DLC for Black Ops, and created fun games like Age of Booty. They're also involved in Left 4 Dead 1 and 2's development, and was founded by Max Hoberman, a long time Bungie alum.
Scheduled to release March 15th, 2011, the map is known to include:
, a map taking place on a UNSC ship in outer space while Reach is being glassed.
, a map set near New Alexandria, and appears to take some cues from Timberland. Very green. Has carriers outside of the map that actually start/stop glassing while you play!
, a gigantic map and the first Firefight DLC for Reach.
Halo: Combat Evolved
Buy for: Xbox
, 360 GoD
The original Halo that started it all. Pretty much everyone knows everything about this game by now. Was made in approximately 5 months. If you have a LEGITIMATE CD keycode from a Mac or PC copy you can plug it into Bungie.net and unlock a special ingame Reach lobby badge for linking your gamertag to Bungie.net. This offer is not available forever, so if you want it you should buy it and redeem it now. Don't even try to keygen it as they're using the database of all known printed serials. The game is also available for the Mac. The Mac publisher's rights have lasped however, so no more new copies are available at this time.
Buy for: Xbox
(Vista and higher required)
The Halo that started the PA Forum Halo community and the TBK clan. Introduced matchmaking to the world. Had awesome clanlists. Was later ported to the PC with 1000 points of achievements to get.
The Xbox version's online was taken offline on April 15th, 2009 as part of a complete ending of support for the original Xbox. If you were lucky enough to have ever played Halo 2 on Xbox Live, you have the option to wear a Halo 2 badge in the Reach lobby if you link your gamertag to Bungie.net. If you didn't.. there is no other way to get it. Bungie is apparently choosing to ignore Halo 2 Vista owners.
Buy for: Xbox 360, 360 GoD
Halo 3: ODST
The end of the Halo trilogy and the Human/Covenant war. Go on a trip across the galaxy to blow stuff up. And then blow stuff up again.
You may be familiar with this game as the most recent main game of this thread before Reach came along. Introduced user-friendly film saving/editing/upload, in-game screenshot tools, Forge map variants, and uploadable and downloadable user created gametypes.
It was also the first game to recieve a bump up to 1750 gamescore via DLC. 4 of those achievements called "Vidmasters" will set you on the road to unlocking the coveted Recon armor within Halo 3 - you'll also need 3 achievements from ODST to get it. Note that ALL of these maps come for free with the purchase of a brand new copy of Halo 3: ODST, and allows you to play all of Halo 3 matchmaking without a hard drive.
Buy for: Xbox 360
A game with a somewhat interesting history. It was originally supposed to be a DLC expansion to Halo 3. Then it was delayed by Don Mattrick and turned into a disc title scheduled to release in Winter of 2008, and the maps included would be released as massive "Mythic Collection". Then Don Mattrick delayed it again into late 2009, and the maps from it were split out. And the game was made a full retail release. It was also your golden ticket into the Halo: Reach Public Multiplayer beta.
Drop down into the streets of New Mombasa in a storyline that takes place during the middle of Halo 2. The Chief has just followed a carrier's slipspace jump; where did he go? Brute squads are patrolling the night streets, your squad is seperated and there's an annoyingly positive AI trying to help you out. Introduces the Firefight game mode to the Halo featureset, and was the first game post Halo 3 to ditch dual wielding. Is probably the only Halo LIVE compatible game that will never have a patch or DLC.
Supports up to 4 players for Live Co-Op, Firefight, and Theater film watching. Supports films and screenshots, but not clips. Shares the same file share with Halo 3, so you can snap screenshots in ODST and view them from inside Halo 3, or vice versa. ODST is smart enough to ignore Halo 3 only files such as map variants and gametypes and films from Halo 3 campaign and multiplayer.
Buy for: Xbox 360, 360 GoD
Halo Wars is an RTS that was developed from the ground up for the Xbox 360. It was also the swan song of Ensemble Studios, the creators of the Age of Empire series. It's a pretty solid game, and sold over a million in it's first month on market, impressive for the RTS genre on a console - a genre that is usually not too popular. It features a lengthy campaign (that you can play co-op over Live), pretty hardcore (but not cheating!) AI, and versus competitive matchmaking for up to 3 man groups.
Post release, the game was supported by Robot Entertainment, one of the many studios made from former Ensemble employees. They went on to issue 4 title updates for the game in an aggressive support of rebalancing and bug fixes. In mid-2010, Halo Wars was handed over to 343 Studios, who shut down the game's forums on December 15th but continue to support the stats side of the website.
It has one map pack available for release, which you can download below:
Many of us have bought these maps, so you won't be hurting for people to play them with. There's also an overpriced gametype pack, but don't buy that unless you really want the Waypoint gamescore from it.