By: Mark Burnham

I was sick of Halo. Don’t get me wrong. I loved it, ever since the beginning. But in the gaming world, everywhere you go, there’s Halo. Halo 3 is still the #1 most played game on Xbox Live, and it’s been three years since release. “The Fall of Reach,” a novel inspired by the Halo universe, is a New York Times Bestseller. There are six novels. There’s a “Halo Legends” anime. There are action figures galore. The internet is flooded with Halo machinima.

It’s not just that Halo has permeated pop culture. It’s knocked big holes in it. I’d followed and loved the series, but I was overloaded.

That is, until I played Halo: Reach. It did what I cynically doubted it could do: it brought me back like a prodigal son, and gave me exactly what I was looking for. Halo: Reach is the best Halo game by far, a giant, feature-rich Halo party celebrating the series in all its glory.

I am seriously at a loss for where to start with this review. There’s a lot going on in Halo: Reach. I’ll attempt a summary.

Sweeping summary attempt:
Halo: Reach includes: a solid single-player campaign with a new story, 9 new weapons, new vehicles, new combat abilities and a full cast of characters; there’s Firefight 2.0, with all-new game types and a huge array of customization options; there’s a revamped matchmaking system, allowing you to quickly hop into matches with friends or strangers alike, as well as filter out the types of folks you’d like to play with; there’s a bunch of new multiplayer game types; there’s an “Armory,” where you’ll spend credits you earn on sweet armor, and there’s Forge 2.0, the revamped level editing system allowing way more control over objects.