Top 10 reasons we’re playing Halo Reach in 2019

By Samuel Riedeman

Experience Halo: Reach like never before. With new features, optimizations, and customizations built for PC, The Halo: The Master Chief Collection is finally here. Bringing Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 3, and Halo 4 to PC, The Master Chief Collection (MCC) is the definitive Halo gaming experience. Each game will be released over time, but the first classic title to drop was Reach, on December 3rd  for PC. Here are the top 10 reasons we’re playing Halo: Reach in 2019.

10. Campaign

Top 10 reasons we’re playing Halo Reach in 2019 - Campaign
Halo: Reach – Credit: 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios

Iconic in the Halo franchise, Halo: Reach is one of the most popular campaigns as it is a prequel to the original 2003 Halo game. Named after the UNSC fortress world, Halo: Reach directly leads to the events of Halo: Combat Evolved, as the prequel explored a unit dubbed “Noble Team” withstanding the Covenant invasion on the planet Reach. Play as a super soldier Spartan as you and your squad attempt to fight a heroic yet hopeless battle to halt the brutal alien invaders. To really emphasize the fact that Halo:Reach is a direct prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved, the final scene of Halo: Reach fades into the opening scene of Halo: Combat Evolved perfectly. 

9. Classic Halo

Top 10 reasons we’re playing Halo Reach in 2019 - Classic Halo
Halo: Reach – Credit: 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios

While it may be up to debate among fans, Halo: Reach is most often considered a Classic Halo game. The term “Classic Halo” usually refers to the original trilogy, or more specifically, the original gameplay without the extra Spartan abilities introduced in later games. Many players still enjoy the original Halo trilogy, and thanks to 343 Industries and the Master Chief Collection, players will be able to experience Classic Halo once again. Halo: Reach retains most gameplay features from the original Halo trilogy while changing little, causing Halo: Reach to feel more like “Classic Halo” than Halo’s newer, more complicated iterations.

8. Invasion

Top 10 reasons we’re playing Halo Reach in 2019 - Invasion
Halo: Reach – Credit: 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios

The original Halo: Reach introduced a new multiplayer mode called “Invasion,” and luckily for Halo fans, Invasion has returned in the Master Chief Collection with Halo: Reach. Invasion is a 6v6 game-mode described as a large vehicular-based firefight spanning 3 phases. Teams are comprised of Spartans vs. Elite as one team invades the point and the other defends a UNSC or Covenant Data Core. As the match progresses, more load-outs, weapons, and vehicles are unlocked. Remastered Halo: Reach Invasion maps include Boneyard, Breakpoint, and Spires, featuring points of defense or assault depending on your team. 

Players can challenge themselves in “Invasion Slayer”, a more competitive version of the game mode. There is no “power core” in Invasion Slayer; instead players fight over “territories” in the middle of the map to gain control over powerful weapons and vehicles, encouraging a more aggressive game.

7. Custom Games

Top 10 reasons we’re playing Halo Reach in 2019 - Custom Games
Halo: Reach – Credit: 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios

One of the most popular features of classic Halo games was the endless possibilities of Custom Games. Introduced in Halo 3, custom games allow players to make their own rules among ten different game modes. These include Slayer, King of the Hill, Oddball, Juggernaut, Capture the Flag, Assault, Territories, VIP, Infection, and Race. Custom games rose in popularity as players shared their creations with others through local play, Cooperative Play, or on Xbox Live. Earlier this year, 343 Industries successfully transferred 6 million player-created game types from Halo 3, Halo 4, and Halo: Reach for future access in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. 

6. Social and Competitive Matchmaking Modes

Top 10 reasons we’re playing Halo Reach in 2019 - Social and Competitive Matchmaking Modes
Halo: Reach – Credit: 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios

A large part of the Halo franchise’s success is rooted in its multiplayer matchmaking. Competitive play in Reach features the game modes Team Hardcore and Invasion. In these playlist there is a TrueSkill ranking system that goes from 1 to 50. These ranks allow players to be paired with others of a similar skill level, allowing fair games in the competitive playlist. Ranking up requires one thing, wins. Win enough games and you’ll be promoted to the next level, Lose a few games and you’ll be demoted. On top of the skill-based ranking system, there is a “Global Ranking System”, which allows players to earn XP during multiplayer games to contribute to level-based progression. Players can level up through 30 ranks as well as 11 tiers. Climb from Rookie to General once, and players will progress to tier 10, and so on, each new tier offering a new decorative emblem for your player icon. These ranks can be gained by just playing the game.

To accommodate the broad diversity of game types available, the Master Chief Collection also introduces the Match Composer. This new social matchmaking option allows players to create their own playlist by picking the games and modes players enjoy the most. The new Match Composer then matches you into social games with other players who’ve chosen the same selections. The more options you select, the more possible games and gametypes you can match into.

5. Armor customization

Top 10 reasons we’re playing Halo Reach in 2019 - Armor Customization
Halo: Reach – Credit: 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios

Halo: Reach armor customization is widely considered to be the best in the franchise. Back by popular demand, players are able to mix and match pieces of armor to customize their character in the Master Chief Collection version of Halo: Reach just like they could in the original. The original Halo: Reach introduced new armor customization and fans are excited to visit The Armory once again. Customizable options new to Reach include Wrist, Utility, Visor Color, Knee Guards, Armor Effect, and Firefight Voice. Additionally, the player’s helmet can be “upgraded” with various gadgets, known as Helmet Variants. Players are also able to choose their character’s gender, but unlike Halo 3, the Spartan’s gender will also be reflected in their body type, instead of just their voice. 

4. Seasons

Top 10 reasons we’re playing Halo Reach in 2019 - Battle Pass System
Halo: Reach – Credit: 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios

New to the Master Chief Collection version, the 2019 Halo: Reach has introduced “Seasons.” This new progression system allows players to collect many new in-game items and unlock rewards as they level up their pass. This new feature is organized in a season system and players gain experience through the PVE Firefight mode, rewarding players with armor cosmetics. Games usually use “seasons” to release content and cosmetics for a limited time, allowing players to earn items when they level up with experience. Halo: Reach players will have to grind through 100 levels to receive all pieces of Season 1 armor. So far, there is no known Season 1 end date or knowledge of additional seasons to come, so players will have to wait to see what 343 Industries brings to Halo: Reach in the Master Chief Collection. 

3. Forge

Halo: Reach – Credit: 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios

Introduced originally in Halo 3, Forge was a highly anticipated return to Halo: Reach and deemed Forge 2.0 by fans. Allowing players to customize, share, and save multiplayer maps gave fans greater control over their gaming experience. In Forge, players can add items that aren’t available in unmodified maps to create a truly unique experience. More than just cosmetic changes, players are able to manipulate game types, objective points, weapons spawns, and the addition of scenery items such as crates, Fusion coils, gravity lifts, teleporters, and many other items.

Forge is available for Xbox One at launch, however, PC players will have to wait. Michael Fahrny, lead producer on Master Chief Collection PC, confirmed that 343 Industries is still working on tweaking and fine-tuning Forge and Theater before bringing it to PC.

2. PC

Halo: Reach – Credit: 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios

343 Industries and Microsoft have finally answered fan’s pleads to bring the Halo franchise to PC for the first time in 15 years. Halo: The Master Chief Collection will bring six classic Halo games to a brand new platform. Halo: Reach is the first taste players will get of the Master Chief Collection and has proved to impress and broke several records on launch day. The former Xbox-exclusive Halo games have become more accessible than ever as the Master Chief Collection launches on Steam in addition to the Microsoft store. Bringing these iconic games to a more powerful platform opens a whole new world of opportunities as 343 Industries improves the game engine. 

1. 4K 60FPS

Halo: Reach – Credit: 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios

The most impressive feature introduced by Halo: Reach in the Master Chief Collection is the improved graphics. With a modest PC, players are able to experience Reach in 4K at 60 FPS, a great deal better than the original 720p 30 FPS. PC players will experience Reach like never before with 4K UHD support, and a multitude of settings to custom-tailor their experience to hardware and personal preferences. PC players can also customize settings for ultrawide support, uncapped frame rate, adaptive sync support, FOV customization and more. Even Xbox players can experience 4K HDR on Xbox One X. 

Conclusion

Xbox General Manager Aaron Greenberg announced on Xbox Wire “The release of Halo: Reach in MCC on both PC and Xbox One on December 3 led to a monumental launch for the Halo franchise,“ and broke several records. This includes nearly 3 million players of MCC on PC and Xbox One during launch week, #1 top-selling game on Steam during launch week and the highest-ranking debut for an Xbox Game Studios title on Steam, as well as being the #1 most-watched game on Twitch during launch day. 

Whether you’re a long-time fan of the franchise or entering the Halo world for the first time, the Halo: The Master Chief Collection proves that this is the perfect time to be playing Halo. With a low cost-of-entry, players can purchase all seven games for $39.99 or just Halo: Reach for $9.99. While you can buy the full collection on Xbox, PC players will have to wait for each game to release chronologically throughout 2020.