Halo Reach

So Halo Reach arrived on Tuesday, I preordered it from Amazon. I played about 6 hours on Tuesday and then about 10 hours yesterday and completed it on Heroic at around 1am this morning. It’s pretty cool but I liked ODST more. One thing that annoyed me in Reach was that I kept getting lost. In ODST you could load up the map and place your own markers as well as see pre-defined ones. These would also show up on your HUD so you could easily navigate around the city. Not so in Reach, you do get the main mission objective marker on your HUD but only when you’re in it’s vicinity. That’s just one wee niggle, all in all the game was rather good. I did make a few observations that I thought would be useful to anyone who gets stuck, so here they are. Don’t worry though, I’ve been careful not to put any story spoilers in here.

Replaying Missions
When you’ve finished the game and go back into the Campaign menu you can see a list of all the levels you’ve completed. You can see that list earlier on but personally I played it in a linear order and only wanted to go back once I’d completed it. So on that screen, when you scroll up to select the level to replay you get a warning at the bottom stating “You will lose your saved progress from your current mission”. I was quite worried about this since I wanted to replay an early mission but didn’t want to lose access to the later ones so I could replay those as well. I bought the bullet in the end and went for it. I still have access to all the missions. I think it just means you will lose your current save point in the last level you were playing, as well as any customisations you had i.e. number of grenades, type of power-up and weapon load out. In short, it was nothing to worry about. Be warned though, I’m only talking from experience of doing this AFTER I’ve completed the game. I don’t know if there are any other repurcusions of doing this whilst in the middle of the game.

The Armoury
From what I’ve read changing your armour is purely aestetic. You don’t get any extra benefits from having a customised armour set whilst playing the campaign.

Halo Waypoint
You have to manually load Halo Waypoint for it to update your recorded stats. By achieving certain Waypoint tasks you can unlock armour in Reach but to do so you have to actually load Waypoint and then go back into Reach. The order being more like, play the game and tackle some of the objectives defined in Waypoint. Quit the game and load Waypoint. Let it calculate your stats. It will tell you if you unlocked any new armour pieces. Now when you load up Reach again you will be able to access the new goodies in the armoury.

Additionally, Waypoint seems to of been updated since when I first installed it whilst playing ODST. You have to download it again and replace the old copy to use it with Reach.

If They Came to Hear Me Beg Achievement
OMG, how many hours of my life will I not get back? Well about 3-4 in my case. This achievement sucks ass. The idea is that you have to jump from a great height that would normally kill your avatar but in this case you want to land on an Elite trooper and perform a melee attack at the same time. After a bit of messing around on my own and not finding anywhere suitable I searched and found this YouTube video. They outline the location they got it at and indicate that it will take a while to get. They were not joking!

Even after watching that I still spent 3 and a bit hours dicking around until I got the achievement. I actually killed the Elite several times but ended up dead in the process or I’d kill him with just a normal melee. Towards the end I did get the assasination where I landed on him, pulled out my knife and stabbed him but I didn’t get the achievement. After I stopped swearing and punching my sofa I tried again and got it about 30 minutes later. This time it was just a boring land on him and break his neck thing. I didn’t really pay attention as I was transfixed on the Achievement popup¬†Tongue Out

I learnt a few things that I thought I’d share. The first mistake I kept making over and over again was not jumping far enough. You have to sprint to get the distance but the trick is to not release sprint until the apex of the jump. The best description I read was that it’s like a looney tunes cartoon jump. You run off the ledge, jump and keep going horizontally for a bit, then just as you start to fall cancel the sprint (LB on the 360). Then look down towards the Elite and just as you are about to hit him hold down the melee button (RB on 360), doing it too soon means you melee thin air. Sounds easy but it’s not. Getting that jump right was just the first step, prior to that I just kept splattering on the ground a couple of feet behind him. Cancelling the sprint power-up at the jump apex is important since I read a lot of people saying the game will not register the jump as lethal to your avatar if it’s still enabled when you land.

So now I was getting the distance but kept missing him by a few feet to the left or right. The key to this is to go up to the ledge with your squad mate and watch the Elite. He tends to start off in the middle clearing, a bit to the right. As your squaddie utters the line [you probably hate by now] “Race you to her!” the Elite will start to walk to one of three locations. Bottom left, bottom middle or bottom right behind the overturned van. The trick here is to observe where he stands for each position. For example, when he goes to the bottom right behind the truck he stands on top of three dark stones. So rewind a few seconds, you hear “Race you to her!” and the Elite starts to move. You can tell where he will go by the direction he sets off in. As soon as you see him start to move you should line up your crosshair with the position marker you’ve chosen, so the three dark stones if he’s heading towards the van. Now move back about 5-10 feet making sure not to move the cross hairs left or right. Now charge forward, sprint and jump.

It still takes good timing and luck but getting the distance and aim sorted definitely helped me in the end. It took me about 30 minutes to do after I sussed those to things out and I did get to see the two different assasination animations.

Post Game Credits
When I finished the campaign this morning (1AM) I was ready to turn off my console and go to bed but I got delayed due to a text message. Turns out that was lucky for me since after the credits the game continues. It’s only a brief bit more but you will kick yourself if you do miss it. I won’t spoil it but be sure not to exit the game until it has returned you to the main menu on it’s own.

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I have a bad feeling about this.

— Obi-Wan Kenobi, Episode 1