Halo: Reach put to the test - The perfect introduction to the Master Chief Collection

Author: Sascha Penzhorn
Date: 2019-12-06 17:18:00
The first game in the Master Chief Collection runs smoothly on the PC, plays great and doesn't put too much pressure on the wallet.

Back to 2010

Halo: Reach was released for the Xbox 360 more than eight years ago. The game looks passable on the PC, but you shouldn't expect a complete remaster here .

The graphics settings are rather spartan: There are three settings for quality - performance, normal and enhanced. With normal settings, the game looks like you know it from the console. If you set the optics to Enhanced, there are minimal improvements in the display of the flora and some distant objects are a bit more detailed - differences that you hardly notice when playing.

On the Performance setting, a few distant objects look like 2D dummies, while a few models are replaced by variants with less detail. That's not particularly nice, but if you don't start Halo: Reach on a proverbial potato, you shouldn't have to rely on this setting anyway. The game runs smoothly even with modest hardware.

But you shouldn't expect a graphic miracle in enhanced mode and in 4K either . You can tell that the game is advanced in age - comparatively low-resolution textures and low-detail models do not magically get better if you turn up the screen resolution. There is a FOV slider that you can use to adjust your field of view. You can also remove the limit for the refresh rate - this menu item is currently managed as an experimental setting.

In our case, however, the removal of the frame cap led to some very strong image stuttering. Any new graphic effects and gimmicks such as dynamic lighting or advanced anti-aliasing options are missing. The look is coherent and by no means ugly, but has long since ceased to blow.

The acoustics are also not perfect. The gun sounds are discreetly restrained, the heavy creaking softly whisper to themselves and hardly compete with the loud voice output and the (excellent) background music. The developers want to improve this in upcoming updates. In addition, some of the speakers, especially with German-language audio, sound a bit listless, which damages the presentation of the story.

Suddenly aliens

In terms of plot, Halo: Reach is, so to speak, the prehistory of the Halo Games . Suddenly the nasty aliens of the Alliance appear on the eponymous world of Reach. As a player, you face the intruders. After all, you usually have surprisingly competent AI colleagues by your side. They not only flatten a lot of opponents at your side, but also take the wheel in the various vehicles in case you just want to mimic the passenger.

The story is presented nicely in many cutscenes, while you flick checkpoints, beat back waves of opponents and shoot you through a dozen missions. You are not offered a narrative masterpiece, but the game still has a good atmosphere in 2019. More importantly, the action is still a lot of fun in 2019 if you are into console shooters. The tatters fly properly and you fight the alliance with a large selection of weapons, vehicles and planes.

The Allianz weapons and vehicles in particular are extremely cool . All of the ratchets feel powerful. And all missions can be selected directly from the start. Those who are not familiar with the range may need some time to get used to the fact that some weapons do not have ADS. In other words: creaking like your standard assault rifle allows you to zoom in with the right mouse button, but shooting is always from the hip.

In addition to the adjustable level of difficulty, there are various modifiers, the so-called skulls, which you can use to make aspects of the game more difficult. Then, for example, opponents throw more grenades or, in the event of death, only leave weapons with little ammunition and so on. If you bite the grass in between, you can continue from the last checkpoint without frustration.

The harder you make it for yourself, the more points you can collect in the end if you value a high score in the online rankings. Depending on the selected degree of hardness, you will be through after eight hours at the latest, veterans pack it accordingly faster. On top of that there are plenty of multiplayer modes from story co-op via LAN or Internet (but without split screen), the PvE mode firefight, in which teams of players fight back waves of opponents, and various competitive PvP modes.

The forge (read: the level editor) and tons of maps created by the community, as well as the theater mode will be submitted later, but until then there is already plenty of content in the game . And because the community is not divided into Steam and Xbox Store, but can play together on the PC using both services, our test found players for all sessions. There were no connection problems, but some players are currently reporting latency problems or input delays in co-op.

Activations in multiplayer

As a little motivational injection, there are experience points for all activities in multiplayer, through which your rank increases. It is up to you whether you prefer to play cooperatively, in PvE or PvP - as long as you gamble in multiplayer mode, there is experience - and only there. With a higher rank, you unlock visual character adjustments for your avatar and gradually gain access to more helmets, shoulder pads and much more, up to the option of even appearing as an alien.

The daily and weekly challenges like those on the Xbox 360 are still missing, but will probably be submitted in the near future. By the time the Challenges, Forge and Theater are so far, there is already plenty of content for the money.