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Halo: Reach


Kryptonian
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Sure, but ideally the top-level functions in all but the most complex apps should be obvious without resort to a manual (I'd be the first to say this, and I write manuals for a living).

In my view, Reach is far from complex as software goes (I don't mean in terms of clever AI/graphics, just in the level of complexity/number of the features it presents), yet its interface isn't very clear - full of jargony terms for things that aren't explained - e.g. it assumes you already know what "Firefight", "Forge" etc. are. It's not that bad, but it's not that good either.

Absolutely agreed. It is great for people who were familiar, maybe intimate even with the Halo 3 and ODST menu systems, as it expands upon that. But from a UI point of view from a new user it's daunting and cluttered and a bit of a mess. That's not to say they've done it wrong exactly, as the vast majority of players will have some degree of experience with the former and it's not that much of a challenge for the newest person to pick it up, but rather it jars with the clean and obvious UIs we've become used to in other things.

Not really a spoiler but just in case:

I was surprised at how much this is Halo with Modern Warfare seasoning. They must have really paid some attention to it. I wonder if SWAT dominating the playlists at first wasn't even a mistake at all, and how many former CoD only players they've managed to get to play this. Everything from the Spartans removing their helmets, to the more military look, the squad, the commands - they way you are spoken to (Noble 6, take them from the side), the look of the 'challenges', to the helicopter shooting level, and even in a way the spaceship level, oh and the English accent of Jorge (also surprised it wasn't spelled George) - they all seem designed to entice and ape MW, you know?

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I agree with the comments that the UI is confusing for beginners. It took me a while to grasp it, and I'm used to the concepts from 3 and ODST. The basic idea of splitting everything into four 'lobbies', with consistent options is a good one, though.

I think they must have made the decision to optimise the UI for experienced users, assuming people will quickly become experienced after a bit of a struggle. It's quick and responsive when you know what you're doing, but there is definitely a learning curve.

The main UI fail is that 'Start' doesn't start anything - it takes you to an options screen!

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Bungie have never been very good at UI design, the multiplayer menus in pretty much every Halo were mad confusing, especially given how many options there are to play with. The single player menus are simple, but it's pretty hard to fuck that up.

Random Qs: do you get more XP for playing the single player mode with scoring turned on?

Can you change the firefight settings to alter the gravity and the damage dealt and stuff? You can do it in custom deathmatch games, but I can't see how it's done in firefight.

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Can you change the firefight settings to alter the gravity and the damage dealt and stuff? You can do it in custom deathmatch games, but I can't see how it's done in firefight.

You can yes, I can't remember exactly how though.

EDIT: Try - Spartan settings > Base traits

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Can you change the firefight settings to alter the gravity and the damage dealt and stuff? You can do it in custom deathmatch games, but I can't see how it's done in firefight.

Yes, it's in Base Traits, which is buried somewhere (Firefight Settings->Spartan Traits?).

Edit: Beaten to it!

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Bungie could have added Battlefield-style explanatory screens to the menus that detail terminology or playlists in greater depth, but provide an option to hide them. There's more than enough space given the sliding nature of the menus for them to add that kind of stuff.

What's particularly odd is the way the integrated friends list will report something like "Matchmaking - in a game", rather than saying "Matchmaking in Firefight - in a game". It would have been easy to fit in the additional information, and the standard pop-up Friends list actually tells you that additional information against your friends' status.

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In custom games, is there an option, like there was in Halo, to kill in order? We used to have a variant we made in Blood Gulch, with rockets only (made it easier for the ladies to get a kill), all vehicles on, where you only got a point for killing a certain target. I can't find the option anywhere in custom games to set it up like this.

Does anyone know the answer to this?

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I had an amazing couple of games on Invasion yesterday, one Invasion Slayer on Boneyard ended with me on 26 and 10 and we managed to draw a standard game on Spire despite being down to only three men due to rampant bcassing. Feeling a flush of multiplayer eudaimonia, I fired up Team Arena to see if my newfound Reach confidence could spread into other playlists, only to get utterly raped over and over again. I think yesterday's top score was 1296.

:facepalm:

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I too would like to know about this too, I don't seem to get any points for playing campaign at all (the most I got was 50 after playing for well over 2 hours) - but if I spend two minutes in forge, I get 10 points?

I thought it was because I am currently "offline" without the internet - and it tries to stop the hackers by vastly reducing earnings whilst offline... (but that's just my theory)

Commendations. Commendations. Commendations.

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It's not inconsistent. It all depends on what you achieve on that play through.

"Inconsistent" was the wrong word. "Opaque", I'd say is better. You do stuff, and sometimes you get loads of points, sometimes hardly any, but you don't seem to be playing differently each time. There's clearly a reason for it, but it's far from clear.

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"Inconsistent" was the wrong word. "Opaque", I'd say is better. You do stuff, and sometimes you get loads of points, sometimes hardly any, but you don't seem to be playing differently each time. There's clearly a reason for it, but it's far from clear.

As I said before - Commendations.

You can see which Commendations you are about to earn/promote (to silver, gold etc) on your Service Record. They're the biggest source of points. And at any point, you can have a look and see which ones are coming up to getting promoted/earned/whatever. They even pop up on screen while you play.

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there's a little booklet that comes in the box with eveRy game, including This one, Full of instructions detailing what the various Menu functions do.

This is not an answer.

In most user-interface/user-experience schools of thought if you have to send someone to a manual it's generally considered a design fail. It indicates that the software is not doing a good job of matching up to user's expectations of how they think it should behave, which causes confusion, and is a negative experience overall.

I'm sure for tools like learning Photoshop that's forgiveable, but not so much for things that are intended for everyday use or entertainment. You are basically making your users work to obtain even a basic understanding your product, which means at least a portion of them will not understand it.

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Absolutely agreed. It is great for people who were familiar, maybe intimate even with the Halo 3 and ODST menu systems, as it expands upon that. But from a UI point of view from a new user it's daunting and cluttered and a bit of a mess. That's not to say they've done it wrong exactly, as the vast majority of players will have some degree of experience with the former and it's not that much of a challenge for the newest person to pick it up, but rather it jars with the clean and obvious UIs we've become used to in other things.

Not really a spoiler but just in case:

I was surprised at how much this is Halo with Modern Warfare seasoning. They must have really paid some attention to it. I wonder if SWAT dominating the playlists at first wasn't even a mistake at all, and how many former CoD only players they've managed to get to play this. Everything from the Spartans removing their helmets, to the more military look, the squad, the commands - they way you are spoken to (Noble 6, take them from the side), the look of the 'challenges', to the helicopter shooting level, and even in a way the spaceship level, oh and the English accent of Jorge (also surprised it wasn't spelled George) - they all seem designed to entice and ape MW, you know?

Definitely.

It certainly worked for me though - I never saw the appeal of the older games brightly coloured neon combat, or the slightly cheesy storytelling, although I always understood the appeal of the combat mechanics even if I didn't think they'd be to my taste.

This was even more apparent when their ad campaigns got slowly grittier - I'd see the live action stuff for halo 3 and think 'why aren't the games like that?', but the games do seem to have been slowly creeping in that direction.

I get the rest of your references btw, but not the helicoptor one. The closest I can think of in MW is the AC130 - now something like that would be awesome.

I can think of no way how they could reasonably work this into the narrative, but how awesome would it be if you briefly gained control of an orbital MAC station, and had to assist a distant fleet action through some wobbly, washed out optics?

Fleshed out a little, I reckon the space combat from the Halo universe could be really interesting, maybe even a game in itself. Granted, it'd be a bit one sided.....

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You'll get loads of points from playing the Campaign. It's an unfortunate non-bug bug that tells you you don't.

Say you complete Winter Contingency. You'll save and quit at the start of ONI Sword Base, right? You won't save and quit before that because then Winter Contingency won't be complete. You'll come out and it'll show you the level summary for ONI Sword Base, because that's the one you were just on. You will have still gotten plenty of credits for Winter Contingency.

To make sure, make a note of your credit count before going into a level and then look at it when coming out of the game. I think I got about 1,500cR for doing Nightfall on Legendary this morning.

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Getting my ass kicked on the last part of Nighfall

Defend the tower thingy from the Hunters and invisible Elites

on Heroic. Really don't want to drop it down in difficulty so has anyone got any kind of basic strategy ? I've been trying to do it with camo and a shotgun and can take out either 1 H or all the Elites but keep getting a little lost in all the chaos and getting killed with little warning.

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Shotty seems ok against stealth elites; they're kinda weak and prefer to get in fairly close. Might want something ranged to balance it out. I only ever saw two of the stealths; I'd taken cover in a shower cubicle so they were pretty much forced to round the corner at point blank to get at me. Easy pickings. iirc there were a few standard foot patrols milling around but it's really just them and the hunters. Just need good cover, really - the rooftops did the job for me.

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You'll get loads of points from playing the Campaign. It's an unfortunate non-bug bug that tells you you don't.

Say you complete Winter Contingency. You'll save and quit at the start of ONI Sword Base, right? You won't save and quit before that because then Winter Contingency won't be complete. You'll come out and it'll show you the level summary for ONI Sword Base, because that's the one you were just on. You will have still gotten plenty of credits for Winter Contingency.

To make sure, make a note of your credit count before going into a level and then look at it when coming out of the game. I think I got about 1,500cR for doing Nightfall on Legendary this morning.

Aha! If that's happening, I think that explains my confusion.

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Getting my ass kicked on the last part of Nighfall

Defend the tower thingy from the Hunters and invisible Elites

on Heroic. Really don't want to drop it down in difficulty so has anyone got any kind of basic strategy ? I've been trying to do it with camo and a shotgun and can take out either 1 H or all the Elites but keep getting a little lost in all the chaos and getting killed with little warning.

I find the shotgun next to useless on Heroic and Legendary due to how quickly you can get taken down.

90% of the time I'd have a pistol/DMR along with a plasma pistol (for the overcharged shot). They're everywhere, most common gun in the game. Use the overcharged plasma pistol followed by a headshot weapon to kill all the elites then with everything else dead pepper the hunters from mid-range with laser fire from the multitude of weapons lying around. It'll take a while but it's the safest way, you can dodge their shots easily.

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Also if your at the part i think you are at there is a hologram in the base, grab it and send it out so the cloaked elites go for it. Few seconds later slam a rocket into them (there is a rocket launcher on the base as well). Was the only way I got through it on legendary.

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