Joshi Hot Take: Why Halo Reach Was a 10/10 Prequel

Today “Joshi Hot Takes” will take on a topic that he has spent a lot of time on. I’ve played Halo since I was 4 years old. I’ve beaten every FPS Halo Campaign. For the most part the stories are
very clean and brilliantly executed. However one story stands above the rest. While Reach isn’t my number one campaign, behind only Halo 3’s campaign, Halo reach offers a different story
type for a spartan. Let’s take a dive into the story of the Halo Reach Campaign.

The campaign takes place in the Year 2552 on the planet Reach, shortly before the events of Halo CE. You control Noble Six, a Spartan III with a background in lone wolf assassination. One of only two Spartans to ever achieve the Hyper Lethal vector. This vector is given to signify the spartan who always succeeds no matter the odds, difficulty, or cost. Six joins Nobel Team and elite group of Spartans, on the planet with a starting mission to investigate down power relays. After discovering it was the Covenant, a religious group of aliens, The UNSC begins the defense of the planet. After several successful missions, The Covenant Fleet of Particular Justice arrives and begins destruction of the planet. After helping with evacuations of Reach Noble is tasked with one final mission to deliver the AI Cortana to the Pillar of Autumn. All of Noble dies except Noble 3 whose escape remains classified by ONI.

Now let’s look at what this campaign does for the story. In all other Halo games you play as the other Hyper Lethal spartan, Spartan 117 the Master Chief. Through his stories you always succeed. Halo players never truly feel like the mission is almost hopeless and never experience failure. Reach does a really good job of introducing it as well. For the first half of the game the player is succeeding. The last successful mission came after Noble 5 sacrificed himself to blow up a capital ship. The success is short lived however as a fleet of 19 ships, with multiple capital ships exited slipspace. Outnumbered, the player begins to see the actual severity of the situation. Once on the planet the scenery is mostly fire and destroyed buildings in a city that was described as “The Crown Jewel.” As the Story progresses you also experience something unimaginable, the deaths of Spartans. With the exception of one death all of the deaths were sacrifices to succeed. I think the best part of the game is when it comes full circle. In the first cutscene of the Game Noble One tells Six “That Lone Wolf stuff stays behind.” In one of the final times Six speaks he realizes the only way to win the war is for him to stay on the planet by himself. In a smart call back to the first cutscene the final checkpoint is called “Lone Wolf” where Six bought time for the Pillar of Autumn to escape and begins his last stand defending himself and eventually dying to endless waves of Covenant forces. A brilliant nail in the coffin. A Hyper Lethal Spartan sacrificing himself to complete the mission. A brilliant story that steps away from the norm of Halo to showcase the true nature of the Human-Covenant war in the Halo universe