Halo: Reach doesn’t hide its intentions. The first shot- a broken SPARTAN helmet- foreshadows a bleak ending.
Halo initially seems an odd choice for a melancholy game. It’s the quintessential fratboy franchise, a series that prides itself on its multiplayer and reliant on a standard-issue “super-soldier saves humanity” storyline. Its central protagonist rarely speaks, its marines are gung-ho types cracking wise in the midst of combat, while the alien antagonists are often comedic both in appearance and attitudes.
Halo and Halo 2 certainly had their tragic moments, given life by the sometimes elegiac soundtrack created by the very talented Martin O’Donnel. Thanks in part to O’Donnel, war-weariness emerged as a major theme during Halo 3‘s bittersweet conclusion, strengthened in Halo: ODST by its lonely portrayal of a battlefield’s aftermath. Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that in Reach, it’s inescapable. Read On