Halo: Reach finally released

Halo ReachStores across the world opened at midnight last night to celebrate the launch of the much anticipated Halo: Reach. Here in the UK, hundreds of people queued up in the early hours to be some of the first to get there hands on Halo: Reach, the latest game in Bungie’s highly successful series.

Halo: Reach is the fourth instalment of the Xbox exclusive shooter, and comes three years after the release of Halo 3. However, Halo: Reach is not a sequel but rather prequel to the previous instalments of the Halo franchise.

Halo 3 was the biggest selling video game of all-time, a record now held by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Microsoft will be hoping that Halo: Reach can repeat the success of Halo 3, having invested an extra 60% in marketing spending according to Xbox 360 Director Stephen McGill. The entertainment and devices director told MCV:

“Halo: Reach is extremely important for us. Not just from a revenue and business perspective, but Halo is such an iconic franchise and one that has delivered huge innovation with every release.”

Meanwhile, Editor of GameSpot UK Guy Cocker told the BBC that Halo: Reach is “quite a big deal” and is by far the game that Xbox 360 owners are most excited about right now.

“We’re able to track activity and Halo: Reach is the most popular game on the site right now,”

“In comparison to Halo 3 though, I’m not sure how well it will go down.

“It’s had a good critical reception, but Microsoft are certainly spending a lot of money promoting the game.”

Halo: Reach certainly has had a great critical reception with its current score of 92% on Metacritic.

The Halo series games have sold over 34 million copies since the original was released on the Xbox, and analysts suggest that a Halo game could once again encourage people to invest in one of Microsofts consoles. Anita Frazier, an anal list at research firm NPD said:

“If hardware sales react in a similar fashion to what was experienced when Halo 3 was launched in September 2007, September could be a huge sales month for Xbox 360 hardware. We can expect big numbers to be reported with September results.”

Halo fans may have only been playing Halo: Reach for a matter of hours, but already Bungie have had reports of cheaters.  The developers say that they’re ready to ban any Halo: Reach players caught cheating.

“Our team is standing at the ready behind the sights of our fully operational Banhammer Battlestation. We take the Reach online experience VERY seriously.”

The Halo: Reach midnight launches echo similar events for the release of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty earlier this year.

So have any Train2Game students got your hands on a copy of Halo: Reach yet? Perhaps you attended a Halo: Reach midnight launch event? If you don’t own an Xbox 360, do you think the release of Halo: Reach could encourage you to do so?

And have you spotted any cheaters yet?

You can leave your thoughts on Halo: Reach here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

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