Cert: 16+
Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: Third Person Shooter

Franchises never die, they just start over. Despite gamers supposedly finishing the fight in Halo 3 in 2007, Reach is the third Halo game released since that title. What makes it special is that even though there's more Halo games to come this is the last one series creators Bungie are releasing. The game follows the faceless super-soldier Noble 6 and his team as they battle Covenant forces for the planet Reach while depicting the events that lead up to the first Halo game.

Fans of the series needn't worry, Bungie haven't gone all Phantom menace and despite some liberties they've taken with series canon this is the definitive Halo game. There's a bombastic soundtrack, loads of challenging outdoor set pieces, new weapons, and even ostriches.

Multiplayer is where Halo lives and if it was 'combat evolved' before now it's combat refined. The biggest change is the addition of armour abilities such as the much publicised jet-packs and it's hard to play an old Halo multiplayer game after using them. The co-op campaign and firefight mode are both finally available through matchmaking and there's lots of unlockable content. That's only touching on the wealth of new or improved features which should entire gamer for months or at least until Bungie unveil the successor to this series.

It's not all perfect though. The noticeable improvement in graphics results in some slow down occasionally and there are only eight multiplayer maps (no doubt something Bungie intends to resolved with paid for downloadable content). And gamers who hated the previous Halo titles probably won't warm to Reach, but then they're missing out. Did I mention there's ostriches?

Oh and watch out for the Master Chief's brief cameo near the end.

Rent or Buy: Buy
Graphics: 4/5
Game Play: 5/5
Replay Value: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Reviewed By: Bryan Collins