In case you didn’t know this, Halo Reach is not only my favorite Halo title, but one of my favorite shooters and favorite campaigns of all time.
The cinematic, emotional gravity of Halo Reach is at a level that few other shooters have ever accomplished, and regardless of the criticism its multiplayer components received, it stands still as a phenomenal single-player experience.
One of the best things about Reach was its customization system. Everything you did in Halo Reach awarded credits (you got more if you did better, of course), and you could spend those credits to equip your Spartan with unique gear to separate you from other players. These cosmetic changes also changed the way your character (Noble Six) appeared in Reach’s stellar campaign, marking the first real chance players had at “creating their own character” in a Halo game.
However, in Halo Reach for the Master Chief Collection, 343 has made the odd decision to shift the customization system in Reach from its “pick and purchase” perfection to a battle pass-esque approach. This change not only restricts player unlocks to a linear, pre-determined path – but completely removes the ability to unlock new items by playing Campaign and Firefight. This change can be described as, at best, misguided. At the worst? I’d call it tone deaf.
Not only has 343 made the odd executive decision to stop rewarding players for playing Firefight and Campaign (the two strongest pillars of Halo Reach), but they’ve also made it less exciting to actually unlock new items. Halo Reach had the gold standard for cosmetic customization in a multiplayer first-person shooter, and I’m just baffled as to why they’d make this change. Why fix something that ain’t broke?
Don’t get me wrong, I still love Halo and Reach, and I’m still grinding away to get my rank up in multiplayer to unlock the items I want… But this just feels like an arbitrary change that discourages players from experiencing the undisputed best parts of Reach.
You can level your Season Pass up by playing every Halo multiplayer mode (not just Reach), but the unlocks are only for Reach, which makes this just all the more confusing and odd. 343, if you’re listening… Change it back, please. I love you, and I’m not mad – I’m just disappointed.