Let me get this started by saying that I personally have had little love for the Halo Series in my time playing games. Other then the occasional LAN party with Halo: CE for Xbox and a brief attempt at playing the trilogies campaigns I haven't found much reason to care about the universe or its characters. That being said with Reach being a prequel and my most recent playthrough of the ODST add on for Halo 3 Impressing me I decided to go at Reach with an open mind.
Halo Reach takes place on the USNC colony planet of Reach. Players assume the role of an unnamed spartan who has just been assigned to a position with Noble Team. You start the game with the mission of discovering why a relay station has gone offline and soon you find that you and your team gets involved in a fight against an invasion by the Covenant. I found the story to be quite enjoyable compared to what I was used to in the series. The characters of the noble team may seem generic but they are all likeable enough to the point that I was finding myself becoming interested in their survival. Overall the team dynamic was a nice change of pace for me and although the campaign is somewhat short I still enjoyed it thoroughly.
From a gameplay perspective the game plays very much like Halo. Dual wielding weapons has been removed but I never found that to be much of an issue. The shooting is solid and the vehicles are easy to control. One thing I personally enjoyed is having AI team mates drive the vehicles for me and actually driving me in the right direction. This is a vast improvement of what happened in previous Halo games where the AI would just drive around aimlessly and sometimes in circles. The addition of the loadouts adds some flavour to the usual walk and shoot mechanics of previous Halos but for the most part I just stuck with the sprint.
For those of you who are more into the whole multiplayer experience. Halo Reach seems very inclined to deliver one of the most expansive online components I have ever played in an online shooter. Firefight mode is back from ODST and now has online matchmaking so you can find a game to play in when your friends list is barren and the inclusion of the loadouts seems like a perfect fit for already customizable competitive multiplayer modes. The best addition is probably the psych test option that so far for me has worked wonders in keeping me out of games with loud 13 year olds spurring verbal diarrhoea.
Final Verdict: Halo Reach is a great game, the campaign is short but has the most interesting story of all the Halo games I have played, The multiplayer modes are expansive and highly customizable and if your a fan of the series I'm sure you will love it. I would even urge fans of first person shooters who were turned off by the single player of Halo 2 and 3. You may be pleasantly surprised like I was.