Hands-on with Halo: Reach- Multiplayer

For some, few things elicit more excitement and sweet remembrance than the sizzle of a crackling blue plasma grenade or the distinctive, smoky trail of a sniper round betraying the location of a distant fellow player. Plenty of gamers made the jump to the Xbox generation of consoles without many expectations, having only recently begun to grow tired of shooting the crap out of one another in Goldeneye 007 and Perfect Dark on the N64.

Hands-on with Halo: Reach- Firefight

Three comrades and I are holed up at the top of a heavily fortified slope, brows dripping sweat and hands white ­knuckled, clutching our weapons (controllers) as if they were our frantically beating hearts themselves. I hear the beat of Covenant war drums in the distance, and several Phantom drop ships enter my field of vision. They spread out in front of me, coming to a hovering stop high off the ground at strategic points throughout the battlefield. From the insectile hulls pour dozens of majestically bestial Elite, their mandibles snapping wildly in anticipation.