- “From the beginning, you know the end.”— Game tagline
Halo: Reach is a first-person shooter video game set in the Halo universe and direct prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved, depicting the Fall of Reach. It was developed by Bungie, LLC. and published by Microsoft Game Studios solely for the Xbox 360. It was announced by Joseph Staten during Microsoft's Media Briefing at E3 2009; Reach was released on September 14, 2010 in North America, Europe, Australia, Brazil and Asia with the exclusion of Japan whose release was a day later.
Halo: Reach takes place on the UNSC fortress world of Reach during the weeks prior to Halo: Combat Evolved. Noble Team, a squad of Spartan supersoldiers, is ordered by Colonel Urban Holland to investigate the sudden loss of transmission from the Visegrád Relay Communications Outpost. Expecting Insurrectionists, the team is baffled to discover that it is the work of the Covenant, and an invasion becomes apparent. As the Covenant begin their assault on the planet, the UNSC begin their heroic yet hopeless attempt to halt the brutal alien invaders. Soon after, Noble Team is deployed to "Sword Base," an installation belonging to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), for defensive purposes. Dr. Catherine Halsey, mastermind of the SPARTAN-II Program and the Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor worn by all SPARTAN characters, informs Noble Team that the Covenant at the relay, including a Field Marshal, were searching for important information pertaining to the Covenant religion.
As the Covenant arrive on the planet in force, Noble Team is dispatched on various defensive missions such as assaulting a Covenant ground base and removing fortified Covenant defenses. One of these defenses was a Spire transporting Covenant forces onto Reach. Noble Five's (Jorge) and Noble Six's mission was to take down the shields protecting the Spire. After Noble Six brought down the shield of the Spire, the frigate UNSC Grafton destroys the Spire with MAC Rounds. When a massive supercarrier joins the fight and destroys UNSC Grafton, Kat comes up with a plan to strike back at the Covenant. Her idea is to sneak a Slipspace Bomb onto the Ardent Prayer which they would then send on a refueling run to the supercarrier to activate the bomb. Six infiltrates the Corvette, while Jorge got the Pelican to dock with the supercarrier and then detonate the makeshift slipspace bomb, but when the detonator malfunctions, Jorge sacrifices himself to destroy the carrier; soon thereafter a larger Covenant fleet arrives to continue the assault. Six is thrown out of the corvette by Jorge to fall back unto the planet Reach. Six lands near New Alexandria, which is already besieged by the Covenant. Noble Six regroups with the rest of the team in assisting with the evacuation of the planet. Then, Noble Six was assigned to destroy Covenant jammers in the skyscrapers of New Alexandria. During their escape, Kat is killed by a field Marshal and New Alexandria is glassed by the Covenant.
Colonel Holland recalled Noble Team to Sword Base to destroy the data that the Covenant are looking for underneath the base, along with the artifacts the Covenant want to get their hands on. They soon meet Halsey and she shows them an ancient Forerunner artifact that she believes is key to winning the war. Noble Six, Carter, and Emile are entrusted with the task of transporting the artificial intelligence, Cortana, and the information she carries regarding the artifact to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. Meanwhile, Jun is assigned to evacuate Halsey in a Pelican dropship. Charges are detonated in the artifact, ultimately destroying it and any evidence of its information.
During the journey to the Pillar of Autumn's dry dock, Carter is hit by Banshee fire and is mortally wounded. Six and Emile jump out of the Pelican and slide down to safety. After they fight out of many caves, they encounter a Scarab, which attempts to kill the Spartans. Carter sacrifices himself and the team's Pelican to destroy the Scarab. Finally, Six and Emile reach the ship breaking yards. Emile takes control of a MAC cannon to defend the Autumn while Captain Jacob Keyes arrives to receive Cortana from Noble Six. Emile is slain by Elite Zealots, and Six kills them and the Field Marshal and opts to remain on Reach and take Emile's place at the gun while the Autumn escapes. The game depicts the opening scene of Halo: Combat Evolved, in which Cortana discovers Installation 04, followed by the credits and a personal message of thanks from Bungie.
The post-credits scene puts the player in control of Noble Six's last stand against overwhelming Covenant forces. After sustaining more and more damage, Six's helmet cracks. Six eventually casts aside the helmet and is eventually overwhelmed by a group of Sangheili. Six's shattered helmet is left discarded on the ground in a shot that mirrors the game's opening scene. Over thirty years later, the same helmet rests on the grassy plains of a now-rejuvenated Reach. Life has returned, and recolonization has begun. A narration by Halsey eulogizes Noble Team's sacrifice, which enabled the victory over the Covenant.
Characters and Setting
Halo: Reach takes place in the year 2552, during the Covenant invasion of the Human colony world Reach, which serves as the main military center of the UNSC. The game follows Noble Team, a six-man special operations unit of one SPARTAN-II and five SPARTAN-III commandos. The player assumes the role of the team's latest member, SPARTAN-B312 or "Noble Six" and will be defending Reach from its ultimate downfall at the hands of the Covenant forces.
Over the course of the campaign, the players will visit various locales on and above planet Reach which includes remote civilian homesteads, high-tech ONI facilities such as Sword Base, the metropolitan city of New Alexandria, as well as a segment of space combat in a Sabre fighter. The player will also encounter indigenous creatures such as the Moa and the Gúta.
Halo: Reach features many new additions to Halo while still retaining the core gameplay. The player damage system is similar to that of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 3: ODST. The HUD highlights environmental features and overlay information about them, and the motion sensor display is three-dimensional. Halo: Reach also introduces a refined equipment system known as "Armor Abilities." Pieces of equipment can now be selected upon respawning (or picked up off the ground for certain gametypes and campaign); armor abilities are reusable with a recharge time between uses. A new assassination system is also featured, in which holding down the melee button will trigger a context-sensitive, third-person assassination animation. Simply hitting the melee button allows for the old-instant-kill assassination.
The weapon selection has been streamlined from that of Halo 3, so that every weapon has a specific role. The number of different grenade types has also been reduced from that of Halo 3, and incendiary grenades and spike grenades did not return. Human weapons all hit more or less instantly after pulling the trigger, giving them a more powerful feel. There is no longer dual-wielding available in Halo: Reach, following the same path as Halo 3: ODST. Compensating for this, the weapons that were known as dual weapons in Halo 3 that are now in Halo: Reach became drastically stronger. The M6G Magnum, for example, is now almost as powerful as the M6D Pistol in Halo: CE, and has an even higher rate of fire.
Players are able to personalize their character's armor with a greater variety of customization options, and the appearance will be consistent across campaign and multiplayer, unlike in Halo 3 where it would only be seen during multiplayer matches. Like in Halo 3, the armor permutations are only to be cosmetic and will not affect gameplay. The design of multiplayer models in Halo: Reach differs than those previously used in Halo 3; players are limited to a SPARTAN multiplayer model but given the option of changing their character's gender. Players are given the option to play as an Elite multiplayer model, though only in specific gametypes such as Firefight Versus, Invasion and other Elite-specific gametypes. Both multiplayer models have different gameplay properties; the Elite multiplayer model is physically superior, has a fully recharging health and faster shield regeneration than their SPARTAN counterpart. Overall, their only disadvantage is their massive size which makes them much more noticeable targets. This gives the SPARTANs the advantage of being more nimble and tougher to hit, especially with headshots.
The campaign in Halo: Reach consists of eleven levels, ten of which are playable.
While the rest of Noble Team accompany the player for most of the game, Halo: Reach does not feature any kind of tactical squad mechanic. Much like the Arbiter Thel 'Vadam in Halo 3, the rest of the squad will fight alongside the player, but will not interact with the player, other than certain scripted actions and dialogue. The levels will be more open and teleportation in co-op will be far less strict.
A small section of the Halo: Reach campaign level Long Night of Solace involves space combat, a new element to the game. This space battle above Reach is the first space combat level played in the saga.
|Noble Actual||"Welcome to Reach." (Cutscene only)|
|Winter Contingency||"There's a disturbance on the frontier."|
|ONI: Sword Base||"Covenant are attacking a vital ONI base. Drive the bastards off."|
|Nightfall||"Move in behind enemy lines and evaluate the opposition."|
|Tip of The Spear||"Two massive armies clash! Time to go to war against the Covenant."|
|Long Night of Solace||"Move up the beach and secure the launch facility. Take the battle to the Covenant Super Carrier."|
|Exodus||"All is not lost. Evacuate civilians from an occupied city."|
|New Alexandria||"Provide air support in a forest of crumbling skyscrapers."|
|The Package||"Your orders are to destroy Sword Base... Or are they?"|
|The Pillar of Autumn||"Deliver Halsey's data package to the Pillar of Autumn."|
|Lone Wolf||"Spartans never die. They're just missing in action…"|
A total of seventeen multiplayer maps are available in Halo: Reach, with nine standard multiplayer maps and eight Firefight maps.
Noble Map Pack
Defiant Map Pack
Anniversary Map Pack
Halo: Reach's matchmaking allows players to compete with each other over the Xbox Live online service or System Link, for 16 players on the Xbox. The matchmaking system has been improved and redesigned from Halo 3; instead of having experience and rank as two separate features, Halo: Reach combines these two into a credit system where the player is scored on how well they play in each individual performance, instead of a win/loss system. As players gain credits, they achieve higher military rank, and are able to buy armor permutations to customize their SPARTAN and Elites character model. A new matchmaking system called the Arena is introduced for hardcore/competitive players where they will play in month-long seasons and be put into divisions of either Onyx, Gold, Silver, Bronze or Iron, depending on how well they play. Along with this, Campaign also has matchmaking support as well. Players are able to vote on which Campaign mission to play, similar to how voting works in competitive Matchmaking.
The multiplayer mode features standard multiplayer gametypes such as Slayer, Capture the Flag and King of the Hill, as well as reintroducing Race, a gametype that was once made exclusive only to Halo: Combat Evolved. Firefight mode, a cooperative gameplay mode that was made present in Halo 3: ODST, is featured in Halo: Reach with much more customizable features, from the skulls that turn on every round to the very enemies the player will face every wave, as well as having Matchmaking support. Halo: Reach also introduces new gametypes to multiplayer such as Invasion, Stockpile, and Headhunter. The character models in Halo: Reach differs significantly than their previous architecture in Halo 3; both character models are now composed of different hitboxes and have different gameplay properties. The Elite character models are formidably larger, and physically superior, having faster shield regeneration and the ability to regain health fully over time than their SPARTAN counterpart. SPARTANs are smaller and weaker than their Elite counterpart and would only regain health to thirds over time unless they pick up a health pack. For these balancing issues, only specific gametypes in matchmaking allow SPARTANs and Elites to face each other in team-based games.
All civilian vehicles are drivable in the Campaign, but not in multiplayer.
- Active camouflage
- Antigravity Pack
- Armor Lock
- Drop Shield (First appearance)
- Hologram (First appearance)
- Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor/Mark IV
- Mark IV(G) Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor (First appearance)
- Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor/Mark V
- Mark V(B) Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor (First appearance)
- UA Multi-Threat variant (First appearance)
- Commando variant (First appearance)
- CQC variant (First appearance)
- ODST variant
- CQB variant
- EOD variant
- O variant (First appearance)
- AA variant (First appearance)
- FJ/PARA variant (First appearance)
- HAZOP variant (First appearance)
- MP variant (First appearance)
- R variant
- V variant
- JFO Variant (First appearance)
- Mark V(B) Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor (First appearance)
- Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor/Mark VI
- ODST Ballistic Battle Armor
- Sangheili Combat Harness
- Sprinting (First appearance)
- Jetpack (First appearance)
- Armor Lock (First appearance)
- Portable bridge (First appearance)
- “Where there will be a full three-year cycle, it's got all-new tech, akin to the change from Halo 2 to Halo 3, not like ODST, which is just built on top of the foundation.”— Bungie Community Manager, Brian Jarrard.
Reach has been in development since the completion of Halo 3, in the tradition of a full three-year cycle and will use a completely new game engine created specifically for the game. It was confirmed in October 2009 that Martin O'Donnell, Bungie's lead composer, had begun casting voice actors for Reach.
The Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta, used to gather information and tweak gameplay features in the game, ran from May 3 through May 20, 2010. The Zero-bug release milestone in Halo: Reach's development was reached on June 24, 2010, and the game's audio, including soundtrack, voices and sound effects, was finished on July 15, 2010. As of August 5, 2010, Halo: Reach has "gone gold", meaning all development of the game has been completed and mass manufacturing of the game has begun. The game was released on September 14, 2010 as planned.
Bungie has taken a new design direction with Halo: Reach, aiming for a more somber and gritty atmosphere. The more serious tone is also reflected in camera angles; instead of long, sweeping shots, the cinematic camera angles are actually made to look as if shot with actual cameras.
In many ways, the character designs, especially those of Sangheili and human personnel, harken back to Halo: Combat Evolved. Models for enemies and allies boast remarkable levels of new detail in form of higher-resolution textures and more polygons. Enemies and allies will have more individual features to denote ranks and provide more visual variety, such as each soldier having an individual name tag in their BDUs. Bungie made an effort to make the Covenant feel more alien and threatening; for example, the Covenant will speak in their own languages instead of English.
Bungie is using a completely reworked version of the engine, with no component left untouched.
The environments, while larger than in the previous games, are far more detailed. The graphical effects have been drastically improved, allowing for a new atmospheric effects system and more dynamic lighting for dramatic shadows and moving light sources in interiors. The engine was improved with an upgraded level of detail system, allowing for larger environments to be rendered compared to previous Halo games, transitioning to more detailed textures and models when moving closer. Rain and fogging effects are also improved. Halo: Reach also features a new animation system, which smoothly blends movement between standing, walking and running as well as jumps, grenade throws and firing. The facial animation system has been completely revamped, including motion capture. Weapon effects are amplified to be more powerful and visceral than before, giving them a more serious tone. Human weapons will sound more powerful and emit smoke and showers of sparks. Plasma bolts now burn through material as they hit, and explosions will throw clouds of dirt and debris around.
Halo: Reach's engine is able to support up to 60 active AI characters on screen at once, twice as many as in Halo 3. In addition, AI has level of detail as well - distant battles between AI characters follow automated behavior models, which convert into scripted behaviors as the player gets closer, and finally convert to full AI.
- “I want it to be more visceral, to have a bigger sense of loss, a personal feeling of sacrifice”— Martin O'Donnell, on the audio design of Halo: Reach
A more serious and realistic approach has been taken in the audio design of Halo: Reach than in the previous Halo games. The music of Reach was referred to as being more somber and more visceral, as the plot is more character-driven than previous Halo titles and that it focuses on a planet known to have fallen. As of now, it has been stated that the Halo Theme will not be heard in the game, but there is some foreshadowing of Halo themes. The in-game effects such as weapon sounds have also been amplified to sound more powerful and realistic. In addition to various different audio filters for interiors and exteriors, the space environment in the level Long Night of Solace required an entirely new audio filter to make the environment feel more realistic. A significant improvement in the game's audio technology allows for more fluid transition between different layers of music; whereas the first Halo could barely manage more than two layers of music at once, Reach can run seven layers at once, coordinating which ones fade in and out based on relatively minor changes in the player's behavior. The audio effects for Halo: Reach were tested in an Audio Testing Environment to find the suitable locations to be put in the actual game. It was announced by Bungie that the Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack would be released on September 28, 2010.
During the development of Halo: Reach, many different things had to be cut out. The following is cut content from the game:
- Early on in the game's development, the level New Alexandria was supposed to be followed by a mission where the player would control a Scarab in the ruins of New Alexandria. The designers created a gameplay prototype of this level, but the idea was scrapped due to technical difficulties of successfully implementing a drivable Scarab while keeping gameplay sustainable.
- Most of Rosenda-A344's character was reduced to a brief reference.
- Most of Thom-A293's character was reduced to a brief appearance in the trailer Deliver Hope and a few references.
- There was supposed to be a Hunter assassination that was like boarding a vehicle. It was such an early concept, that Bungie used the Halo 3 engine to show it.
- There was also supposed to be usable boats.
- A new type of large UNSC space ship was to be seen.
- Longswords were planned to be pilotable.
- The Gúta was to have its own assassination animation.
- The Sabre was to be pilotable in multiplayer but cut due to balancing issues.
Marketing and Release
Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta
- Main article: Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta
The Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta was a phase in the development of Halo: Reach, produced by Bungie, LLC and organized by Microsoft Game Studios. The beta was made available to those who bought Halo 3: ODST and it was released from May 3 through May 20, 2010. More than 2.7 million players participated in the beta during its three-week run on LIVE. After July 21, 2010, Bungie stopped supporting stats and files from the beta. Players who participated in the beta on their current LIVE accounts receive an Halo: Reach Beta Visual Flair for use with their gamertags, which is represented with an MA37.
E3 2009 Announcement
- Main article: Halo: Reach Announcement Trailer
Shortly after the Halo 3: ODST E3 2009 Trailer premiered, it was soon followed up by the first official announcement trailer for Halo: Reach.
2009 VGA Trailer
- Main article: Halo: Reach Video Games Awards Trailer
At the 2009 Spike TV Video Games Awards, the first official in-game trailer was shown. This 2:36 video was an opening cinematic that showed a glimpse of the new characters and graphics.
Once More Unto the Breach
- Main article: Halo: Reach ViDoc: Once More Unto the Breach
The Once More Unto the Breach ViDoc focused on the graphical and gameplay changes to the game between Halo 3 and Halo: Reach. This 7:45 video showed the development of the series over the years.
- Main article: Halo: Reach ViDoc: Carnàge Carnivàle
The Carnàge Carnivàle ViDoc focused on the new multiplayer in Halo: Reach. This 8:20 video shows the many gameplay enhancements that have been added.
E3 2010 Demo
On June 14, 2010, at E3 2010, Bungie released a demo displaying a section of campaign in Reach. It introduced various new vehicles, and the new feature of space combat. A shorter gameplay trailer of the same level was also released.
- Main article: Halo: Reach Welcome to Firefight 2.0 Trailer
On June 16, 2010, Bungie released a collage of clips from Halo: Reach's Firefight feature.
Red vs Blue Halo: Reach PSA: Deja View
- Main article: Red vs. Blue Halo: Reach PSA: Deja View
On July 7, 2010, in honor of Bungie Day, Rooster Teeth, the creators of the popular Halo machinima Red vs Blue, released a special PSA revealing the return of Blood Gulch, the classic Halo: Combat Evolved multiplayer map. The video teases the rest of Forge World in the form of a scene where Sarge stands on a cliff admiring the view and commenting on the map's large size.
- Main article: Halo: Reach ViDoc: Forge World
The Forge World ViDoc was released July 23, 2010. It was focused on the new multiplayer map, Forge World, the largest map in the Halo franchise.
The Battle Begins
- Main article: Halo: Reach "The Battle Begins" Campaign Trailer
The Battle Begins campaign trailer was released July 29, 2010. The 1:06 trailer showcased several cinematic scenes from the campaign.
A Spartan Will Rise
- Main article: Halo: Reach ViDoc: A Spartan Will Rise
The 'A Spartan Will Rise' ViDoc was released August 17, 2010. The ViDoc focused on the characters of the game, with Dr. Halsey acting as the main narrator.
Birth of a Spartan
- Main article: Birth of a Spartan
On April 26, 2010, a website was created by Microsoft as part of a viral marketing campaign to promote Halo: Reach. At first, the site merely consisted of a teaser image which showed the UNSC emblem washed out by static, with the words "Augmentation Begins April 28, 2010." On April 28, both the standard and extended versions of the Birth of a Spartan live-action trailer were released.
- Main articles: Remember Reach, Remember Reach Webfilm, Patrol, New Life, Spaceport, and Deliver Hope
An advertising campaign titled Remember Reach was launched on August 17, 2010. The campaign includes the website rememberreach.com, as well as several live-action shorts.
Merchandise and promotions
|Features||Standard||Limited Edition||Legendary Edition|
|Image of contents|
|Game disc & manual||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ONI-themed case & artifact bag||No||Yes||Yes|
|Waypoint avatar gear||No||Yes||Yes|
|Exclusive Sangheili armor||No||Yes||Yes|
|Exclusive SPARTAN armor effect||No||No||Yes|
|Exclusive digital content||No||No||Yes|
|Noble Team statue||No||No||Yes|
|Large UNSC-themed case||No||No||Yes|
|UA multi threat chest||Yes, Gamestop & GAME pre-order only||Yes, Gamestop & GAME pre-order only||Yes, Gamestop & GAME pre-order only|
|Recon helmet||Yes, launch day purchase (North America)/Pre-order only (other countries)||Yes, launch day purchase (North America)/Pre-order only (other countries)||Yes, launch day purchase (North America)/Pre-order only (other countries)|
Halo: Reach was released in three different versions. The Standard Edition comes with the game disc and manual. The Limited Edition is cased in an ONI "black box" and includes an exclusive Sangheili armor set for use in multiplayer modes and an artifact bag containing Dr. Halsey's personal journal and other classified documents and effects that unravel long-held secrets of the Halo universe. The Legendary Edition contains everything from the Limited Edition along with extra SPARTAN armor effect for use in the game, along with an exclusive hand-painted and numbered Noble Team statue by McFarlane Toys in UNSC-themed custom packaging. Those in North America who purchase Halo: Reach on launch day will receive a new variation of the coveted MJOLNIR Recon Armor. Recon will also be available to any who have pre-ordered the game. As a bonus, the Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor/W variant will be given to customers who pre-order the game at GameStop.
In addition, Bungie has announced that players who have/buy a copy of Halo PC, can use that same authentication key to obtain a special in-game Halo: Combat Evolved symbol on their nameplate . Players of Xbox's Halo 2 before the April 14th, 2010 cutoff (Shutdown of Xbox Live v1 Service) will be awarded a special in-game Halo 2 symbol on their nameplate. If your current gamertag has changed since the last time you played Halo 2, or if your current gamertag never played Halo 2, you will not be receiving this item. Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Bungie Pro, Halo: Reach Beta flairs are also displayable in a similar way.
Also, a Reach themed Xbox had been announced. The Xbox will include a 250-gigabyte hard drive, two Reach themed wireless controllers, standard wired headset, and a standard copy of Halo: Reach. The Reach Xbox 360 will also feature exclusive Elite Armor, Waypoint Avatar Gear, and Halo: Legends episode: "The Package," as well as custom Halo sound effects from the Xbox itself. In addition the controllers and headset will be sold separately for $59.99 and $49.99 respectively. The controller will also bring a token for a downloadable animated Covenant Banshee avatar item. The theme includes ONI property tags and more, which according to Microsoft, is canon material in the Halo universe.
The game has brought the proposal for merchandise, such as action figures. McFarlane Toys had announced that they were planning to release a series of Reach 5-inch scaled figures in September 2010. Square Enix has also showcased several figures for their new Reach line of action figures.
- Main article: Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack
Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack was released on September 28, two weeks after the release of Halo: Reach. The soundtrack features twenty new tracks heard in the game, composed by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori.
Release and Reception
|Official Xbox Magazine ||10/10|
Halo: Reach received highly critical acclaim. 1Up praised the campaign, calling it "a grand re-telling of the Battle of Thermopylae, but portrayed from a gritty, ground-level perspective across multiple missions like Band of Brothers, and all done with typical Halo flourish. IGN noted that though the past games had repetitive landscapes and complicated plots, Reach was an altogether different matter. Gamepro stated "the only thing missing from this impressive entry is a number “4” in the title, because for all intents and purposes, Reach feels like the next big thing in the Halo franchise."
Many reviewers praised the enhanced graphics and audio, calling it "top-notch." Others mentioned that the checkpoints were flawed, with some too far between, and others leaving the player at a major disadvantage. GamersHell called Reach the "ultimate multiplayer suite," but critiqued the acting, calling it "abrasive, cliched and campy."
Microsoft listed Reach as an Xbox Live Marketplace download on August 12, 2010, at a price of 99999 Microsoft Points (~US$1250); A spokesperson confirmed the download was for media review purposes, and that there were no plans to distribute the game to the public through Games on Demand. Four days later, hackers managed to access, download, and distribute the game online; Microsoft claimed at the time to be actively investigating the matter.
- Halo: Reach was the last Halo game developed by Bungie. 343 Industries has since taken over the Halo franchise.
- This is the first and only Halo game with a customizable main protagonist.
- It was previously known as "Halo 4" by Microsoft Game Studios and 343 Industries marketing teams during the ONI Candidate Assessment Program V5.02A viral campaign.
- Early on in the game's development, before coming up with the idea of a prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved, Bungie considered making a follow-up to Halo 3, with John-117 as the protagonist.
- Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck, one of the main characters from Halo 3: ODST, appears in Halo: Reach as a Firefight voice in game and as a cameo in the level New Alexandria.
- On the project page for Reach, located in the "Multimedia" section, the soundtracks to a couple of Reach trailers, "Lone Wolf" and "Uphill, Both Ways" by Martin O'Donnell, are available for download for free from Bungie.net.
- Halo: Reach has 49 achievements (excluding DLC), which is a reference to Bungie's love of the number seven (7 × 7 = 49).
- All of the Campaign achievement titles, along with many of the others, are quotations from the Halo games and books.
- The game's release date, September 14, is the same day when Earth's Orbital Defense Platforms were activated in 2552.
- The game's release date itself my be a reference to Bungie's favorite number, 9 × 14 × 2010 = 253260 ÷ 36180 = 7.
- The release date for the Noble Map Pack was set to be released 77 days after Halo: Reach's release (November 30) which is another reference to Bungie's love of the number 7.
- Many of the Army troopers and Marines encountered in the game are named after Bungie employees and notable community members.
- It is the second game to not feature Sentinels or the Flood. The first was Halo 3: ODST.
- A title update was introduced in September 2011, changing several armor ability effects, modifying the melee system, and making reticle bloom optional.
- Halo: Reach includes all but one Covenant species; only the Prophets are absent. Engineers do not appear in the main trilogy, (live) Elites are not in Halo 3: ODST and Drones are not in Halo Wars.
- It is possible to play with 4 player split-screen on one console via a glitch.
- After the final mission Lone Wolf, Dr. Halsey will explain about Noble Six giving Humanity time to prepare to stop the Covenant, the date is July 7, 2589. This is a reference to Bungie Day and Bungie's love of 7.
- Halo: The Fall of Reach
- Halo: First Strike
- Halo: Reach - Announcement Trailer
- Halo: Reach Video Games Awards Trailer
- Bungie.net: Official Halo: Reach project page
- Welcome To NobleTeam: Viral Campaign
- Ending to Halo Reach