"Halo: Reach" — 5 out of 5

You might have been apathetic to the prospect of a new “Halo” game. You might have rationalized your lack of enthusiasm by telling yourself the four previous “Halo” games you’ve already purchased are quite enough “Halo” for one lifetime. It’s an understandable feeling, but one that is completely off base.

“Halo: Reach” doesn’t feel quite like a traditional “Halo” game and that’s a really great thing. The campaign still offers up a healthy dose of testosterone, but it’s much less about gratuitous explosions, you-versus-the-world machismo and heavy handed space operas and much more grounded in reality —- or whatever passes for “reality” in the “Halo” universe.

If you're tired of rolling solo, “Reach” brings back all the great co-op and multiplayer from Halos past. Online, Forge, Firefight and campaign co-op have been improved with a bevy of new maps, weapons and modes of play.

Unfortunately, not everything has been upgraded. Get ready to play a lot of custom multiplayer matches at your next “Halo” party because Firefight and campaign co-op still don’t allow more than two people per console. Firefight expands to four-player when played online, but are you really going to tell your friends to go home so you can play "Halo" together? Seems a bit counter-productive.

The bottom line is while this is the best “Halo” game in the franchise and does a lot of new things, it’s still “Halo” deep down. Don’t expect it to turn your hardcore “Call of Duty” chums, but for the “Halo” fan, there’s nothing better.

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