The Plot of Halo Reach Game

Now that Halo Reach is out and has been all week, I'm happy to start blogging more about in game things (rather than simply speculate) such as providing details of the whereabouts of the data pads, and now the actual plot of Reach.

Beware major spoilers below!

Setting: The Planet Reach

Reach takes place in a futuristic science fiction setting during the year 2552, shortly before the events of the 2001 video game Halo: Combat Evolved. Humans, under the auspices of the United Nations Space Command (UNSC), have been waging a long war against a collective of alien races known as the Covenant. 

By the events of Reach, almost all of humanity's interstellar colonies have fallen. Reach itself is an Earthlike colony that serves as the UNSC's main military hub. In addition to the military presence, the colony is home to over 700 million civilians. Other than Earth, Reach is effectively the last bastion of mankind.

The Main Characters

The Reach game follows the actions of Noble Team, a UNSC special operations unit composed of elite supersoldiers known as Spartans. Players assume the role of an unnamed new addition to the team, identified by the call sign Noble 6, the so called Lone Wolf. 

Noble Team's leader is Carter-A259, a no-nonsense soldier. His second-in-command, Kat-B320, has a bionic arm; together, Carter and Kat are the only two remaining original members of Noble Team. The other members include heavy weapons specialist Jorge-052, Emile-A239, and sniper marksman Jun-A266.

The Plot of Halo: Reach

Following an opening camera shot of a soldier's helmet lying lost on the ground, the game begins with Noble 6 joining the rest of Noble Team on a mission. The military sends the Spartans to discover why a relay station went offline, suspecting damage done by insurgents. Instead of human rebels, Noble Team discovers the Covenant. After evacuating trapped soldiers, Noble Team forces their way into the relay and informs command that the Covenant are on Reach. 

Soon after, Noble team is deployed to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) installation, Sword Base, to defend the research there; the scientist Catherine Halsey tells the team before leaving that the Covenant at the relay were searching for important information.

As the Covenant arrive on the planet in force, the members of Noble team undertake missions such as assaulting a Covenant ground base and removing fortified Covenant defenses. Spartan Jorge nobly sacrifices himself when he manually detonates a slipspace engine bomb to destroy a Covenant super carrier. Kat is killed by a sniper while the team defends the city of New Alexandria.

Recalled to Sword Base, Halsey shows Noble Team an ancient Forerunner artifact that she believes is key to winning the war. Noble 6, Carter, and Emile are entrusted with taking the artificial intelligence Cortana and the information she carries to the UNSC ship Pillar of Autumn. Noble 6, Emile, and Carter take a Pelican transport to the Autumn while Jun protects Dr Halsey in another. Jun appears to be only member of Team Noble to survive.

Nearing the Pillar of Autumn, Carter tries to shake off Covenant air forces while having Noble 6 and Emile bring Cortana in from ground level. A Covenant Scarab vehicle encounters Noble 6 and Emile along the way but Carter crashes his ship into it to buy more time. Arriving at the Autumn's docking bay, the remaining two Spartans along with other soldiers defend a landing pad for Autumn captain Jacob Keyes to secure Cortana. 

Emile, manning a MAC gun against air forces, gets stabbed by Elites. Noble 6 opts to remain behind and defend the Autumn with the MAC gun as it escapes Reach, thus sparking the discovery of the Forerunner installation Halo and setting the stage for Halo: Combat Evolved.

The game thus ends and the credits roll. As is customary for Halo games, one should stay to the end as the following then unexpectedly happens:

Back on the planet Reach, Noble 6 attempts to survive against the converging Covenant forces, knowing their fate is inevitable. The Covenant eventually gets the upper hand and Noble 6 finally falls. The final image is a shot of a soldier's helmet which we now know to be 6's. Thus the opening shot of the game, becomes the final image albeit, some time has passed.

A narration by Halsey after the war against the Covenant explains that without Noble Team's sacrifice, final victory would not have been possible, and now rebuilding can begin. I presume that this voice over is set after the events of Halo 3 and thus we know that Dr Halsey survived the entire war.

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