Unlike most other Halo games before it which were announced at an E3, TFoR was announced at Gamescom 2015, along with a trailer for the game, on the same day Halo Wars 2 was announced. TFoR's release date was revealed later by a tweet on 343 Industries' twitter page to be January 10, 2016, worldwide. Later, in an interview with IGN, 343 Industries employee and the Executive Producer of TFoR, Dan Ayoub revealed that the game will run on 1080p 60fps.
Just like all the previous FPS games of the Halo series, TFoR consists of multiplayer. It is a mix of Halo 3's and Halo: Reach's multiplayer. Just like Halo 4, Halo Online and Halo 5: Guardians, the multiplayer part of the game is officially integrated into canon. Spartan Abilities return. Although there are 7 Spartan Abilities in TFoR, it must be noted that not all of them are same as Halo 5's Spartan Abilities. They can be used both in all game modes. Firefight returns, with options for AI companions or friends or solo.
TFoR features Downloadable Content for Multiplayer and Firefight. It is free for all players. TFoR doesn't consist of any Map Pass, unlike Halo 4 and like most other Halo games. The Downloadable Content features new maps and game modes and sometimes, new weapons. A total of 9 DLCs were released for TFoR, over a span of 4 years.
John and the other trainees are subjected to intense training for the next few years. The training teaches them many military things, like disarming a bomb, shooting a rifle, treating a chest wound and many things. They become proficient in studies, too. The holographic classes with Déjà are proven to be extremely useful. In 2525, all 75 Spartans are subjected to biological augmentation procedures, the toughest part in their entire training. This ends to be a disaster, as 30 trainees have died, and a dozen others crippled, far beyond the limits in which a human could fight. This leaves only 33 Spartans to be alive and fit for combat, although, over the years, the number would gradually decrease. Later, In a briefing with Vice Admiral Michael Stanforth, the Spartans learn about the Covenant and their incident near Harvest
In 2525, after the partially successful augmentation procedures, the Spartans handle a variety of missions; capturing Insurrectionist leader and former UNSC soldier ColonelRobert Watts, putting down rebel factions on Jericho VII, removing a black market bazaar near Roosevelt Military Base and other such missions. These missions are arranged in such an order that each mission brings them closer to Chi Ceti IV, the planet on which the DAMASCUS Training Facility was located on. Upon reaching there on the UNSC Commonwealth, they spot a Covenant ship, about a third the size of the Commonwealth, at the far edge of the star system. However, the Covenant ship initiates an intra-system Slipspace jump and came closer to the Commonwealth and attacked it. After a brief battle, Captain Wallace of the Commonwealth agrees to send Dr. Halsey and the Spartans to the Testing Facility on the surface of Chi Ceti IV.
After reaching there, Dr. Halsey reveals to the Spartans that Project MJOLNIR, mistakenly thought by some Spartans to be a weapon, was a set of Powered Armor, called as MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor Mark IV. She explains the mechanics of the suit, about the gel-layer which doubles the strength of the wearer and multiplies the reaction time by a factor of five, about the reflective coating, which was added recently to disperse the plasma discharges shot by the Covenant ships if they actually use it in small-scale, and other specifications. She attaches the armor first to John and makes him run through an obstacle course while attaching it to the rest of the Spartans. After 40-50 minutes, they leave the facility in a Pelican, en route to the Commonwealth.
During the trip, John finds about 32 ANVIL-II Missiles in the Pelican and gets an idea that since the Covenant ship's damaged, the crew might remove its shields in order to save power, so if he can get inside the Covenant ship, he can set the timer to the nuke and escape, letting it blow inside the Covenant ship, destroying. . When he expresses this to Dr. Halsey, she objects at first but later approves, since they are out of options. John puts on his thruster pack and then begins his course towards the ship. When he nears the hull, he realizes that the shields are still up and that they drop when the turret fires. He times his impact, and then hits into the hole in the hull just before the turret fires, causing the shields to drop and him to enter.
Inside, John finds only Sam, Kelly and Will. The team of four proceed further into the ship, with Sam claiming the ship itself might be alive, for all he knows. The first encounter was with a Ruuhtian Kig-Yar, which they finish off quickly. Soon, they find more Kig-Yars and start fighting them, during which Sam quips that the aliens look like Jackals. They soon encounter more Jackals and Grunts, with Sam making jokes on them all. Then they encounter an Elite Zealot, and have a great difficulty. Then more Elites come, and attack the team, during which one plasma bolt hits Sam's chestplate and melts his armor, making a hole. Finally, they go to an empty room, supposedly near the reactor and set the nukes. Sam reveals the hole to the others, and volunteers to stay behind and make sure no one deactivates the nuke. John objects at first but lets him go. Sam sets a three-minute countdown and tells John to hurry. The Spartans run back all the way, ignoring most of the enemies and escape the ship as it explodes, propelling them outwards before they are picked up by the Commonwealth. John now understands what CPO Mendez meant by "a life spent" and "a life wasted" and realizes that humanity has a chance of winning this war, but at a high cost.
In 2535, John's team, now designated as Blue Team, are tasked with repelling the Covenant invaders on Jericho VII. Blue Team enters the planet using SOEIVs. They are immediately attacked by Grunts and five Covenant Banshees. They use fougasses set up by the Marines to destroy the Banshees and run away, implying there are Marines somewhere nearby. They start searching and soon reach a human soldier camp with Army and Marine personnel and gather their equipment and weapons. John then reveals his plan to the Marines, that they shall distract the Covenant so that Red Team can slip through the confusion and place a HAVOK Tactical Nuke so that the next Covenant dropship that comes will be blown to smithereens. The Marines reveal that they have buried a spiderweb pattern of Lotus mines earlier that morning, so it should be enough to distract the enemy.
Their conversation is cut short when Kelly detects a huge army of Grunts coming towards them. They all start to move to the extraction point. After walking enough distance away from the camp, John sent the denotation signal to the mines from his, causing huge explosions and killing the Grunts. He then gets word from Red Team's leader Will-043 that the HAVOK nuke has been armed. John then reports to Captain de Blanc, who congratulates the Spartan and sends a dropship to immediately escort them, saying "it's happening again", meaning that the Covenant is going to glass Jericho VII too. John and the team board the Pelican and later the UNSC Resolute, where John watches the Covenant glassing the planet.
The Main Menu is an unique one in all of the Halo series. Unlike the menus of the previous games where you select the options in a table, TFoR introduces the "free selection mode", consisting of a cursor that can be aimed anywhere at the screen, much similar to Destiny's main menu cursor. The background is live, of the Orbital Defense Platforms and UNSC ships orbiting around Reach. The options to Campaign, Arena Wars, settings and others are all placed around the screen. The cursor is the "no weapon" reticle the MJOLNIR Powered Armor uses when the wearer is not holding any weapon.
Triggers and Bumpers
Throw a grenade
Thruster Pack in the direction the Left Analog Stick is held
Melee, pressing while sprinting results in Spartan Charge
Player movement, pressing and moving it results in Sprint
Move camera, pressing will result in zoom
Switch grenades left, press while 'X' is held to stand weaponless
Switch grenades right, press while 'X' is held to detach camera**
Forge: Enter Monitor mode, press when camera is detached to still control character**
Press while 'X' is held to lower weapon**
Jump, double tap for eject.]
Crouch, holding while sprinting results in Slide*, holding while near a ledge results in Clamber*
Reload, hold near an enemy occupied vehicle to Board, holding causes the Machinima buttons to activate**
Switch weapons, hold near another weapon to swap or dual-wield, double tap to switch to sidearm
Campaign: Hold for details on weapons Multiplayer: Hold to show score
*Can be toggled in Options Menu
**Applicable only when Machinima Controls are set to 'On' in the Options Menu
Spartan Abilities are back in TFoR. There are 7 of them, a reference to Bungie's favorite number. Although even Halo 5 has 7 spartan abilities, it must be noted that not all of them are same as Halo 5's. Dual-Wielding and Boarding are now not considered as spartan abilities, but is included nonetheless. Ground Pound, Stabilizer and Spartan Charge have been removed, since the game takes place pre-2558. However, it contains Air Stomp, that functions similar to Ground Pound. To make up for the abscence of Spartan Charge, a melee at full sprint charge now has high damage comparatively.
Sprint - Run much more faster, at the cost of shooting and shield regeneration.
Slide - Now, you can slide while sprinting, perfect for a shotgun kill.
Thruster Pack - Thrust yourself in any direction brief distance to avoid taking fire.
Jump pack - Launch yourself a few meters up in air to get over that just missed ledge.
Clamber - Climb over the ledge just to give the enemy one heck of a surprise.
Parkour - Run off walls to traverse the map quickly.
Air Stomp - While in air, stomp the ground below you to kill enemies instantly.
Unlike previous games, the cutscenes are made by Blur Studios, the same studio which made the cutscenes and trailers for Halo Wars, Halo 2: Anniversary and Halo Wars 2. The art style is similar to that of Halo Wars 2, however it sports an increase in the lighting and overall texture quality of the cutscenes. All of the cutscenes are pre-rendered, unlike most other Halo games which include in-game rendered ones. It must be noted that the terminals scenes were however made by
Sequence, though they are much more lively than the terminals of their previous games or the animated series Halo: The Fall Of Reach, which is known to have unrealistic-looking sequences.
Unlike previous Halo games where you can wield only two weapons at once, TFoR introduces a new perspective called the Side-Arm mode, which allows the playet to equip three weapons at once. The third weapon is called the sidearm and includes the pistols. The first two weapons can be switched normally using the 'Y' button, but when you double-tap, the player will wield the side-arm.
The game is played in first person as other Halo Games. Special Editions players get to control UNSC ships in the exclusive level "Deston". Players gets a chance to use many new weapons and vehicles, such as the MA2B Individual Combat Weapon System, Heavy Machine Gun-47 and the Booster Frame. The player is encouraged to find hidden skulls and secrets throughout the game.
The game consists of 10 main campaign levels, with one bonus level for players having one of the Special editions of the game and more being added by DLCs.
TFoR contains multiplayer which is a mix of the multiplayers of Halo 3 and Halo: Reach. Just like Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, multiplayer is officially integrated canon, called Arena Wars. In Arena Wars, the players are surviving members of Alpha, Beta and Gamma Companies of SPARTAN-IIIs in the year 2554, on a training facility located on Earth in the city of Bangalore. Unlike in War Games, where S-IVs train in a simulation, the Arena Wars maps are real, and players use real guns, except they use non-lethal rounds and the plasma effect of Covenant weapons is simulated by special devices made by the Swords of Sanghelios, so that there is no real damage. This is the first 343i game in which the multiplayer players are SPARTAN-IIIs, instead of the regular SPARTAN-IVs. Playable Elites are back, and their ranking is the same as the Spartan ones. They are members of Swords of Sanghelios who train alongside SPARTAN-IIIs in the traning facility
TFoR introduces the option of using many armor sets. Most of the MJOLNIR armor sets are from Halo: Reach. This is the first game made by 343i to include Mark IV and V armors other than the GEN2 ones. Unlike in Campaign, the Mark IV and all other armors have energy shielding in Arena Wars. Just like in Halo: Reach, the armors can be purchased by Credits. The following armor sets are available for Spartans:
Sangheili, although customizable with different armors, cannot be cross-customized with other armors. This is because in the Covenant, the armor indicates the rank and speciality of the Sangheili. The following Sangheili Armors are available:
Just like the previous Halo games, co-op is available for 2 members on the same console and 4 members over Xbox LIVE. Unlike Halo 5: Guardians, TFoR re-introduces split screen. In some levels, co-op players have different characters, in some, the 4th player is a copy of either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd player's character depending on the 4th's wish and in some levels, all the players have the same character. There is no co-op available in the level "...Or the beginning?" and if playing on the same console, the 1st player will have control and if playing on XBOX Live, each player plays the level on their own. However, it will be counted as played on co-op.
Just like Halo 4, TFoR features weapon skins for use in Firefight and Multiplayer. The difference between Weapon Skins of Halo 4 and TFoR is that in Halo 4, weapon skins are unlocked only by DLC while in TFoR, they are unlocked in both DLC and Legendary/Heroic Unlocks
Just like the previous games, skulls are easter eggs that add special content to the gameplay and make it more challenging or fun.
Iron - Death on solo restarts to the mission start, death of one player on co-op causes all players to revert to last checkpoint.
Black Eye - Shields recharge only if you melee enemies.
Acrobatic - Enemies evade grenades more easily, vehicles and explosive projectiles (similar to Tough Luck from previous games).
Catch - Enemies throw grenades more frequently.
Fog - Motion Sensor is disabled.
Promotion - All enemy are increased to the highest ranks (similar to Thunderstorm from previous games).
Mythic - Enemies have twice health.
Glitched - The HUD disappears.
Explosive - The mass of all objects in the game is reduced (similar to Sputnik from Halo 2)
Grunt Birthday Party - Confetti and children cheers are produced when you headshot Grunts.
Grunt Funeral - Grunts explode like Plasma Grenades when killed.
IWHYBD - Rare combat dialogue is more frequent.
There are about 49 achievements in TFoR, with a total gamerscore of 1,000 G. New Achievements will be later released through DLCs, making it a total of 57 achievements and 1,200 G.
It's happening! - Complete "Inception"
Alright, I'm good to go - Finish the tutorial
Buckle up: Complete "Suit Up"
Never Relenting - Complete "First Contact"
Locke's alive? - Complete "Glassed"
Court of Dazur - Complete "Attack on Côte d'Azur"
Double Radius - Complete "Retrieval"
Aw.. no power? - Complete "Power Outage"
What is that..... thing? - Complete "The End...?"
Hell - Complete "...Or the beginning?"
Alright, I've done it - Kill your first enemy
Good shot - Get a headshot
Expert Shots - Get 100 Headshots
A true Marine - Kill 50 Covenant Enemies in Campaign or Firefight
Feet first into hell - Kill 100 Covenant Enemies in Campaign or Firefight
Yo, hi there! - Kill an enemy with one Melee in Campaign or Multiplayer or Firefight
Whoa! Take it easy - Play Firefight for the first time
Customization - Change your armor for the first time
I've done it - Change your armor fully
Wait, Mark V? - Unlock the Mark V Armor
...And now there's a Mark VI - Unlock the Mark VI Armor
An ODST - Finish the game on Easy
A SPARTAN-I ODST - Finish the game on Normal
Space Robocop - Finish the game on Heroic
A Spartan - Complete the game on Legendary
Humanity's Savior - Complete the game on Legendary with all skulls on
Interesting.. - Find your first skull
Biology Lover - Find half of the skulls
Skull Hunter - Find all of the skulls
Recruit - Reach the rank of Recruit
Private - Reach the rank of Private
Corporal - Reach the rank of Corporal
Sergeant - Reach the rank of Sergeant
Warrant Officer - Reach the rank of Warrant Officer
Captain - Reach the rank of Captain
Major - Reach the rank of Major
Lt. Colonel - Reach the rank of Lt.Colonel
Commander - Reach the rank of Commander
Colonel - Reach the rank of Colonel
Brigadier - Reach the rank of Brigadier
General - Reach the rank of General
Field Marshall - Reach the rank of Field Marshall
Growing up - Win a multiplayer match for the first time
Catch! - Throw a grenade at a fallen weapon and catch it while in the air in Campaign or Multiplayer or Firefight
Wasted Grenade - Shoot an activated grenade while it is in the air
Timing - Capture the flag or take the bomb and return it to your base/opposing base within 2 minutes
I'm okay - Survive an almost-fatal shot from a power weapon in Multiplayer
Just like in other games, the player unlocks many things when he completes the game on Legendary.TFoR, however, introduces them in Heroic too. This is because Legendary in TFoR is as hard as in Halo 2 and in some cases, even harder. But however, some of them are meant to be unlocked in Legendary only. The following things are available when one finishes the game on Heroic and Legendary only.
Halo: The Fall of Reach was included in a bundle called the Halo: Novel Bundle, which includes TFoR and Halo: First Strike in 1080p 60fps. This was made as both the games were game versions of the two best-selling Halo novels named similarly. It is aimed towards gamers who are new to the franchise.
Official Game Guide
The Halo: The Fall of Reach Official Guide was released on February 7, one week after the release of the game, by PRIMA Games. It is designed to flesh out the entire game's secrets, including campaign walkthrough, multiplayer tips, firefight tips, skull locations, terminals and much more. However, it did not include the DLCs. The DLCs will be included in another game guide to be published by PRIMA Games, with release date either in late 2017 or early 2018.
The Art of Halo: The Fall of Reach
The Art of Halo: The Fall of Reach is an artbook published by 343 Industries. It showcases the art created by 343i's artists during the development of TFoR. A special version of the Artbook is included in the physical Special Editions of the game, with a few extra arts. The standalone version costs about USD $30.04.
The Official Soundtrack of TFoR was composed together by Neil Davidge and Kazuma Jinnouchi, unlike previous 343i Halo games, with a single main composer It was released on January 30, 2016, the same release date as the game itself. Like the artbook, the soundtrack was also included in the physical Special Editions of the game, though it contained no extra tracks.
It is the second Halo game to be a game version of a novel, the first one being Halo: First Strike.
It is the first Halo game to use the "Captured" font on its logo. It was used because the Captured font gives a battered and broken look, indicating wars, especially referring to the Fall of Reach.
It is the first Halo game to contain a remake of bothBlood Gulch and Valhalla, other than forge remakes by players.
It shares a similarity with Halo 5: Guardians, as the opening cutscene of both the games' second level is of Blue Team jumping out of a Pelican in space and using thruster packs to maneuver them through space to reach their destination.
When asked why there isn't Warzone in TFoR, Bonnie Ross said that with TFoR, they wanted to "recreate Halo: Reach's multiplayer." However, she said that "something special is on its way", hinting there might be a new game mode or something similar to Warzone is an upcoming DLC.
The game's back cover.
The original game cover that was going to be used for the game, based on the "Relive the fall" trailer