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'Bungie lost focus with Halo Reach'

Mailbox: Get on your gaming soapbox...

Last week James Ward gave his two cents about developers' attitudes towards the PSP.

This week it's Matt Marling's turn to hop up on the soapbox in issue 98 of XBW360 and shout to the masses about why he thinks Bunige missed the multiplayer mark with Halo Reach.

I'm not feeling any addiction for Reach multiplayer at the moment. My problem is too many stupid and pointless game types and a compete lack of variety in the weapons (just about every game you play with the assault rifle or the DMR, game in, game out). Occasionally you get a few shots with a rocket launcher, but not often and not for long.

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For a player used to the arsenal of MW2 or BF:BC2 this is not a good deal. And what about the stupid sub-games - Mongoose racing? In what is supposed to be the free-for-all playlist? Really?

When I pick FFA I want exactly that, I don't want to be trying to hold on to some ball or delivering skulls to a set location - that's basically CTF!

I'm still plugging away, hoping that one of the games might grab me by the gonads, but I think Bungie lost focus and tried to do too much on their last Halo hurrah.

XBbox World 360 says: Bungie's obsession with their precious playlists has been Halo's biggest online problem since Halo 2. The same
players who want a few rounds of CTF aren't necessarily the same players who enjoy Shotty Snipers.

Battlefield's commitment to perfecting just a few solid game types has made it a stronger online game but one with a less broad appeal.

For every mode you hate in Reach, there's a chance the game will serve up one you like; it's a shame the game doesn't offer better filtering options so you're not forced to take so much rough with the smooth.

CVG says: We're inclined to agree with you, Matt - but we might be in the minority. The Halo multiplayer proved to be shockingly popular in Halo 2 and 3, but with so many people familiar with it and willing to take more of the same, there probably wasn't much incentive for Bungie to mix things up in a big way with Reach.

It will be interesting to see where 343 Industries takes the Halo multiplayer from here; we're betting not too far from the tried and true formula.

Luckily there are plenty of alternatives right now. Call of Duty: Black Ops is out, new content for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is on the way and games such as Homefront and Brink are something definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Got something you want to get off your chest? Email CVG with your name (or CVG forum handle) and your passionate, opinionated words.

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