Content of the article: "Completed Halo Reach, Halo 1-3 on Legendary."
I know that there have been several Halo posts posted quite recently, but I just wanted to give my take on running through the main Trilogy and Reach on Legendary.
While, I have played Halo CE on PC and the rest of the games on my XBOX when I was younger, I was always hesitant of playing the games on Legendary. Every time I booted up a level and died immediately, I for some reason or the other gave up out of frustration. After growing up a bit, I decided to give the campaigns on Legendary a try when MCC came onto PC. So here's my review of the games legendary missions in the order that I went through.
Halo 2: Knowing how infamous the Legendary difficulty is, I decided to jump into this campaign first and my god are the stories true. For a Spartan with a brand new set of armor, the Chief does seem more like a paper on a target range rather than a walking tank. Halo 2 felt more like I was playing Gears of War from all the cover shooting that I was doing throughout levels. Cairo Station, while very difficult was somewhat manageable with the BR and plasma pistol combo. The main annoyance were the buggers. Unlike the one's in the later games, buggers in Halo 2 are bullet sponges with no proper way of head shotting them. I thought that was the worst of it, until I got to Outskirts. I always thought the memes about Jackal Sniper were just funny in community jokes and that they would be difficult, but fair. Oh how naïve I was. Never has an enemy frustrated me more than those bastards. Sniping me from areas I didn't know existed, sniping me with reflexes that put Bruce Lee to shame, there was no way to properly counter them other than to slowly inch my way through a level hoping that I didn't miss one of the bastards. Outskirts was the bane of my existence because of them and although I knew about the speed-run trick, I wanted to complete the campaign through the normal route. The rest of the campaign felt like a slog to go through and was just a endless series of frustrations. When I finally finished the game, I just felt relieved that I was done rather than feeling any pride that I completed it. My overall recommendation is that the game is best played on Heroic solo. Legendary is good if you're doing it with friends, which in that case the Iron Skull activates, or solo if you are in for some masochistic pleasure.
Halo CE: Compared to Halo 2, CE on legendary was a breath of fresh air. For the most part, I never felt my deaths were unfair and each time I beat a part of the mission I felt that I was getting better at the game. The first mission, the Pillar of Autumn felt like a breeze compared to any mission of Halo 2 and was a good intro mission for those trying Legendary for the first time. The next mission Halo was when I started to feel the challenge. Holding out against waves of enemies was kind of wearing down on me, but thanks to the God Tier Halo CE Magnum and Plasma Pistol I managed to get through. Now the third level, Truth and Reconciliation, was when I felt the dial jumped to a 100. The grav lift section was the ultimate test in tediousness as there seemed to no end to the endless waves of enemies. The remaining missions didn't feel too bad overall as none of them seemed to have the same difficulty as the Truth and Reconciliation. Even the dreaded Library mission didn't feel like a slog. Overall the Legendary difficulty felt like a healthy challenge and I did feel good about beating it compared to Halo 2.
Halo 3: Next was Halo 3. Of the main line trilogy, Halo 3's Legendary is by far the easiest. If you have a general understanding of the Campaign layout and the enemy placement, then you can pretty much work your way through the missions. The only two points where I felt really overwhelmed was the Hallway on Crows Nest filled with Brutes and the Chieftain with a hammer and the end of Tsavo Highway with the Wraiths. The only other mission in the campaign that was a slog was Cortana. I feel that Cortana wouldn't have been a bad mission and could have actually been pretty great mission if it hadn't been for the Ranged Pure forms. With the lack of proper ranged weapons and long hallways, these Ranged forms were the death of me. If Cortana had been a wave of overwhelming number of Flood combat forms and Flood tank forms, then it would have really built up the atmosphere of a massive space station that had been overwhelmed and consumed by the Flood. The ranged forms essentially turned what should have been a run and gun level like the Library into what essentially boiled down to a duck and cover where you had to hope that you could run to the next cover before being impaled by a ranged form. If you want try and complete a Legendary campaign for the first time, I suggest Halo 3's as it seems like a good introduction to the difficulty for new comers.
Halo Reach: Of all the Legendary Campaigns, I enjoyed Reach's Legendary the most. Maybe it was because I was getting the hang of Legendary difficulties by this point, but Reach's legendary felt easier than CE's but really felt like a good challenge. I believe it's due to the increased diversity in the type of enemies that the player faced. While it could be difficult at times, it felt completely fair. Every time I died, I never felt that it was the game being cheap and acted as a learning experience for me. There were two main areas that I hated in the campaign though. One was the Space ship battle in Long Night of Solace as you could lose your ship's shields extremely quickly with little chance of recovering them while doing negligible damage to the Seraph fighters. The other was the turret sections on Tip of the Spear, Exodus, and the Pillar of Autumn. The turret sections sucked because the enemies did the same amount of damage that they would do in a normal run of Legendary, but now there was no way of taking cover to allow your shields to regenerate. As a result, if you took one wrong shot, you were pretty much dead and had to restart from the last checkpoint. Other than those two parts, I felt Reach's Legendary was pretty balanced and a good place to go after trying Halo 3.
For my overall rankings of the campaigns I've played so far, I would have to give Reach the top prize as it felt the most balance of all the Legendary runs. Halo CE and 3 tie for second. CE because it was challenging but sometimes felt tedious in certain missions and 3 because it felt a bit too easy for being a Legendary run. Halo 2 is a distant third due to how unfair the nature of its Legendary is.
I haven't played ODST or Halo 4 on Legendary, so I will have to give those a go when they finally release on MCC later this year.
- I finally played Halo: Combat Evolved!
- Halo: Reach – Did you guys notice all the parrellels between other Halo games and Reach? and other thoughts on the game
- Halo 3. Finish the fight 10 years too late?
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