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Halo: Fireteam Raven Review October 2, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Reviews.
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Earlier this Summer, the latest game in the Halo saga was released at all Dave and Busters arcade restaurants across the United States. I’m talking of course about the arcade game, Halo: Fireteam Raven. Today, we will be reviewing it!

Halo: Fireteam Raven is an on-rail four-player light-gun arcade shoot-em-up! In it, you play one of four possible members of Fireteam Raven, an elite group of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODSTs) who must survive on the Halo ring discovered by the crew of The Pillar of Autumn during the events of the first Halo game. What happened on other parts of the ring while Master Chief was fighting? Will Fireteam Raven cross paths with the Master Chief? Our policy against posting spoilers in our reviews forbid us from telling you!

Before the game starts, you’ll need to know a few things, especially if you play Halo games on Xbox Live. Halo Waypoint is the official website for the latest Halo news, but you can also use it for tracking your online Halo statistics. Now that Halo: Fireteam Raven has been released, the team responsible for making the game want its arcade players to be able to post their in-game statistics and compare them online. To record your Halo: Fireteam Raven statistics you’ll need to sign into your Xbox Live account on the website, select the Halo: Fireteam Raven Service Record tab and tell the site to generate a QR code. You will need that QR code on your Smartphone Screen before you play the game.

To start the game you can pick one of four possible positions you wish to aim from. In front of each of the player seats is a mounted light gun controller and a SmartPhone scanner. Take your Smartphone out of your pocket, load up the Halo Waypoint website, and pull up the QR code from the Fireteam Raven Service Record page. You’ll need to put your Smartphone face down on the code scanner before putting in your Power Up card to pay for the game to start. If everything went correctly, your GamerTag will appear on your character’s Heads-Up-Display when the game launches. The first time we played the game our stats did not link properly as we started to play but for some reason they incorrectly linked with a new player who started at another position. With no other alternative, we ended up switching our playing positions. Later plays on a different station at a different location gave us no issues signing in.

The game has six missions, with each mission averaging around twenty minutes of gameplay and cutscenes. Over the course of the game you’ll wield many of Halo’s iconic weapons including the Pistol, Assault Rifle, Needler, Plasma Pistol, Rocket Launcher, Shotgun and Plasma Rifle. Each active player can aim their weapon with an on-screen crosshair with a color that matches the character seat they chose. You can fire your main weapon with the trigger buttons. If you have a grenade it can be fired with the thumb buttons. Small arms have to be reloaded, but if the player takes control of a rocket launcher or turret they will not have to reload, and these sections are where the game really shines. We won’t spoil anything but we will say this, after completing the final level, make sure to look above for a nice little touch.

Before we talk about Fireteam Raven’s gameplay let’s talk about its technical specs. The game takes place during the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and uses high-resolution graphical assets from Halo: Reach and Halo: Anniversary to display to two enormous 2K screens. Technically, because the game makes use of two side-by-side 2K screens, the game’s completed image technically is in 4K. I can attest the framerate, while smooth most of the time, is not entirely smooth a hundred percent of the time. To compensate for these moments, the vertical sync will tear. However at no point did I ever notice input lag and my controller never went out of sync with the crosshairs on the screen.

Make no mistake, this is an arcade game and like all arcade games this game is a credit sucker. Regardless of how good your aim is, some damage you just won’t be able to miss. In fact, I was averaging spending around two and a half credits per level. If that might be a little too much for you, I recommend signing up your e-mail address for Dave and Buster’s Rewards. Rewards members occasionally receive e-mails for free gameplay credits with purchase. If you don’t want to do that, you can always consider going on a Wednesday when game prices are slashed in half. Regardless, Halo fans need to seek this game out as soon as possible. Just make sure to register your Xbox Live GamerTag with Halo Waypoint before you do because if you don’t, you’ll miss out on all the rewards playing the game will earn you.

What is probably the biggest shame is that the release of this game is as limited as it is. You can’t currently buy it on any PC or console, and many people do not have a Dave and Busters arcade/restaurant near them. That’s compounded by the factor that Microsoft has no major exclusive game coming to PC or Consoles this holiday season. Also the fact that it makes use of two screens can limit our experience if it ever is ported to home media. That all having been said if you’re a Halo fan or just a fan of good light-gun games you need to seek this game out right now.

Halo: Fireteam Raven is out now exclusively in Dave and Busters arcades.