Halo Fireteam Raven is the core experience you know from the franchise, adapted for the old school arcade. This is a four player cooperative setup with drop-in/drop-out action. Playing as a group of ODST you're aiming to assist the Master Chief across a series of narrative driven missions. The events of this story take place during Halo: Combat Evolved, and the Chief makes some fun cameo-like appearances throughout. It's not hugely connected as you do your own thing, but many of the locations are based on iconic parts of the original game.
Each level provides a different environment, a fresh set of weapons and some fun vehicles to use. You blast away the various enemies from the Covenant, to the Flood. I'm not sure how exact it is canon wise as some of the enemies weren't directly from that game, same with the styles of certain in-game items. I kept saying, that wasn't in the original Halo. Aside from just working through the game regularly, you can do a level select as well. Make sure you scan your Waypoint account through the scanner on the machine if you're going to play, it'll keep track of stats on your Xbox account and grant rewards.
This is an entirely linear on rails experience as you look about the screen blasting enemies. You really need to only focus on your small quarter of the setup as that's what will damage you. You can shoot around to assist others, but to last longer just focus on your one or two enemies that appear on the screen at a time. You're basically just passively losing health as you play due to reloads and when enemies arrive. Cost wise I spent about twenty Canadian dollars to play through its entirety and the length of Halo Fireteam Raven is about an hour. I thought that detail might be important so that you're prepared as this is a more advanced arcade cabinet setup.
I was very impressed by the design of this unit as it's very bright, vibrant and demands your attention when you enter the arcade. I played at our Rec Room finding this machine front and center. Its colorful showcasing a proud Halo design and it's loud when you get in. After playing it for an hour my ears were definitely ringing, but it feels intense and you don't notice as you're playing. The seats are comfortable, the guns are really cool. They're these large turrets you hold onto and they have a reload in the middle. The vibration feedback was great from those. The screens looked visually impressive, you're getting a 130-inch, 4k screen experience. It looks really good for the type of arcade experience this is and it felt like a truly premium game.
Halo Fireteam Raven captures that iconic Halo feeling and translates it perfectly into an arcade experience. It did feel rather costly to play, but I had a good time. It was exactly how I imagined this type of experience would be, and I certainly enjoyed it. It's really neat to see Halo in the arcade environment and to see a fresh tale within the universe. There wasn't a whole lot of a story development going on, but it had some high quality cutscenes and really awesome points.
It was just an action packed joyride filled with enemies to blast and vehicles to handle. There were some fun surprises sprinkled throughout and it was an engaging time. I sat out down and didn't even notice the time pass, I did see all of my credits vanish so I'll have to refill next time. The design of the cabinet was excellent, I was truly blown away by the quality. You could see from a mile away that it was for Halo, top notch presentation and setup for sure. Halo Fireteam Raven is probably a standalone and rare part of Halo, but a worthwhile one to check out for being so different.
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Halo Fireteam Raven Review on Arcade Cabinet