Looking for Halo: Reach review scores? Take a deep breath. It's gonna be a while.
Halo: Reach review scores have been embargoed until Sunday. (The game comes out on Tuesday.)
Bungie, the studio that created the blockbuster franchise, says Halo: Reach will be its last game in the series. Microsoft may keep making more Halo games after Bungie moves on to other projects. But Reach will be something of a closure for the seminal first-person shooter. And because of this, anticipation is fervent.
Knowing Halo's impressive pedigree, most gamers assume the game will be good. Reviews will simply confirm whether the entry is solid or amazing.
Embargoes are very common for video games – especially with big titles. They ensure writers don't race through a game in order to post the first official review. Instead, many reviewers have already completed Halo: Reach and still have several days to replay certain parts and polish their writing.
Some publishers allow reviews to go online weeks before the game's release. An early timeline can build last-minute hype. Other companies withhold everything until the last possible moment. This is often a bad sign – a signal that the game is terrible and the publisher knows it. (Of course, Starcraft II is the exception.)
Then there are some new outlets that jump the gun. The San Jose Mercury News posted its review, realized the mistake, and took it down again – but not before Google and others picked up snippets. The Mercury News's headline: "Finally, ‘Halo: Reach’ features combat that’s truly evolved." Shucks, now waiting is that much harder.