Is Halo Reach 10 times better than Halo 3? (Interview with Halo Reach's Joseph Tung)

Q&A with Halo Reach executive producer Joseph Tung

In just 10 short days, Halo Reach — widely tipped to be the biggest hit of the year — will descend upon the gaming masses. It will mark Bungie's bittersweet departure from the Halo franchise — a franchise that unarguably helped to build the Xbox 360 brand. ("Without Halo, I do not know where the Xbox business would be today" — Microsoft's David McLean.)

We recently caught up with the game's executive producer, Joseph Tung, at a Halo Reach preview in Microsoft's Sydney office. We quizzed Tung about the game's multiplayer mode, Forge World, the genesis of the jetpack, his favourite Halo weapon and the ending of Halo Reach's campaign.

Halo Reach

Halo Reach executive producer, Joseph Tung.

Hi Joseph. To start off, why don't you tell our readers a little about your role at Bungie and on Halo Reach?

Sure. My name’s Joseph Tung and I'm the executive producer for Halo Reach. I’ve been on the project since day one, when it was a group of four guys talking about what the next Halo game was going to be.

My role is work hand-in-hand with the creative director [Marcus Lehto] — his job is to come up with the crazy ideas and my job is to tell him what we can and can’t do, and make sure we ship on time. So we work really closely together to manage the whole project.

This will be Halo’s fifth stint at multiplayer. How do you guys keep things fresh?

Well, it’s hard. It’s a real challenge. One of our lead engineers put it best: “There isn’t anything you can change that someone won’t care about.” So it’s a real balance to preserve what we feel is core about Halo multiplayer, and yet, push the envelope and keep it fresh.

I think we really did push the envelope with Reach. If you played the beta, you saw things like Armour Abilities, you saw Load Outs; they really do change the game quite a bit. We’ve also tweaked a lot of the core player movement and jump height. We want to make you feel like Spartan IIIs, for sure.

Halo Reach

Then there are the brand new game modes, like Invasion. In Invasion, we want you to feel like you’re taking part in the war on Reach; it's Spartans verse the Covenant. It’s wrapped in fiction; it’s a much larger, more chaotic battle.

Then, I think we’ve innovated quite a lot in something like Arena, which is absolutely for the hardcore. It’s for the guys that got to level 50 playing Slayer in Halo 3. It takes that experience, and wraps it in a different experience, where it’s not just about getting to 50 and staying there. It’s about playing seasons, and seeing where you stack up, season after season.

Halo Reach

And then, of course, there’s the player reward system for Reach. That’s really exciting. No matter what you’re doing in Reach — you could be playing multiplayer, you could be playing firefight or the campaign — you’re earning credits, you’re buying custom armour and you’re investing in your unique Spartan.

So when you put the whole experience together, I really think we’ve offered a brand new take on Halo multiplayer. But at the same time, it’s got that wonderful Halo core.

What would you say is the single biggest improvement to multiplayer?

You know, when we get asked that question, it really is like asking which of your kids you like the most [laughs]. I really love what’s happened with Arena. I’m sort of a hardcore player myself; Arena just keeps me coming back for more. We’ve got that system where you play three games to get rated in a day, and the next day you want to play your three games again.

Halo Reach

On top of that, I think the team is really proud of what we’re doing in Forge for multiplayer. I think the ability for the fans to sustain the community with the improvements we’ve made to Forge is insane. The changes we’ve made [to Forge] are really near and dear to my heart.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags gamesXBox 360bungiehaloXbox 360 games

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Jager

GamePro Australia
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?