Should You Install Halo: Reach to Your Xbox 360?

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Should You Install Halo: Reach to Your Xbox 360?



If you're looking to make the most out of your Halo: Reach experience, you might want to save a spare 7GB on your 360's hard drive.

Installing games to the Xbox 360's hard drive has always been a bit of a mixed bag. It can reduce loading times for some games, but it can actually make load times worse for some games, too. Booting up a game of Bungie's venerable Halo 3 took longer if you had the game installed to the 360 than if you just had the DVD spinning in the drive.

Does Halo: Reach suffer the same fate?

No, actually, it doesn't. In fact, a test by The Examiner [http://www.examiner.com/video-game-in-national/halo-reach-load-comparison-installed-vs-not-installed] found that installing the game to the hard drive reduced Reach load times down to as much as a mere third of the original length.

The first mission takes 8.1 seconds to load with an install, down from 21.4 seconds without. A Custom game loads in just shy of ten seconds (compared to almost 29 seconds without installation). Even the beefy Firefight mode has its load time cut in half, from 45 seconds down to under 22 seconds.

The results are clear, then: If you want to optimize your time spent loading to time shooting aliens in the face, install Reach. That is, assuming you have the 6.6GB on your hard drive necessary for the install. But if you don't, you might have other problems to deal with, anyway [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103477-No-Halo-Reach-Co-op-for-4GB-360-Slim-Owners].

(The Examiner [http://www.examiner.com/video-game-in-national/halo-reach-load-comparison-installed-vs-not-installed])

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Onyx Oblivion

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Sep 9, 2008
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I install every game to my 360 before I even play them...Reach was no exception. In the disc drive, install, then play.

To try and keep my 360 alive as long as possible, you see.

Hell, even if it DID work like Halo 3, with installations INCREASING the load times, I'd still install it.
 

BloodSquirrel

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Jun 23, 2008
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Good to know. I actually hadn't thought about it yet- there's almost no loading if you're playing the campaign straight through.
 

mjc0961

YOU'RE a pie chart.
Nov 30, 2009
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I'd have installed it anyway. Keeps things quiet and lets the DVD drive live longer.

I'm just waiting for when Sony wakes up and lets us do a full install on the PS3. Sure it might take longer if some of the games actually start filling a blu-ray disc, but come on, we can get 320GB drives to slap in there for such a small price that there's no reason to not include the option.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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I always install my games into my HDD. So far I know, Halo 3 is the exception. But so far almost anyone knows, I own but never play the game. Got it with ODST.

But yeah, Mass Effect 2 would be an infuriating experience without the install feature.
 

DTWolfwood

Better than Vash!
Oct 20, 2009
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Nice the install works.

But Ouch to you poor suckers with the 360 slim. Shoulda forked over the money for the Harddrive version of your 360.
 

soren7550

Overly Proud New Yorker
Dec 18, 2008
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I don't even have a spare 7 GB on my hard drive. Last I checked, I had 2.8 GB or so left. This has me a bit worried if I'll have enough room for a save file (or two) for Fable 3. But I'm thinking I should be worrying about my younger brother instead since he's apparently getting Black Ops and Reach, and I'm sure those are going to take up a *lot* of space. (he's bound to pitch a violent fit at me if he can't play those damn things)
 

Flamezdudes

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Aug 27, 2009
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Why is this news? I mean, i'm looking forward to getting the game as much as anyone but why is this news? The Escapist doesn't do it for other games.
 

sneakypenguin

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Flamezdudes said:
Why is this news? I mean, i'm looking forward to getting the game as much as anyone but why is this news? The Escapist doesn't do it for other games.
Cause halo 3 was wonky in that it took longer and this game is insanely popular and different from 3. I'm sure lots would be interested as compared to wondering if R.U.S.E. or something loads faster lol.
 

MercurySteam

Tastes Like Chicken!
Apr 11, 2008
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My friend and I were playing Reach on his TV (120 Hz, and so crystal clear) and noticed that the background would lag a bit from time to time so he installed it on his HD and noticed the whole game ran smoother. I guess Reach is working out Xboxes harder.
 

BloodSquirrel

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Flamezdudes said:
Why is this news? I mean, i'm looking forward to getting the game as much as anyone but why is this news? The Escapist doesn't do it for other games.
Halo 3 used the Xbox 360 hard drive as a cache, thus speed up loads. The problem was that this was does before the installation feature, and the game would still try to do it even if the game was already on the hard drive. This meant that installing Halo 3 would actually increase your load times.

This is just letting everyone know that Reach doesn't suffer from the same problem.
 

SmugFrog

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Sep 4, 2008
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Straying Bullet said:
But yeah, Mass Effect 2 would be an infuriating experience without the install feature.
Was the benefit that great? I wanted to, but at the time I was playing ME2, I had a pathetically small drive and was waiting on a new one. One of these days I'll go back through the game, and I was always wondering what the difference would be with an install.

Flamezdudes said:
Why is this news ... The Escapist doesn't do it for other games.
I think this game shows one of the biggest differences between an install and without. That's quite interesting.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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SmugFrog said:
Straying Bullet said:
But yeah, Mass Effect 2 would be an infuriating experience without the install feature.
Was the benefit that great? I wanted to, but at the time I was playing ME2, I had a pathetically small drive and was waiting on a new one. One of these days I'll go back through the game, and I was always wondering what the difference would be with an install.
For me, it was. You see, Mass Effect II loads EVERYTHING and then allows you to explore your hub and such. Mass Effecf I gave you LESS loading time [ As in watching the same screen over and over ] so you could jump right in, sure, it kept loading textures but it was a smooth experience regardless. Some stutter did happen.

Install the game into your HDD, saves alot of grinding your teeth.
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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...That is...wow, alot. Talk about taking up HUGE space...I thought we were moving in the other direction?
 

pneuma08

Gaming Connoisseur
Sep 10, 2008
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Onyx Oblivion said:
I install every game to my 360 before I even play them...Reach was no exception. In the disc drive, install, then play.

To try and keep my 360 alive as long as possible, you see.

Hell, even if it DID work like Halo 3, with installations INCREASING the load times, I'd still install it.
Same here. I need to lessen the strain on the disk tray as much as possible. It's going to fail one of these days, but I want that day as far away as possible.

Jaredin said:
...That is...wow, alot. Talk about taking up HUGE space...I thought we were moving in the other direction?
What direction would that be? Games have always been steadily increasing in size.
 

MrTub

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Mar 12, 2009
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Jaredin said:
...That is...wow, alot. Talk about taking up HUGE space...I thought we were moving in the other direction?
Well my wow is currently at 20,4gb (that's without the beta) so 7gb is quite small, atleast for a pc game
 

TehIrishSoap

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This Certainly Ain't A Game For The 256mb Family Xbox! :p
I'm Not A Fanboy
(Yahtzee: YES YOU ARE)
But Would This Happen On PS3?
 

BloodSquirrel

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Jun 23, 2008
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TehIrishSoap said:
This Certainly Ain't A Game For The 256mb Family Xbox! :p
I'm Not A Fanboy
(Yahtzee: YES YOU ARE)
But Would This Happen On PS3?
No, because the PS3 doesn't have the optional install feature in the first place.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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BloodSquirrel said:
TehIrishSoap said:
This Certainly Ain't A Game For The 256mb Family Xbox! :p
I'm Not A Fanboy
(Yahtzee: YES YOU ARE)
But Would This Happen On PS3?
No, because the PS3 doesn't have the optional install feature in the first place.
Zap! Tzzzzzzzzz.....

OT: Good thing I have another 50 GB free on my hard drive. Bad thing I dont have any money left to buy Reach.