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Studio bids farewell with "labour of love".

The mission was designed by Sage Merrill, Bungie's sandbox designer, whose previous work on Crimson Skies has clearly had an influence.

"We looked at lots of other flight games that were out there," said Tung. "We didn't want to make a flight simulator for Reach, we wanted to make a very accessible, easy-to-use and fun-to-play space mission. Sage did an amazing job in nailing the Saber in that regard."

The Saber boasts regular lasers and targeting missiles, with meters for shield, hull integrity and thruster heat on the HUD. Tense combat ensues in the shadow of the looming presence of Reach, and as a visual spectacle the set-piece is undeniably spectacular.

"The Saber is limited to Campaign," said community writer Eric Osborne. "The whole mission isn't Saber; and there's something after that we're not revealing." Tung added: "You can play four-player co-op and everyone will have their own Saber in campaign."

Reach is Bungie's final game in the series it created, and Tung admitted it is a "sad goodbye" for the studio. "The team is extremely proud of the game. There's always stuff that falls by the wayside, but I think we got everything in that's critical to the game and more."

The studio also confirmed that Reach will not offer Kinect support, Tung explaining: "I wouldn't say it's not suited, but for us Kinect came online when we were already a year and a half into production and it was impossible to think about integrating it at that point."

Once development wraps, Bungie is committed to supporting the game post-launch and, while refusing to be drawn on details, Tung said: "We expect to put the same support into Reach that we did with past games.

"Reach is absolutely a full-fledged project at Bungie. The number of features you're going to see overall is greater than any other project we've shipped."

Halo: Reach comes to Xbox 360 on 14th September.

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Dan Whitehead

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Dan has been writing for Eurogamer since 2006 and specialises in RPGs, shooters and games for children. His bestest game ever is Julian Gollop's Chaos.

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