Friday, September 14, 2007

Angels of the Fall

I don't get Halo. I haven't gotten it for years.

I remember when Halo was first announced as a PC shooter waaay back in the day. I don't recall getting too overly excited about it. I'd never heard of the developer, and for some reason, the gameplay just didn't seem to click with me. Fast forward to the Halo release for the Xbox. Madness ensues. It seems like everyone is touting it as one of the most amazing shooters ever. This was 2001. Not only was I an rabid PC gamer, but I'd also played amazing, groundbreaking shooters like Deus Ex, System Shock 1 and 2, and a crap load of other deep games. I was admittedly curious about Halo. Everyone seemed to like it so much. One day I got to play it.

My friend Greg had an Xbox. He had Halo. I will say this for Halo it's co-op is pretty fun. But everything else I saw...not so good. My biggest problem is with the level design. Some parts are really pretty good, with huge battles in open large environments with multiple AI entities fighting each other. Pretty much everything else is either completely empty or utterly derivative. Huge open spaces with absolutely nothing happening, you've just got to run across it and let me say that Master Chief isn't winning any sprinting challenges any time soon. The derivative stuff? Empty rooms and hallways that don't change for an entire level. Literally. It's possible to leave one room for another only to think that you had been turned around somehow because this new, untouched room doesn't look any different from the old one. It's worse level design than F.E.A.R.

The gunplay is boring, the enemies are annoying, the graphics crappy.

So I shun it. I shun the sequel which gets similar critical praise. The funny thing is that I own both of those games now. Greg gave them to me a while ago. I've tried to play them, honestly I have, but I just can't get past those huge problems I've just outlined.

Now Halo 3 is upon us. I'm not buying it, because Half Life 2 Episode 2 is coming out in October. That and the Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion pack. But I can't help but feel like I'm missing something. I've heard the Halo story line is actually pretty decent and I've recently come to the realization that I place story above all else in games. For the most part. I did like Duke Nukem 3d for god's sake.


I think I'm going to force myself to play those games. Even if I hate every moment of it I'm going to finish the damn thing just so I can say that I have. Maybe I've got Bungie and their baby all wrong, who knows. It's just time to bite the bullet.

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