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Author Topic: Halo - What am I missing?  (Read 2107 times)
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« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2011, 03:48:42 PM »

Two controllers. Dude, seriously? slywink

As for the health regeneration, yes it was shields, but it was the lions share of your health fluctuation. That buffer with auto-regen was where you lived. If you were looking for health-kits, you're doing it wrong. Tongue

From using weapon drops (and not just "point A, point B" drops, but actually using enemy weapons), using vehicles in a natural extension of combat, to co-op splitscreen play put it well above any of its contemporaries.

PC gaming != Console gaming - the buy-in, even with the Xbox at launch (499 Cdn, IIRC) was a hell of a lot cheaper than my gaming rig. Looking at the NPD stats for top 10 console games and PC games (scroll down from the link), there isn't an FPS listed (including Halo - the 360 launch was in November and didn't ever cut into the Sony Engine until near the end of its life).

Notable PC FPS games that came out just before it include NOLF and Counterstrike (retail) at just over a year earlier (late 2000), Tribes 2 (spring 2011), Max Payne (summer), AvP2 (two weeks before).

Following its release was Return to Castle Wolfenstein (two weeks later), Serious Sam 2 (feb 02), Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (March 02), SoF2: Double Helix (may 02) and Battlefield 1942 (Sept 02).

Rainbow 6 Three: Raven Shield was spring 2003, and the first Call Of Duty was September 2003.

Do any of those FPS's hold up to Halo: CE in that day and age? Counterstrike retail was LTTP - we'd played the beta to death in my circle of friends (I used to run 35 person lan parties in my basement with a 16 port 100bT switch (not hub!).

I love PC FPS's - I recall us all waiting with anticipation for the release of the Halo PC game to be the next big thing. Then it moved to console, and some of us picked it up. I can still recall the in-game trailer where a group of marines assault a fortified base on Halo and they even steal a banshee. This gameplay never made it in (it looked a little like the beginning of Silent Cartographer).

I remember some of NOLF. I still know DE_DUST like the back of my hand. I didn't stop playing PC games, but with Diablo 2 and Giants Citizen Kabuto and Black and White, I found that there was a real lull in the FPS genre. Looking back at it, even Jedi II is a pale comparison the DF2: Jedi Knight.

I fully agree that Halo was right-place-right-time. Hell, MSFT put it there though - it wasn't by accident. They bought Bungie to do it, and frankly, they were right to bet on Halo. Halo 2 didn't come out until 3 years later, and it too was a big hit and a worthwhile play. It refined the formula, and was a compelling storytelling (even if a bit disjointed - it was easy to get lost in where in the universe you were).

The only problem with Halo:CE today is that its formula has been lifted and used so many times that you wouldn't know it was the original console FPS that actually won hardcore FPS players to the console world. While a PC gamer, the only console I bought after my SNES was the PS1. I skipped the PS2 simply because it didn't have any FPS's.

So from where I'm sitting, Halo: CE doesn't need to earn its right into my library - it already did. at 40bux, it was a no-brainer. Mine still has its shrink-wrap on it though - I'm waiting for when my brother is back in town (3 days, by his account) and then we cover the ground in MC corpses as we pistolwhip each other for the sniper rifle.

And dammit, I'm looking FORWARD to it.

Also, Where's an AMPED Anniversary Edition?!! biggrin
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 03:53:28 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2011, 05:41:41 PM »

Quote from: Jumangi on November 21, 2011, 02:58:26 PM

Quote from: kathode on November 15, 2011, 09:36:31 PM

Quote from: naednek on November 15, 2011, 09:11:55 PM

The first halo was the worst.  Horrible horrible level design.  It's basically cookie cutter as far as rooms go.  I've played all four because of the hype but it always fell flat.  I think Reach was probably the I liked most, but that's not saying much.

You are over-remembering the Library level.  Everyone is entitled to opinions of course, but generally speaking, it's pretty uncontroversial to say the first Halo was the best of the whole series, and Silent Cartographer is still pretty much the FPS level everyone wants to beat.  I can't help but be biased, but Anniversary is a great intro to the series.  It's the first game with a new coat of paint, and it's still a ton of fun.


No he isn't. There are large sections of the game especially indoor parts that are literally copy and pasted sections to make the game longer in a easy cheap fashion.

ding.  I distinctly remember clearing out one room, move on to the next room, and then after that see the exact same layout that you were in two rooms ago.  I wish I could pin point it and show a video, but it was too long ago to pinpoint the exact levels.
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« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2011, 08:56:02 PM »

... and the FPS's at the time were all unique levels, right? slywink

There were backtracking levels, but the climates were different, and often you were then travelling back from whence you came in vehicles rather than on-foot.

The Halo architecture was pretty similar - but TBH Halo 2 had more of that "this again" feeling than H:CE.

The library was the thing that made it frustrating .... climbing spirals while flood "surprise" attack you constantly was the big no-no.
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« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2011, 08:59:54 PM »

Quote from: Purge on November 22, 2011, 08:56:02 PM

... and the FPS's at the time were all unique levels, right? slywink

In the late 90's FPS games made a huge leap in terms of quality games, mainly on the PC.    It wasn't until the early 2000's where FPS games started to appear on consoles that had any quality to it.  Halo was probably the first game that made FPS games work in terms of control.  However, while story telling had improved, the developers were lazy when it came to level design.  Maybe it was because of a limitation on the xbox, and they had to reuse textures/levels, but it was there.  I don't recall seeing cookie cutter levels in games prior to halo. 

Don't get me started on respawning AI, NOLF 2 takes the cake on that, with farcy 2 following close behind.

Quote from: Purge on November 22, 2011, 08:56:02 PM

There were backtracking levels, but the climates were different, and often you were then travelling back from whence you came in vehicles rather than on-foot.

I remember playing Halo 1 and my main complaint was the repetitiveness of the levels and it wasn't due to "backtracking"

« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 09:05:25 PM by naednek » Logged
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« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2011, 04:25:00 AM »

Quote
Maybe it was because of a limitation on the xbox, and they had to reuse textures/levels, but it was there.

Probably due to the pressure of getting it out for launch... MS bought Bungie in mid-2000, so they had to significantly revamp the game *and* learn how to optimize for this new platform in a little over a year. 
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« Reply #45 on: November 23, 2011, 06:42:21 AM »

Since I've played the HALO CE campaign 4+ times now in both SP and co-op split-screen I thought I'd jump in and add a few things. I share Purge's appreciation of the original and still think it was the best shooter for a year or 2 either side of its release. For sure there was some level repetition in CE, but to be fair to Bungie that did occur in really massive sections of the Forerunner installation where that was a part of the layout. Did that make the gameplay a bit too samey in spots for the player - yep. That said, those levels are far from a majority of the game. The worst was the Library where each of 4 levels is very similar and each as hair-pulling tough as the previous.  icon_eek

The more significant thing was the backtracking though, which has a lot of impact as much of it occured through a large level. Again, it's far from a majority of the campaign. I still think the story was better than anything released around that time. To say there were lots of fps out for the PC with much bigger levels, settings or more epic stories is a real distortion of the past. NOLF, Max Payne, NOLF2, System Shock 2 and Medal of Honor IMO were about the only shooters around that time that approached Halo's quality. Other than NOLF2, I've replayed all of those in the past few years and despite all being outstanding games IMO none of them were on par with Halo.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 06:53:04 AM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: November 23, 2011, 05:57:14 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on November 21, 2011, 06:52:14 PM

And you can't say those other games did the same thing but without two sticks, as the two sticks were the entire point.  Console shooters went from awkward to entirely possible in one game: Halo.

So we're faulting Goldeneye for not releasing a two-stick controller with their game? (Though I suppose as Chaz points out, they kind of did)

Bungie, with Halo, used the controller that came with the system. It's not as if they designed the two-stick controller and it's not as if pc gamers stopped using a mouse in favor of the two-stick xbox controller after playing Halo. Which isn't to say they didn't get it right. They absolutely did (and not all games did - Timesplitters 2, I'm looking at you). But it's really a stretch to consider it some huge advance in game design.

Quote from: kronovan on November 23, 2011, 06:42:21 AM

to say there were lots of fps out for the PC with much bigger levels, settings or more epic stories is a real distortion of the past. NOLF, Max Payne, NOLF2, System Shock 2 and Medal of Honor IMO were about the only shooters around that time that approached Halo's quality

I didn't say exactly that, I said it wasn't ahead of many titles that were out for PC. And I said it was certainly no more groundbreaking on consoles than Goldeneye. Lauding Halo as the great console shooter revolution while ignoring Goldeneye is akin to a Duke Nukem fan ignoring Doom.

Quote from: Purge on November 22, 2011, 03:48:42 PM

Notable PC FPS games that came out just before it include NOLF and Counterstrike (retail) at just over a year earlier (late 2000), Tribes 2 (spring 2011), Max Payne (summer), AvP2 (two weeks before).

Following its release was Return to Castle Wolfenstein (two weeks later), Serious Sam 2 (feb 02), Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (March 02), SoF2: Double Helix (may 02) and Battlefield 1942 (Sept 02).
Do any of those FPS's hold up to Halo: CE in that day and age?

We're obviously just talking personal opinion and who am I to suggest that you should like one title better than another. I personally think NOLF is a far, far more entertaining game than Halo (it's easily one of the best games I've ever played), but either way, there were other good shooters out for PC around the time Halo appeared as the only option for xbox owners who wanted to play a shooter on their new system. You named a few (though not Max Payne, which was third person....unless you allow me to bring the great Metal Gear Solid into the discussion). I wouldn't include Tribes 2 or Counterstrike because as multiplayer titles they are hard to compare to the first Halo (unless we compare Halo's MP, which was incredibly inferior to those titles...though Bungie remedied that in Halo 2 for sure). Others I would suggest that came out around that time are Operation Flashpoint (an awesome, critically acclaimed tactical shooter), Delta Force: Land Warrior, Stark Trek Elite Forces, RS: Rogue Spear, Unreal Tournament (2 years earlier, and focused on MP, but it had such good bot AI it could be played exclusively single player).

My point is that there were lots of good shooters to play...on PC. And a few on the previous generation of consoles. Halo was first in line on the new xbox console and it succeeded, but it is remembered as something more unique than I think it actually was.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 06:03:10 PM by Inverarity » Logged
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« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2011, 06:31:11 PM »

I included Max Payne because of its strong shooting element and the fact that it was considered a huge step in the shooter genre (bullet time, environmental damage ala The Matrix lobby scene).

You said PC FPS games. I left out IGI, for instance. It wasn't that notable. MGS left the 3rd person shooter aspect and I'd classify it more along the lines of a 3rd person action given its stealth elements. If you want to put it up against Fisher's adventure, that's a better fit (and IMHO takes a backseat to Splinter Cell in almost every aspect - you'll find no love for the MGS series with me though - I got tired of japanese overwrought storyline that felt like a waste of time - once again, I recognize that is *my* opinion and it is a much-loved series).

The OP asked what was special about Halo.

I went from a PC gamer to a Console Gamer because of Halo. I followed the content before its release. GoldenEye was a 1997 title that was a very pale comparison of games like Half-Life which had pretty much everything going for it.

The MP in Halo 1 was fantastic - the limitation was that the Live service wasn't in it, so setting up multi-tv and mult-console was both cumbersome and expensive. That being said, how many of those PC FPS games had any significant co-op? CS was team based, and BF1942 and Tribes2, but that was their bread and butter (IIRC ... it's been a while).

How about driving a warthog through a battlefield where your partner was manning the chaingun on the back? I'd drive like a 16yr old in a stolen car, and it was head and shoulders above the sneaking around that could be expected of NOLF. It was genuinely social, and being able to work together and still managing to boil the FPS elements down to what was needed. No more, no less. The weapons also FELT powerful.

If you want to talk about significant console shooters, people swear that GoldenEye was the bomb. I didn't think so, and yes, while the controls were the limitation, the original Playstation was out in 1994 (with two joysticks), while the N64 was released in 1996. You mean that in seven years in console development in an open market that the pinnacle was in 1997 on system that couldn't support it? Anything that GoldenEye brought to the table wasn't new by any stretch - it simply was the best effort for a popular hardware platform that had a big install base.

The point of Halo being a "must-play" because it was the only game on the 360 that was a must-buy is also begging the question. Fact is, the PS2 had a giant stable of games. People who bought an Xbox likely bought a $500 machine to play one game, not that they bought a $500 machine and then were stuck with one game. Halo moved units, not that Halo was the only available girl at the dance.

To suggest otherwise means that either you weren't an Xbox owner and got to live through the developer snub that Microsoft fought for years to overcome.

From Tony Hawk, GTA, EA Sports, etc ... the Xbox needed Halo - not the other way around. Halo would have been just as popular if it were multiplatform. It may not have been so much a darling because it would have had to compete on other platforms, but it also wouldn't have faced the challenge of having such a limited install base either.

To suggest that Halo was only good because it was the only game to play is to ignore the history of systems like 3Do, where there were VERY good games to play, but didn't have the draw enough to overcome the cost of ownership. (Need for Speed, for instance, was there with Driver X - a fantastic experience for sure). Bungie's magnum opus may be heavily criticized for Halo 2's end, or not enough change or evolution in the game, but at least they aren't releasing the same game year after year.

(there's always 2 years inbetween slywink)


TL;DR - Halo is significant. It's balance and execution won over PC FPS gamers that no other game had. And PS One had 6 years to try, regardless of how much GoldenEye 007's faults were based on controls more than the gameplay itself.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 06:37:26 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2011, 07:07:39 PM »

Quote from: Inverarity on November 23, 2011, 05:57:14 PM

Quote from: kronovan on November 23, 2011, 06:42:21 AM

to say there were lots of fps out for the PC with much bigger levels, settings or more epic stories is a real distortion of the past. NOLF, Max Payne, NOLF2, System Shock 2 and Medal of Honor IMO were about the only shooters around that time that approached Halo's quality

I didn't say exactly that, I said it wasn't ahead of many titles that were out for PC. And I said it was certainly no more groundbreaking on consoles than Goldeneye. Lauding Halo as the great console shooter revolution while ignoring Goldeneye is akin to a Duke Nukem fan ignoring Doom.

I wouldn't rate either Goldeneye or Halo over the other - both are stellar shooters IMO. However I do think drawing comparisons to Goldeneye is a bit of a red herring as it released more than 4 years earlier than Halo. That's a long time for a game around the millenium end, considering console lifecycles were only 5 years then and Goldeneye was from a completely different, earlier gen. Its almost akin to saying the Xbox Halo CE holds up against any 360 shooter. For sure it does IMO in story and setting, but visually without the additions of the Anniversary edition's graphic enhancements it falls short.

Quote
I wouldn't include Tribes 2 or Counterstrike because as multiplayer titles they are hard to compare to the first Halo (unless we compare Halo's MP, which was incredibly inferior to those titles...though Bungie remedied that in Halo 2 for sure)

I personally wouldn't hesitate to throw those in for comparison. Within a year of Halo's release fans had created the Xbconnect service. I can say from having played Halo CE syslink via that service frequently, that there was a very healthy online community and the service worked flawlessly. Despite having since played all Halo games online, the original CE is still remains the Halo title I've played the most online.

Quote
Others I would suggest that came out around that time are Operation Flashpoint (an awesome, critically acclaimed tactical shooter), Delta Force: Land Warrior, Stark Trek Elite Forces, RS: Rogue Spear, Unreal Tournament (2 years earlier, and focused on MP, but it had such good bot AI it could be played exclusively single player).

You're right about Op Flashpoint - I'd forgotten about it and I'd certainly agree that it's hard-core/simulation gameplay was as ground breaking as any shooter around that time. But seriously, those other shooters aren't even in the same league. For sure that's just my opinion, but the metracritics for those and Halo would tend to agree with me.

Quote
My point is that there were lots of good shooters to play...on PC. And a few on the previous generation of consoles. Halo was first in line on the new xbox console and it succeeded, but it is remembered as something more unique than I think it actually was.

I respect your opinion, but I can't say I agree. Halo was unique because it presented a hard SciFi story on an epic scale, and it backed it up with solid gameplay mechanics. In fact the only other shooter that came close story-wise around that time was System Shock II.  It was also very strong visually despite the Xbox hardware being quite a bit below a better gaming rig back in 2001 - put that down to very good art direction. And as I already mentioned the XBConnect mp for Halo put it on par with just about any PC shooter at the time. Add all that up and you get a shooter that provided a unique gaming experience circa 2001.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 07:10:15 PM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #49 on: November 23, 2011, 07:27:39 PM »

Quote from: Inverarity on November 23, 2011, 05:57:14 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on November 21, 2011, 06:52:14 PM

And you can't say those other games did the same thing but without two sticks, as the two sticks were the entire point.  Console shooters went from awkward to entirely possible in one game: Halo.

So we're faulting Goldeneye for not releasing a two-stick controller with their game? (Though I suppose as Chaz points out, they kind of did)

Bungie, with Halo, used the controller that came with the system. It's not as if they designed the two-stick controller and it's not as if pc gamers stopped using a mouse in favor of the two-stick xbox controller after playing Halo. Which isn't to say they didn't get it right. They absolutely did (and not all games did - Timesplitters 2, I'm looking at you). But it's really a stretch to consider it some huge advance in game design.

We're not faulting Goldeneye, we're lauding Halo.  It's easy to look at the second stick now and say that they just used the controller available to them.  But the point is that they used it correctly and well.  As was mentioned, the PS2 had two sticks and a handful of FPS games before that.  Some were even good, but none of them nailed it.  Halo stuck the landing and the fact that every console FPS game that followed tried to emulate it, cements its place in gaming history.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 07:36:05 PM by Bullwinkle » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: November 23, 2011, 10:20:16 PM »

Quote from: Purge on November 23, 2011, 06:31:11 PM

GoldenEye was a 1997 title that was a very pale comparison of games like Half-Life which had pretty much everything going for it.

Well, it was out more than a year prior to Half-life, and if we're being fair, even for several years after Half-Life's release, no game compared favorably to it (I considered adding Halo to this list of "no game comparing favorably to HL", but that's rabbit hole not worth going down smile ).

My whole point of bringing up Goldeneye isn't to compare it game-wise to Halo (I actually preferred Turok to Goldeneye). I'm only pointing out that a lot of what Halo gets credit for (in this thread at least) was done earlier by Goldeneye. Specifically, being the first mass-appeal shooter on a console, showing that a shooter can be done well on a console, getting its own controls right (to the point where it wasn't awkward). And I mentioned Turok, which is a good example of a console shooter doing large outdoor spaces well.

Quote
Anything that GoldenEye brought to the table wasn't new by any stretch - it simply was the best effort for a popular hardware platform that had a big install base.

I think that's selling it way too short. Deathmatch MP on a console, use of an analog stick for control, scoped sniper rifles, context-sensitive hit locations....all unique at the time of its release (cite)

Quote
The point of Halo being a "must-play" because it was the only game on the 360 that was a must-buy is also begging the question. Fact is, the PS2 had a giant stable of games. People who bought an Xbox likely bought a $500 machine to play one game, not that they bought a $500 machine and then were stuck with one game. Halo moved units, not that Halo was the only available girl at the dance.

I said it was the only shooter, not the only game. My reference to Amped should obviously point out that I knew there were other games. It was the only shooter. I never said it was a bad game, only that it was remembered with particularly reverence because it was the only shooter.  And of course it needed to not suck to be remembered fondly at all. That's not the same thing as suggesting it was only good because it was the only shooter.

Quote from: Bullwinkle on November 23, 2011, 07:27:39 PM

Halo stuck the landing and the fact that every console FPS game that followed tried to emulate it, cements its place in gaming history

Is that really the case, though, or was it just the first to release? I'm asking, not being snarky.

Quote from: kronovan on November 23, 2011, 07:07:39 PM

I respect your opinion, but I can't say I agree. Halo was unique because it presented a hard SciFi story on an epic scale, and it backed it up with solid gameplay mechanics. In fact the only other shooter that came close story-wise around that time was System Shock II.  It was also very strong visually despite the Xbox hardware being quite a bit below a better gaming rig back in 2001 - put that down to very good art direction. And as I already mentioned the XBConnect mp for Halo put it on par with just about any PC shooter at the time. Add all that up and you get a shooter that provided a unique gaming experience circa 2001.

We'll have to agree to disagree on its level of quality, but I acknowledge you're making a fair point.
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« Reply #51 on: November 24, 2011, 03:00:03 PM »

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree, methinks. biggrin

Since Halo was not the first shooter on a console, it is significant that the control scheme (which was highly praised at the time) was quickly adopted based on the game.

Some other things that Halo brought to the table that are still in regular use today in shooters:

- ammo/ weapon dependancy based heavily on enemy drops
- "seamless" checkpoint save system
- seamless vehicular combat integration (as in, you don't load a new level to drive)
- regenerating shields/health
- Any weapon you want, but you can only carry two.
- full co-op throughout single player campaign

* Seamless in execution (there was no "Save" points you'd interact with). It wasn't seamless in execution with coop though as it'd hiccup for a second, and the non-initiator of the checkpoint would "pop" beside the checkpoint.

Even HL2 has a scientist carrying a wheelbarrow worth of weapons and gear around. It was more than just a flash in the pan, and I don't think "average" is giving credit where it's due.

If there was no Halo, I expect the xbox to have been known as the ex-box and we'd be at least 4 or 5 years behind in online gameplay, and likely not seen the advent of FPS games hit the console markets as quickly.

Halo sold big, and doing so swung publisher interest to the marketplace they hadn't cracked. Sure, GoldenEye was "first", but when people say Nintendo, the next word isn't James Bond- it's Mario. It's akin to the FPS genre remembering Doom and Quake, but forgetting that one of the big pioneer in First Person was Ultima Underworld. For those who had played 007, good for you. I've tried playing it, and the controls had pissed me off so much that I scoffed (scoff, scoff) at the entire experience.

I was a hard-core PC gamer. I wasn't going to play FPSes on console, and I had no interest in buying one, until that much-anticipated Bungie game jumped ship to the MS / Nvidia console.

When someone says Xbox- it isn't Marcus Fenix, or that dude from Homefront, or even the various characters from BF or COD, or Sam Fisher-  it's Master Chief.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 03:03:44 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: November 28, 2011, 03:18:56 PM »

The Library was really, really repetitive, but when most people are remembering 'cut and paste', they're probably remembering a level called 'Assault on the Control Room'.  I did the PC version strategy guide for Gamespot.  Here are some excerpts from the guide for that level:

Quote
This level is a huge one. You will fight in a variety of environments, from wide open expanses of snow to close underground spaces to big round rooms (lots of these).

Past a short hallway is a distinctive big round room full of Covenant troops. Clear it out and continue out the far side.

Another short section of hallway leads to a big round room very much like the one on the other side of the bridge.

Here you will encounter another big round room

Inside you will find… you guessed it… another big round room. This one has a pair of Blue Elites, and you will find a pile of supplies on the ground near the exit.

You will enter another big round room full of Grunts. You know what to do. Go down the exit ramp on the far side.

The Big Round Room around the corner has a pair of Hunters in it;

When you are finished, go on through the door to the big round room (Jackals and Grunts, this time) and down the ramp into the elevator. Guess what's at the bottom? It's a big round room, this time with an Invisible Elite, Jackals, and Grunts.

Ah, and then you leave the big round rooms.  You do 343 Guilty Spark.  You do The Library.  After that, you get to turn around and backtrack through Assault on the Control Room backwards:

Quote
Does this area look familiar? That's right; it is one of the big, round rooms you cleared out earlier. Clear it out again

The next big round room is full of Flood.

The next Big Round Room (tm) starts off with a couple of Warriors followed by Carriers.

This time, the big round room is full of Sentinels. Take them out with your assault rifle and step into the beam. Enjoy the cutscene.

I do love Halo, but that stretch, with the Library in the middle, was tedious.
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« Reply #53 on: November 28, 2011, 03:59:04 PM »

Quote from: Blackhawk on November 28, 2011, 03:18:56 PM

I do love Halo, but that stretch, with the Library in the middle, was tedious.

The Library level is easier now in Halo Anniversary. Immediately after completing it I wasn't sure why, but then I realised the enemy dropped a very generous amount of guns and ammo. I don't recall ammo being that readily available in the orginal. I remember a comment from Frank Connor (343 Studios) that there'd be a few more options for that level this time around, so I'm thinking that was what he was referring to. With its 4 floors it still could be tedious for some, but it only took me a while because I was obsessed with finding the terminal and skull.  icon_confused  A decent player should be able to clear those 4 floors quite quickly now.
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« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2011, 03:59:20 PM »

BTW, just a point to note, dual stick controllers weren't out for the PSX until 1997, and the dual shock didn't come out until 1998.
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« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2011, 04:29:55 PM »

I should probably also mention, that the addition of skulls and terminal questing in Halo Anniversary nicely demonstrates just how big some of Halo's level were. Despite it being 10 years later, when I got in the Banshee in the Two Betrayals level to search for a skull I was awed by the size of the Canyons. The  attention to detail in terrain was impressive - snow covered ledges you could land on, Ice waterfalls plunging from cliff top to canyon bottom, pinnacles with Forerunner structures closely fitted to the natural stone, snow flurries obscurring your vision. Other than Ops Flashpoint I can't recall a single other game released around the time that had any levels on that scale.
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« Reply #56 on: November 29, 2011, 04:15:54 AM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 28, 2011, 03:59:20 PM

BTW, just a point to note, dual stick controllers weren't out for the PSX until 1997, and the dual shock didn't come out until 1998.

... and Halo was out 2001. Four years, two full game dev cycles, and an open marketplace. Tongue Vibrating controllers are moot in the argument of controls.
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« Reply #57 on: November 29, 2011, 04:24:38 AM »

Quote from: Purge on November 29, 2011, 04:15:54 AM

Quote from: Teggy on November 28, 2011, 03:59:20 PM

BTW, just a point to note, dual stick controllers weren't out for the PSX until 1997, and the dual shock didn't come out until 1998.

... and Halo was out 2001. Four years, two full game dev cycles, and an open marketplace. Tongue Vibrating controllers are moot in the argument of controls.

It wasn't the fact that the dual shock vibrated, it was that it was the first dual-stick controller to become widely available, as it became a pack-in.
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« Reply #58 on: November 29, 2011, 05:01:57 PM »

As pointed out on page one, you could get dual stick on the N64 and those controllers were pack-ins. stirthepot
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« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2011, 06:48:18 PM »

Quote from: Purge on November 29, 2011, 05:01:57 PM

As pointed out on page one, you could get dual stick on the N64 and those controllers were pack-ins. stirthepot

I almost took that bait.
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« Reply #60 on: November 30, 2011, 05:01:56 AM »

biggrin I guess it really boils down to one thing:

If you didn't think Halo was a big deal, then you aren't really qualified to answer the OP. slywink It wasn't a perfect game, but it was a hell of a lot of fun, and nailed FPS controls and coop right.

I even bought a keyboard/mouse adapter to try WSAD+mouse controls, and while the mouse was more precise, the movement was significantly less so. I found myself thinking that it was too much effort to set up and just stuck to the controller.
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« Reply #61 on: November 30, 2011, 04:50:39 PM »

Quote from: Purge on November 30, 2011, 05:01:56 AM

biggrin I guess it really boils down to one thing:

If you didn't think Halo was a big deal, then you aren't really qualified to answer the OP. slywink It wasn't a perfect game, but it was a hell of a lot of fun, and nailed FPS controls and coop right.

I even bought a keyboard/mouse adapter to try WSAD+mouse controls, and while the mouse was more precise, the movement was significantly less so. I found myself thinking that it was too much effort to set up and just stuck to the controller.

That I definitely agree with.  It was the gameplay I have issue with.  It wasn't groundbreaking as people making it out to be, in fact it was about 4 years too late.  But it did define the standards of what the controls for FPS games should be. 
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« Reply #62 on: November 30, 2011, 05:03:19 PM »

Quote from: naednek on November 30, 2011, 04:50:39 PM

Quote from: Purge on November 30, 2011, 05:01:56 AM

biggrin I guess it really boils down to one thing:

If you didn't think Halo was a big deal, then you aren't really qualified to answer the OP. slywink It wasn't a perfect game, but it was a hell of a lot of fun, and nailed FPS controls and coop right.

I even bought a keyboard/mouse adapter to try WSAD+mouse controls, and while the mouse was more precise, the movement was significantly less so. I found myself thinking that it was too much effort to set up and just stuck to the controller.

That I definitely agree with.  It was the gameplay I have issue with.  It wasn't groundbreaking as people making it out to be, in fact it was about 4 years too late.  But it did define the standards of what the controls for FPS games should be. 

Which makes it groundbreaking.  The others were chipping away at the hard ground.  Halo broke through.
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« Reply #63 on: November 30, 2011, 05:08:58 PM »

Halo broke through because they finally found a way to make a FPS work on a console.  It didn't mean it was a good game.
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« Reply #64 on: November 30, 2011, 11:57:24 PM »

Think this review does a good job describing the game, and my issues with it. 
http://www.gameshark.com/reviews/3951/Halo-Combat-Evolved-Anniversary-Review.htm
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« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2011, 01:51:50 AM »

"It’s ironic that the parts that I wound up remembering the most were the frustrating or irritating ones-" That's not irony.
Irony is that you walked away from it unimpressed so many years ago (because Perfect Dark was "innovative" because it features a chick :lol:), and now you think Halo is the cat's meow.

He also reinforces the same things I've mentioned here (streamlined combat, 2 weapons, fantastic co-op) - really that review is wierd because there is technical praise, but disenchantment with corridor combat. There is no love for the feel of combat but he touts those as its strengths.

He wasn't a fan when it came out, I would hardly imagine that he could be one now. It isn't a rewrite, it's bringing a game from the Xbox that is STILL in my collection into the native 360 format with a few bells and whistles.

Now... how many of you Golden Eye fans picked up the remake released last month?

I didn't. Tongue
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« Reply #66 on: December 01, 2011, 05:43:30 AM »

In fairness, Goldeneye isn't really a remake in the way that Halo is.  It's a redo or something. 

I bought it for the Wii when it came out, and it was actually really good.
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« Reply #67 on: December 01, 2011, 03:35:35 PM »

Also, in fairness, if a game is meh new, and is the same meh when it is released 10 years later after millions upon millions of sales, that's pretty good.

Look at Resident Evil: Code Veronica for how NOT to do it. biggrin
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« Reply #68 on: December 01, 2011, 04:58:49 PM »

I fully understand why the original Halo was a landmark game... my question to start this thread was more in the vein of "why is this series of games still important today" Halo Reach is hugely popular, Halo 4 is generating a lot of excitement, etc...

As I mentioned, I'm playing the latest entry, Halo Reach, and at the time I started this thread, I just wasn't seeing ANYTHING that made this game better than average at best.  Now that I'm much deeper into the game and have learned some of the enemy types and strategy, I'm having a lot more fun with it, but it's still just not a very good game overall.

  • The enemy design is just weird and seem out of place.  Many of the enemies have a bit of a "cute" vibe that seems totally out of place in the world.
  • The different weaknesses/strengths and strategies of the different enemy types are not very well communicated to the player (perhaps that's less of an issue if you've followed the series since day one)
  • The story is bad  and (worse) badly told
  • The weapons aren't very good.  The design is uninteresting and they aren't very fun to use
  • The graphics engine is passable, but the art direction and level design are both super bland
  • The vehicle control isn't great
  • The pacing of the game is wonky, although I do appreciate that it isn't relying on huge set pieces and super directed "on rails" sequences, I feel it could have been improved if they had incorporated some elements of that type of stuff into the game

They do however, get one thing very right.  The moment to moment combat in this game is super fun.  I'm not sure if it's because the enemy AI is just really good, or if they are somehow geniuses of encounter design, or what... but despite my complaints about enemy design and bland weapons, I'm finding the combat to be engaging, challenging and a really goddamn good time.    I'm also super impressed by the fact that I'm not finding it frustrating.  I'm playing on heroic and I'm dying... a lot, but those deaths always seem "fair" and I'm always left with the feeling that the AI just outplayed me and It's amazing how differently each scenario plays out when you reload.   In several cases I've found myself checkpointed in a firefight against really tough enemies with very little ammo and the situation seems hopeless... yet somehow I've always found a way to get through them.  

In addition to the combat, I appreciate the super frequent checkpointing and the smooth controls (although the controller layout seems weird to me)


So to sum up... I've played through Chapter 8 (out of 11) and so far... I don't think Halo Reach is a very good game.  It's a decidedly average one with extremely fun combat, very similar to the FEAR series... yet the Halo Series is still considered to be a AAA heavy hitter franchise.   Doesn't seem to add up to me.  



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« Reply #69 on: December 01, 2011, 05:36:28 PM »

Halo is not popular for the SP, it's popular for the MP.
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« Reply #70 on: December 01, 2011, 07:50:08 PM »

Also, Halo Reach wasn't nearly as good as ODST, which is probably the best single player experience of the series (since you're out investigating a city and replaying memories almost like a CoD or AC game).

Halo 3 was great for a 4 player coop game, but I found that 1 and 2 were (with exception to the end of 2 which ended on an anti-climax), far more compelling since the world was fresh and free of being overwrought. If anything, 2 was the beginning of the end for that.

Since the combat is solid, and co-op is present, I found that I enjoy sitting on the couch with a friend (or over live) and playing it over Gears (too gritty). This is why I care about Halo 4. Also, since there is an opportunity to face new and interesting races, it could be really exciting. If its more covenant then I suppose this will also be not so much story-driven vs. gameplay driven.

For the mismatch: The Covenant forces take over races that don't all mesh and match a fighting force. The little guys are fodder because they aren't a warrior race. They provide some color that the Elites and Brutes don't have. By color, I might be referring to their bloodstains. icon_twisted

Is the Halo franchise relevant today? Yes. Is it relevant because of the innovation and compelling story? No. It's relevant because it was really, really good once, and so they keep churning out more to make more money. As Teggy pointed out, the MP is popular and that justifies it.

It's like every sports franchise out there - they want to sell you the same game over again, rather than just polishing a single release till it shines, and then for the next two years just releasing roster / stats / face texture updates as DLC.

Or, you know, Call of Doody.
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« Reply #71 on: December 01, 2011, 08:22:15 PM »

It's crazy to me to say Halo is relevant only because there were a few good ones and then they just kept making more.  There are tons of games that have a great debut and try to run with it and fail over the course of a sequel or two.  There are certainly criticisms you can level at Halo, but just writing off campaign and saying people only care about MP is not accurate, I think.  Master Chief and Cortana are as big for a newer generation of gamers as Link and Zelda were for me.  ODST and Reach kind of put them aside, sure, but I don't think that means people don't care about them or don't care about the story in Halo.

Full disclosure - I work on Halo 4, so disregard everything I say if you like.  I still think you guys are nuts slywink
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« Reply #72 on: December 01, 2011, 08:49:05 PM »

You know, it may be that ODST and Reach didn't have MC and Cortana, and that's why the luster has faded.

Lets see what you guys can do with it. biggrin
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« Reply #73 on: December 01, 2011, 08:59:24 PM »

Quote from: Purge on December 01, 2011, 07:50:08 PM

Also, Halo Reach wasn't nearly as good as ODST, which is probably the best single player experience of the series (since you're out investigating a city and replaying memories almost like a CoD or AC game).


Now I am taking the bait, because I 100% disagree with this.  I thought ODST was meandering and lacked any sense of drive.  Mostly because of the city (you say "investigating" but I say "wandering").  Also those awful, awful audio logs.  ODST was absolutely my least favorite SP Halo experience.

I agree that MP is what makes Halo stick around, but I'm more of an SP guy, and I still look forward to them.  It's also what they spend the most time advertising.

What's nice about Halo SP, IMO, is that there is a ton of backstory out there if you want it (I haven't really delved into it), but it doesn't overwhelm the game if you're not interested.
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« Reply #74 on: December 01, 2011, 09:27:58 PM »

Gotta go with Purge. ODST was a refreshing take on the games. New characters that had some personality, new environments, actually having to avoid some fights on Legendary instead of just blazing through.

Ground breaking? No. But it was a nice change. I wish it had been longer with the full squad getting more action together though. One of, if not my favorite, SP stories so far in the series. I hope you guys do more with squad mates in H4.
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« Reply #75 on: December 02, 2011, 03:56:51 AM »

Reach was a foregone conclusion, and I found the characters to be less compelling.
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« Reply #76 on: December 02, 2011, 05:54:17 AM »

I have to say I'm shocked.

Review-wise, ODST is the lowest ranking original Halo game (apart from Halo Wars, but even that had a more engaging story, IMO), and it seemed to me at the time that reviewers were being kind because it was Halo.  The drudge through the city between actual levels was mind-numbing.  I don't see how anyone can praise that.  Reach's pacing was pretty good.
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« Reply #77 on: December 02, 2011, 12:46:39 PM »

How many times did you play it?

See, I found it very interesting - I loved the audio clips, and the city AI that was helping you. If you played it co-op (which I did first time around) it seemed rushed, but then I played it solo and it was much more compelling.

Where Halo 1-3 was go-go-go, the main character wasn't MC who was an unstoppable force. You weren't at the center of chaos - you were trying to play catch-up.

I dunno. I get the anti-ODST sentiment as I had a bit of it going in the first time, but that second time? It just clicked.

Reach was far more "exciting" but I didn't care about the characters. When the broken helmet showed up onscreen at the beginning of the game, I looked at it and said : betcha that one is mine.
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« Reply #78 on: December 02, 2011, 01:30:45 PM »

I only played it once and have no plans to do it again.
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« Reply #79 on: December 02, 2011, 04:46:34 PM »

I enjoyed the city sections.  I found them atmospheric and immersive.  The gameplay was dull in the city, true, but to me, at least, the atmosphere and immersion can be just as compelling as exciting combat sequences.  The way it was used between the scripted, linear segments was refreshing.  It let you take a breath and take your time between the more intense segments.  I found it refreshing compared the nonstop go-go-go of the other titles.

Of course, a lot of people don't like directionless, low-intensity wandering in games.  If you don't, then ODST would likely be a chore.

One reason ODST got knocked a lot, though, was its multiplayer.  As was mentioned before, Halo is like Call of Duty - its big draw is its multiplayer.  ODST didn't really have any.  It came with free access to Halo 3's multiplayer (which fans already had), and added one new mode (firefight.)  While fun, ODST's firefight mode didn't have any matchmaking utility, which killed it.
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