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Halo 3 'Feels' Like Halo 1

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the master-chief-reporting-in dept.

133

1up reports on comments from Bungie, who has come out to say that their next title Halo 3 will 'feel' like the first Halo: Combat Evolved. From the article: "'I have been playing through Campaign mode purely for kicks. Exploring, in fact,' [Frank O'Connor] says. 'There's lots of the feel of the original Halo, where you'll find yourself in a huge (dangerous) and intrinsically fascinating environment and just want to go tool around and check things out.' At the same time, O'Connor is quick to dismiss that Bungie's developing a sandbox, Grand Theft Auto-inspired shooter."

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I've often wondered.. (4, Funny)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957120)

What does a halo feel like? Is it rubbery? Slippery? Does it maybe feel like glass or is it more like taffy? Perhaps like a feather? Oh wait... uh.. wrong forum...

Re:I've often wondered.. (2, Funny)

orasio (188021) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957213)

I have seen RMS's halo live, and I can tell you, it's round, and heavy, and kind of metallic.
I suppose it must feel like an old HDD platter.

Re:I've often wondered.. (1)

earbenT (992594) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957240)

The halo's physical and chemical composition is documented under the FDL.

Re:I've often wondered.. (0)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957230)

Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Re:I've often wondered.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957231)

Dunno, but I'll check it out. There's one hanging from the corner of my girlfriend's bed. I'll see if I can borrow it for the weekend, maybe.

Re:I've often wondered.. (1)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957292)

Perhaps for a one-night-stand?

Re:I've often wondered.. (2, Funny)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957545)

Did you meet her at the dog show? And did the shriners loan you cars?

Re:I've often wondered.. (1)

Microsift (223381) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957799)

Thanks for the TMBG quote! (That sadly no one will get)

Re:I've often wondered.. (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957812)

Well, we did race up and down the sidewalk twenty thousand million times.

Re:I've often wondered.. (1)

cjb909 (838363) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958978)

Well.....Why? Why did they send her?

Re:I've often wondered.. (1)

The Fun Guy (21791) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957871)

Just remember that when you leave, shut the door, baby.

Re:I've often wondered.. (1)

daddyrief (910385) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958082)

...and don't say a word.

Re:I've often wondered.. (3, Funny)

Mark Programmer (228585) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957432)

It feels floaty.

Honestly, that was always my favorite part of Halo 1, the sense that everything was operating under reduced-gravity, with a bouncy shroud around it. I called it "squishy physics." Made the Banshee a helluva lot of fun to fly.

Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (4, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957121)

All I want to know is, did they make the pistol suck less than it does in Halo 2? Because that was a bit disappointing.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (2, Informative)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957196)

All I want to know is, did they make the pistol suck less than it does in Halo 2? Because that was a bit disappointing.
Couldn't agree with you more; that and the damn sword really made Halo 2 multiplayer suck ass. Halo 1 multiplayer is a much more enjoyable experience. I stopped playing Halo 2 when I got lost for the 141241st time; the only challenging part was finding out where to go.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

mallardtheduck (760315) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957206)

And will we get the assualt rifle back? Please!
Best weapon in Halo 1, replaced by the sucky SMG and "Battle Rifle" in Halo 2.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (2, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957579)

Huh?

Granted, the SMG's only useful for dual wielding (and not worth sacrificing grenades for even then), but how can you prefer the assault rifle to the battle rifle? The assault rifle is inaccurate, low damage, and pretty much forces either spray-n-pray or knife range combat. The battle rifle is accurate, reasonably high damage, and has a scope thrown in for good measure.

The only possible drawbacks to the BR compared to the AR are no full-auto and a limited ammo capacity. I wouldn't mind having a full-auto option on the rifle, I suppose, but I never really felt the lack. The ammo capacity I'll give you - it's kind of a PITA. On the other hand, it's not like you can carry a hundred shotgun shells, either, and that's still a quality gun.

Now, the magnum...well, that's just unfortunate all 'round.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

personman21 (762072) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957672)

The magnum wasn't horrible until they applied the Halo 2 1.5. If you remember way back when the dual pistols actually were something to fear.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

mallardtheduck (760315) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957719)

The SMG's are underpowered and use up their clip far too quickly.

The BR is powerful, but a pain to use. eg. When a brute charges you, you get a maximum of 3 bursts (9 shots), which is not enough to take it down.
With the AR, the rapidly closing range would mean that the accuracy issues would be less important and you would almost certianly take it down.

It is the best possible weapon against hordes of flood, the inacuracy actually helps here. Although the shotgun is great against individual flood bipeds.

And for a game that is set in the future, the AR actually feels futuristic, unlike the SMG and BR, which just feel like something out of Counter-Strike.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957892)

I think you're overestimating the damage potential of the AR. In Halo 1, once you were playing a difficulty setting higher than normal, a full AR magazine at close range wasn't enough to take down a healthy blue elite with body shots (and, given the inherent inaccuracy of the rifle, consistent headshotting with the AR is difficult). I don't know the actual numbers, but I always got the impression that Brutes are tougher than elites.

Your point about the inaccuracy vs. hordes of facehuggers/headcrabs/whatchamacallits is well-taken, though. There were several points in Halo that I worked to hang onto my AR because I knew they'd be swarming soon.

Nonetheless, I was always disappointed by the AR in Halo - it looked cool (as you say), it had great ammo capacity, and it made you feel like a badass marine to be carrying it. But it was just so unhelpful against so many of the enemies that it irked me.

So how would this work for you for 3: revamp the look of the BR, add back the AR, and have the AR & BR share the same ammo store?

As for the pistol...what would actually make that a useful thing in the game is to have it used the way real troops use pistols; allow the player to carry the pistol in addition to his real weapons. It could be a useful holdout gun for when you're swarmed under and run out of real ammo, but you wouldn't have to waste a perfectly good weapon slot on it.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15958330)

I played legendary, and I kept the AR as long as I could find ammo, I used it to pin down elites while I moved closer. The rapid fire was still useful to take out the flood. I always picked up a bigger gun to actually do the killing.

Halo 2 had almost all useless weapons, I had to use the alien weapons which only did adequate. And what was the point of that cannon/blade thing?!

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

HomerNet (146137) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959194)

And what was the point of that cannon/blade thing?!

The Brute Shot (the "cannon/blade thing") doesn't seem all that useful...'till it's all you've got and have to get used to it. A friend of mine and I wanted to switch things up in multiplayer a bit, so we did a "Slayer" with Brute Shot's being the only weapon available. He's a sniper, I'm a "John Wayne", and the Brute Shot turned out to be a perfectly balanced weapon for both of us, allowing for ranged fun, as well as the "sneak up and stab 'em", and also being good for just wading in to combat and slapping your finger on the trigger. My only disapointment with the weapon after that? The thing needs a belt feeder, it runs out of ammo too quick!

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

modeless (978411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958936)

The assault rifle was more fun than either the SMG or the battle rifle. It looked and sounded cooler. The battle rifle is annoying; it feels like it takes forever to do any damage with it.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

AI0867 (868277) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959281)

for those who didn't notice: halo1 pistol: 12 rounds halo2 BR: 36 rounds in 3-bursts: 12 trigger-pulls both have scope and are powerful halo1 AR and halo2 SMG are _exactly_ the same weapon, dual-wielding the SMG makes it alot less accurate though. halo2 pistol is just there to fill up that spot.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

hollismb (817357) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957551)

I'll still never get why, a.) everyone wants the pistol back after it being so unbalanced in Halo 1, and b.) why people don't realize that the battle rifle is an adequate replacement. You shouldn't be able to kill someone from half a map away with three pistol shots. Conversely, you can kill someone with three pulls of the trigger with a battle rifle if they're all headshots, although it simply takes a bit longer since each pull is a three shot burst. Sure, the pistol is almost useless as a weapon by itelf in Halo 2, but then again, it's a freaking pistol. But yeah, the assault rifle needs to come back, replacing the almost useless SMG.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

e03179 (578506) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957767)

I'll still never get why everyone wants the pistol back after it being so unbalanced in Halo 1
Because that weapon was a great equalizer to heavy weapons like Rocket Launchers and Fuel Rod Cannons. If that pistol was in Halo 2, I would die a lot less because of the sword because I would be able to kill the swordguy before he got to me. With the Halo 2 Battle Rifle, I can't pull of the shots fast enough to kill the swordguy. The pistol in Halo 1 makes the game a first person shooter (not a first person sprayer or first person blaster).
Conversely, you can kill someone with three pulls of the trigger with a battle rifle if they're all headshots, although it simply takes a bit longer since each pull is a three shot burst.
Actually, it takes 4 shots with the last one being on the head which is quite a bit of difference between the time it took to fire 3 shots with the Halo 1 pistol.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

belgar (254293) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957848)

Agreed (though, the power of the pistol in H1 was fun as hell, if not realistic). Our group of LAN players all agree that, those who complain about the BR sucking, just don't know how to use it. I was one of them for a long time -- now it's one of my favorite weapons.
 
Although, to be fair, the SMG is actually really effective in a dual-wield scenario, if you alternate bursts from hand to hand. Fast bursts = no recoil climb. Fairly deadly then.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (3, Interesting)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957849)

Killing people from half a map away with three pistol shots is fun. It takes a certain ammount of skill, and is satisfying, furthermore it differentiated Halo 1's play from other spray-n-pray shooters. The battle rifle is not an adiquate replacement because it slows the pace down too much. That is why people want it back, and it seems logical to me.

Also, I don't belive your assessment of the pistol as being unbalanced is accurate. It wasn't overpowered, it was simply the most versitile of the light weapons. There are many situations where an AR, Shotgun, or PR would be preferable, and would defeat a pistol. Also, the heavy weapons will all defeat a pistol unless improperly used. Then there is the fact that in any properly set up multiplayer match, everyone has a pistol to start, which should solve any perceved unfairness.

Frankly, I think at least half those opposed to the pistol's performance in Halo 1 simply have a problem with the smallest of the light weapons being the most powerful.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958019)

Also, un-nerf the Banshee. What did you replace its guns with, spitballs? And removing the bombs in multiplayer, what were you thinking? Ugh.

On the other hand, nerf the energy sword, or at least make it run out of "ammo" in multiplayer.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958087)

The pistol is actually pretty damn effective in (very) close quarters.

Re:Un-nerf the Magnum, please. (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959589)

While I agree with you, if there's any weapon that needs tweaking, IMO it's the Rocket Launcher. Specifically, the ability to lock on to targets. It basically makes getting in a vehicle in a deathmatch game suicidal. Especially the Banshee. Maybe if there was some way to actually dodge the things once they're locked on, it wouldn't be quite as nasty.

And while we're complaining about the game mechanics, the current dual wielding system is crap. If you're holding two single-handed weapons, you should be able to hold Y to dual, rather than having to pick up an off-handed weapon and drop it and pick it up and drop it all the time.

GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (4, Funny)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957145)

Grab the jeep, run around shooting crap randomly, get the local authorities pissed off, then duck into the nearest Covenant camp for a Deathrace 2000-inspired mowing festival. Presto, new color for the jeep!

"I swear Arbiter, it wasn't me! The guy that did it was in a green jeep, not a red one!"

Besides if you ever get lost, just keep drivin, you'll come back around in a while ;)

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (0, Offtopic)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957179)

Sig - Triplanetary?

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (1)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957185)

Good call, Conway Costigan as George Washington Jones in a uranite mine on Eridan :D

Didn't know anybody reads quality writing like that any more...

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (1)

Kamots (321174) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957235)

Some of us do :)

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (1)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957316)

Wow, and I honestly thought it was a comment made by an engineer about the design of the New Orleans flood control pumps after Katrina. :-)

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (1)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957242)

Onkelonkel - regarding your sig, are you a son of Martha too?

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958113)

I understand that there is/was a society of civil engineers in eastern Canada that took that name. I'm not a member of that.

I am E.E. early 80s UBC. Mostly I take care "that the switches lock." but sometimes I get to "piece and repiece the living wires." I first encountered Kipling's poem a few years ago and it resonated strongly and emotionally with my "self-image". I can see why engineers have adopted it as their own.

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (1)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958206)

I understand that there is/was a society of civil engineers in eastern Canada that took that name. I'm not a member of that.

Actually, I use it more of a code word to mean "have you participated in the Ritual of the Calling of An Engineer" (aka "The Iron Ring ceremony").

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958714)

In that case, Yes. I wear the little iron reminder on my right hand.

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (1)

grylnsmn (460178) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957516)

Actually, it's from First Lensman.

One of my favorite lines in literature.

(And yes, my name is a form of "Gray Lensman".)

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (1)

boskone (234014) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957569)

Very Cool!

It's great that there are some of us readers still out there!

Looks like it's time to reread them all again.

Re:GTA: Ringworld sounds like a blast though! (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957394)

GTA: Ringworld? Run over Prill and get your money back?

I want to see what Jack Thompson does with that.

Because no one wants a radically new game. (4, Interesting)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957197)

Seriously how many people have complained about the fact that while Halo 2's online was improved, there was little if any true improvement in Halo 2. Yeah you got dual wielding, yeah car jacking but the fact is it's the same game. Even GTA which people bitch about being the same every time has had huge improvements. Vice city got motorcycles and working planes, San andreas was radically bigger, with gang wars. These changed the game itself.

I just can't stand Halo fanboys who act like their game which has had about the same improvements that madden gets in a year is radically different. I can respect a new story, but I'm also expecting changes to the actual gameplay too. Just because Doom 2 didn't have any major improvements doesn't mean that you can get away with the same type of leap nowerdays. I hope Halo 3 does something new, rather then just hanging onto the name, because for my money even Perfect dark zero was more unique than Halo was. If I really wanted the FPS games I'd have stayed with my PC.

And this wasn't meant to offend Halo fans. It's just that people act like Halo is a great series, and it's really hasn't shown anything to prove itself to be that unique. Even Half Life 2 has amazing physics, Doom 3 has the creep factor, Fear had the graphics to kill even the hardiest machine's framerate. Halo didn't have anything that it really called its own.

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957277)

Just to note, GTA:SA also added plenty of new aircraft (even a large jet), and the parachute for dropping from the sky (among the other worthwhile additions).

Well, Doom2 did have the double barreled shotgun! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957364)

I felt that D2 did have minor improvements and was just as fun as Doom1.

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (1)

Morinaga (857587) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957412)

You seem to attibute "improved" with "unique". For my money as long as it's fun and has enough new features to enchance my interest then it's worthwhile.

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (2, Interesting)

Andrew Nagy (985144) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957440)

Even Half Life 2 has amazing physics, Doom 3 has the creep factor, Fear had the graphics to kill even the hardiest machine's framerate. Halo didn't have anything that it really called its own.

The key with Halo (and 2) is that they had enough of everything but not too much of anything. They were basic, first person shooters in the tradition of 007 Goldeneye. Something easy to play while absorbing and entertaining. PC FPS tends to get a bit too complicated for my tastes. While I like games that allow me to "advance" and develop, sometimes I just want to blow crap up in predictable settings. i.e. Halo. The best video game filler around.

Not every game needs a gimmick. (3, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957441)

Halo didn't have anything that it really called its own.

Halo had a plotline, which IMO is severely lacking in the FPS genre. True, the technical improvements in the game between 1 and 2 were minimal (and in some cases regressed; see my comment about the Magnum, above), but I don't think that's as horrible as you're making it out to be.

If they can continue to refine the gaming experience that people have gotten used to with Halo 1 and 2, I'd take that as a success. I'd rather they continued the plot, refined gameplay, and took basically conservative steps than if they changed something radically for the sake of change, and messed up a good thing. Not every game needs some kind of "hook" that's been cooked up to make it artificially unique: particularly if the appeal of the game is that it's just a really good shooter.

The Halo games at this point are a known quantity; there are other games you can buy if you want something gimmicky (or "innovative," the difference between an innovation and a gimmick being rather difficult to tell without the benefit of hindsight). I think it takes a certain amount of balls to realize when you've got a good thing and should just stop changing it.

With that said, unfortunately I doubt Microsoft will ever let Bungie just stop making new Halo games; they'll flog the franchise as long as they possibly can, until it becomes ridiculous.

Re:Not every game needs a gimmick. (3, Insightful)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957547)

Yes because you know games like Half-life didn't have a plot back then. Nor did Perfect Dark, system shock 1 or 2, or Sin. so I guess it's a radically different then the industry?

Re:Not every game needs a gimmick. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958054)

The best early FPS storytelling was in a game series known as Marathon. Guess who developed it? (Hint: It's Bungie.)

Re:Not every game needs a gimmick. (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959423)

Lets not forget good old DarkForces or how about Outlaws? Story certainly was there long before Halo came around.

Re:Not every game needs a gimmick. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957621)

"Plotline" is a bit kind. Shoot aliens, rescue some guy, protect some guys, rescue the same guy again, shoot different aliens. It had a well realised scenario* but the actual plot was thin and repetitive - granted, this is still more than some games, but if you saw a movie with that plot you wouldn't be praising the scriptwriter. Not that I care, games don't need plot to be fun.

I agree - Halo is Halo, radical change is not required. I also think that if a sequel is just new maps and tweaks they shouldn't charge full price for it, but that's not that important - games always drop in price if you wait anyway. Bungie doesn't need to be the ones making Halo any more, the model is established and it can safely be outsourced to less interesting developers and Bungie can make something new.

*again, not that inventive but more complicated than the standard "It's a war against aliens."

Re:Not every game needs a gimmick. (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957932)

"Plotline" is a bit kind. Shoot aliens, rescue some guy, protect some guys, rescue the same guy again, shoot different aliens

Hey, you forget the part where that guy died in the end and all that rescueing turned out to be pointless.

But yeah, the story of Halo is really nothing to be proud of, it was for most part simply pointless, nothing ever had meaning, since the next mission would basically cancel out everything you did down to the point that the last mission takes places right at the same point where you started.

A game with Halo's scenario and an actual plot and some more gameplay freedom inbetween could actually a lot of fun, but just shooting aliens over and over again just tends to not be so much fun any more, to much been there done that, even when the scenerio itself is nice.

Re:Not every game needs a gimmick. (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957994)

With that said, unfortunately I doubt Microsoft will ever let Bungie just stop making new Halo games; they'll flog the franchise as long as they possibly can, until it becomes ridiculous.
Supposedly Halo 3 will be the last Halo in the series... hence the tag-line "finish the fight" IIRC Bungie said they wanted to move on to other things while the series was still on top rather then letting it get overproduced and sequeled to death like a lot of other franchises.

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (2, Interesting)

EotB (964562) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957458)

The first Halo is around about 5 years old now, and in comparison to the other games of the time was excellent. If I remember rightly, this was mostly due to the gameplay, with the beautiful worlds and well-designed vehicles as a second. Not to mention that it was just an immensely fun (if simple) game to play. There were a few innovations in there as well, such as only carrying 2 weapons and the seperate button for grenades. I remember playing Halo for the first time and thinking 'Wow, why the hell doesn't everyone do this'. Comparing it to the games that you have is a little bit apples-to-oranges as these games are far more modern. A more appropriate comparison would be the original Half-Life.

That said, I'm not defending Halo 2 in any way, that was more like a lazy Halo: CE expansion pack really... Although the multiplayer Co-Op is something that would be nice in a lot of more modern FPSs

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (1)

Jesterboy (106813) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957537)

I do appreciate your point, but I don't think the core gameplay of the Halo games will ever radically change: you will always be running around, shooting Covenant/Flood. The only features that will ever be added are ones that allow you to battle Covenant/Flood more effectively. I guess it depends on whether or not you like shooting Covenant/Flood.

Having played a lot of both Halo 1 & 2, I find it hard to go back to the original now. While the original is still fun, it just feels like something is missing. Such as dual wielding; I continually try to dual wield pistols, SMGs, and Needlers in the first Halo because it just feels like it's always been there. I consider that a successful integration of new gameplay in a sequel: it feels so natural that I swear I must have done it in the first.

I always hear people say Halo is unoriginal and that everything done in it has been done in other games. That's true, but I have always thought the whole of Halo is much greater than the sum of its parts. Maybe every "feature" has been done elsewhere, but nowhere else is it combined in such a fluid fashion. I'm not a Halo fanboy, I'm just a gamer who recognizes a good game when he plays one.

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (3, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957636)

Here's what I've seen in Halo, but rarely anywhere else:

  • Vehicles that can be more fun than moving on foot. No othen FPS (GTA doesn't count) did vehicles as well. The Ghost is just fun. Yet it's still balanced enough that a person on foot can reasonably expect to beat a person in a vehicle, without making vehicles feel gimped.
  • Insane amount of polish for its time. From what I remember, we were just inching along on Half-Life improvements, and PC gamers were scoffing at console gamers, even as they mostly played Counter-Strike. Then there was Halo. Counter-Strike... then Halo. It would have been a shocking leap forward in graphics, gameplay, and AI, even if it was a PC game -- and it was a console game.
  • The game made the console. You could argue that Zelda made the Gamecube, but most people who had an N64 bought a PS2 instead, so that was a failure. The PS2 simply had more games, but I'd imagine almost no one bought a PS2 because of any one game -- or if they did, I know there aren't a significant number of people who bought a PS2 for the same game. People bought the Xbox because of Halo, and developers made other games for the Xbox because it was popular -- because of Halo.
  • Amazing soundtrack. Other games have had good soundtracks, but the Halo and Halo 2 soundtracks are worth buying even if you don't like the game. Very rarely does the soundtrack alone sound like a symphony. Very rarely does a game soundtrack evoke emotions other than headbanging adrenaline.
  • Compelling, epic story. Especially Halo 2. Naysayers will break down the story to the point where it sounds stupid, but you can do that with anything. As an aspiring author, I've discovered that it's all about the execution, even in a book. It's an epic story, with characters you actually care about.
  • Master Chief. It's all about characters, and this one in particular is just a fun character to play. It means the game can be as realistic as possible, but there's good reason that when you win, your character has done such impossible things -- he really is unique, he really would be able to do that. Compare that to, say, Quake 4, which is the closest anything else comes -- your character has a reputation, but it's not really explained why he's so unique. And in creating this character and the game around him, they've done what every Superman game and every Hulk game has failed utterly at -- creating a character that really is too much of a badass, too powerful, and creating a realistic challenge to match. This is how you can have an epic first-person game, where you play as only one character -- make the character that good.
  • Beautiful artwork. Goes with the territory. Beautiful music, beautiful artwork, beautifully put together.
  • They did it again. People debate about whether Halo 2 is better or worse than the original Halo. But the fact is, they can actually have that debate. With most sequels, you can't -- either the original was so bad no one cares (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time faced no competition from its predecessors), or the new version sucks so blatantly compared to the original (Doom 3), or not enough has really changed for anyone to care (your point about Madden). The fact is, Halo 2 did significantly change compared to Halo -- and I'm not talking about carjacking, swording, or dual-wielding. Subtle tweaks all around -- the pistol is no longer the hand of God, needlers finally have a purpose, Flood heads actually hurt. Halo 2 was every bit as good as Halo, but it was different enough, in gameplay and storyline, that anyone who played Halo will want to play Halo 2.
  • All of the above. Think of it this way -- I don't like Linux because it's unique. I like it because it has everything that every other OS has, and more. If I wanted something truly unique and innovative, I'd be using Plan 9, HURD, or Minix. Halo doesn't improve much on the first-person shooter, it's true -- it has everything everyone else has -- but it's put together by perfectionists, with obsessive attention to detail, and with plenty of Microsoft's money to throw away. Doom 3 had its creep factor, and little else. FEAR killed hardware, and little else. Half-Life is the only other game series I know that is comparable to Halo, but Half-Life 2 is missing more than Halo 2 is, unless you really love stacking puzzles.

Certainly, Halo is not as unique as, say, Darwinia, Neverball, Spore, or Portals, but what's unique about it is that it's one of the few games that can really be called a masterpiece.

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957928)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time faced no competition from its predecessors


The fuck are you talking about? Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame were at least as good as SoT--I'd argue dramatically better. Maybe instead of "predecessors" you mean "single, immediate predecessor"?

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958676)

Perhaps he means that the 'Sands of Time' have destroyed most people's original Apple II floppy disks?

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time faced no competition from its predecessors

The fuck are you talking about? Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame were at least as good as SoT--I'd argue dramatically better. Maybe instead of "predecessors" you mean "single, immediate predecessor"?

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958922)

It's a matter of taste. I unlocked PoP 1 as a secret area of SoT. I also unlocked the first level of PoP 1, redid with the SoT engine. And, disregarding all fancy graphics, do you know what I discovered?

PoP had an absolutely horrible control scheme.

Maybe it's just that I'm bitter because I was unskilled, but it was entirely too easy to be killed by even the lowliest swordsman, it was too easy to fall to your death doing simple things like climbing back up, timing jumps was near-impossible, and it felt sluggish -- and I'm not talking about the abysmal framerate.

Compare that to, say, Donkey Kong, which was unlockable on DK 64. That wasn't necessarily easy or fun, but it mostly did what you wanted it to do -- the controls were nice and responsive, and made sense. That one was actually hard, not artificially hard because I tell the Prince to drop down gently and he decides to run forward, full speed, and fall into a pit of spikes.

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (1)

tilde.d (994884) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957865)

Halo brought multiplayer FPS action to the mass console market. And by multiplayer, I mean full online games, not single system games. This was strongly supported by the XBox Live service but also allowed networked games so even in a single location, you could very easily set up a fairly large Halo game.

Besides which, not all those games you mentioned necessarily were the first to bring something forth... Have you ever played System Shock 2? You want creep factor... that game just freaks me out especially late at night with the lights off.... And F.E.A.R. has awesome graphics NOW but in a year or two it will be no better than Halo is now....

Re:Because no one wants a radically new game. (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959085)

Something people either forget or didn't have the sense to notice because it wasn't flashy was the AI. It was vastly improved in H2 and was probably one of the best - not only on an individual level but how the individuals worked as a group.

Preposterous! (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957201)

The graphics are completely different - it's entirely different to any of the previous 23,523 FPS that have been dumped onto the market in recent years!

Actual marketing slogan (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957227)

Halo 3: It feels like a four year old game

Re:Actual marketing slogan (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958092)

Additionally, I imagine the music for the TV commercial:

Foreigner - Feels Like the First Time

Cut + Paste? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957238)

Does this mean that the areas feel kind-of original for a little while, and then start feeling like the level designers started cutting and pasting sections in order to make it a longer game? Because that is exacltly how Halo felt to me (and many others).

Re:Cut + Paste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957581)

That one set of areas with central circular-ish rooms and a path surrounding it, the one with like 60 identical rooms to go through... Horrible... I'd never play that part again.

Re:Cut + Paste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957737)

You mean like the maps for second half of the game were just the first half in reverse for the most part? No, I didn't notice that at all...

Re:Cut + Paste? (1)

Criterion (51515) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958073)

What you mean like, when you're coming out of an area that you fought your way into, that it should like, look like a totally different area? Dunno about that.. I would think it would pretty much be what I just came through, in reverse order.. maybe that's just me though :/.

And the library ROCKED! Yes, I know there are some malcontents that will complain about it, but it was probably the only map that actually got me confused enough to get a bit lost... and I think that was the point.

Re:Cut + Paste? (1)

slycrel (610300) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957785)

For what it's worth, after tha game was released the developers said they wanted to completely change the atmosphere on the way back, after you found the flood. it would be the same corridors, but look a lot more like the rooms where you found the flood initially.

Too bad, it would have really been better that way.

Exploratory reflection (4, Insightful)

angrychimp (885088) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957249)

from the article:
...there's also time for exploratory reflection and the, "Oooh, maybe I can climb up there and check that thing out," sort of play," he continued.
I'm not usually one to read into things, but to me that implies the ability to climb things. Am I the only person who's been playing a FPS title and thought, "Why can this guy climb over simple obstacles?" If you can actually climb objects in Halo3, I will consider it a vast improvement.

Re:Exploratory reflection (1)

hollismb (817357) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957738)

Why climb when you can just jump?

Re:Exploratory reflection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957816)

Am I the only person who's been playing a FPS title and thought, "Why can't this guy climb over simple obstacles?"

Oh, god, yes. It is *SO* annoying to see a little knee-high obstacle on some FPS (not necessarily Halo) game map that you should be able to get past but can't.

Should it be a crime to strangle map designers?

Re:Exploratory reflection (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957973)

"Why can this guy climb over simple obstacles?"

You're not the only one by far. I've often wondered why FPS designers insist on bounding playable areas with items that I, who am not any kind of cybernetically enhanced soldier, ubermarine, hazard-suit wearing professor, or whatnot, could easily get over in real life. Call of Duty did a pretty good job of have realistic-seeming boundaries, but aside from that, it's always seemed to be a problem.

The other fairly minor thing I'd really like to see is a game that made going up or down stairs more realistic: you ought to be slowed down by stairs. Not to mention every character I've seen walking up or down stairs looks completely phony.

Re:Exploratory reflection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15958738)

The other fairly minor thing I'd really like to see is a game that made going up or down stairs more realistic: you ought to be slowed down by stairs. Not to mention every character I've seen walking up or down stairs looks completely phony.
Run down stairs in "Second Sight". It looks amusing, but I've seen many people do it that way in real life.

I didn't like Halo (4, Insightful)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957290)

Am I the only one who didn't like Halo?

I enjoyed the expansive environment for the first hour or so, then it just became annoying. If you miss one thing, then you have to run around making sure you didn't miss a small path that leads to the next area - or you need to perform a perfect jump to get onto a ledge and you aren't sure if you're supposed to jump to it or find a different way up. While I don't claim every game has to be linear, don't hide the route you have to go.

Also, I found a lot of the levels boring and repetative. (Library anyone?) Sure, it's realistic to go through a few levels, get something, and fight your way out - but if I wanted realistic I wouldn't be playing a game. Why not make another way out so the levels are different? Or, if it isn't necessary for gameplay, give an elevator/shuttle/monorail/teleporter/cutscene so I don't have to do the same thing twice!

If I wanted to see cool environments and just "tool around and check things out" I would play the Myst series.

I don't mean this as a troll, but I didn't find Halo to be a game that should be repeated in a sequel. Of course, I haven't played many games where I want a sequel that is very similar to the original - I like diversity in my games. Why should I pay $60 for the same game that has added a few new weapons and enemies and updated the graphics a bit? Why not call the new game what it is - an expansion pack.

Re:I didn't like Halo (1)

clydemaxwell (935315) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957413)

I don't get it. I was never lost in Halo. I wished they let you explore *more*

As for the similarities between game 1 and game 2, I like sequels to be mostly plot sequels, but that me. My opinions notwithstanding, the second game was geared more towards team combat and less about single-handedly owning.

Re:I didn't like Halo (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958370)

I got lost a couple of times when you are leaving the base where you find the flood. I was playing it coop (it's too boring for single play IMHO) and both of us (both avid FPS players) got lost a few times. It doesn't help when all the rooms look the same.

The outside leves of Halo where very impressive. The indoors level were complete and utter crap. They felt flatter (IMHO) than the levels in Doom/Duke3D.

They put it well in a Penny Arcade strip "No the level design is the genious of it. It's like the Covenant has purposfully designed their ship to be confusing and boring to confuse intruders."

Re:I didn't like Halo (3, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957524)

Am I the only one who didn't like Halo?

Nope, you are not alone, I am not much a big Halo fan either. Especially the Flood levels where just boring and repeating over and over and over again, Library of course too. There was also a bit running around in circles to find out how to continue, but I didn't found that much worse then most other games. My main problem with Halo was however the story, it was just so very damn pointless, run around in circles for a few hours till everybody of your comrades is killed just to then return to where you started and blow your own ship up, well great, so why again did I play this game? The last level was also extremly annoying, actually one of the worst I have ever seen, not sure if there actually is a way to drive around that track in anything remotly fluid, but I certainly didn't manage to and it turned into a try&error where the outcome was more luck then anything, certainly wasn't fun.

Art direction of Halo on the other side was quite good, the large bright outdoor environments are certainly a lovly change compared to all those games that try to be all dark and ugly. Enemys tend to look a bit to much like Muppets here and there, but that aside they looked nice and colorfull stuff. Vehicles and transporters also looked great.

Can't say anything about multiplayer, but the singleplayer mode didn't hold up to my expectations, it wasn't the worst I have seen, but neither was it anything I would bother to play again, never touched Halo2.

Re:I didn't like Halo (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957643)

The last level was also extremly annoying, actually one of the worst I have ever seen, not sure if there actually is a way to drive around that track in anything remotly fluid, but I certainly didn't manage to and it turned into a try&error where the outcome was more luck then anything, certainly wasn't fun.

Feel free to dislike the game as much as you want, but this is unwarranted. Yes, with good enough driving skills, you can make it through the last level in a quite fluid manner. I've played through the game at least eight times (at least twice on each difficulty setting) both co-op and SP; I've only failed to make it through the last level twice. Once, the first time I played it (that was normal difficulty), and once the first time I played it on legendary (but that was due to me ramming one too many explody Flood, not running out of time).

Re:I didn't like Halo (2, Interesting)

josteos (455905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957792)

I loved Niven's Ringworld series. And Halo took my breath away when I finally set foot on the surface. I thought it was a fantastic rendition of a ringworld. And the early level, where you are looking for the cartographer, felt so much like cruising around and ancient & mysterious & abandonned ringworld.

Then I learned just how important a game designer really is. The game started to suck when I had ot ross the bridge, fight through 3 large rooms full of enemies, then cross another bridge and fight 3 large rooms full of enemies then cross another bridge..... well, you get the point.

It achieved true suckdom with the flood. After about 4 levels of the same fricking levels I wanted to scratch out an eye. I think I would have been blind once I finished even if I was a spider.

Re:I didn't like Halo (1)

Dysproxia (584031) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958879)

My main problem with Halo was however the story, it was just so very damn pointless, run around in circles for a few hours till everybody of your comrades is killed just to then return to where you started and blow your own ship up, well great, so why again did I play this game?

The Covenant has nearly wiped the human kind to extinction, with only the presumably hidden Earth still untouched by the war. Our heroes are on a mission to find out what interest the Covenant has with that Halo thing. One crash landing later you find out it's a weapon. And it's out of control. Your only chance of stopping it is by blowing up that ship.

That's the easy part, then you've got to reach that escape shuttle...

Re:I didn't like Halo (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957536)

Why not call the new game what it is - an expansion pack.

$

KFG

Re:I didn't like Halo (1)

MojoBox (985651) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957604)

Just so long as they let us frog blast the vent core.

Re:I didn't like Halo (1)

FloodSpectre (745213) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959175)

I'll just wing in my 2 cents and agree with you. It was the first FPS that I've played where I was honestly bored. I still can't understand how the game became so intensely popular.

Feel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957291)

Does that mean I run through a room, into another room, and think to myself "Wasn't I just here?".

The only I had with halo was running around with the shotgun to fast deathmetal, with the game set on hard, killing everything in sight.

More open environments in the future (1)

MeanQuestion (878758) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957304)

Halo 3 isn't going to be the only new game this generation with bigger, more open environments. This is because the size of environments was one of the few gameplay elements that was restricted last generation due to hardware limitations. Granted, there were some games like GTA where you had a large area to explore, but they had to make some major graphical sacrifices as a result.

Re:More open environments in the future (1)

WageDomain (996331) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957424)

Major graphical sacrifices? It could be the size of the enviroment I suppose, but it could also be the fact that Rockstar used the same graphics engine for III, VC, and SA. I really don't think that engine was built to sustain that kind of size, and I'd be really surprised if Rock* didn't build their GTA IV engine with larger outdoor environments mixed with indoro environments in mind. By this point I would expect every building in GTA IV to be enterable, without load times, with more than just the same three or four interiors. Then again, maybe I am giving Rockstar too much credit.

This sounds foreboding (4, Insightful)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957344)

I really enjoyed the original Halo until I got inside to the Zork segments (a maze of twisty little passages all alike) and it became a more boring FPS than Robotica [rottentomatoes.com] .

If it "feels" like the beach segments than I'm all for it 'cause that felt great. If it "feels" like the cheese grater on my kneecaps that was The Silent Cartographer and everything after, then it's good that I know this now so I can prepare for absolutely no anticipation for this game.

Re:This sounds foreboding (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959570)

The Silent Catographer was the 'beach segment'.

No One Cares (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15957349)

There was one thing and one thing only that stood out about the first Halo game - the stupid shiny green metal effect.

There are easily 20 space marine in bumpy and shiny metal armor games coming out for the 360 between now and the end of next year. Halo will be just another one in the crowd with a larger marketing budget from Microsoft.

Take away that stupid green metal effect and no one would even talking about this dreadfully medicore series. There are fantastic fps games coming out between now and 2007 - on the pc...

Huh? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957512)

If it feels like the first one, then how has combat evolved at all?

Re:Huh? (1)

Zardus (464755) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958402)

I think the point is that there was a rapid evolution of combat prior to Halo 1 (via natural selection), but once the combat evolved to a certain point and developed society, natural selection stopped driving evolution and so combat has stagnated and stayed the same. In fact, it sounds as if its devolving.

Peanut Butter and Jelly (1)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957988)

To me, Halo is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of videogames. Back in the day, it was a great comfort game as playing it with your friends was a blast and it was rather easy to pick up and play. And I played it a lot. Heck, I don't own an Xbox, but I managed to accumulate an obscene amount of game time on it. Now, however, I can't even fire a single shot in Halo without feeling annoyed, flustered, and even a little nauseated. I don't know what happened but now I can't stand to touch the game in any way shape or form.

As for the soundtrack, well...I listen to soundtracks a lot. Heck, I listen to (and play) music a lot; it's why I'm more than half way to my bachelors in music. As such, the praise that is awarded Halo's soundtrack is often misplaced and a bit blown out of proportion. Oh, there's nothing BAD about the music, the music is good, it's just that it's missing A LOT of context as well as a certain...touch. It doesn't feel like the songs were at all loved when they were written, as if a great deal of talent dwindled away because he wasn't THAT interested in the project. The music REALLY hits a brick wall just before it gets past being "catchy" and moving onto being "memorable" (and memorable doesn't mean that it's stuck in your head because you played ten hours of Halo straight last night, that's conditioning).

Pre-rendered videos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15958117)

What is it with companies who show us videos lots of supposed "in-game footage" that turns out to not be in the final product at all? It seems that all they can do with this next-gen "generation" is provide us with some catchy, shiny pre-rendered graphics, throwing a thousand more enemies at us then normal(which seems to be the "new" next-gen theme), and only show us through videos that more then likely over exaggerate what the game will turn out to really be like. Even the claimed in-game stuff can't really be trusted, the graphics might be crap when you actually get the final product(oops, someone doesn't like lots of enemies, can't handle things and has to have popups), and it could have been done on suped-up/non-final development systems. It is passing FMVs as in-game play all over again, stupid Sony for thinking videos are really going to sell...

Oh wait, this is not a PS3 article? Forget that, I WOV HALO, TEH VIDEO FOR 3 WAS THE GREATEST EVER! And we all know that Microsoft is always truthful, and would never lie about in game graphics or sell us pre-rendered stuff [bungie.org] (cuz only teh evil $ONY would do that!!).

So long as it doesn't feel like Halo 2 (3, Insightful)

payndz (589033) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958703)

Halo 3 'Feels' Like Halo 1

Well, good! Because I got fed up with Halo 2 well before the end of the game and have never been back to it since, whereas I played Halo right up to the finish, infuriating as some parts of it were.

I got the impression that all the effort in Halo 2 went into the multiplayer and the single-player game was kind of an 'oh yeah, we need to throw this thing in too'. H1 had an interesting story (in an interesting environment); H2 was just a series of events.

As far as multiplayer goes, I don't have Xbox Live; I don't want Xbox Live. I don't want to drop into a game to have a bunch of fat American teenagers call me a fag in disguised voices. To me, that's not entertainment. (YMMV.) But there seems to be this shift towards making online multiplayer the core of a lot of titles at the expense of the one-player game, and if that's going to be a continuing trend then frankly I'll be keeping my money for things that are actually, y'know, fun. Even by MS's own figures, Xbox Live players are still very much the minority of Xbox owners, so why is 40-50% of the gameplay that people are paying for only available to them?

Re:So long as it doesn't feel like Halo 2 (1)

nerreg (997154) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959201)

I think it's obvious to all but the most devoted Halo fanboys that games like Halflife (1+2) or Farcry have a better single-player game. However, the one real true point that Halo has over most other games is the multiplayer experience, which is, frankly, a blast, especially compared to other games where it seems like the multiplayer is tacked on. Grabbing 3-15 friends, having access to a basement and 10 hours on a saturday made life worth living. Especially with Halo 2, where multiplayer rewarded players for knowing the map intimately, i.e.: "secret" sword locations, jumps onto the tops of buildings, etc. And that whoosh sound on the plasma sword was just designed to make people scream, "Where did he come from?!" or "Consarn' it!" And even those who do not have Xbox Live still appreciate a quality multiplayer experience.

How about making it feel like a real FPS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15958802)

and include a damn keyboard and mouse with the game?

Got 1 thing to say to all you folks (1)

Jake Dodgie (53046) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959728)

that think that Halo didn't introduce anything new to FPS

STICKY BOMBS

Still my fav way to take someone out is to charge in weaving, shove a sticky bomb in their face and then run away laughing.

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