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Halo 3 Review

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the cue-orchestral-background-music dept.

373

From a certain point of view, Halo 3 is without a doubt the biggest game of the year. The combination of fan anticipation, marketing, and the skill of Bungie's design combine to create a game that's larger than life; if gaming has a blockbuster franchise to match the movie industry's punch, it's the tale of Master Chief. The importance of the Halo franchise to gaming is a very big issue, though, and one worth it's own article. Having played through the game, there's really only one question I'm here to answer today. Does it meet expectations? In a word: yes. It's not the best game ever made, and it may not even be the best game this year. Will it make the fans happy, and deservedly sell thousands of Xbox 360s? Very much yes. Read on for my impressions of Bungie's years-in-the-making epic, Halo 3.

  • Title: Halo 3
  • Developer/Publisher: Bungie / Microsoft Game Studios
  • System: Xbox 360
  • Genre: First Person Shooter
  • Score: 4/5 - This game is above average, and excels in the genre it supports. A classic for the genre and well worth a look for every gamer.
The Tale

I hope you were paying attention at the end of Halo 2, because the folks at Bungie don't waste any time getting new players up to speed. The action picks up right after the Gravemind's infestation of High Charity at the end of the previous game, and the Master Chief's escape from that doomed city in the Prophet of Truth's stolen Forerunner vessel. If that makes no sense to you, I refer you to Wikipedia for a brush-up on Halo's lore. That said, once you're in the thick of things you don't need to know a lot about the past two games to enjoy 3's story. There are a bunch of references back, and continued threads, but really ... it's a first-person shooter. There are aliens on Earth, trying to dig up an alien artifact. You have to stop them. Go to it.

If you are a fan of the previous games, the story of Halo 3 is going to satisfy your need to see things wrapped up. What it's not going to do is surprise you. The plot plays out pretty much the way you'd expect, though the writers do make some very mature choices towards the end of the tale that distinguish it a bit from every other hero's journey. I'm reluctant to say more, as I'm not sure what's common knowledge at this point, but there is one storytelling choice I wanted to point out as being particularly effective. Cortana, Master Chief's AI companion, was left behind with the Flood's master at the end of the previous game. Despite this, she connects regularly with the Chief in a form of psychic connection. This allows a sense of desperation to build throughout the title, and has a satisfying payoff late in the game.

Story is a really important component of the gameplay experience for me. Though I'm no expert, I do actually like the Halo metaplot quite a bit, and I was left well pleased by Bungie's conclusion. Suffice it to say that while you're not going to be blown away by any revelations, there are no cop-outs, no cheap tricks and (best of all) no meaningless cliffhanger endings. Just make sure you watch to the end of the credits.

Beware the Scarabs

In Halo 2 there's a sequence where you attack a building-sized walking tank in the shape of a multi-legged bug, with a giant laser on its front. It's an elaborate experience: rushing alongside it on rooftops, jumping aboard, taking out its crew, and finally destroying its core. It was, for me, one of the highlights of the game. In Halo 3 you take on these tanks at least three times, and at one point you're fighting two at once. That pretty much sums up the experience of gameplay in this title: it's like the other two, only a lot moreso. Everything is bigger, better, and very, very polished.

That polish is something that exists across the title, from moment-to-moment combat through to 'set piece' battles like the Scarab tanks. There are several set pieces like that spread throughout the game, areas that are more than just the movement from point A to point B with enemies in between. None of them are any more particularly challenging than the rest of the game, but provide exclamation points on areas of hard work and forward progress. There are also several vehicle sequences, more (it seemed) that even in Halo 2. Fast action in the Scorpion tank and Warthog return, but there are also sequences designed specifically to show off some of the new vehicles in this title. I felt these were much more seamless experiences than in the last game; jumping in a vehicle seems like the natural thing to do, not a decision forced upon you by game design.

The vehicle sequences - and the whole game, for that matter - would have benefited from some extra time in NPC boot camp. Once again, your AI assistants prove to be poorly equipped at driving, shooting, or doing pretty much anything other than getting in the way. This, frustratingly, is a step up from Halo 2, where they were incapable of driving without continuously flipping your vehicle. The AI is at least smart enough to get from point A to B now, but you're not going to enjoy the journey. The continued incompetence of the AI in moment-to-moment fighting is particularly frustrating because the Elite known as the Arbiter is your constant companion through most of the game. This is a shadow of the co-op play component, a reminder that it's always possible. All the Arbiter was good for in my experience, though, was waving around his energy sword ineffectually. The AI here wasn't as dumb as the grunts in Gears of War (who enjoyed mantling onto the side of cover the enemies were firing at), but they weren't much better.

The enemy AI, at least, isn't entirely ineffective. They seemed particularly adept at using some of the new toys added in since the last game. Brute chieftains regularly came outfitted with the pleasant addition of a ripped-off turret. These mounted weapons, a frequent sight in past titles, can now be removed from their housings and carried around to provide some heavy firepower. A chieftain with one of these in a secured location can mean regular trips through respawning. The ability to dig in and hold a position was greatly enhanced by this game's addition of 'equipment'. The new use for the X button (reloading is now down with the LB and RB bumpers), most equipment allows NPCs and PCs alike to better hold an area. The 'force shield' is shown off in the E3 2006 trailer but deployable cover (a tall shield), a regeneration aura (which keeps your shields charged), and even deployable turrets all allow for positions to be maintained more effectively than in the past. Other equipment is intended to bypass such advantages, like the power-draining opposite of the regenerator, a portable hover-lift device that can allow you a quick hop over enemy fortifications, and a placeable mine great for taking out drawn-in Grunts. I'll admit it: I didn't use the equipment as effectively as I could have, but it was always enjoyable to play against. Particularly the energy shield; Brutes always seemed somehow vaguely surprised when I popped through the translucent wall.

I regularly got unpleasant surprises throughout the game, and I feel like I need to point out a frustration Bungie has managed to preserve intact from Halo 2: checkpoints. Halo 3 features an autosave system that updates your progress every time you complete a specific objective; passing a point on the map, or activating a certain control panel. Most checkpoints, though, are reached by killing enemies, and you very specifically have to kill every enemy in a group. At several points I found myself frustrated by my inability to find hiding bad guys - I'd complete a long stretch of the game and die, only to find myself further back in the game than I had anticipated. On my way back to where I'd died, I would regularly encounter a checkpoint I hadn't used before. These additional checkpoints were there because I'd missed a single hiding Grunt, or one of those stealthy sniper enemies the first time through. It's always frustrating to lose progress, and even more so when you find you lost that progress because you didn't see the point in finding a single cowering trooper.

That frustration with checkpoints, though, is really my only complaint about level design and the actual experience of play. There is a lot less back tracking here than in either of the last two games, and levels themselves feature a great deal of variation. There's a far wider palette used to put together levels, and the greens and brilliant whites used in Halo 3 stand in stark contrast to the greys and browns that have dominated other next-gen shooters. Combat itself is just as much fun as ever, and it's unflinchingly fair. You never feel cheated by gameplay in Halo 3. If you screw up and die, you usually spend the few moments after your death and before you respawn going, "Yeah, fair enough." Pro tip: The loud beeping of your lowered shields should have told you to get behind cover. While everything is polished to a glistening shine, it's great to be able to say they really haven't changed the feel of gameplay that much. Nine million people didn't buy Halo 2 because of a marketing campaign: ultimately they bought it because Bungie puts together one of the best console shooter experiences, hands down.

One Fine Looking Suit of Armor

Halo 3 looks really good, especially in motion. That said, compared with a game like Gears of War or Lair, it doesn't particularly scream 'next-gen'. The water is pretty good, the explosions are works of art, and reflections off of the Chief's visor are satisfyingly accurate ... but for the most part the game looks a lot like Master Chief's previous adventure. That's fine, though, because (unlike in that title) the framerate is pegged at 60fps and never wavers. There was never once a stutter or slowdown, even with dozens of fastmoving objects on screen, swarms of enemies, or a speedy vehicle sequence. I also saw none of the 'texture popping' that I annoyingly associate with last-gen titles. There are also almost no loading times in the game. The only time you'll see a (brief) loading screen is when you start the game or load a new chapter. Otherwise from start to finish your gaming experience is essentially unbroken. Bungie obviously spent time working on the visual elements of the game, but not to the exclusion of equally important components like story and gameplay. The look of the game is conveyed more by the art style used in the varied environments that through sheer power; the graphics here get the job done, and look great doing it.

Firefly Stars and Heavy Guitar Riffs

One game element that needs no qualifiers is the title's sound presentation. Just as in the previous two games, no expense was spared to bring the world to life through sound effects, voice acting, and music. The sound effects are essentially identical to the experience a player may have had in Halo 2, with a few subtle improvements. The voice acting is extremely well done, with the likes of Keith David, Jen Taylor, Steve Downes, and David Scully reprising their roles. Jen Taylor's Cortana has some especially challenging scenes in this game, and I thought she did a great job with them. New (but familiar) voices also add their talents to the cast. Red vs. Blue viewers will recognize the name Burnie Burns, who is one of the voices of the generic soldiery, but fans of Joss Whedon's Firefly will have just as much to enjoy. Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin are also soldiers, and Nathan Fillion takes on the role of an NPC sergeant. I noted this during gameplay, actually, as Alan Tudyk's voice is ... distinct.

Martin O'Donnell composed the game's score, reprising his role from the two previous titles. If you've heard the moving music in the E3 2006 trailer you're already well aware of what that implies. Most of his compositions are much more low key, of course, but they nonetheless provide a welcome backdrop for the game's graphics, gameplay and story. The later levels especially benefit from this subtle but important reminder of what's at stake. The music serves as an obvious but not over-the-top pacing element. Ultimately Martin O'Donnell's compositions are the kind of music you'd be more than happy to listen to outside of the game; it's hard to see how you can pay a soundtrack a higher compliment.

Playback and Multiplay

The clearest sign that Halo 3 is a 'next generation' title is its online and playback components. Most startling are the game's video editing and level creation tools. The first time you'll play through the campaign, you'll find that you can relive the whole thing by reviewing the videos stored on your 360's hard drive. There's no need to set a special setting, it just does it automatically. From there, you can enter the recording and rewatch the whole thing, stopping to take screenshots or snip video clips. These clips and pictures are then viewable from your Bungie.net profile, proving your game mastery to awed onlookers. The real awe, for me, was stepping outside of the Chief to fly around the map as action progresses. If you recall a particularly cool moment - a really good grenade stick, for example - you can see what that looked like on the outside ... and take a picture of it. I haven't had much time or inclination to play around with the level creation tool (called the Forge), but it's incredibly robust. Think something along the lines of Gary's Mod for Half-Life 2, and you'll understand the possibilities in Bungie's generous tool offering.

I've talked extensively about the game's campaign mode, but for many gamers online multiplayer is the real reason to buy this game. And understandably so: if you participated in the Halo 3 multiplayer Beta a few months ago you're already well aware of that game element's polish level. The real draw for me, though, is the campaign co-op play. I played entirely through Gears of War three times because the co-op experience was so well done. Here Bungie has provided the opportunity for up to four players to participate in the entire campaign experience. Just as with the 'single player' campaign mode (which is really just co-op with bots), the entire experience will be recorded to your hard drive for later public mockery. Unlike in single-player, by doing a co-op session you and your team-mates participate in what the game's achievements call 'the metagame'. Players are scored on their play throughout the game, and netting a certain total score during a co-op session can earn you some gamerscore points.

As much time as the team has obviously taken on the game itself, it's great to see that they've fleshed out the experience with elements like this. Graphics aside, these playback and co-op components are truly what makes Halo 3 'next generation'.

Consider the Fight Finished

Halo 3, then, is just about everything a player of the previous games in the series could hope for. It looks good, it plays smoothly, and backstory fans are going to finally have some closure. There are obviously flaws, but none are so glaring or frustrating as to be worth more than a passing mention. Even the checkpoint thing, which I'm sure I have run into far more often than the average player, never stopped me from grinning at the chance to melee some more Brutes into submission.

In essence: Bungie has succeeded marvelously at bringing this trilogy to a close. The game's tight story is complete-able in Normal mode in about ten hours, and that feels just about right. At the end of the game you're left wanting more, but not feeling gypped. Folks who have been holding their breath for this since 2004 can relax; the only thing left to do now is play and have a good time. Halo 3 is fun. Any game - regardless of platform, generation, or genre - where you can finish up and immediately want to start playing again ... it's hard to call that anything but a success.

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Online Co-op not a factor? (1, Informative)

666999 (999666) | about 7 years ago | (#20731077)

The lack of online co-op doesn't seem as though it's a big deal any more, as we're not hearing much about it.

I'm looking forward to checking it out at a friend's house, as I haven't bought any of the new consoles yet. If it's as good as expected, it could be the kicker that gets me to buy a 360. Online still isn't an option for those of us on dial-up (too slow) or satellite (Hughes, too much lag/loss), but the single-player looks like it will be a blast.

The Ars Techinca review [arstechnica.com] strictly deals with the single-player component, for those who are looking for another viewpoint (from another tech site that's not solely focused on gaming).

Re:Online Co-op not a factor? (1)

ivano (584883) | about 7 years ago | (#20731197)

Isn't there 4 player co-op?

Re:Online Co-op not a factor? (1)

666999 (999666) | about 7 years ago | (#20731331)

Isn't there 4 player co-op?


Only LAN, from what I've read. It's possible online will be added in an update. However, it's not made completely clear by any of the reviews I've read so far, so any definitive info would be appreciated.

All the previews claimed it would be 4-player co-op online, then changed their story a few days later and claimed it would only be offline. None of the reviews I've read have cleared things up.

Re:Online Co-op not a factor? (4, Informative)

p0tat03 (985078) | about 7 years ago | (#20731911)

The official word is as such:
- Up to 2 players can play splitscreen on the same box.
- Up to 4 players can play over Xbox Live or System Link (LAN)
- The above can be combined in any way (e.g. 2 people on one box + 2 players over Xbox Live)

4 person Co-op on Live works (1)

e03179 (578506) | about 7 years ago | (#20731733)

FYI: You can co-op the campaign over XBOX Live. 3 friends (from Philly, Washington, and Canada) and I have played through the game thrice already. Online co-op is a big deal and it's working.

Bungie added a "meta-game" to the campaign. When my friends and I are playing through the campaign, we turn on scoring. This allows us to earn points throughout the campaign. The score is updated for each player on screen. Kill a Wraith. Get +2000 points. Kill a Grunt. Get +125 points. Activate some "skulls" that you've found, then a multiplier will be factored into your score.

There is Online CO-OP (3, Informative)

Foo2rama (755806) | about 7 years ago | (#20731337)

Umm....Online co-op is in Halo III. It was on then off then back on. This review says up to 4 players on co-op can play campaign at one time. I am greatly looking forward to this, as split screen even on 56 inch plasma is like kissing your sister.

Of course I could be wrong but this is from Bungie. click me! [bungie.net]

or for the lazy.

So you were probably wondering why we didn't want to commit to two player co-op online over Xbox Live. We certainly got plenty of mail asking, no, demanding that we make it happen. Of course we were working on it, but we were also working on something better. Not two player co-op. Not three-player co-op, but up to four player co-op. Online. On Xbox Live, or sure, System Link if you prefer. That is correct - up to four player co-op in Campaign mode on Xbox Live or System Link.

Re:There is Online CO-OP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731657)

Operative words being "working on".

That might be because... (1)

Sibko (1036168) | about 7 years ago | (#20731393)

Heh, Online Co-op's been in the game since at least July 31st, according to this article: http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/01/1611238 [slashdot.org] The reason no one is saying anything about co-op not being there, is because it IS there.

Unreal Tournament (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731567)

No online play?!?!?!

Sure HALO is getting the typical hype that Micro$oft's money can buy, but come on no online play in this day and age would be a joke!

My money is on the next Unreal Tournament!

Re:Unreal Tournament (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20732303)

For me UT has always had more heart and soul. Besides with the price of hardware coming way down and the kick booty multi-core/cpu systems and awesome vid cards who really needs to buy a single use console today?

I'm going to save my money and wait for now. Once UT3 comes out I will pop for a new multi-core PC w/ a kick butt vid card and jacked up with lots of memory. And when I am not gaming I can use it for programming, work, etc, etc.

God Smack Your Ass !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731081)

God Smack Your Ass !! Long ass at that !!

Hey Zonk (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731345)

Get Microsoft's cock out of your mouth!!
It was just in your ass.

Could you be a bigger Microbitch???

Re:Hey Zonk (2, Insightful)

Swordopolis (1159065) | about 7 years ago | (#20731557)

I think that if he really was a "MicroBitch", he would have given the game better than a 4/5.

But then again, everybody else is giving better than 4/5 (Metacritic rating stands at 96 currently).

I'm ... (0)

corifornia2 (1158503) | about 7 years ago | (#20731109)

fap fap fapping.

Holy Cow (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731115)

Microsoft Shill, go masturbate someplace else, we don't need to see you sitting at your game machine pounding your tool and shooting goo all over your screen. Good Lord!

Read between the lines (5, Insightful)

martin_henry (1032656) | about 7 years ago | (#20731137)

From a certain point of view, Halo 3 is without a doubt the biggest game of the year.
That would be the point of view of Xbox 360 owners only, correct?

Re:Read between the lines (4, Informative)

svendsen (1029716) | about 7 years ago | (#20731213)

well not sure on this...but didn't halo 3 break all pre-order records? Do you think any other game on any other system this year will match its sales? For the entire gaming industry this is the big one for this year (whether you hate/love it).

Re:Read between the lines (1)

soleblaze (628864) | about 7 years ago | (#20731327)

Yeah, Halo 3 is the first system seller for this new generation of consoles. There hasn't really been any other games released on any of them that would make a lot of people go 'wow, I gotta drop $250-$600 just to play that!'

Re:Read between the lines (1)

svendsen (1029716) | about 7 years ago | (#20731395)

Ya I can agree with that. Maybe GoW, BioShock, and even Oblivion moved some units but ya nothing like Halo 3 will. When MGS4 comes out we will see a spike in Ps3 sales too.

Re:Read between the lines (1)

raitchison (734047) | about 7 years ago | (#20732261)

IMO MGS4 will have about the same impact on console sales as Bioshock. In order to see a PS3 console seller like Halo 3 you will need to wait for GT5.

Re:Read between the lines (3, Interesting)

edwdig (47888) | about 7 years ago | (#20731599)

You're forgetting that the Wii is selling largely because of Wii Sports. It's not selling it to the kind of person who buys a system because of Halo, but it certainly is selling a LOT of systems. Probably more than Halo will.

Re:Read between the lines (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | about 7 years ago | (#20731645)

I was going to mention Metroid, but I think you're right. I think most who are Metroid fans probably already bought a Wii.

Re:Read between the lines (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 7 years ago | (#20731423)

I say if a new Tetris or Minesweeper came out it would smoke them all :)

Re:Read between the lines (1)

Trillan (597339) | about 7 years ago | (#20731457)

I guess if you're using preorders to define significance, you've found one such viewpoint. To me, the statement "it's like the other two, only a lot moreso" sums it up really well. I don't even know that I consider the same game, re-heated and with extra spices and baked cheese on top, its own entity.

Re:Read between the lines (1, Interesting)

Trillan (597339) | about 7 years ago | (#20731551)

Also worth noting: Halo 3 has not lived up to Halo 2's preorders.

Re:Read between the lines (1)

Trillan (597339) | about 7 years ago | (#20731237)

I was thinking the only such viewpoint would be "Halo 3 is the biggest game of the year." Only that would produce the statement that "Halo 3 is without a doubt the biggest game of the year."

Re:Read between the lines (1)

duppyconqueror (1161341) | about 7 years ago | (#20731259)

Personally, I'm holding out for DDK3D (Dance Dance Karnov 3D).

Re:Read between the lines (4, Insightful)

Yusaku Godai (546058) | about 7 years ago | (#20731439)

You could look at it that way. But even as a non-XBox, non-Halo fan, I can see why they would call it that. There are the preorders for one, and then the merchandising. I was at Target a couple weeks ago and the had stacks upon stacks of these Halo preorder cards you coul buy. I've never seen anything like that. Nor have I seen anywhere near the level of merchandising (tie-ins at 7-11?) for any other game.

So, while I don't give half a shit about Halo, clearly somebody does, for some odd reason. And it's huge.

Re:Read between the lines (2, Insightful)

archen (447353) | about 7 years ago | (#20731533)

Probably not that far off though. PS3 sales have lagged. PS2 is considered dated. The Wii has outsold all other consoles (and will probably continue to widen the gap), however; people who game on the Wii are a lot more diversified in their gaming tastes and there will probably be no single game on the Wii that almost all Wii owners will buy. In contrast Xbox360 owners are mostly the "gamer" demographic that games like Halo tend to target. So looking at Xbox360 sales being alright, and most Xbox360 owners being the sort who will buy Halo, this is probably the biggest console game this year.

Of course the reality is that World of Warcraft is still the biggest game of the year...

Re:Read between the lines (0, Troll)

LarsWestergren (9033) | about 7 years ago | (#20731637)

>>From a certain point of view, Halo 3 is without a doubt the biggest game of the year.
>That would be the point of view of Xbox 360 owners only, correct?


Exactly... and even there it is debatable. For XBox360 owners with taste, the biggest games of the year are Bioshock or Mass Effect. PC DEVELOPERS! COME BACK TO US! ALL IS FORGIVEN! *sobs*

Most likely (-1, Flamebait)

Nursie (632944) | about 7 years ago | (#20731973)

Some might say that Manhunt 2 garnered more attention.

The summary does use bizarre praseology. "From a certain point of view ... without a doubt". It's not correct english.

Whilst Halo 3 might be one of the most expensively launched games in recent memory, I'm not that fussed. You can't have a proper FPS on a console.

Halo 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731149)

I, for one, welcome our alien killing overlords... ?

Damn shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731183)

Will sell thousands of 360s? That will be a disappointment to Microsoft.

gypped? what is this 1939 berlin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731185)

thats a racial epithet.

maybe if you spent less time playing mindlessly violent video games, and instead reading history and sociology books, you would know that.

Re:gypped? what is this 1939 berlin? (3, Insightful)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | about 7 years ago | (#20731761)

It's actually an American-coined term. Maybe if you spent less time hiding behind AC, looking for racism where none exists, and instead reading history and sociology books, you would know that. You'd also know that there are very, very few Romas (as they call themselves) in the U.S. So, the possibility that it is based on a racial slur is not only unlikely but as of yet still unproven.

But, hey, welcome to the 21st century where context means nothing as long as someone can be offended by a combination of letters.

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those words, in and of themselves. They're only words. It's the context that counts. It's the user. It's the intention behind the words that makes them good or bad. The words are completely neutral. The words are innocent. I get tired of people talking about 'bad words' and 'bad language.' Bullsh*t! It's the context that makes them good or bad." -- George Carlin

huh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731187)

WTF is a halo 3?

Zonk you filthy faggot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731199)

Shut your stupid fucking cornhole. No one cares about your game reviews. Nice life, shit bag. "I'm Zonk. I'm middle-aged and my life revolves around games. I can't wait till I'm old, cause then I'll have no choice but a shotgun mouthwash, because I sunk all my money into my Second Life 401k and that stupid fund manager ripped me off."

Second opinion. (4, Funny)

peterpi (585134) | about 7 years ago | (#20731217)

UK Resistance has another review here [ukresistance.co.uk]

Gypped (4, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#20731283)

I wonder how many people are aware that 'gypped' is a racial slur. Might as well just say jewed or chinked or niggered. Your doing the same thing. Associating an ethnic group with a negative stereo type. Maybe you should just say "not feeling ripped off" or "feeling they got their moneys worth". I am not of that ethnic group but I find it offensive when someone says "jewed" or calls me "slanty eyed".

video gamers have their own version of reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731389)

its why they play games in the first place. to escape the awful reality where they are responsible for the consequences of their actions and words. sort of like why i rant online lol.

anyways, i predict 10 seconds until someone counter 'argues' that it should be OK to say jewed, n***, etc, because political correctness is evil blah blah blah.

it is the same argument they will have if you point out that murdering prostitutes and stealing their money is not the best thing for our culture to be involved in simulating.

Re:video gamers have their own version of reality (4, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#20731517)

its why they play games in the first place. to escape the awful reality where they are responsible for the consequences of their actions and words. sort of like why i rant online lol.

anyways, i predict 10 seconds until someone counter 'argues' that it should be OK to say jewed, n***, etc, because political correctness is evil blah blah blah.

it is the same argument they will have if you point out that murdering prostitutes and stealing their money is not the best thing for our culture to be involved in simulating.


Perhaps I need to clarify. I wasn't saying the game mentions "Gypped" but instead the review closes with a paragraph that contains "gypped". A lot of people aren't aware thats a racial slur and I wanted to bring it to people attentions. I'm all for free speech. Say it how ever you like. But be aware it does offend some people. I know some paragons of the PC movement who say "gypped" all the time because they weren't aware it's a racial slur. I wanted to let people know.

I prefer if people made their points without racial slurs but I also believe in people being able to say what ever they want. But the right to do so comes with the responsibility for what they say.

Re:video gamers have their own version of reality (2, Insightful)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about 7 years ago | (#20731693)

Funny, you have no problem with a game that simulates killing. Just make you you speak nicely when doing it though.

Re:video gamers have their own version of reality (1)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#20731841)

Funny, you have no problem with a game that simulates killing. Just make you you speak nicely when doing it though.

I say "God I wish my boss wasn't such a tightwad, he gyped me out of a raise". Consequence: This links Cheap/theft with Gypsies.

I kill a Covenant Brute. consequence: A whole bunch of transistors change voltage levels in my 360.

I'm fairly certain both aren't that severe int he grand scheme of things but the first has more real world effects then the second.

PS. I don't' have a 360, I wont' be buying the game. Need I be abstinent before marriage to critique female circumcision? Similar logic applies with your statement.

Re:video gamers have their own version of reality (1)

SIIHP (1128921) | about 7 years ago | (#20731903)

"This links Cheap/theft with Gypsies."

What part of not giving you a raise is theft?

Or is your association of theft to "gyp" in your head, and as such you're projecting your own racist ideas?

Re:video gamers have their own version of reality (2, Interesting)

thegnu (557446) | about 7 years ago | (#20732155)

What part of not giving you a raise is theft?
He doesn't say that. The fact is that part of the racial discrimination against gypsies has to do with theft. Look it up. Books good. Wikipedia works, I'm sure.

So, using "gypped" is a reference to gypsy theft, like it or not. Same way that if you say some guy jewed you out of a deal, you're evoking stinginess, greediness, etc. The meaning of the word itself counts as content in the sentence, if you're wondering. Nigger-rigging is a reference to black people being lazy.

You're just trolling anyway. (sorry to all the real trolls out there)

Re:video gamers have their own version of reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20732021)

"I kill a Covenant Brute. consequence: A whole bunch of transistors change voltage levels in my 360."

Ok, and saying "gypped" moves a bunch of air molecules. I think it is safe to say that except for activists like yourself no one thinks of gypsies when they hear that word outside of Eastern Europe.

Re:video gamers have their own version of reality (1)

Pike (52876) | about 7 years ago | (#20731961)

if hardly anyone is aware of its origin or its possible interpretation as a racial slur, is it still a racial slur in practice? explain.

Re:video gamers have their own version of reality (2, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#20732087)

if hardly anyone is aware of its origin or its possible interpretation as a racial slur, is it still a racial slur in practice? explain.

the etymology has no confirmed alternative origin. Event he closest plausible alternative is actually a term that also derived from gypsies. It's as highly likely it back links to gypsies as it is that jewed back links to Jews. Read up on it. It's not common knowledge but that doesn't it make it true. Saying "god That car salesmen just jewed my wife" does no damage if everyone in the room is not offended by that jewed. Does it make it okay?

Re:Gypped (1)

fishdan (569872) | about 7 years ago | (#20731417)

I appreciate you informing me of this in a non-preachy way so that I was able to actually read and digest. I had never realized the etymology of gypped (which I had always spelled 'Jipped'). I will try to amend my vocabulary.

Re:Gypped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731425)

I see that you have not been niggardly with your opinions.

Re:Gypped (2, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | about 7 years ago | (#20731467)

Maybe he should say what he feels like saying and you should grow a thicker skin.

Re:Gypped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731477)

Gyp is nowhere near the in the same league as jewed (are chinked or niggered even words?). Although it is likely [worldwidewords.org] that it has its origins from the word gypsy, the fact that it originated in the U.S (which has no anti-gypsy bias to speak of) means that it was never meant as a slur. Heck, "Indian Summer" is far more of a slur than gyp is (as Indian being used to mean false [yahoo.com] ). So get over yourself.

Re:Gypped (1)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#20731887)

Gyp is nowhere near the in the same league as jewed (are chinked or niggered even words?). Although it is likely that it has its origins from the word gypsy, the fact that it originated in the U.S (which has no anti-gypsy bias to speak of) means that it was never meant as a slur. Heck, "Indian Summer" is far more of a slur than gyp is (as Indian being used to mean false). So get over yourself.

The Entomology of that is also questionable. It may have come into common usage in the US but it still refers back to Gypsies/Roma. Do some digging.

Re:Gypped (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731571)

Gyppsys are a race of beggers, theives, and transients. To some people the culture is fascinating. To anyone who has ever had to share a train with a Gyppsy and his child who is forced to play an instrument badly it is anything but. It is an annoying part of having open societies that these people can even come and disrupt your day.

Put simply, the Germans were right to gas the the Gyppsys right along with the Jews in their campaign to rid the world of sub-human 'people'. If they had only finished the job the world would be a much better place.

Re:Gypped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731697)

As a Romani, I have only one thing to say: Bengesko niamso

I "us"ed them down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731587)

If most people aren't aware that it is a racial slur, then it is not much of a racial slur.

Thanks for the PC update though.

Re:Gypped (1)

milatchi (694575) | about 7 years ago | (#20731715)

"how many people are aware that 'gypped' is a racial slur."
"Maybe you should just say "not feeling ripped off""
I wonder if you are aware that 'ripped off' is a cultural slur, and I find myself deeply offended by your lack of tact. As for Gypsies, I'm willing to bet that you sir have never had your house painted by a Gypsy, and had it rain the next day and wash all the paint away. Also I was not aware Gypsies were a race.

Re:Gypped (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#20731745)

Wow, how about you quit being a crybaby. Growing up, I was always taught "words can never hurt me." Perhaps you should stop letting words have such power over you, and move on with your life. Honkey and cracker could be equally as offensive to me as a white person, but I never give a shit when anyone uses them.

Re:Gypped (1)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#20732019)

Wow, how about you quit being a crybaby. Growing up, I was always taught "words can never hurt me." Perhaps you should stop letting words have such power over you, and move on with your life. Honkey and cracker could be equally as offensive to me as a white person, but I never give a shit when anyone uses them.

I am personally enraged when someone uses an Asian racial slur around me. Words are part of culture and they can hurt you. Why was my great great grandfather not allowed to bring his family over from china or get payed a decent wage for taking the dangerous jobs building the Canadian railway? because there was a tight cultural connection between Chink,Chinese and china men with Sub human in the minds of the people of Canada. The whole PC thing is to help break this up. If kids aren't taught "jewed", "chink", "nigger" etc.. it helps prevent them from making such associations. As a non white guy I was harassed with racial slurs most my life and often it would come with violence. So really you don't know what it feels like until you are the only Asian kid in a class of 30 white kids. It's even worse if you're poor and their affluent.

No it isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731825)

"I wonder how many people are aware that 'gypped' is a racial slur."

Gypsies aren't a race. No, they aren't. NO THEY AREN'T.

Second, there is no definitive proof that the word "gypped/gipped" originated with gypsies.

So fuck off with your incorrect, jumping the gun to call others racist PC bullshit.

Lastly, since gypsies make it a point to defraud non-gypsies (don't bother arguing, I'll bury you under sources that show it as historical fact) I'd be careful calling it racist when it's a point they seem to take great pride in.

Maybe you're the one who is racist with the assumptions you make?

Re:Gypped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731889)

Yet many pikeys play up to a stereotype and would consider the term a compliment, a badge of honor. Statistically gypsies are more likely to take you in a business deal and black youths are more likely to mug you. Political correctness has done nothing to change this and is therefore a lie that's just as offensive as the stereotypes it seeks to defeat.

So how about not being gypped by the PC brigade?

Re:Gypped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731919)

I found myself in college taking a senior-level Anthropology course to fulfill some requirement or other, and ending up doing a long research paper on the Gypsy culture.

Without fail, every single scholarly resource I found for research said something along these lines:
Gypsies have been unfairly maligned as being treacherous, thieving, dishonest, etc...
Then the source would go on to give copious quantities of evidence about Gypsies embodying these traits.

Not a troll, just sharing what I found...

Re:Gypped (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 7 years ago | (#20731983)

Thanks for the comment, I was aware of this one, but all too many of my friends take slurs for granted without even meaning harm. For instance, I worked in web development a while back and I always pronounced W.A.P. as wop, which is apparently a slur against Italians.

On the one hand, its really offensive to the party who you're unintentionally insulting, but on the other if you're truly ignorant of its meaning it means there are people born and raised without racism, etc.. and I'd say thats a healthy ignorance.

Re:Gypped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20732171)

Speaking of healthy ignorance, I always thought it was Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by the toe until I saw the thing about the southwest flight attendant offending someone when using the rhyme to select a seat.

Re:Gypped (2, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 7 years ago | (#20732055)

This is the first I've heard of "gypped" being an ethnic slur. Who is it an ethnic slur against, and more to the point, who cares what it's origins are? It currently means "ripped off".

Re:Gypped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20732091)

Funny. Last I checked "Gypsy" was not a race... Nor is "jew"... I, being a Native American (redundant, isn't it???), am particularly sensitive to racism and intolerance, and prejudice. While I do not tolerate intolerance myself (funny...), I believe what you are referring is "prejudice"

Re:Gypped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20732321)

Thanks for the clarification, friend!
This reviewer nearly niggered us readers with his carelessly non-PC language.

Yes but... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731285)

Does it run on linux?

Weird trilogy pattern developing (3, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 7 years ago | (#20731289)

Anyone else notice a weird pattern with Doom 1, 2, 3... Quake 1, 2, 3... and Halo 1, 2, 3? The third one is the one that has the features the other 2 really should have, and yet all three basically peter out when the next new crazy fps comes out. How long will Halo 3 hang on until the next fps title eclipses it (but with way crappier features, like from Quake 3 -> Halo 1)? Just a thought.

Re:Weird trilogy pattern developing (1)

nicolastheadept (930317) | about 7 years ago | (#20731403)

Half-Life 3: Hell Yeah!

Re:Weird trilogy pattern developing (2, Funny)

admdrew (782761) | about 7 years ago | (#20732317)

HL3? Pretty sure that'll be released shortly after Half Life 2: Episode 5, SP2, Director's-cut, Headcrab-edition.

Re:Weird trilogy pattern developing (2, Informative)

p0tat03 (985078) | about 7 years ago | (#20731737)

The third one is the one that has the features the other 2 really should have

Sequel Improves On Predecessor: Video at 11!

How long will Halo 3 hang on until the next fps title eclipses it (but with way crappier features, like from Quake 3 -> Halo 1)? Just a thought.

You know both Doom and Quake franchises are still around? Not to mention Half-Life that came before Halo, and... oh forget it.

I don't even get how Q3A and Halo 1 are comparable. One is a game that focuses on singleplay, with a smattering of multiplay maps based around vehicle combat. The other is a multiplay-only game with a focus on frenetic close-quarters fighting...

Re:Weird trilogy pattern developing (1)

e03179 (578506) | about 7 years ago | (#20731775)

Beat the Halo 3 campaign on Legendary and you'll see that Bungie has something else up their sleeves.

Re:Weird trilogy pattern developing (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | about 7 years ago | (#20731891)

Not sure your pattern works for the Quake series. Quake 3 was a huge change from the first two, being completely multiplayer-oriented.

I don't think the Quake series has 'petered out' either, in my view Quake 4 was the game that Doom 3 should have been.

Too bad the update screwed many others (0)

dindi (78034) | about 7 years ago | (#20731323)

Oh well ... I for one do not care about halo, but having the rainy season on us with comlete darkness at 6 makes me spend more time playing on live.

Now that said, I know that they recently updated consoles, and I suspect that it had to do something with the new big release...

Sad thing is: since then people have lag issues, connection issues all over the place..

All MS support says is: restart your modem and your router, and call support (2 hours waiting according to many).

No, I am not middle aged and my life is not video games, but I like to play multiplayer stuff RS and GRAW mostly.

paid Microsoft shill reviews? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731363)

Notice how Slashdot only reviews the worst PS3 games (Lair) and doesn't even bother reviewing the top PS3 titles (STILL no Heavenly Sword review). Meanwhile Slashdot gushes over the latest Xbox games, posting reviews before the game is even officially released.

Was there an exchange of money for this review?

Re:paid Microsoft shill reviews? (2, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 years ago | (#20731957)

Perhaps he's still working on completing Heavenly Sword.

LMAO @ (1)

agent (7471) | about 7 years ago | (#20731405)

"Halo 3 is indeed better than when your wife got pregnant."

How does it compare to PC shooters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731433)

Like the BF or UT series. I remember briefly playing Halo 1 and not being very impressed after all the hype I heard. It seemed inferior to any of the PC shooters I had seen.

Would Halo 3 be good enough to get an Xbox for? Do people play this with a controller? Mouse/Keyboard seems like it would whip any controller-based interface.

Oh no, Master Chief comes OUT!!! :-) (-1, Offtopic)

tjstork (137384) | about 7 years ago | (#20731481)

I consider it a great sign of progress that no one has actually made a lot of hay about the ending, whereas Master Chief confesses that he really likes the other Masters more than the Mistresses, particularly since you have to do a multi key set of moves to consumate your new found love....

From a certain perspective.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20731547)

From a certain point of view, Halo 3 is without a doubt the biggest game of the year.

Yeah, the drooling console moron point of view. Sometimes I dispair over humanity.

Selling (1, Troll)

Tom (822) | about 7 years ago | (#20731625)

Will it make the fans happy, and deservedly sell thousands of Xbox 360s?
That's the #1 problem I have with it. Somewhere in a marketing department, someone grins at that sentence because he knows what many of us only suspect: That the one and only purpose for Halo 3 is to sell more Xboxes.

And somewhere deep inside of me, there's a part that has an unspeakable problem with a game existing only for the benefit of a game console, because it feels it ought to be the other way around.

Re:Selling (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about 7 years ago | (#20731759)

I suspect that it is both ways actually.

Re:Selling (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | about 7 years ago | (#20732089)

There are all those thousands of people out there who play nothing but Halo on the original Xbox. You need something to make them upgrade. Now they can play nothing but Halo on the 360.

Re:Selling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20732287)

Actually, in the modern gaming era (nes), Console makers have sold had to eat a loss on the consoles themselves. Their profits come in licensing the games. The purpose of the console is to creat a large installed user base for said games.

Firefly stars (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | about 7 years ago | (#20731627)

Alan Tudyk's just glad he didn't have to wear a bright-green wet suit [imdb.com] the whole time he was working on the project.

Because of Halo (0, Flamebait)

The Living Fractal (162153) | about 7 years ago | (#20731783)

It's because of the Halo series of games that I will never, ever, buy a Microsoft game console. The game should be released on the PC at the same time as the console. The only reason it isn't is because Microsoft wants to sell more consoles. This is complete bullshit and they might as well be giving the PC gamers the finger. Fuck that. The sad thing is there are some games on the XBox that I really would like to play. They chose this route, and I'm stubborn enough to sacrifice some of my own fun because of it. I wonder how many other people feel the same way?

Re:Because of Halo (2, Insightful)

Swordopolis (1159065) | about 7 years ago | (#20731965)

It's because of the MGS series of games that I will never, ever, buy a Sony game console. The game should be released on the PC at the same time as the console. The only reason it isn't is because Sony wants to sell more consoles. This is complete bullshit and they might as well be giving the PC gamers the finger. Fuck that. The sad thing is there are some games on the PS2/3 that I really would like to play. They chose this route, and I'm stubborn enough to sacrifice some of my own fun because of it. I wonder how many other people feel the same way?

This argument can be made for a LOT of games, not just the Halo series. Bawwwwwww a little more and maybe they'll listen.

Re:Because of Halo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20732243)

Halo was originally a PC only title (and quite a bit different from the Halo you know today from what I heard), until MS bought em out. Your argument has holes big enough for... something big... to go through.

Re:Because of Halo (1)

Swordopolis (1159065) | about 7 years ago | (#20732309)

Halo was originally a Mac title.

Re:Because of Halo (1)

Bigboote66 (166717) | about 7 years ago | (#20731987)

I don't understand your argument. You're saying that you would buy an XBox to play some games that only exist on it, but you won't because there exists a game that only runs on the XBox? It makes perfect sense why Halo exists only for the XBox - why would they want to fragment their multiplayer fan base by releasing on multiple platforms. Years ago Bungie determined that Halo was more of a "sport" than a video game, and has been driving development of it since then with the primary focus being towards balancing multiplayer. It's not practical to have multiplayer title be cross-platform, Shadowrun notwithstanding.

Plus, the ROI for console and console game sales is far greater than PC game sales. Why should Bungie/MS waste time & resources doing joint development, jeopardizing the release date of the 360 title, just for a marginal ROI that would be seen on sales of the PC version? Face it - PC game sales levels don't justify the kinds of budgets that A-list console titles pull down. PC gaming still has a place, but that place is niche gaming, independent gaming, and strategy wargaming.

Finally, why would you want to buy the PC version? PCs are just a money pit when it comes to keeping a gaming rig current. You can easily spend the cost of a 360 on video cards alone each year just to maintain a machine that will play the latest & greatest FPS titles at maximum fidelity. It's not worth a company's time to produce massively expensive titles for a tiny fraction of the game-playing public.

-BbT

Re:Because of Halo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20732307)

horseshit...

you buy Halo 3 now, you can play Halo 3 for the next 3 years on the same video card...just because the cards get better doesn't mean your game that you bought right now magically needs better hardware. Besides...I've bought new gaming cards every 3 years and never had a problem playing any games. I have no problem with a card that can do 90% of what a game offers...it's only the professional and professional wannabes that buy cards every year. Or people who need to diversify their interests a little more.

How terribly unreasonable. (1)

Soulfader (527299) | about 7 years ago | (#20732061)

Damn them for wanting to maximize profits on their product offerings.

Re:Because of Halo (1)

srmalloy (263556) | about 7 years ago | (#20732135)

The original Halo was released for the PC, and Halo 2 was also released for the PC, albeit much later than the Xbox release and as yet another of Microsoft's "See? If you don't upgrade to Vista, you'll never be able to do this" incentives to buck up less-than-stellar sales of its latest grab for control of your desktop.

Re:Because of Halo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20732181)

Do you do this with any company that makes any platform exclusive games, or is it that you're only outraged when its microsoft? Do you get as upset when somebody doesn't port a game over to Mac or Linux? This is ridiculous grandstanding on your part.

Civilization Revolution is only for consoles not for PC. They're giving me the finger!

Nintendo only makes games for nintendo products and not PC, they're giving me the fucking finger!

The GTA games come out for PC later than consoles, Rockstar is giving me the finger!

What the fuck kind of point are you making here other than "M$ bad!"?

Any word on production? (1)

ObiWanStevobi (1030352) | about 7 years ago | (#20731913)

Is there any word on how many copies they managed to pump out for US release?

halo 3 is the best fps ever (1)

R00BYtheN00BY (1118945) | about 7 years ago | (#20731999)

halo 3 is the best fps ever and all of you wiitards and xbots cant deny it gg

Hmmmm (1)

powerlord (28156) | about 7 years ago | (#20732031)

After these choice bits:

I hope you were paying attention at the end of Halo 2, because the folks at Bungie don't waste any time getting new players up to speed.

and

If you are a fan of the previous games, the story of Halo 3 is going to satisfy your need to see things wrapped up. What it's not going to do is surprise you. The plot plays out pretty much the way you'd expect, though the writers do make some very mature choices towards the end of the tale that distinguish it a bit from every other hero's journey.


I have to wonder if this game is for me though.

Yeah, somehow I must have been living under a rock and not played the first two Halos.

I know that a game doesn't have to cater to new followers (who may as well be completely in the dark), as well as "The Faithful", but from the perspective of the review, it seems that they aren't even a blip on the radar.

point of view (4, Insightful)

snarkh (118018) | about 7 years ago | (#20732133)

From a certain point of view, Halo 3 is without a doubt the biggest game of the year.

From a certain point of view a mouse is without a doubt the biggest animal in a forest.

firxsWt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20732197)

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