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MIT Hacks Harvard For Halo, Game Prompts Lots of Sick Days

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the his-name-is-john-you-see dept.

XBox (Games) 127

yonari writes "Early on the morning before the Halo 3 release, John Harvard donned a Mjolnir helmet and a beaver emblem, and carried an assault rifle on his left shoulder, apparently acquired from the UNSC Engineering Division." The Washington Post also points out that a lot of folks took sick days on Tuesday as a consequence of the game's release. "Some local workers won't have to skip out on the office to play the game. At some companies that offer video games as a break room activity, Halo 3 was pre-ordered months ago. The Motley Fool, the Alexandria investment advisory firm, is expecting its copy of the game to arrive from Amazon.com soon. Same for Platinum Solutions, a Reston software consulting firm."

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127 comments

Skipping work (2, Informative)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20762857)

Couple of my friends at work skipped work yesterday to play all day. Then came in for about six hours today and stood around and talked about it for five of those hours. Too bad there's a horrible support issue I have to deal with right now, I was still at work Monday night when it was released, and I'm still at work now when I'm supposed to be playing at a friend's house. Oh, woe is me and horrible timing.

Re:Skipping work (3, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763199)

I was still at work Monday night when it was released, and I'm still at work now when I'm supposed to be playing at a friend's house.
That's what you get for buying the "take one for the team" line. Your dedication to your company will be briefly noted, if at all, with a verbal pat on the back. When the company's in dire straits, your friends *may* be let go before you, but in the end, it won't make any difference. Remember, the team will never 'take one' for you.

OK, depressing defeatism over. :P

Friends did not help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20771335)

friends at work skipped work yesterday to play all day. Then came in for about six hours today and stood around and talked about it for five of those hours.

Too bad your *friends* where too busy to help you on that! Oh wait!

Sorry for the bad attitude; that exact thing happened to me when LOTR II came out. I was the only one out of 12 competent people around to do work that would have goon smoothly at 3 working on it. And it all started over for LOTR 3, despite management warnings or rather pleading for mercy.

Then nerds ask why management don't like them. OK it WAS the middle of the.COM era!

Misleading Title (5, Insightful)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 6 years ago | (#20762859)

So, how many people are going to misread this that MIT hacked Harvard College (which is just across Cambridge) to get a copy of the game (which may or may not be legal)?

I am all for creative titles to create interest, and I know the pranks are called hacks, but this one is just a little too misleading.

Now MIT hacking an illegal share at Harvard (which is of course exempt from RIAA lawsuits [and therefore I assume game and MPAA by association], according to recent articles here, so they can get away with it...) in order to get the game early - THAT would be good reading. And maybe be counted as extra credit in a class.

On behalf of the Slashdot team, (2, Funny)

krog (25663) | more than 6 years ago | (#20767675)

I would like to apologize for making you read a sentence to figure out what the headline meant. To the best of our abilities, we shall not let this unfortunate occurrence happen again.

Sincerely,

krog

Re:Misleading Title (1)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 6 years ago | (#20769071)

Your high ID gives a hint on the origin of your cluelessness, young one.

You have much [wikipedia.org] to [catb.org] learn [mit.edu] .

To summarise: when referring to MIT, "hacks" are pranks, often played on rival universities, usually Caltech or Harvard.

Re:Misleading Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20771091)

And your low ID gives a hint on the origin of your pretentiousness, indeterminately aged one.

You take the art of not RTFA to a whole new level, by not even reading his comment.

To summarize: if you don't hop off it soon, you might break the back of that high horse you're so proudly riding.

And just so you know, you drive it from the head. If you turn around and pay attention, you might have a better idea of where the hell you're going from now on.

It's a medical condition. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20762861)

It's called Halotosis.

Those with bad breath have halitosis halotosis, and this is characterized by a lack of people willing to play multiplay on the same Xbox.

Just continuing the grand tradition... (3, Informative)

John3 (85454) | more than 6 years ago | (#20762865)

of hacking at MIT [mit.edu] .

Re:Just continuing the grand tradition... (1)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765121)

Student pranks for me ha an element of rebellion and underground culture to it. Now that computer games are so mainstream and gaming companies pay ad companies to do ninja marketing that looks like it is word-of-mouth or grassroots (grafitti etc), do the students really have to do their dirty work for them? We are already brainwashed with Halo 3 ads 24/7.

Somewhere a Microsoft marketing executive is chortling evilly.

Re:Just continuing the grand tradition... (1)

John3 (85454) | more than 6 years ago | (#20766279)

Many of the hacks over the years had marketing undertones. The fake campus patrol car had a box of Dunkin Donuts in it, the cow they put on the dome was from a well known steak house. Marketing and popular culture always intertwine. By choosing the Halo theme for the hack they made the joke more accessible to the mainstream.

But yes, Bill Gate was probably smiling when he saw this. After all, he dropped out of Harvard.

When will the Halo 3 PC port be released? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20762891)

When is the expected release date of the PC port of Halo 3?

If I buy a new PC for Halo 3, how would be the best way to use my multicore processor? Is there some way that I can run Windows on the same computer that I'm running Solaris to power my flower shop, and Linux for fun? What I want is for all three to be running at the same time. I could just install Windows, and then use VMWare to run Solaris and Linux over Windows. But I'd rather not do that. So what are my options? Would Xen allow me to do this?

Keep in mind that I want to be able to play hardcore games like Halo 3 on Windows, but I need Solaris to be running so I can continue selling flowers.

Re:When will the Halo 3 PC port be released? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20762961)

If you buy a new PC for Halo 3, won't you still have your old PC to run Solaris and sell flowers? Lot's of people run two computers you know - it's 2007.

Re:When will the Halo 3 PC port be released? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20763075)

My old computer is a 70 MHz SPARCstation 5. It has really been pushed to the limit. My database has grown greatly over the past year, and so I need to upgrade to something more modern!

Head Like a Hole (3, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763471)

My old computer is a 70 MHz SPARCstation 5
And if it has a CD-ROM, it can still play halo three [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Head Like a Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20763615)

Don't you ever get tired of that retarded pun? NIN is good, but common give it a rest already!

Re:Head Like a Hole (2, Funny)

Dirk the Daring (679445) | more than 6 years ago | (#20768953)

A few years ago, I had "Halo 2" on my car. Big fan of NIN and all that, and it was obscure enough that only the hardcore NIN fans got it. Anytime anyone asked what it meant, I would ask them what they thought it meant, and got some very interesting responses. (I learned, for example, that some people thought I was military: HALO [wikipedia.org] )

Anyway, I remember very clearly the day that Halo 2, the game, was released. All day, Fraternity-type guys were driving by with their windows rolled down, shaking their copy of Halo 2 at me and screaming "woooo!" During that time, I had parents come up to me and ask me if I felt that Halo 2 was appropriate for their kid. I had people congratulate me on writing such a popular game.

It was a very strange experience. I don't have any Halo markings of any sort on my current car, so the release date went by unnoticed. Although I seem to be the only person who actually liked the "game fuel" mountain dew flavor.

Sleep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20762903)

Don't even get me started on the kids in my dorm. 1 AM and I'm trying to sleep for a test, and they are chanting "HALO 3 HALO 3."

Re:Sleep (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764599)

The problem is you are living in a dorm expecting to go to sleep at 1am...

Too busy playing Halo3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20762923)

Sorry too busy playing Halo 3 to read your article...

Ha I even called in sick today from work to play.

Somebody please explain the appeal (0, Troll)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763067)

Somebody please explain the appeal of Halo. I've played Halo 2, and I thought that it was so bad, that I actually returned it to the store. Terrible graphics, pathetic sound, gameplay physics that make no sense, and the exact same story as Doom. In my opinion, it's actually one of the worst first person shooters ever made, (yes, even compared to Wolf 3D, which was at least entertaining). Could somebody please explain why people like this game? Is it just that the people who like Halo have never played another first person shooter, so they simply don't realize how bad the Halo series really is? What's the deal, here? What am I missing?

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20763109)

Is it just that the people who like Halo have never played another first person shooter, so they simply don't realize how bad the Halo series really is?

Pretty much. They didn't have much better on consoles when it came out.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (3, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763233)

Pretty much. They didn't have much better on consoles when it came out.

You're assuming console players don't also play PC games. Maybe I'm unique, but I don't think so. Prior to playing Halo, I played plenty of FPS games on PC, from Wolf3d to Quake 3 (around the time of Halo 1's launch) and everything in between. I've backed off a lot on PC gaming since, but I've played a few more recent PC games (Far Cry, for example). What's to like about Halo?

  • Unique (at the time) gameplay mechanics
    • Shields that recharge if you take a break from the action, which lets you focus on tactics rather than finding health and armor pickups. Pretty much everybody's copied this mechanic now, but Halo did it first. (I'm sure you can dig up some obscure title that actually did it first, but Halo was the first popular game to use this approach)
    • The ability to carry only two weapons at a time (plus grenades), so you had to think about what to bring since you couldn't keep your entire arsenal in a belt pocket. Do you pickup the sniper rifle and rocket launcher, leaving yourself open to close attacks? Or do you grab a shotgun and assault rifle, leaving yourself vulnerable to vehicles? That mechanic allowed for some interesting scenarios.
    • Grenades thrown via a separate button. To be fair, TF1 did this first, but Halo did it better.
    • Well-implemented and -integrated vehicular combat.
  • A compelling and interesting story. Half-life did that first, but the story is different from Half-life. It's okay to like both.
  • A fun console experience. Relaxing on a couch in front of a 50" HDTV with a 5.1 surround sound speaker setup beats being hunched over a keyboard and mouse in front of a 20" monitor with 2-channel stereo any day
  • A great multiplayer experience. Halo 1 allowed you to network consoles together and play with your friends locally. Halo 2 finally took that experience online. Of course PC games have done this before, and better (though Halo 2/3's party system and hopper matching mechanism is one of the best out there), but when you put this together with the last point (couch, HDTV, surround sound) it is very compelling.
  • Did I mention an excellent story? Bungie are masters of storytelling
  • A great musical score. Marty O'Donnell is a musical genius
I totally understand that Halo, or FPS games on consoles in general, may not be to some people's tastes. That's fine, we all have our opinions. I'm just listing some reasons why I enjoy Halo.

TV output? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763529)

Unique (at the time) gameplay mechanics: Shields that recharge if you take a break from the action
Citation needed. I distinctly remember shield regeneration from Faceball 2000 a decade earlier.

Grenades thrown via a separate button. To be fair, TF1 did this first, but Halo did it better.
Forsaken did it early on as well: gun on one fire button and missile on the other.

A fun console experience. Relaxing on a couch in front of a 50" HDTV with a 5.1 surround sound speaker setup beats being hunched over a keyboard and mouse in front of a 20" monitor with 2-channel stereo any day
Didn't PCs have SDTV output at the time?

A great musical score. Marty O'Donnell is a musical genius
More of a genius than Trent Reznor (Quake [wikipedia.org] ; Halo 2 [wikipedia.org] )?

Re:TV output? (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763773)

Citation needed. I distinctly remember shield regeneration from Faceball 2000 a decade earlier.

If it did, I don't see any reference to it on the wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] or this 1up page [1up.com] . The 1up page does list several landmarks for the game, but not regenerating shields.

Didn't PCs have SDTV output at the time?

Sure. Some TVs even had VGA inputs at the time, or through the use of a converter box you could translate VGA to YPrPb component. It was still a hassle to setup, the composite/s-video SDTV output was 480i rather than 480p (progressive scan really does make a difference), and you're still tied to a keyboard and mouse. A PC with incidental TV support is not the same as a console designed around the "10 foot experience". That's why I don't understand the infatuation with UT3 on PS3 having kb/mouse support. Unless you're sitting in front of a desk, a kb/mouse setup just doesn't work.

More of a genius than Trent Reznor (Quake; Halo 2)?

IMHO? Absolutely, emphatically, yes! But then I've never been much of a fan of NIN or Trent's music. I do appreciate his views on digital music sharing, though. Marty O'Donnell [wikipedia.org] is more in the league of John Williams than Trent Reznor, as far as I'm concerned. Though Bungie did bring in Steve Vai and other contemporary artists for the Halo 2 soundtrack. If you haven't heard Steve Vai's Mjolnir Mix [gamesarefun.com] you really should check it out.

But why aren't there more 10-foot PC games? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20771813)

If it did, I don't see any reference to it on the wikipedia page or this 1up page. The 1up page does list several landmarks for the game, but not regenerating shields.
In Faceball, you started out with 3 max hit points. Every time you got hit, your HAPPYFACE lost 1 point. Every time you didn't get hit for about 10 consecutive seconds, your HAPPYFACE regained 1 point if it weren't already at max HP.

the composite/s-video SDTV output was 480i rather than 480p (progressive scan really does make a difference)
Consoles of the era tended to be 480i (SDTV) too, not 480p (EDTV). A lot of PS2 games ran in 640x240 as a way of doing 480i with less frame buffer VRAM, and GameCube dropped the component (and progressive) output after the first couple production runs.

and you're still tied to a keyboard and mouse. A PC with incidental TV support is not the same as a console designed around the "10 foot experience".
Is there a specific reason why more games and launchers for Windows don't have a mode for 10 feet and a USB gamepad, especially now that Windows XP Media Center Edition has been out for years?

Re:But why aren't there more 10-foot PC games? (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20772199)

Consoles of the era tended to be 480i (SDTV) too, not 480p (EDTV). A lot of PS2 games ran in 640x240 as a way of doing 480i with less frame buffer VRAM, and GameCube dropped the component (and progressive) output after the first couple production runs.

But Halo 1 and 2 ran in 480p, which is what we were talking about. As well, almost every Xbox game supported 480p (there were a very few that didn't, such as Hitman 2, Kung Fu Chaos, and Manhunt). Gamecube removing component support was just stupid on Nintendo's part -- they only sold the component cable through their store, which is only accessible online unless you happen to live in the Redmond, WA, area. Because the cable was difficult to get, very few people bought one (I bought one). Because very few people bought the cable (because they didn't know it existed), Nintendo decided that nobody wanted component video support and cut that to reduce build costs. They used those same numbers to justify not supporting HD resolutions with the Wii, or shipping it with component cables (they did wise up and start shipping Wii component cables to actual stores, though). If they had shipped the component cable to stores, their numbers would've been much different. Also, even many later Gamecube games still supported progressive scan even after Nintendo stopped building consoles with that output.

Is there a specific reason why more games and launchers for Windows don't have a mode for 10 feet and a USB gamepad, especially now that Windows XP Media Center Edition has been out for years?

The number of people who not only have gamepads but also have their PCs hooked to their TVs is very small. The gamepad population has changed a bit since you can use Xbox 360 controllers on a PC just by plugging them in (or using a wireless adapter for the wireless controllers), but those people still aren't connecting their PCs to their TVs. If I had to guess, I would say that more people don't because PC interfaces are still too tied to kb/mouse, and kb/mouse doesn't work well from a couch.

Re:But why aren't there more 10-foot PC games? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20772407)

The number of people who not only have gamepads but also have their PCs hooked to their TVs is very small. The gamepad population has changed a bit since you can use Xbox 360 controllers on a PC just by plugging them in (or using a wireless adapter for the wireless controllers), but those people still aren't connecting their PCs to their TVs. If I had to guess, I would say that more people don't because PC interfaces are still too tied to kb/mouse, and kb/mouse doesn't work well from a couch.
In many cases, four gamers are present in one house, such as a parent, two children, and a friend of one of the children. A four-player console setup costs $900 ($500 for a console and controllers and $400 for a big EDTV) or less if you already have a big TV. But because major PC game developers have neglected 10-foot modes, a four-player PC setup costs well over twice that for four PCs and four monitors. So taking into account the lockout chip business model that pervades the console market, how can a smaller developer reach gamers? And if the dependency on kb/mouse is disappearing due to the use of Xbox 360 controllers with PCs (and the use of PlayStation controllers with PCs through EMS USB2 adapters before it), do you predict this will change soon?

I have to do this... (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764983)

Quake 3, Wolf 3D, and Far Cry aren't exactly the best examples of what PC multiplayer FPS gaming offers or offered at that time. Damn, I JUST wrote a huge post that explains ALL of this in a Grand, Unified Theory of Halo Hype. Look up my history if curious.

Shields that recharge if you take a break from the action, which lets you focus on tactics rather than finding health and armor pickups. Pretty much everybody's copied this mechanic now, but Halo did it first. (I'm sure you can dig up some obscure title that actually did it first, but Halo was the first popular game to use this approach)
What gameplay value do the the shields really provide? Longer one-on-one fights, more defensive play? Is it any different than what was provided with Tribes's free movement and health packs? We even had shields...
I wish I could find a fan of both Tribes [wikipedia.org] and Halo to discuss this with. I know, apparently they're mutually exclusive. Damn, you all missed out.

The ability to carry only two weapons at a time (plus grenades), so you had to think about what to bring since you couldn't keep your entire arsenal in a belt pocket. Do you pickup the sniper rifle and rocket launcher, leaving yourself open to close attacks? Or do you grab a shotgun and assault rifle, leaving yourself vulnerable to vehicles? That mechanic allowed for some interesting scenarios.
*cough* Tribes [wikipedia.org] *cough, cough*

Grenades thrown via a separate button. To be fair, TF1 did this first, but Halo did it better.
Well-implemented and -integrated vehicular combat.
Tribes again, [wikipedia.org] and Tribes 2 [wikipedia.org] *note: Tribes 2, with land vehicles, came out the same year as Halo 1, the original Tribes predating it by three years*
BTW: Who doesn't miss grenade timing in TF? (yes, the Quake one)

A compelling and interesting story. Half-life did that first, but the story is different from Half-life. It's okay to like both.
Wait, what the... ok, we're talking about the single player experience now.
Good story, are you saying it's comparable in quality to Half-life's?
Noted.

A fun console experience. Relaxing on a couch in front of a 50" HDTV with a 5.1 surround sound speaker setup beats being hunched over a keyboard and mouse in front of a 20" monitor with 2-channel stereo any day
I can't argue with that at all. Obviously this isn't unique to Halo, unless it's just the best game you've got on your system.

A great multiplayer experience. Halo 1 allowed you to network consoles together and play with your friends locally. Halo 2 finally took that experience online. Of course PC games have done this before, and better (though Halo 2/3's party system and hopper matching mechanism is one of the best out there), but when you put this together with the last point (couch, HDTV, surround sound) it is very compelling.
You have to be mistaken, you couldn't play Halo 1 online? Holy crap, are you serious? I couldn't believe you. I had to look that up, I couldn't remember. Why was this game hyped THEN?
You just made the logistics of networking XBoxen and their associated TV's sound way, way, way too easy.
So now, it all comes down to Live's party and matching system? What in the (excuse me, I'm getting very tired at this point) HELL is wrong with dedicated servers? I agree only with your last point regarding the couch, but again, that's not unique to Halo unless... duh duh dahhhhhh...

Did I mention an excellent story? Bungie are masters of storytelling
/clap

A great musical score. Marty O'Donnell is a musical genius
/clap /beer
@-'-,->---

Sorry If I got too personal, or offended you in any way, but all of this just reinforces my belief that the Halo games are good. Only good. Maybe even the best that you have. I still believe all the Halo mania is caused by way too many people drinking the MS cool-aid.

Disclaimer: I'm sure none of the above concepts I discussed originated in or are unique to Tribes. It's just a very nice, popular, convenient and often overlooked game to beat up overexcited, obsessive Halo fans with.

Re:I have to do this... (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765353)

What gameplay value do the the shields really provide? Longer one-on-one fights, more defensive play? Is it any different than what was provided with Tribes's free movement and health packs? We even had shields...

The shields (or any recharging health system like in Gears of War or the recent Call of Duty games) gives you the ability to keep playing without having to scrounge around for health. There were many times while playing more conventional games (Quake 2, Half-life, Doom 3, etc) where I would often get into situations where health/armor are low and there's no way to replenish them. In those games I'd end up either going into Quicksave mode (make it through a pack of enemies, quick save, go on to die several times before making it through next pack, quicksave, repeat ad nauseum). With a recharging health system, I can take cover, regain my health, and focus on tactics rather than just trying to make it through the next encounter alive.

It's been a while since I played Tribes, and to be honest I never really got into it all that much (I much preferred the original TeamFortress, and to a lesser extent TFC), so I don't recall the exact health mechanics of the game.

Tribes again, and Tribes 2 *note: Tribes 2, with land vehicles, came out the same year as Halo 1, the original Tribes predating it by three years* BTW: Who doesn't miss grenade timing in TF? (yes, the Quake one)

I'll grant you that. Vehicles were one of my favorite parts of Tribes, and I can't believe I forgot about that :). I do recall the Tribes 1 vehicles being a bit hard to maneuver (never played Tribes 2). Halo got the feel just right on the first try. Using a console controller may have helped make that possible.

Wait, what the... ok, we're talking about the single player experience now.

Yes. Halo is unique in that it has both a well-designed (although typically short) single player experience as well as a good multiplayer experience. That's a pretty rare combination if you take away the Half-life mods that made it actually fun to play MP (Counter-Strike, TFC).

Good story, are you saying it's comparable in quality to Half-life's?

IMHO, it's much better than Half-life's, in terms of setting up a background for the world and being consistent within that background across multiple games and other media (books, comics). Half-life set the bar for story-driven FPS. Halo reset it several rungs higher. The only games I consider having a better story would be Deus Ex (the first one, not the second one) and Looking Glass/Irrational games (System Shock 1/2, Thief 1/2 (not so much 3), Bioshock).

You have to be mistaken, you couldn't play Halo 1 online? Holy crap, are you serious? I couldn't believe you. I had to look that up, I couldn't remember. Why was this game hyped THEN?

Xbox Live, Xbox's networking component, didn't ship until 2002, a year after Halo and the console shipped. They never went back and did a Halo 1.5, so it wasn't until Halo 2 that online multiplayer was available. That said, Halo 1 did have split-screen support in the grand tradition of Goldeneye, and it did allow multi-box LAN play (up to 16 players, with any number of boxes or players per boxes, from 4 boxes with 4 players each to 16 boxes with 1 player each).

You just made the logistics of networking XBoxen and their associated TV's sound way, way, way too easy.

Obviously it depends on the setting. If you had to lug around a big CRT, of course it sucked. If you had a setup of multiple TVs already (think college dorms, or work conference rooms), you just needed a hub or switch with enough ports for the number of consoles, and enough cables to hook them up. No need to assign IPs or anything. It actually worked very well, and many people still prefer LAN play to online play.

So now, it all comes down to Live's party and matching system? What in the (excuse me, I'm getting very tired at this point) HELL is wrong with dedicated servers?

Dedicated servers require resources to run them. Peer-to-peer can work, but it has its own set of problems (thus standby cheaters, bridging cheaters, etc). That said, Halo's matching system could work just fine with dedicated servers, as it's just a method of matching up like-skilled players in a pre-determined game type for purposes of making rankings as fair as possible. Rather than browsing for a server, finding one with a decent ping, with enough players but still with room for you to join, with a game that's not already in progress, you just jump into the hopper, get matched up, and go kill (or capture the flag, or plant the bomb, or whatever). It's still possible to setup custom games and play with friends, but if you haven't experienced the party and hopper system it's really hard to explain and you're really missing out.

Sorry If I got too personal, or offended you in any way, but all of this just reinforces my belief that the Halo games are good. Only good. Maybe even the best that you have. I still believe all the Halo mania is caused by way too many people drinking the MS cool-aid.

No offense taken. Halo has a tendency to be way overhyped, but at the same time it has incredible staying power (people are still playing Halo 2 online, nearly three years later, which is almost unheard-of for console games). It may not be the best FPS game out there, in single player or multiplayer. It may not have the best graphics, or the best control method, or whatever else you want to single out. What you're missing is that the game is not just a sum of all its parts, and breaking it down point by point usually leaves out the "fun" of everything put together. Yes, I know you can have the same or similar experiences in many other games, PC, console, or otherwise. You're free to make your own opinions and play whatever game you like. I happen to enjoy Halo, and I suspect that if you gave it a fair shot you might enjoy it as well. Nobody's asking you to drink the kool-aid and join the fan club :)

Disclaimer: I'm sure none of the above concepts I discussed originated in or are unique to Tribes. It's just a very nice, popular, convenient and often overlooked game to beat up overexcited, obsessive Halo fans with.

I wish Tribes had aged well. I wish it had sold well enough to warrant continuing development for modern systems. I sometimes wish it had a real single-player component. There were definitely cool ideas that either haven't been done since or haven't been done well since (such as the commander view, an awesome idea that everybody seems to overlook). But it hasn't, and Halo has, so I play Halo now. Think of it like Tribes++--.

A couch is not a halo feature. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20769877)

I use a recliner myself, but oddly enough it seems to work just as well for PC games as it does for console games. Hell, it even works fine for watching TV or movies, or even reading a book. The chair has never once made any indication that it prefers me to play console games. Somehow I doubt that your couch is any different in this regard.

And obviously you are just being intentionally obtuse when talking about the rest of the experience. Obviously PCs can output to the same exact sound system your console does, and the same exact TV your console does. But of course, a high quality 24-30 inch monitor provides a much better experience than a TV with its painfully low resolution. Blurry and jagged 50 inches isn't quite as nice as smooth and sharp 30 inches.

And why do you hunch over your keyboard and mouse? And how is that the fault of PC gaming as a whole? Nobody is forcing you to be uncomfortable while you play, most people seem to prefer being comfortable actually. I don't hunch over my keyboard and mouse when I sit at a desk at work, and I certainly don't do it when I sit back in my recliner at home. You might enjoy PC gaming a little more if you stopped hunching over like that.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20770909)

A compelling and interesting story. Half-life did that first, but the story is different from Half-life. It's okay to like both.

Actually, I believe Marathon (Also by Bungie) did it first.

Bond. James Bond. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763489)

They didn't have much better on consoles when [Halo: Combat Evolved] came out.
Goldeneye 007 was allegedly so good that Microsoft bought its developer [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Bond. James Bond. (1)

My name is Bucket (1020933) | more than 6 years ago | (#20768273)

But all the team members who mattered formed Free Radical. They're responsible for the Timesplitters series. Coincidentally, that was on consoles and is better than Halo...

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (4, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763131)

and the exact same story as Doom

Wait, what? Doom's story is exactly this: "A gate to hell opens on Mars and demons appear. Kill them". And Halo's story: "Humans are at war against the Covenant, a conglomeration of several alien races following a religious prophecy that requires them to activate and fire the different halos spread around the galaxy/universe. Firing those halos will kill all sentient life in the galaxy, but they don't know it. The installations were setup by the Forerunners to destroy the Flood, a parasitic alien race that consumes all life forms. You are Master Chief Petty Officer Spartan 117, and you're thrown into the mix." Depending on the game, either you're trying to get off of a halo installation after crash landing and in the process learn about the Flood and what the halo installations do (Halo 1), stopping the Covenant from activating the rest of the installations and destroying all life in the galaxy while finding out why the Covenant are fighting the humans (Forerunner technology on Earth that can activate all of the halo installations) and at the same time converting a portion of the Covenant (the Elites) to the humans' side (Halo 2), or finishing that fight (Halo 3 -- Halo 2 stopped halfway through). Sure sounds the same as "kill the demons from hell, on Mars" to me.

Say what you will about the graphics, physics, multiplayer, fanboys, or whatever else, but I don't think anybody familiar with Bungie's work can say that they don't write a compelling and interesting story with a rich history and fully-populated world. See Marathon [wikipedia.org] , for example.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (0, Troll)

Swift(void) (655825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765331)

Wait, what? Doom's story is exactly this: "A gate to hell opens on Mars and demons appear. Kill them". And Halo's story: "Humans are at war against the Covenant, a conglomeration of several alien races following a religious prophecy that requires them to activate and fire the different halos spread around the galaxy/universe. Firing those halos will kill all sentient life in the galaxy, but they don't know it. The installations were setup by the Forerunners to destroy the Flood, a parasitic alien race that consumes all life forms. You are Master Chief Petty Officer Spartan 117, and you're thrown into the mix."
Doom: Demons are coming, kill them before they fuck up the world
Halo: Aliens are inadvertantly going to fuck up the world, kill them.

Sure, the writers at bungie might have made the story more involved and interesting, but there is no denying that the base plot is still about killing aliens before they can fuck your shit up, which is exactly the same as Doom. iD just had a developer write their story, rather than a team of writers.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (5, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765367)

Sure, the writers at bungie might have made the story more involved and interesting, but there is no denying that the base plot is still about killing aliens before they can fuck your shit up, which is exactly the same as Doom. iD just had a developer write their story, rather than a team of writers.

Well, shit. If you want to break it down like that, every FPS has had the same story as Doom. You could probably even break down any game at all that way.

  • Half-life: Scientists inadvertently brought aliens to fuck up the world, kill them.
  • System Shock 2: Experimental faster-than-light travel inadvertently turned everybody on your ship into monsters to fuck up the world, kill them.
  • Bioshock: Captialists inadvertently turned everybody into mindless aggressive zombies to fuck up the world, kill them.
  • Final Fantasy: Feminine male antagonist is trying to fuck up the world, kill him. With chocobos.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20766139)

So? The command and conquer universe was vastly more detailed, doesn't make it a better game series (it is, but not because of the story).

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763159)

There's one main reason, and that's multiplayer. You get used to the physics in time, and once that's over with, you're left with a multiplayer game where there's always people willing to play, with fairly good balance, a diverse variety of tactically interesting situations, some of which are unique to the series, and a pace that is considerably less intense (hence, to some, more enjoyable) than its PC counterparts. A well-produced piece of pulp sci-fi fluff rounds out a competent single-player campaign that does a good job of showing off the sorts of mechanics that become significant in multiplayer.

I don't like it myself, but that's mainly because it's impossible to play it without being called a faggot by a nine-year-old, not because of any particular flaw in the game's design.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765581)

I'm happy Halo3 is out because it helps collect the jerks in one spot.

Although it is almost funny in Shadowrun having an 100-lbs elf call your 800-lbs Troll a fag. ;)

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763215)

Somebody please explain the appeal of Halo. I've played Halo 2, and I thought that it was so bad, that I actually returned it to the store. Terrible graphics, pathetic sound, gameplay physics that make no sense, and the exact same story as Doom. In my opinion, it's actually one of the worst first person shooters ever made, (yes, even compared to Wolf 3D, which was at least entertaining). Could somebody please explain why people like this game? Is it just that the people who like Halo have never played another first person shooter, so they simply don't realize how bad the Halo series really is? What's the deal, here? What am I missing?

First off you're missing that Halo doesn't take place on Mars, and doesn't consist of teleporter accidents that cause demons to appear on Mars. The graphics compared to other games of the time, where decent enough, although dark scenes where used WAY too much to hide the lack of detail. The physics engine was very decent in 2, compared to others of the time and even today, sure it didn't have the grav-gun of HL:2 but it was satisfactory.

My question is what FPS are you comparing it to? Because there aren't very many that top the original Halo on my list; Perfect Dark, UT GOTY, and that's about it. Story play usually isn't what sells FPS games, it's replay value, and specifically multiplayer value, which Halo excels in, especially with a 4 system link.

Still curious (4, Insightful)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764513)

I still don't get what makes Halo so spectacular. I'm being dead serious. Every post tells how a different part of the game is unusually great, and mostly acknowledge the rest as decent/moderately good. I'll buy that it's an overall good game, but I really don't see why it's worthy of all this hype.

I've observed that most explanations come in one of these two forms.

They acknowledge the story was moderately good, but the multiplayer is what REALLY sets it apart from the rest, and the graphics are so-so.
Thats tough for many PC gamers to swallow. Dual wield and sticky grenades are neat, but I'm sorry, Tribes stomped it. These posts must come from players with very little multiplayer PC game experience. I'd even rank the original Team Fortress as better multiplayer than any Halo. Savage too. Halo is just a fun, _simple_ deathmatch / ctf game. It has basic multiplayer FPS elements, with the exception of a few vehicles, and the shield thing that could make one-on-one duels last longer than in most games of the genre. Those elements were not unique to Halo, see Tribes.

The other form exclaims Halo's AWESOME story, but admits it wasn't a very pretty game. I think these types of posts come from people at lest somewhat experienced with PC games. They think that having any background story at all, especially the decent one Halo apparently has, puts it a notch above most popular PC FPS titles. If they have anything good to say about the multiplayer, it's unclear if they ever ventured past the weak deathmatch modes offered by popular PC single/multi player FPS games. I agree, Halo is better than most cobbled together DM/CTF PC counterparts, but it stops there.

In conclusion, Halo seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator of FPS gamer through several different means, thus it garners a very wide audience that favors it for wildly different reasons. This would explain the greatly differing opinions on it's greatness. However, unless some solid evidence is given to explain why Halo is truly unique and worthy of all the hype it's getting, I'm putting it right up there with the likes of popular boy bands of the 90's and Britney Spears. Popular, not Great.

----------------
Go ahead, mod this flamebait; I bet you can't do it without a guilty conscience though.

Re:Still curious (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20771457)

I think Halo is to FPS what WoW is to MMO's. It isn't blatantly revolutionary, (Altho many features are, as previously stated) but instead it is a complete polished package. You have excellent visual design, a decent story with enough originality to keep it fresh, tight gameplay with a unique feel, and well balanced multiplayer. Halo 3 also brings player-created content to the console in a big way. Forge is simply an amazing tool.

Re:Still curious (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20771833)

I'm with you here in trying to understand the hype. As a long time pc gamer, as you sound yourself, I never got what made halo "THE BEST GAME EVAR!!!!"

I think the people you tend to see proclaiming this are young, and/or lack gaming experience. I think console gaming really blew up around the time halo and halo2 were out. A lot of these young guys /new gamers, got their first taste of FPS with halo. Much like people before them got a taste with golden eye on the n64, these guys got halo on the xbox. Couple that with their first online fps experience with xbox live, and you have gold.

Us "old timers" got everything from wolf 3d, doom, duke3d, descent, heritic, rainbow 6, etc etc and have seen all these game mechanics already.

So given all this, I think halo is a good game. When I played through it, I kept asking myself "why am I playing this?" as I back tracked through the same room over and over again.

Halo is just polish. All the weapons and vehicles are FUN to use. The way the AI acts makes it FUN to shoot things. Everything is just "FUN" all around. The art direction to the sound effects make the game fun. Everything falls into place, and it is just a pleasant and easy going fps to play.

I thought far cry was beautiful, but i hated playing it, because shooting people wasn't fun. I didn't really get a good feeling from pulling the trigger at all, consequently, I couldn't bring myself to finish it.

In my opinion, one of the best things halo has to offer long time gamers is its co op game play. Finding good cooperative game play now a days is next to impossible in the gaming scene. The best we can muster up is team vs team fps games, and that isn't really co op.

I spent most of my time playing halo with a friend running through the game on legendary. That is what got me to turn the game on again and again, goofing around with the fun physics system, trying to jam vehicles to parts of the level where they shouldn't be, and just goofing around enjoying the game's system.

But, as much as we know it to not be revolutionary, you are going to have to deal with people who just picked up gaming, playing halo 3, recognizing the game's polish, and getting sucked in. We are ALL nostalgic for the first game played that let us blow the crap out of people, and for some people. For me, that game is going to be serial port doom 2 against my dad, and for these guys, that game is going to be halo.

Re:Still curious (1)

lmnfrs (829146) | more than 6 years ago | (#20772013)

I agree, Halo (the whole series) is good, not great. It has done so well because of extensive marketing to people with relatively limited FPS horizons. It really hasn't done anything new I can think of, it just decently rehashed things that were important at the time of its release. Nothing else (on a console) provided the majority of what any Halo game has provided. In other words, I've never liked Halo much and only play it when several friends want to play with me.. but I respect Bungie for their work because it seems to always be an excellent example of a successful game release.

In regards to sibling, I'm looking forward to learning more about Forge, which, afaik, is new to console FPS games. The earliest level design I remember was for an NES racing game. As for FPS's, in general, it's laughable; doesn't every PC FPS have a complete, free level editor? They didn't even come up with an original name [quakeforge.net] . They just did a great job of including a decent feature in a piece of software when that softwares platform and audience are unaware it exists. And with all that new exposure, there will be very interesting things coming out of it.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

geeknado (1117395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763235)

Wait, wait wait. Doom's plot involved Hell breaking out on earth. Your main opponents were demons, some of which did distinctly fantasy-esque things like throwing fireballs, and the deepest bit came in a showdown at the end with a GIANT demon that you pretty much just shot a lot until it died. Perhaps you're talking about Doom 3, where I suppose there're more things lurching out of shadows than hurling fireballs, and you're, like, on /MARS/(dude, that's BACKSTORY), but you're not really talking about much in the way of narrative at all, nevermind an engaging one. Doom's always been about being a tech demo.

Halo involves two factions struggling over a titanic artifact that turns out to be a weapon of massive(possibly universal) destruction, a mutual threat that subsumes all life it contacts that said weapon is intended to defeat. It contains, you know, /dialog/. Recurring characters. Occasional surprising things. I can understand not thinking it's the bees knees, because the gameplay in the first two was pretty repetative in spurts(fight through identical corridor the eightieth-- ooh, look, more guys with bubble shields), but come on-- credit where credit's due here.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (4, Informative)

This_Is_My_Happening (1151393) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763355)

I've seen a few hundred "Can somebody please explain the appeal of blank" posts and usually just dismiss them as flaimbait. In fact, the "worst than Wolf3D" jab basically guarentees you are trolling. But since I am one of the people who picked up Halo3 on launch day I figure I may as well try to explain the appeal of it, for the benefit of anyone else reading if not you.

First, the Halo universe does have some depth to it. If you think Halo 2 had the same story as doom then you probably weren't paying attention. It would take too long to explain the story in depth, but I'm sure it's all on wikipedia anyway. Certainly I don't find the Halo games as engrossing as some of the great PC games (thinking of Halflife, Deux Ex, System Shock, and most recently Bioshock) but I would definately say it's above average. At the very least the story is not a negative point. Halo 3 in particular ties up nicely the plot of the first two games.

Secondly the gameplay: I am definately a keyboard/mouse kinda guy. I think a console controller is far inferior. That said, the Halo games basically set the standard for how FPS's should be played on consoles. In this sense the original Halo stands among games like Mario64 and Goldeneye for having great control schemes (for the time). Certainly a keyboard/mouse would be better, but I don't want to use those while sitting on my couch. For the equipment it has, the Halo games have as good control as you could ask for.

Moreover even after having played just about every fps I can think of on PC, I have never found a game that had vehicles that were as fun to drive as in Halo. Halflife 2 came close, and other games may have more realistic vehicle control, but the vehicles in the Halo series are just FUN. However Bungi accomplished that, they did it damn well.

Third the graphics. I freely conceed that Halo 2 had shitacular graphics compared to computer games of the same time. After all Halflife 2 was released at the same time and was far prettier on a high-end (for the time) PC. However Halo 2 did have some of the best graphics for the xbox at the time, and for that console generation on the whole (off the top of my head I can only think of RE4 on the GC having undeniably superior graphics) For Halo 3 that is much less of an issue - the graphics are great. They aren't as gritty as Gears of War or as atmospheric as Bioshock, but they are not meant to be. They're rich, colorful and detailed, and the draw distance is impressive.

Finally I will end with the main point of Halo - MULTIPLAYER. Completely disregarding the story, the graphics, or the lack of mouse control, you still have one of the funnest multiplayer games around. Sitting in front of a big tv and playing with a few friends is an experience that cannot easily be matched on the PC, and is definately not matched by any other console game. It's like a Counterstrike LAN party but you don't have to lug a computer all over the place. In a word: awesome.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763849)

Love your sig.

Actually, being a mouse/keyboard guy myself, I think the metroid prime series is the best approximation of FPS on console (and I haven't yet played 3, which is supposed to be by far the best). Have you played MP 3? I'm just curious as I haven't heard anyone compare the three control schemes (mouse/keyboard, dual analogue, Wiimote)?

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

This_Is_My_Happening (1151393) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764177)

Well met. Thanks for the complement about my sig.

Actually I have played a fair bit of MP3 on a friends wii and thought it was great. I plan to pick up a wii around christmas when the new smash bros comes out and I will definitely be picking up MP3.

I'm a big fan of the first two metroid primes as well. From what I played, the 3rd controlled wonderfully. It was a bit different - I'd say it's more intuitive than a controller by far, but still not quite up to keyboard/mouse. That may just be because I have the most experience with keyboard/mouse though. What I can definitely say for sure is that the wiimote is easier to get used to than a gamepad-style controller; the learning curve for the wiimote is definitely simpler.

Whether the wiimote is better than a mouse for a fps I cannot say; my experience over the last 2 decades makes me a bit too biased towards the mouse ;)

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20771515)

MP: 3 is the best console FPS control scheme out there, altho I have no real complaints playing Halo on Xbox.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764367)

If you think Halo 2 had the same story as doom then you probably weren't paying attention. It would take too long to explain the story in depth, but I'm sure it's all on wikipedia anyway.
You shouldn't have to "pay attention" to the story to experience it. Playing the game should be a vehicle for telling a story, not the other way around; Metal Gear Solid nailed this, Halo did not. If you're simply using the story as an explaination for why I'm out here killing things (yes, even if you explain a little more after every battle), then you're just wasting effort -- it may be a more in-depth story than Doom, but it's a story that should be in the front of the manual and not crammed in the middle of the game slowing things down.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

This_Is_My_Happening (1151393) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764489)

Two things:

First: I say "not paying attention" to mean neglecting doing something that someone should be doing (namely being cognizant of what's going on) not failing to do something that requires effort. In this sense I meant to say that anyone thinking that Halo 2 and Doom have the same story must be being willfully ignorant - not that they are failing to notice some nuanced plot point.

Two: I would bet good money that there are MORE cut scenes in the MGS games than in the Halo games used to explain the story. I don't see that as a bad thing - I think the MGS games are amazing and I own them all (even Twin Snakes). But using MGS as an example of a game that does not "cram (the story) in the middle of the game slowing things down" is a very poor choice; IMO some of the cutscenes in the MGS games rival those of Xenosaga! (Seeing metal gear ray and revolver ocelot for the first time in MGS2 comes to mind.)

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764521)

The overwhelming majority of people do not buy games because they want to experience a story. They buy games because they want to play the game, whether it is hijacking cars and shooting cops or throwing touchdown passes, it's about escaping your reality and doing something you can't otherwise do. No matter how good the story telling may be, most people will see it as nothing but an excuse for (or even interruption of) killing things. You can play through Half-Life 2 and not care or notice much about the story. You can do the same for just about anything else out there. If you chose not to make yourself aware of the story in Halo, then you should blame yourself, not the game.

Hell, you even said that the story should've been crammed in the front of the manual, "not crammed in the middle of the game slowing things down." Sounds to me like you think the story got in the way of killing.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 6 years ago | (#20766175)

So the guy has different tastes than you in video games and that means he is trolling? Christ, just accept the fact that not everyone loves Halo the way you do.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

This_Is_My_Happening (1151393) | more than 6 years ago | (#20771191)

No, different taste didn't mean he was trolling. Of course not everyone will like every game. For example I dislike Madden games, but they sell very well.

But did you read his post?

Terrible graphics, pathetic sound, gameplay physics that make no sense, and the exact same story as Doom... one of the worst first person shooters ever made...
Thats not an insightful critique; it's just a string of insults. In a story that is only slightly related to halo (I think the news here was the MIT hack itself) that usually means trolling. If he wasn't trolling then he should learn to write a bit more eloquently.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

PhantomBlot (714367) | more than 6 years ago | (#20766971)

Sitting in front of a big tv and playing with a few friends is an experience that cannot easily be matched on the PC, and is definately not matched by any other console game.
I have to disagree on this one. While sitting around on a couch with four friends is tough with PCs, hopping on Vent or Teamspeak with a whole lot MORE friend is remarkably easy. Plus you don't need to suffer through the whole splitscreen experience (ya, I know you get used to it but that's always irritated me).

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 6 years ago | (#20767347)

Xbox live solves the splitscreen and voice chat issues, and is better than anything the PC has at letting you play together with friends. I formed a party with 2 friends last night and it takes care of finding you games together. If you want to play team games it matches you up with other teams of similar skill. If you want FFA games, it will put you all in the same FFA game. You party up once and it finds you games together for the rest of your session.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763415)

Well, first thing's first. Here we're discussing Halo 3, which the astute reader may notice is not Halo 2. Nigel's Law says that Halo 3 is one better.

Second, have you played the game? I never got the chance to play the demo, and I haven't been able to play the full game yet either because the roomie's completely addicted and has parked his ass in front of my TV for the past 24 hours, but I've heard that most people who've played either one fell in love with this iteration of the series. My roomate is a case in point - he hated the first one, hated the second one even more, and loves this one enough to buy a 360 for it. It's a little more interesting graphically than the other two, and the gameplay looks pretty damn good to me - a good balance between speed and tactics, though probably a little heavier on the tactics.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (3, Interesting)

antic (29198) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763749)

I really liked Halo 1. Can remember many of the levels very well, played it through a bunch of times and played multiplayer with friends locally many, many times.

I also liked Halo 2. Story wasn't perfect, but some decent settings and some new things (dual-wielding, etc) that really added to the game. Have played it through a few times, played absolutely shitloads of games locally with friends and a few hundred games on Live which I got this year. I like some of the multiplayer maps (e.g., Lockout) so much that it would concern my girlfriend if she knew.

I got Halo 3 on the day it launched and have started playing the campaign. We had a few people playing online to test out the multiplayer on opening night and it was pretty decent - no less fun than Halo 2. A few "This isn't like Lockout?!" complaints, but we all gradually came around due to some hilarity with the Gravity Hammer, bubble shield, flares, etc. One friend has bought a 360 today so he can get in on the action.

The graphics aren't the best shown by a FPS, no, but are very, very good. The map designs, IMO, are up there with say Half-Life 2 which I was really impressed by - terrain, lighting, everything looks excellent. The characters are great, though not quite Gears of War (in which the characters were awesome). The atmosphere is fun. Everything comes together really well - the fluidity is far superior to other FPSs IMO - everything is to scale as opposed to some of those FPS where you feel too close to the ground, or you don't seem to jump more than 15cm. The audio is really good. Grunts saying stuff about how they're going to work together to kill you, or marines complaining about you stealing their kill (as in the previous versions) are good fun.

As a product, the value for money for someone like me and many others is exceptional - I'll play through the campaign a few times solo, maybe a couple of times co-op. Then I'll play with friends locally or on Live once every week or so. Then a few hundred games on Live in match-making. Plus muck around with Forge, and try out the Theater mode which is really interesting.

I'd be interested to see an honest breakdown of Halo-haters into categories:

  - an Xbox vs PS thing
  - tied to Microsoft
  - console vs PC
  - mouse/kb vs controller sticks
  - simply didn't like it

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (2, Insightful)

spxero (782496) | more than 6 years ago | (#20765023)

As a Halo-hater, I consider myself to be in three out of four of your categories. I think the 'console vs. PC' and 'mouse/kb vs. controller sticks' can almost be lumped together (for me, anyway), as that is my primary reason for FPS's on the PC. When Halo came along, it wasn't any better than other FPS's on the market. I felt that other games such as Rainbow Six, Delta Force, etc. had better physics, game play, and much better multi players (primarily due to online play). Halo 2 introduced internet game play, but the physics didn't change much, so the game just didn't appeal to me personally. What I find funny is that the in-game vehicle control is touted as a defining, trend-setting feature in online play... but whenever someone takes control of a vehicle, it almost guarantees instant death.

In my opinion (without playing #3), the Halo series is an overrated FPS due to poor game play, physics, movement, and controls. There are plenty of people who will disagree with me, but Halo just doesn't appeal as a platform-defining game.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20771571)

What I find funny is that the in-game vehicle control is touted as a defining, trend-setting feature in online play... but whenever someone takes control of a vehicle, it almost guarantees instant death.
1) Bad drivers are bad drivers in any game.
2) Don't get in a vehicle when the other team controls the rocket launcher.

Vehicles used well can be devastating, but there are counters to them, obviously.

Re:Somebody please explain the appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20763491)

You and me both. The Halo series is up there with Kingdom Hearts on my "overrated crap" list.

That's just awsome (2, Insightful)

BeanBagKing (1151733) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763145)

Putting aside the misleading title, and the lack of understanding of why people wait for hours in line at midnight to get the first copy (I picked mine up like a normal human the day after at best buy, I'm a fan, not psychotic). That's just awsome. Very realistic looking, blending in and looking like was part of the statue. That had to take a lot of effort and coordination. Nicely done!

A Halo launch is like Christmas (2, Interesting)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763685)

I hide in my apartment for a month, because I can't stand everyone telling me one thousand reasons why I should like it on a daily basis, and then receiving their ridicule when I reveal I don't particularly care for it.

I hate Master Chief as much as I hate Santa Claus. And Jesus.

Re:A Halo launch is like Christmas (3, Funny)

Tarison (600538) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763707)

So you come here? Do you also head to your local church to tell everybody about your hate for Jesus?

Re:A Halo launch is like Christmas (2, Funny)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763761)

Yes.

Though I didn't know that slashdot was the Church of Halo. Maybe it should say "Master Chief Saves" on the front page.

Re:A Halo launch is like Christmas (1)

dabraun (626287) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763975)

Maybe it should say "Master Chief Saves" on the front page.


I like that, I think I might need to make a bumper sticker...

Re:A Halo launch is like Christmas (1)

Genom (3868) | more than 6 years ago | (#20770117)

Bah, Master Chief doesn't need to save - he's that good. ;P

Re:A Halo launch is like Christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20767627)

Maybe it should say "Master Chief Saves" on the front page.

Shame he couldn't save himself, since he dies at the end of Halo 3...

Re:A Halo launch is like Christmas (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764347)

I hide in my apartment for a month, because I can't stand everyone telling me one thousand reasons why I should like it on a daily basis, and then receiving their ridicule when I reveal I don't particularly care for it.

I hate Master Chief as much as I hate Santa Claus. And Jesus.
At least people don't go Halo caroling.

Re:A Halo launch is like Christmas (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20766031)

At least people don't go Halo caroling.
Don't be so sure... don't forget, we haven't had a Christmas yet since MS started whoring the Halo license out. (I still think they shoulda gone ahead with the Cortana lingerie...)

Re:A Halo launch is like Christmas (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20771609)

At least people don't go Halo caroling.
If the populace of Xbox Live! is any indication, that would be a very vulgar affair indeed.

Re:A Halo launch is like Christmas (2, Funny)

Spacezilla (972723) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764631)

I hate Santa Claus. And Jesus.
I'm pretty sure they're the same person.

Re:A Halo launch is like Christmas (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 6 years ago | (#20769363)

You know, I think you're on to something here. Have you ever seen them both at the same time?

The Hype (2, Interesting)

SheepLauncher (1025544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763751)

personally i think halo is a cool series but people are just so into it it is crazy. People lining up at midnight and playing it all night is just a little bit over the edge for me even though that will probably happen to me when sc2 comes out. I think it is cool but don't think it is groundbreaking on any level. It was intended to be a cool FPS and it was the best xbox game made and probably generated the most money. Especially on live people are jerks when they play, its not everyone but a lot of people take to seriously and i'm glad it finally came out cause for the last 3 days all i have heard non-stop is people talking about halo. The game is cool but nothing amazing personally i think bioshock was cooler because it had the lightning and the cool textures. Halo has an ok enviornment but bioshock brought it to whole new level.

No sick day for me.. (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 6 years ago | (#20763809)

Even if I cared about Halo enough to take a day off, my 360 is on the fritz. It sounds like a bad bearing in one of the fans, and death rattle aside, I have a feeling it would overheat within minutes if I even tried to play anything. One more month until GH3.

hmmm...... Why do you need the day off? (0, Troll)

phildawg (1104325) | more than 6 years ago | (#20764425)

A friend of mine purchased it at midnight, went home, and beat it at 4:30am, lol.

So obviously this is a really content heavy single player game when it clocks in at 4-5 hours.

And if Halo multiplayer is the best that the 360 has to offer and folks need to take off work because it's so awesome... don't give em a good PC and a few multiplayer games... they will go on vacation permanently! I'm sorry, but Halo has never been the shining example of multiplayer anything. The hype is completely manufactured and only centered in the U.S. where gamers are easily impressioned by a cup with a Halo logo on it, haha. This game has to be bad ass, they got a lunch box for it!

Troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20766687)

Erm, your friend was out and out lying, even if you could just run through the levels on easy mode without killing half the monsters you couldn't get through it in 4 - 5hrs, it takes around 10hrs to play through. If you play it on Legendary difficutly you're likely looking at closer to 15 - 20 hours, especially so if you're after achievements and want to find the skulls and so forth.

Don't tell me, it also took your friend 50hrs to play through Heavenly Sword on the PS3 because it's such a long an awesome game? /sarcasm.

Re:Troll. (1)

phildawg (1104325) | more than 6 years ago | (#20769063)

no he wasn't lying, he beat it and then came over to another friends house were we played the co-op campaign until about 7am.

He didn't spoil the ending for us, but there is no way he lied to us, haha. Maybe he is just a good gamer? I know he helped us quite a bit doing the co-op campaign.

Re:hmmm...... Why do you need the day off? (2, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#20766825)

Wow okay so you have friends who have played enough that they can beat Halo 3 in 4.5 hours (actually Halo 3 I found is best played on the high difficulty levels since they made enemies total pushovers on the normal/easy ones...). Whooptee doo hell I can beat Ninja Gaiden for Xbox in 5 hours on anything below Hard as if that means the game doesn't have enough content.

Halo's multiplayer has set new standards for console FPS games. As for the "hype" being centered in by far the largest market for video games in the world, I fail to see how that is a shortcoming of the game or how it reflects on anything. Cups with a Halo logo is an even sillier thing to say and completely contradicts what you said earlier (not that you'd know), as the one big market that Halo isn't popular in is Japan, and if Japanese kids are fans of something you can be damn sure they'll be happy to have the corresponding character goods, whether it be a cup or a business card case or a ton of phone straps or whatever. Not that it's a bad thing, either.

Man they have a lunch box out there for Batman, too. You gonna rag on Batman for it?

Seriously if you could find more irrelevant and nonsensical arguments for why Halo is overrated please write them here because I'm always up for a laugh.

Re:hmmm...... Why do you need the day off? (1)

phildawg (1104325) | more than 6 years ago | (#20769111)

LMFAO you think the U.S. market is the largest in ANY FORM of video gaming? Damn you are out-date bro. Why do you think the new versions of consoles are being deputed in Europe and Asia first? WoW! Why do you think major game releases are doing a Worldwide release now? Because the European and Asian markets are larger now! they have much great penetration by the consoles and highspeed internet.

I guess we are the largest market if you are comparing North America, South America, Antartica, Australia, and Africa =)

Re:hmmm...... Why do you need the day off? (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#20769501)

I was going by countries. But even if you take all of Europe into account, the size of its market is similar but smaller than the US (look up proper numbers if you don't believe me, though if you have the right settings you can just look at this report: http://www.capcom.co.jp/ir/english/data/pdf/fy2005b.pdf [capcom.co.jp] ). Asia as a whole is an entirely different ball game, as Korea and China's console markets aren't exactly huge. They are utterly dwarfed by the PC market, and are crippled by piracy. Things are improving, but not at the rate that makes them major players yet by any stretch.

Anyway please ACTUALLY know what you're talking about if you reply. Because even if you interpret markets as Asia vs Europe vs North America, you're still wrong and I'm still right.

Re:hmmm...... Why do you need the day off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20766973)

Sony Defense Forces.. assemble!

Re:hmmm...... Why do you need the day off? (0, Offtopic)

phildawg (1104325) | more than 6 years ago | (#20769137)

This has nothing to do with Sony, but if you ask me Warhawk's multiplayer is far more advanced than xbox live and their playermatching so uh yea.

Re:hmmm...... Why do you need the day off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20771789)

Umm, Half-Life 2 clocked in over 15 hours.

MIT student defecates, then flushes toilet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20764889)

Here's the feed rss://shitstream.mit.edu. You won't miss a thing!

What's with this Halo stuff??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20767341)

Can't we get back to strokin' our Wiis?? Casual gaming FTW!
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