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#1 Posted by Orange (206 posts) -

I'm doing some video game research for a project on what it was about the first Halo and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that made even non-gamers and causal gamers want to play the game? Was it the storylines? Was it the multiplayer aspect? Was it the online aspect? etc.

Any opinions as to what made those games so popular even among those who were not avid gamers is helpful.

#2 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@orange said:

Was it the multiplayer aspect? Was it the online aspect?

Probably these two. Does anybody even remember the story to the original Modern Warfare outside "the main character just dies, man"?

#3 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

They were both the first time a large audience had ever experienced anything like it, and on top of that, they were fucking great. They defined and set the bar for what was to come.

#4 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

How easy to pick up it was. The aim-assist made it possible for everybody to play it without too much of a hassle. How fast these games are too; you don't need tactics or patience.

#5 Edited by TruthTellah (9489 posts) -

The first Halo had a solid campaign and very addicting multiplayer. For a console game, its FPS multiplayer was memorably tight and fun. I remember bringing a few buddies together and playing splitscreen numerous times, and even online multiplayer worked reasonably well. It wasn't the first console FPS to get it right, but it certainly excelled and stood out at that period in gaming.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a similar story for me. Though, I gravitated even more toward its single player. I loved that single player, which was the closest console game I had ever played to being in a summer blockbuster action flick. It also had a very compelling multiplayer aspect, and even many non-traditional gamers found it very intriguing. The way gamers could level up over time in multiplayer caused a big wave of titles embracing similar mechanics, and aim-assisting made the genre more accessible to a wider audience. Once again, it wasn't particularly innovative in and of itself, but it found a way to make a very tight package of those features which really caught people's attention.

#6 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (1148 posts) -

Modern Warfare is the most influential game of the generation.

From a single player standpoint, that nuke changed how first person shooters tell stories. Action setpieces got bigger and more controversial.

On the multiplayer side, they created a reward system that gave the player gratification for relativily little effort or skill.

#7 Posted by believer258 (12216 posts) -

@orange said:

Was it the multiplayer aspect? Was it the online aspect?

Probably these two. Does anybody even remember the story to the original Modern Warfare outside "the main character just dies, man"?

Yep. Al-Asad kills a president, you chase down Al-Asad, Captain Price beats the shit out of Al-Asad, Al-Asad's cellphone rings, Zakhaev is on the other line, you flashback to the Cold War and go crawling through the grass in Chernobyl as Price, you shoot Zakhaev's arm off, then you chase down Zakhaev's son, he shoots himself, then nukes, car chase, bridge explodes, everybody dies except Soap and Price, you shoot Zakhaev and two men next to him, and then a news report about the ship you sunk in the first half-hour.

Well, that's the British campaign anyway. The American campaign is like four levels long and involves you chasing down Al-Asad and hitting a dead end, then assaulting a city in the evening, then a nuke.

...anyway, both games are remarkable for redefining how console shooters (and, these days, pretty much every shooter) play. In addition to that, both games had very impressive campaigns and multiplayers. Both Halo 1 and CoD4 balanced a simple, but interesting storyline with gameplay almost perfectly, and the writing and dialogue for both are at worst "not bad" and at best "pretty good for a video game". They both did a good job of making a game feel cinematic without practically becoming a movie. Each series was often heralded as the best multiplayer that their respective generations had.

I could probably go on, but eh. Think about it some. Play through both games again and take notes - don't worry, they're both short - and look at their contemporaries for help. What other similar games came out at the time and why did Halo and Call of Duty stand out, where the rest of those games faded away?

#8 Edited by ArbitraryWater (12138 posts) -

Halo: Combat Evolved was directly responsible for First Person Shooters getting a foothold on consoles, while Call of Duty 4 single-handedly created and popularized the idea of progression-based unlocks in online games.

Also a nuke went off and now every single shooter campaign that has come since has tried to top that scene.

#9 Edited by FourWude (2245 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@orange said:

Was it the multiplayer aspect? Was it the online aspect?

Probably these two. Does anybody even remember the story to the original Modern Warfare outside "the main character just dies, man"?

Yes I do. Something to do with Nukes, Terrorists and the President.

The President captures the Nukes and holds the Terrorists hostage. Wait that doesn't make sense.

The Nukes capture the Terrorists and hold the President to ransom. No that's not it. *Smacks head* Stupid, stupid me.

Ok here we go. Terrorists threaten to bum the President if the Nukes don't meet their demands. *No thicko, that's not it*

President threatens to blow the Terrorists with Nukes??? *Fuck it, that's as sensible as I can make it.*

#10 Edited by Jimbo (10008 posts) -

Halo brought PC style FPS to console. CoD4 brought Battlefield 2 style persistent player progression to console. Well, maybe other games had dabbled, but they're the games responsible for popularising those things on console and with the mainstream audience. They're why games are made how they are today.

Halo made console FPS not suck; CoD4 made it compulsive. There are a lot of other good things about them, but that's what makes them historically important games and why they grabbed the attention of the wider audience. Also Halo is a pretty cool guy.

#11 Edited by Oscar__Explosion (2435 posts) -

Can't speak to much about CoD: MW but Halo is super memerable to me because of all the awesome mulitplayer action. It also really helped that the campagin was solid (and a big thank you to composer Martin O'Donnell for the wonderful score)

#12 Edited by SomeJerk (3403 posts) -

Design purity.

#13 Edited by EXTomar (4951 posts) -

When Halo was released the contemporary games where more like Doom (which barely worked networked) and Quake and Unreal. Quake and Unreal by comparison were both hyper fast and frenetic which had the subtle side effect of being much harder to play casually. By slowing down the action in Halo and simplifying the interface, anyone could pick up and play without being stomped 1:20.

#14 Edited by zombie2011 (5055 posts) -

@klei said:

How easy to pick up it was. The aim-assist made it possible for everybody to play it without too much of a hassle. How fast these games are too; you don't need tactics or patience.

Halo fast? Halo came out when Arena games like Quake and Unreal were still popular and Halo was super slow compared to those games. Hell, Halo 4 is still one of the slower paced FPS games when compared to everything else.

#15 Posted by HatKing (6128 posts) -

@orange said:

Was it the multiplayer aspect? Was it the online aspect?

Probably these two. Does anybody even remember the story to the original Modern Warfare outside "the main character just dies, man"?

I don't think the narrative arc was all that profound, but the way it was told was interesting and unique for a shooter of it's day. People always reference the player character dying as the most memorable bit, and I'm sure it is for some. But, for me, the most memorable part was crawling through Pripyat undetected to assassinate that one war criminal guy. The entire sequence was unlike anything I'd seen before in a shooter. It didn't hurt that the multiplayer was very well made, but there's been countless games that have really good multiplayer that nobody remembers.

As for Halo, I'm under the impression it's commonly accepted as the game that made first person shooters on consoles feel right, as in the way they control. I believe Jeff put it (paraphrasing here), 'Goldeneye proved shooters on consoles could work, Halo made them work well.' Halo did a lot of things with level design that we weren't seeing in shooters at the time, as well. Something about the massive environments and the way the AI interacted, made it a memorable experience for a lot of people who only played Goldeneye or Doom before that.

Though, honestly, I'm sure timing, marketing, and a bit of luck had something to do with it as well. Games don't become massive successes just because they're well made. There's some immeasurable quality to these games that makes them both wildly appealing, and interesting to the niche core audience. Or, maybe it's just a price tag. Maybe you throw enough money at something and it'll be a success.

#16 Edited by EXTomar (4951 posts) -

Side note: I never understood people thought GoldenEye was good because it still felt stiff and clumsy running around a tiny rat maze. On the other hand, the way Halo was tweaked did work and actually made the game feel playable on a console.

#18 Posted by EXTomar (4951 posts) -

Double side note: Why call out Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare an important video game? I would consider Call of Duty 2 to be the bigger, more historically important game. That is the game that put Infinity Ward on the map.

#19 Edited by MAGZine (438 posts) -

@extomar: Because Goldeneye was out 4 years before Halo, and even at the time of release of Halo, the n64/Goldeneye were still very popular?

Goldeneye was a gamechanger when it came out on consoles, even if the same (or better) tech existed on the PC before it's launch. Goldeneye was the COD of Xbox/ps2.

#20 Posted by OldManLight (914 posts) -

Halo, made first person shooters more feasible on console controls (did not need a mouse and keyboard as was the FPS standard at that time.)

CoD4 took traditional online multiplayer and added a progression and unlock system to it (I.E. XP and levelling) Before this, there were few games in this genre who did this. It was also fast paced, highly accessible and a load of fun.

#21 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

@klei said:

How easy to pick up it was. The aim-assist made it possible for everybody to play it without too much of a hassle. How fast these games are too; you don't need tactics or patience.

Halo fast? Halo came out when Arena games like Quake and Unreal were still popular and Halo was super slow compared to those games. Hell, Halo 4 is still one of the slower paced FPS games when compared to everything else.

Let's compare apples to apples, please.

#22 Edited by EXTomar (4951 posts) -

If you say so...the only people I knew playing GoldenEye was the one guy at the end of the hall who had N64 who trying to convince everyone (and themselves) that having a button control aiming up/down was necessary. Everyone else was playing "Doom clones" so I'm unclear what "game changer" happened since the genre seem to hinged on Doom not GoldenEye.

#23 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

"You take a 10 minute chink of gameplay and repeat it as much as possible throughout the entire campaign."

-some Halo designer

That's one of the things that made Halo stand out. When other shooters just tried to copy half Life and failed miserably, Bungie just stuck to their formula and it worked. It was also the game that finally made shooters viable on a console.

As for Call of Duty 4, the campaign wasn't just crazy because of that nuke, bacause FEAR had already done that 2 years prior, but it was seeing the aftermath of your failure in 'unnamed middle eastern country' that really left an impact. Call of Duty 2's seperate campaigns never intertwined but they did in CoD4, and that was pretty cool. And then the multiplayer was like nothing you had really seen before, and now every MP game tries to emulate it with varying degrees of sucess.

#24 Posted by GunstarRed (5486 posts) -

With Call of Duty 4 I think it was the constant rewards. I remember falling in love with the beta because of the constant reminders that made me think I was doing really well. A bit of guitar and numbers popping up on the screen make you feel like you're always achieving something, even if in reality it's not that much at all.

#25 Edited by FamousPicle (2 posts) -

Modern Warfare revolutionized the FPS gameplay by taking inspirations from action movies and putting player in the middle of the action. It's not original but I can't recall any game before CoD4MW with so many 'Oh my God!' moments.

#26 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3052 posts) -

@orange said:

I'm doing some video game research for a project on what it was about the first Halo and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that made even non-gamers and casual gamers want to play the game? Was it the storylines? Was it the multiplayer aspect? Was it the online aspect? etc.

Any opinions as to what made those games so popular even among those who were not avid gamers is helpful.

I can only talk about Call of Duty 4. I think Call of Duty was a convergence of several factors. First, Infinity Ward was specifically going off the WW 2 script, so they were ready to innovate. Second, it just so happens that CoD 4 was going to be their second crack at XB360 hardware, they were coming to grips with consoles and the tech coming off CoD 2. Third, first person shooters on a console had just about been figured out for balance, speed, and controls. The name Call of Duty was starting to mean something to console players, not just PC gamers.

When you add at that up - a new theme, a new engine, an experienced team, and a consumer ready to buy a name brand you come up with a hit game. It wasn't magic, it was a decent game that was well marketed to a public ready to be sold a game.

#27 Edited by Benny (1955 posts) -

@famouspicle said:

Modern Warfare revolutionized the FPS gameplay by taking inspirations from action movies and putting player in the middle of the action. It's not original but I can't recall any game before CoD4MW with so many 'Oh my God!' moments.

It's the michael bay movie of video games, which was OK at first, they basically covered every bad boys / the rock scenario in the first two games. Everything got super derivative after that though.

Edit: By that I mean first two modern warfare games.

#28 Edited by CommanderGermanShepard (303 posts) -

COD4 came out just after Halo 3 and the differences were night and day, Call of Duty 4 provided a fast, fluid, 60fps online shooter with snappy aiming down the sights and dudes got killed fast 4 shots to centre mass and dead. Compared to Halo 3 which had just been released not even a month before which was sluggish, floaty and everyone was a bullet sponge.

Call of Duty 4 also added the progressive leveling up system which got really addictive as well, where you unlock and upgrade weapons. Compared to the old school model of Halo's arena type mechanics of get to the biggest gun first. Add in the kill streak and kill cam system and it was a really groundbreaking online experience, easily in the top 5 games of the generation.

#29 Edited by Stonyman65 (2879 posts) -

I never really cared for Halo much. To me (being a PC gamer ) was like "uhh, okay. We could do this stuff on PCs in the 90's" so I never really got the point. I understand that Halo was pretty huge for console FPS games (and the reason why it is still so popular today), but when compared to everything else out there at the time there was nothing all that special about it.

Call of Duty 4 on the other hand was the opposite. For years and years all we had World War II shooters with the rare Vietnam game thrown in. Once CoD 4 came out and did exactly what everyone had been begging for for years the whole thing just exploded. Add to that an excellent story, great multiplayer and awesome maps you have a game that is easily one of the best FPS's of all time. It took everything the Call of Duty series was known for and just multiplied it times 1,000 and it turned out pretty amazing. Everything just worked exactly how you wanted it to.

#30 Edited by zombie2011 (5055 posts) -

@klei said:

@zombie2011 said:

@klei said:

How easy to pick up it was. The aim-assist made it possible for everybody to play it without too much of a hassle. How fast these games are too; you don't need tactics or patience.

Halo fast? Halo came out when Arena games like Quake and Unreal were still popular and Halo was super slow compared to those games. Hell, Halo 4 is still one of the slower paced FPS games when compared to everything else.

Let's compare apples to apples, please.

What? Halo was/is and arena style shooter so is Quake and Unreal i'm comparing an FPS to a FPS. Even comparing it to console shooters like Timesplitters and Turok, Halo was slower paced.

#31 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4504 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@orange said:

Was it the multiplayer aspect? Was it the online aspect?

Probably these two. Does anybody even remember the story to the original Modern Warfare outside "the main character just dies, man"?

Yep. Al-Asad kills a president, you chase down Al-Asad, Captain Price beats the shit out of Al-Asad, Al-Asad's cellphone rings, Zakhaev is on the other line, you flashback to the Cold War and go crawling through the grass in Chernobyl as Price, you shoot Zakhaev's arm off, then you chase down Zakhaev's son, he shoots himself, then nukes, car chase, bridge explodes, everybody dies except Soap and Price, you shoot Zakhaev and two men next to him, and then a news report about the ship you sunk in the first half-hour.

Well, that's the British campaign anyway. The American campaign is like four levels long and involves you chasing down Al-Asad and hitting a dead end, then assaulting a city in the evening, then a nuke.

...anyway, both games are remarkable for redefining how console shooters (and, these days, pretty much every shooter) play. In addition to that, both games had very impressive campaigns and multiplayers. Both Halo 1 and CoD4 balanced a simple, but interesting storyline with gameplay almost perfectly, and the writing and dialogue for both are at worst "not bad" and at best "pretty good for a video game". They both did a good job of making a game feel cinematic without practically becoming a movie. Each series was often heralded as the best multiplayer that their respective generations had.

I could probably go on, but eh. Think about it some. Play through both games again and take notes - don't worry, they're both short - and look at their contemporaries for help. What other similar games came out at the time and why did Halo and Call of Duty stand out, where the rest of those games faded away?

I'm blown away that you're able to recall names. I'm already going fuzzy on some of the major plot lines.

#32 Posted by believer258 (12216 posts) -

@colourful_hippie: I really enjoyed Call of Duty 4's campaign. About three million times. Across all of my playthroughs, I probably played it for forty hours or more - remember, this is a six hour game. I was also in high school and had no job and preferred Halo 3's multiplayer. I can understand not remembering much of it if you only played the campaign once or twice, but I played through it more times than I can remember.

#33 Posted by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -

It's hard to attest to the multiplayer of the first Halo, since I only really played it a handful of times through that weird tunnelling software, but the campaign was something else. I'd played FPS games before, but usually on PC, where I said somewhere else were often 20+ hours long and didn't vary a whole lot in the mechanics used. Furthermore, FPS games on consoles back then usually felt PC games awkwardly shoehorned on the system, with poor control schemes and low-end graphics.

Halo was the first console FPS I played that really felt like it was made for that platform, but it was also about the action in a way that I hadn't seen before. This wasn't just a game where I spent hours trailing around scouring the level for heathpacks while trying to pick enemies off from so far away that their AI couldn't do anything about it. Instead it was something you played aggressively, and the control scheme and mechanics matched it perfectly. Before, in shooters where I was carrying 10 weapons simultaneously and cycling between them, I wouldn't throw grenades or get in close for a melee at all because it usually just made you a sitting duck. Halo changed that, and for better or worse it's proven influential on shooter after shooter a decade later.

#34 Posted by Snail (8663 posts) -

Halo wasn't and isn't.

#35 Edited by hollitz (1633 posts) -

I didn't think COD 4 was anything special, but I'm not a big online multiplayer guy.

Halo: CE was a pretty special game to me. It was really the first console shooter worth a shit (sorry Goldeneye). And to my knowledge it was the first co-op campaign (on console anyway). And it came out at the system's launch! So many of my friends got an Xbox just for Halo. We'd hook four of them together and have LAN parties at people's houses that we didn't even know that well.

It's probably because of experiences like that that I really can't get into online multiplayer. It just doesn't even come close to the magic of 16 people in a hot house yelling at each other. Fuck, I loved Halo. And for my money, Reach is the only other entry in the series worth playing. The campaign so perfectly captured and improved on what was great about the first Halo.

#36 Edited by HurricaneIvan29 (719 posts) -

Halo was the first game to bring Online Multiplayer to the mainstream.

It started the draw with a new story of space marines in 3D combat like never before. When Halo 2 hit, people were all over the multiplayer and it brought so many people together in a competitive and friendly way. The rest of the series just continued to ride the success.

Call of duty had always been that franchise that constantly released war games. As far as I remember the campaigns were amazing early on and drew me at a younger age. Most grew up and kept following it religiously because it was the main stream thing to do. They all followed a herd mentality towards the fast paced multiplayer that rewarded solo domination.

#37 Edited by MoonwalkSA (435 posts) -

The biggest thing that Halo did was standardize the control scheme for basically all console FPS games, and really almost any modern console game where you navigate a 3d environment with control of the camera. Left stick moves, right stick looks. It was simple and intuitive, it felt good, and none of the games that did free look on consoles before Halo made remotely as much of an impact, probably thanks to it being the Xbox flagship title. On top of that, it included stuff like the recharging shield to make collecting health packs less essential, and the single player mode was very tightly-designed with a very compelling story (relative to shooters of the time, at least). On top of all that, it was one of the first console games to have LAN capabilities, which allowed people to have parties/gatherings centered around a single game in a way that they had never really done before. That multiplayer environment and that word of mouth were a large part of what made Halo 2 the online success that it was.

CoD4's impact was similar but for different reasons, and ultimately both come down to small innovations in an overall well-produced package. The modern setting was well-done and exactly what a lot of gamers at the time were calling for after WWII/Vietnam fatigue, the story had the pace and production and scope of a blockbuster action film, it said things about war in the modern world without coming across as preachy or cheerleading the military, the multiplayer progression elements made it feel rewarding to players of almost any skill level, and the perk system and general pace of the combat made it feel accessible to players of almost any skill level. CoD also had the modern news zeitgeist going for it, considering that its story of the US's intelligence fuckups in [unnamed middle-eastern country] had so many parallels with the Iraq War and general Bush-era foreign policy.

This isn't really related to your question, but I think reflecting on what made those games so good has helped me realize why I am so totally done with console shooters today. Gameplay-wise, they're almost all still just trying to live up to what those huge innovators managed to do, and mostly they're failing at it. Every CoD since the first Modern Warfare has moved farther and farther away from the clear vision and purity of design that the first one had, while the Halo series has just lost the sense of competitiveness that you could get from the old LAN parties.

#38 Posted by YOU_DIED (703 posts) -

@orange said:

Was it the multiplayer aspect? Was it the online aspect?

Probably these two. Does anybody even remember the story to the original Modern Warfare outside "the main character just dies, man"?

I kind of do. Some of the missions were super memorable, like the opening on the boat, hunting for the terrorist leader (and the subsequent nuclear explosion), and of course the unforgettable sniper level in Ukraine.

#39 Edited by ajamafalous (12167 posts) -

Halo: Combat Evolved was directly responsible for First Person Shooters getting a foothold on consoles, while Call of Duty 4 single-handedly created and popularized the idea of progression-based unlocks in online games.

#40 Edited by inknail (155 posts) -

Everyone forgetting Halo CE's story had some quality and very visceral (at the time) surprises in its own campaign. The shift from standard space marine versus alien soldiers to running for your life from the Flood was pulled off very well in the first game. This never came across as strongly again because in sequels you expect the Flood to show up whereas, in CE, players had no inkling that the game would change tone in such a way. Some nice sci-fi environments doesn't hurt either, even if the original Ringworld had more interesting concepts and designs, the Halos are still visually engaging in their own way.

Multiplayer/gameplay-wise, Halo was very nice for making an accessible console shooter. I also think it did vehicles and large open-area maps pretty good as well (I can't recall many other FPS games that pulled this off as nicely at the time).

#41 Edited by ThePickle (4170 posts) -

Halo introduced regenerating health bars, a two weapon at a time limit, and most importantly, FPS games on a console that could bear any sort of comparison to PC FPS's.

Call of Duty 4 introduced persistent multiplayer progression (unlocking weapons and attachments) and started the trend of modern military shooters (from a previously WW2 series). Every game that has multiplayer today uses either the exact same or very similar persistent meta-game that Call of Duty 4 introduced.

#42 Edited by batpo (2 posts) -

I remember not only buying Halo 3, but my 360 for the sole purpose of playing it with my buddies. Aside from a two year obsession with fighting games, Halo 3 (and subsequent Halo games) were in my console 99% of the time. It's definitely a fun game, but I was almost always playing it with my friends, either online or in person--playing it alone was rarely appealing. I think that's partly why CoD is as popular as it is - if all your friends have it, play it, talk about it, and put their 360 no scope headshots on the internet, chances are, you're going to want to do all of that too.

#43 Posted by Soapy86 (2623 posts) -

I would say they caught on with the mainstream mostly because they were in the right place at the right time.

Also, they were pretty good.

#44 Edited by Cold_Wolven (2296 posts) -

Halo: Combat Evolved was in my opinion the first FPS to get it right when it came down to console controls and I enjoyed the campaign overall. CoD4 was the first time that the series felt refreshing since I was growing tired of the WW2 setting with the snow levels and the typical weapons associated with the time period and it came out in 2007 when there still wasn't too many choices on what to play on a console second year into it's life.

#45 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@somejerk said:

Design purity.

QFT. Absolutely.

#46 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4899 posts) -

@orange said:

Was it the multiplayer aspect? Was it the online aspect?

Probably these two. Does anybody even remember the story to the original Modern Warfare outside "the main character just dies, man"?

Yeah. A lot of people do. Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 featured strong campaigns. The first one was tighter and more coherent from a narrative standpoint, though. Trying to beat the clock to the nuke silo in order to disarm the damn thing was intense. The SAS squad had enough personality to easily identify each character without getting in the way of the shootbang. It was a good military thriller all told.

Modern Warfare 2 had significant portions of the campaign missing. No one will hear an argument from me that the story is incoherent and that it falls apart under any scrutiny. I'm not sure what happened. It was fun, definitely, but it was missing the narrative cohesion that MW1 had. Still not sure what happened there.

I digress. Point is, yes. People remember the campaigns from Modern Warfare. They were very good.

#47 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

Halo

I have analyzed Halo to death, but I'll make this really brief:

The beginning of Halo is masterful in the way it does a few very simple things. Firstly, the scene opens on a ship that is heavily under fire and about to blow up. This is the same opening to other great films such as Star Wars. Immediately, the player is drawn into the conflict of a crisis situation where SOMEone needs to save the day. Being quick to a present a problem is a masterful way to engage the player into a game. The game them goes one step forward and presents a multi-ethnic group of people who are at war with aliens who are completely unrelatable and unsympathetic. You couldn't even see what the aliens in Halo 1 were SUPPOSED to look like. So in essence, it was "us" vs. "them". The enemy was very clear and the mission was very clear. Kill "them". Then, in the absolutely masterstroke that was Halo 1, they go "We're in trouble and the only person who can help us is YOU." And "you", the master chief, just happen to be stronger than anyone, faster than anyone, and a head taller than anyone. Moreover, whenever you arrive on scene, people go "Wow... it's "YOU!" Thanks for coming! "You're" the greatest! We would have been lost without "YOU"!"

It's the simplicity, as someone said above, that made Halo what it was. Also, the legacy it had as an RTS meant that each side of the conflict had equal and equivlant vehicles that were well thought out and designed. Each one felt like it would have it own action figure or toy. As a result, playing the game felt like playing with toys.

Simplicity like "red vs. blue", a small number of really well made levels, configurabilitiy in multiplayer, etc. made it so that each person who played could insuate themself into the universe easily.

There were also a bunch of smart, novel gameplay decisions that Bungie made like

-Being able to configure multiplayer matches

-2 player co-op campaign play

-The concept of the "voice companion" where someone comes along through the FPS gameplay and talks, but isn't a physical presence.

These things were brilliant and used in many other games after the fact. It was also the first game after Half Life to really do the "living cutscene" thing in a compelling way.

#48 Edited by big_jon (5789 posts) -

"You take a 10 minute chink of gameplay and repeat it as much as possible throughout the entire campaign."

-some Halo designer

That's one of the things that made Halo stand out. When other shooters just tried to copy half Life and failed miserably, Bungie just stuck to their formula and it worked. It was also the game that finally made shooters viable on a console.

As for Call of Duty 4, the campaign wasn't just crazy because of that nuke, bacause FEAR had already done that 2 years prior, but it was seeing the aftermath of your failure in 'unnamed middle eastern country' that really left an impact. Call of Duty 2's seperate campaigns never intertwined but they did in CoD4, and that was pretty cool. And then the multiplayer was like nothing you had really seen before, and now every MP game tries to emulate it with varying degrees of sucess.

"30 seconds of fun" is the quote you're speaking of.

#49 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

I hate when people keep saying that Halo "made shooters work on consoles". There were tons of shooters that worked on console. Faceball, Doom, Aliens Vs. Predator (Jaguar), Disruptor, Golden Eye... I mean, heck, it wasn't until quake that anybody played FPS games with a mouse.

Golden Eye bloody well reinvigorated the N64's sales mid-console and is widely regarded as one of the best gaming memories for a whole generation of people. Even non-gamers remember Goldeneye as a highlight of gaming.

So what is supposed to be meant by Halo making "shooters work".

ESPECIALLY since Halo wasn't anything LIKE other shooters that were available on PC at the time. The wide open outdoor environments and vehicle play was mostly entirely new.

#50 Edited by ninnanuam (285 posts) -

@hurricaneivan29: halo didn't bring "online" anything there was no live at the release of halo in order to get that fucker to work you needed a game spy work around.

For my two cents halos greatness was the open area multiplayer with a decent controller that actually worked for fps on consoles co-op with a friend and vehicles.

Cod mw: firstly the modern part is really important I don't think many people are aware that most fps at the time were either ww2 or space shit....now it's almost the opposite, sure there were a few others bf2, I'm sure there were a few Tom Clancy games and counterstrike for example but not many and none that had a good single player story. Add in the persistent levelling mechanic in multi and the rock solid frames with great maps and you have a recipe for success.