Halo CE: Evolution or Revolution of the shooter?

#1 Posted by sthusby (382 posts) -


#2 Posted by sthusby (382 posts) -

I'm thinking evolution. First off, shooters had existed on PC's for years. To say Halo was a revolution in that regard, would be similar to saying a car with three wheels was a revolution. Also, if there is any console shooter that should be regarded a revolution, my pick would be GoldenEye 007.

#3 Posted by MikkaQ (10329 posts) -

Well it's literally called Halo: Combat Evolved, so you know... the answer is kinda right there.

#4 Edited by sthusby (382 posts) -

@MikkaQ: That was a pretty good answer. How haven't I thought of that? Still, lot of people who claim Halo is a revolution, so I'm just interested in doing a bit of research on a representative sample of people.

#5 Edited by SirPsychoSexy (1331 posts) -

I don't think it would be wrong to call it a revolution for console FPS games. I mean almost nothing played like it on consoles before that, and everything since has used that exact dual analog model.

#6 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1594 posts) -

While games like Goldeneye came before it, Halo: CE really cemented the idea of console first-person shooters. I'd call that pretty revolutionary, considering that the biggest franchises in games today are console-based first-person shooters.

#7 Posted by AndrewB (7686 posts) -

It was an evolution of the shooter, but a revolution for the shooter on consoles.

#8 Posted by HistoryInRust (6374 posts) -

Think about it. The last major mechanical shift for first person shooters was aiming down the sights. And the shift before that? The two-stick system implemented by Halo.

Again, this is speaking narrowly from the console perspective, but still. It set a paradigm.

#9 Edited by HistoryInRust (6374 posts) -

@rebgav: I don't know my history very well, so I can't confidently say it was the first. I know Timesplitters had a similar setup and pre-dated Halo by a couple months.

But Halo was the first to really get it right. Between that and the way it managed large-scope multiplayer, Halo had a couple engines powering its success.

#10 Posted by Snail (8646 posts) -

Where is the "overrated run-of-the-mill shooter" option?

#11 Posted by sthusby (382 posts) -

@Snail: Not in this thread. This is a thread for people who know their gaming history.

#12 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

Evolution of console shooters

Not much else

#13 Posted by salad10203 (654 posts) -

I am going to go with revolution. Like a previous poster said, Halo basically transformed hardcore PC FPS (Quake etc.) for consoles. Now there are a litany of extremely successful console FPS.

#14 Edited by Snail (8646 posts) -

@sthusby said:

@Snail: Not in this thread. This is a thread for people who know their gaming history.

Hehe.

Seriously, I know that the first Halo all the way through the third are games that essentially have nothing special about them. They're just run-of-the-mill shooters, with Halo 3 feeling particularly outdated. You shoot a lot of aliens in that game, with no core mechanic or even anything about it that heavily distinguishes it from other modern shooters, except the fact that it still has a health bar.

Not to dismiss the whole franchise though. That ODST game sounded like a much different case, with a more interesting sort of plot and with a better developed atmosphere. Reach incorporated jet-packs as a working game mechanic, and that happens so rarely that I actually wouldn't mind owning that game for that fact alone.

And yet I keep hearing that the first Halo game was some real important business. I thought it was because it ported First-Person Shooters to consoles better than Goldeneye did, but it seems you're implying there's something else about it that was really important.

I don't see it. What was it?

#15 Posted by believer258 (12078 posts) -

It made it clear that console shooters could definitely stand up to PC ones, so it was a revolution in that regard. It also popularized refilling health (actually a shield in the first game with health under it) and a two-weapon limit, two very common things in shooters today. I don't know if that counts as a revolution, but it's certainly very, very significant.

Whatever you might say, it definitely had a hand in bringing genres once thought to be vastly inferior or even downright impossible on consoles to consoles. In that regard I'd say it was revolutionary because look at where we are today. Most AAA games are shooters or RPGs and are made on the 360 and ported to the PC and PS3. And Halo pretty much told everyone that such a market was possible.

So, yeah, I'd say it was a revolution for gaming in general. Whether it was for the better is entirely up to your perspective. If you just want to boil it down to the gameplay and nothing else, I'd still say it was a revolution for shooters because refilling health and two weapon limits have had quite an impact on gameplay.

@Snail said:

Where is the "overrated run-of-the-mill shooter" option?

Go back and play a whole lot of shooters before Halo. Go on, do it. And then go play Halo, and tell me that it was generic for its time. It wasn't. Hell, it's not even generic now. It might be boring to you, and that's fine, but it's not generic in any sense that I can think of. It's colorful, slightly cartoon-ish, it has no iron sights, it has no notions of "realism" whatsoever, etc.

#16 Posted by Snail (8646 posts) -

@believer258 said:

It made it clear that console shooters could definitely stand up to PC ones, so it was a revolution in that regard. It also popularized refilling health (actually a shield in the first game with health under it) and a two-weapon limit, two very common things in shooters today. I don't know if that counts as a revolution, but it's certainly very, very significant.

I see. I knew its importance in getting first-person shooters on consoles, but I actually had no idea it had defined both the two-weapon slot and the regenerating health standard in FPS-es.

@believer258 said:

Most AAA games are shooters or RPGs and are made on the 360 and ported to the PC and PS3.

Wait, are you sure that's how it goes? Games are built on PCs, made to run on PCs and then downgraded to console-quality nowadays. That being said, AAA titles get released simultaneously on PC, PS3 and 360. So what do you mean by that?

@believer258 said:

Go back and play a whole lot of shooters before Halo. Go on, do it. And then go play Halo, and tell me that it was generic for its time. It wasn't. Hell, it's not even generic now. It might be boring to you, and that's fine, but it's not generic in any sense that I can think of. It's colorful, slightly cartoon-ish, it has no iron sights, it has no notions of "realism" whatsoever, etc.

Okay, you're wrong. It's super generic now. If you're looking for colorful, cartoon-ish shooters you can find plenty of that (just look at the recent release of Borderlands 2). The lack of iron sights isn't a good thing, and apparently something that was standardized even after Halo (which I consider more important than a two-weapon slot).

The way I see it, the only reason Halo 3 had the hype it did was because it was the sequel to Halo 2, which in its turn was important because it was the sequel to Halo. I detest Halo 3. I cannot find anything in that game that stands-out. Nothing about it is original by today's standards. I actually played that game, honest. I tried playing co-op with a friend who owns a 360, and just got downright bored.

Well I guess "detest" is to strong a word, I could probably make my way through it but man that would be a bore.

#17 Posted by JeanLuc (3604 posts) -

@Snail said:

The way I see it, the only reason Halo 3 had the hype it did was because it was the sequel to Halo 2, which in its turn was important because it was the sequel to Halo.

Halo 2 is important because of its online multiplayer. The game set the standards for console multiplayer and created systems like matchmaking playlists, something that every game uses to this day.

#18 Posted by EXTomar (4916 posts) -

This feels like a landmine of a topic where suggesting either is going to blow up in someone's face.

#19 Edited by Snail (8646 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Snail said:

@believer258 said:

Most AAA games are shooters or RPGs and are made on the 360 and ported to the PC and PS3.

Wait, are you sure that's how it goes? Games are built on PCs, made to run on PCs and then downgraded to console-quality nowadays. That being said, AAA titles get released simultaneously on PC, PS3 and 360. So what do you mean by that?

I'm sorry, exactly which multiplatform games are designed with the PC as the lead platform? It's been pretty clear, or blatantly stated, that the 360 has been the lead platform for third-party games for most of this generation. "Games are built on PCs" is such a meaningless non-statement that I'm shocked at how often its been coming up lately.

Well, since PC ports of games these days are the ones with the best quality, it follows to assume that games are built with PC-standards in mind.

#20 Posted by johnbakosh (115 posts) -

@Snail: Stop trolling please.

#21 Posted by believer258 (12078 posts) -

@Snail said:

@rebgav said:

@Snail said:

@believer258 said:

Most AAA games are shooters or RPGs and are made on the 360 and ported to the PC and PS3.

Wait, are you sure that's how it goes? Games are built on PCs, made to run on PCs and then downgraded to console-quality nowadays. That being said, AAA titles get released simultaneously on PC, PS3 and 360. So what do you mean by that?

I'm sorry, exactly which multiplatform games are designed with the PC as the lead platform? It's been pretty clear, or blatantly stated, that the 360 has been the lead platform for third-party games for most of this generation. "Games are built on PCs" is such a meaningless non-statement that I'm shocked at how often its been coming up lately.

Well, since PC ports of games these days are the ones with the best quality, it follows to assume that games are built with PC-standards in mind.

Nope. Most modern games are made on PC's, yes, but they're made for the Xbox first and then ported to the PC and PS3. The PC gets so many more options because 1) A lot of them (Vsync, 60 frames per second, resolution) are fairly easy to implement and 2) They're many, many, many times more powerful than consoles. Even on that note, PC's don't have much of a standard. We're talking about a platform whose hardware could range from a mid-end AMD processor and an HD 5-something to a $2000 machine with a GTX 680 and a high-end i7. This is as opposed to consoles, where you're guaranteed that every one of them is the same.

#22 Posted by Snail (8646 posts) -

@believer258: I see. But if the game's quality is much better on the PC, what does it mean to be "made for the Xbox" first? Don't they make the resources for the PC version and then reduce their quality on the console builds so that these can execute them? What is it that's made for the 360 specifically that then has to be ported to the PC?

#23 Posted by EXTomar (4916 posts) -

Uh, I think Solitaire has more man hours played than entire generation of console games combined. Just glancing at stats on Steam and X-Fire makes me wonder why people believe this. No one should be suprrised that there will be more people playing LoL just today than most games get in a month.

Now if you mean "consoles make more profit at point of sale" then you are correct. Selling a $60 box with a game on it only works on consoles and is a sweet deal for the producer.

#24 Posted by Snail (8646 posts) -

@rebgav said:

No, they aren't. The console market is far larger than the PC gaming market and console hardware is far more limited than PC hardware, you must build a game to the specifications of the most popular hardware if you want to sell it. While PC ports are certainly prettier thanks to the capabilities of modern video cards, the assets, features and control schemes are targeted for consoles. If devs were producing games designed to make the most of the PC platform today it would be very difficult to port them to the seven-year-old hardware inside an Xbox or PS3.

But still, doesn't that mean that they specifically develop better-looking stuff knowing that only top-tier PCs will be able to execute it. You're saying that the quality of that stuff is capped by the limitations of consoles, but still, if the PC version is the one with the best looking stuff, then it is the most privileged one during development.

Unless there's something specific about making a game for the 360 that then has to be ported to the PC, that totally makes the 360 the primary system. By your definition it just kind of seems arguable what the "primary system" is.

And you just seem to be referring to the "seven-year-old" hardware, without concretely mentioning the 360, so you didn't entirely answer my question. Why that one console?

#25 Posted by punkxblaze (2990 posts) -

Goldeneye played like absolute shit by modern standards, Halo still holds up.

#26 Posted by moffattron9000 (357 posts) -

@Snail said:

@believer258: I see. But if the game's quality is much better on the PC, what does it mean to be "made for the Xbox" first? Don't they make the resources for the PC version and then reduce their quality on the console builds so that these can execute them? What is it that's made for the 360 specifically that then has to be ported to the PC?

To go back to your borderlands example, the menu system was designed with consoles, the resolution they can produce, and there being a fair distance between player and screen in mind. No matter if the developers forward plan with higher resolutions for top end PC's, things such as menu navigation are either too expensive or too time consuming to remedy for a developer, and the economics of scale cause the game to be built with consoles in mind.

Online
#27 Posted by Snail (8646 posts) -

@moffattron9000: I know they're made primarily for consoles. I mean, I played Borderlands as well. I just didn't see why games would be primarily made for the 360, like that console has something entirely different that is the default framework that then gets ported. That's what I was curious about.

Anyway, I really feel like I'm derailing this thread so I'll just shut up.

#28 Posted by Hosstile17 (768 posts) -

For shooters as a whole, it was an evolution. But, for shooters on consoles it was a revolution.

#29 Posted by believer258 (12078 posts) -

@Snail said:

@moffattron9000: I know they're made primarily for consoles. I mean, I played Borderlands as well. I just didn't see why games would be primarily made for the 360, like that console has something entirely different that is the default framework that then gets ported. That's what I was curious about.

Anyway, I really feel like I'm derailing this thread so I'll just shut up.

Nah, your questions are a bit more interesting than arguing Halo to death some more.

As simply as I can say it, there are several reasons for making it for the 360 first. First off, it's the most popular, so from a business perspective making it work right there is your first priority. Second, every single 360 has the exact same hardware in it and that hardware (and a lot of the software, from what I've heard) isn't so far off from what's in a PC; those two reasons are why the PS3 isn't the console that games are primarily made for. Third, and this one plays along with the first reason, PC's aren't as popular and if you make your game for the PC first and then scale it back, you have to go in and optimize the game for consoles by lowering the resolution, playing with settings, messing with code, etc., and I'd imagine that doing all of that ends up being a pain in the ass when you could have just made it for the 360 in the first place, ported it, and then added a bit of fancy stuff to the PC version.

Does that answer your question?

#30 Posted by Snail (8646 posts) -

@believer258: It totally does. Another user had already replied, but you both provided some information that the other didn't. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

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