By ahoodedfigure 1 Comments
I like the weapon mechanic, where you can just have two at a time, and the variance of weapons is well balanced, so that you can find the right weapon for the job if you think hard enough about the situation. Never in my gaming life have I come across such a useful pistol as the standard issue sidearm in this game. If the magazine was larger I'd dump the assault rifle the first chance I got.
But I'll be damned if these levels aren't very long and monotonous. Seeing yet another wave of Flood pour around the corner fills me with the kind of dread you're not supposed to get in an entertainment product: "This, AGAIN?"
I'm at a part now where missile-launcher-wielding thugs keep issuing around the corner like a Ninja Gaiden parody, firing explosive rounds at me as effortlessly as if they were punching, which inevitably kills me off and sends me WAY back in the level (that is, unless I charge through to this point, leaving my flank exposed, but the missile launcher guys are still there, and I just die quicker for my being incautious). So, it has cruel, cruel save points in some areas, strange bumps in balance, and the modular level design, which certainly allows for bigger levels, but also means you get a lot of areas that feel nearly identical, with identical tactics needed to get past them.
I admire many of the things Halo tries to do, and I understand why, mechanically, it was appealing as an early run XBOX title, enough so that now they're trying to franchise it out in all kinds of crazy ways. But sheesh, there are some very serious flaws in this game.
There are a lot of fans out there, if the wiki is any indication, and I remember seeing that video, recently, of the kid who put together a whole arsenal from the game out of tape and cardboard. (You know, good for him, but stop pointing the gun at the damned camera, kid.) I'm a big fan of Thief by comparison, and when I completed both 1 and 2 I set aside some time to map out all the weapons and the groups that fought for control of The City, their tendencies, theories and possibilities of what it all meant. I guess Halo is a similar community rally flag where people can exercise their creativity. I can see that; I think Halo has some interesting ideas, especially for a mainstream, popular game franchise, and I'd have no business faulting folks for the same geeking out that I do on occasion.
I just hope that I'm not the only one who feels a bit alienated, in the wrong way, by some of the game's design philosophy.