By ahoodedfigure 6 Comments
I'm not sure how many times I punched that prophet in the face, but in the end it took me two hours to beat a single boss. There wasn't much to it in theory, all you have to do is get in close on a floating guy riding a fusion cannon and unload on him, probably exclusively in melee but I never did explore every little option. Clown cars full of endless enemies pour in to distract you, throwing grenades, blasting you with plasma bolts, or carving up your backside with energy swords. The prophet just sort of teleports around the place after he gets enough of your knucklebone burgers, dropping you in the middle of some elites if he's lucky. Not easy to hide, only so many weapon choices... Two damn hours.
Halo 2 seems to love to give me checkpoints when I don't want them (including having a split-second to react to guys coming at me) and at other times, despite all I've accomplished, it chooses to withhold checkpoints, making repeated plays a slog. The boss fight wasn't the only slog, I've had many this playthrough, more than I remember having last time I finished the campaign on Heroic. I'll freely admit that I can't even beat the thing on Legendary, but even on Heroic it feels like Halo 2 wants me to read its mind sometimes. I like that I can do wildly different things to make it through an area, and I love how the AI changes it up on the fly (I'm still sort of amazed by that), but you can really be punished by this game.
Which makes me wish it would record the entire game from each checkpoint, when I was successful. I would like to see this perfect runthrough, because THAT is what I'm supposed to be living up to every time I put the disc in. Humanity dies unless I know where the enemies are before I even see them, what they're armed with, how many there are, which ones will endlessly respawn and which will cause the section to progress.
For all the attempts to feel like a modern military packed into this game, the amount of times my lil' Spartan bit it at the hands of some little lizard guy with a laser rifle makes me wonder if humanity should have spent more time researching portable shields for everyone instead of putting all hope in one mumbly dude in power armor who hears voices.
There are things I love about this game, stuff I remember even when I forget the frustration, like the scenery, the music, the NPC commentary (was David Cross in there somewhere?), the hidden character and his story that gets revealed partway through, and of course taking dudes out in all kinds of ways. Right now I feel like I'm being trained, though.
Do it again, it says. You weren't lucky this time, try again. Be quicker. Pick the right weapon. I don't care if that carbine blows an entire clip on that elite without breaking through its shields, that's all you have. Again. Again. Again.
At least Bill Murray had a full day to experiment and see what worked. Old Bill had the equivalent of a campaign's worth to accomplish, then got to do it over. I guess he was more looking for the best ending than reloading from the last checkpoint, but that's neither here nor there.
Anyone caught in a similar timewarp, lately?