I now need the Kinect in order to play D4 though, and the thing I'm really waiting for is Remedy's next game, so I'll wait.
Those stilted interviews in the promotion video just stoked up some kind of irritation in me with the way the business world works. I can't shake the feeling those guys primarily regard what they are selling as indistinct products and couldn't really care less about the features they are touting, but they got a business degree and glad-handed the right people, and live in the right region and...yeah I think I just don't like my job.
It was really the co-op, as others have stated. Being able to play through the whole campaign with a friend was a lot of fun and the different enemy types they came up with made each combat scenario pretty dynamic and interesting. The use of vehicles in the campaign was really fun at the time too, racing Warthogs around, trying to get Banshee's into places they kind of shouldn't be, exploring the massive levels in the game. It was pretty engrossing and liberating stuff at the time. Up to that point I can only really think of Perfect Dark having a co-op campaign, and you can't jump in that game and the objectives are super strict. This was different.
So I'd call what I have a fondness, not reverence. I never got pulled into the lore of the series, I just enjoyed big, spacious, sci-fi levels with interesting enemies to fight in them.
The Halo games I played alone were ODST and Reach. I think being alone suits ODST, but I may have short-changed my Reach experience by playing it that way, found that campaign didn't have momentum all the way through. Good ending though.
I've been pondering what it is that makes fans of video-games so much more volatile than fans of other media (I'm going to ignore the food and Ford comparisons as those are completely off-base, this is entertainment we're talking about so let's talk with those comparison points in mind). I've started to really take into consideration the time commitment it takes to be a dedicated gaming enthusiast. If you want to beat Persona 4, 100 hours. Skyrim? 100+ hours. "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword", a paltry 40 hours. The Mass Effect trilogy? 100 hours, perhaps. As someone who has spent that much time in these games, having someone challenge the quality of these experiences on any grounds is a bit more of an affront to me as a person than someone saying I wasted my time watching a two-hour feature film, or reading a book or listening to an album. The closest other form I've found is television shows, and people get pretty defensive of those as well. Remember the Lost ending? Not as heated as the Mass Effect 3 ending, but still pretty vocal.
My favorite comparison point outside of media is a job. Because games are an activity, you could compare it to someone having a part-time job in a fantastical world. Questioning someone's career choice is a much more personal and potentially hurtful thing than, again, questioning someone's qualitative judgment of a movie or book (and MUCH moreso than a truck or recipe, returning to your comparison). It doesn't justify the childishness of these responses, but in some way, these are people's lives we're talking about here. They have doubled and tripled down, spent a fair percentage of their lives on this activity and now people who have not spent that time, who aren't invested in the same way, are making qualitative judgments about something these people know very well. It can be very infuriating. Is there a healthier way to express that fury than threatening violence? Absolutely. But I don't think this is as easily dismissed as you are making it sound.
And I have been using the same screen-name for over a decade so type it into a search engine and hey hey, that's my name right there. I'm not hiding behind anything.
One shift a week I'm the only office person there for the majority of the day. Every phone-call is mine to deal with even if it has nothing to do with what I'm doing every other day that week. Its stressful due to its unpredictability. It could be very easy or intensely difficult and because most of it is outside of my regular pattern, its hard to know whats coming before it hits. Just kind of flinching whenever the door opens or a phone rings because it probably won't be something I want to hear/deal with.
I'm reminded of the hologram of Tupac at Coachella 2012. It just seems odd to clap and cheer for a video screen. People applauding after a movie similarly makes no sense to me. I get synthesized vocals in general and feel they have a place, but taking performance out of live music kind of renders it pointless. Electronica in general is really bad for this as the computer is doing much of the work already, but changing that focus to the computer being backed up by human musicians...I don't get it. Kind of love how weird Japan continues to be, but this avenue of musical performance seems really dumb. And that's from someone who has paid to see a man wearing a mouse-head press play on a laptop (essentially), not once but twice.
The concept page for "Game of the Year Edition" is pretty thorough, so you can really just scroll through that and choose your least favorite game. The one I raised my eyebrow at was GTR 2: FIA GT Racing Game, though I admit I've never played it or heard of it before mere minutes ago.
After two hours with the game I'm sadly starting to echo Tom Chick's thoughts. I feel really distanced from the characters and what is going on, I too am spamming attacks and still getting through everything with little problem and that waiting around for your attack queue ability to recharge is a part of the gameplay loop is already becoming tedious to me. I find myself running around objects as a sort of clunky cover while it refills and that seems to be exactly what is intended.
Really though, it is how little investment I am feeling in the story after reading through all the ancillary stuff and doing my best to pay attention to the drunk, stalker-y sword buddy while I'm fighting and running around. Unless some late game revelations really manage to pull me in, this will likely go down as another game I just don't understand the admiration for.
Colorful and sounds nice though. It does have that.