Let me just start off by saying that the original Doom came out when I was in college, and I'd already cut my teeth on Wolfenstein 3D and The Terminator before that in middle and high school. Basically what I'm trying to say is, I was pretty well versed with the FPS genre by the time the first Halo game came out. Even though I beat it in a day, for some reason, I did not enjoy it in the least. I think that the main problem was that FPS's had gotten way too "serious" for me by then, so I took a break. A LONG break. It wasn't until Borderlands came out, that I really got into another FPS since that first Halo. I absolutely love Borderlands.
Anyway, I happened to get a free copy of Halo: Reach via a promotion yesterday, so I popped it in before bed. Immediately I could see that there have been tons of improvements since the first game, and while I was quite rusty, I was having a very fun time in matchmaking. Then I started the campaign...The VERY first thing you find out when the dialog starts is that your character is replacing a valued member of an existing strike squad. The commander of the team then goes on to stress the fact that the squad is a "TEAM" and that no "lone wolf" behavior would be tolerated. Great, I played Republic Commando, I know how to work with a team!
So we get down to Reach, and the squad takes off, so I follow. When we got to the very first building, I took up a defensive position outside with the rest of the squad to cover our six (you are referred to as "Number 6" after all), while the commander ran inside. He even said, "I'm going to check inside." After about 30 seconds of nothing happening, I started to realize something was wrong. I ran around the squad for a couple of minutes, to see if any of them would say anything to me, maybe give me a clue as to what the deal was. Not a peep. That's when I noticed the commander's dot on the radar moving back and forth. I ran over to him, expecting something, since he was clearly impatiently pacing. Again, nothing. It wasn't until I ran PASSED the commander that things triggered, and the game progressed.
I was quite taken aback. The preceding minutes had included a fantastic tutorial that told me all I needed to know about controlling things in the Haloverse. So imagine my surprise when, in a day and age where seemingly every game is holding your hand through every little thing, one of the most popular and biggest selling games out there fails to even give you an indicator arrow of where to go, when you're clearly lallygagging about doing nothing. It continued this way for a good 20 minutes. I had to take the lead of a squad I had just joined after being told to be part of the group. It wasn't until after that extra 20 minutes, that the commander finally told me to "take point."
Don't get me wrong, I was having fun after that initial mishap, but it's hard to respect a game that fails to respect its own story integrity within the first ten minutes!
Give me Borderlands 2! At least that's clearly about one thing, and one thing only: the loot!