Agreed TC. Gameplay hooks, and player interaction rule still. Story and game design are important for sure, but it still comes down to the fun gameplay that ultimately determines a game's success and staying power. Tonight's TNT was a good example imo.
The boss at the end of Gears of War on insane drove me nearly insane. Even in co-op it was rediculous, but after 2 hrs or so, sooo satisfying and relieving to finish off. So many tough spots in games to remember, but the slime section in Metro 2033 was indeed pretty brutal(and dumb agreed)but it wasn't so bad after a few tries. This stuff is always interesting because of the glaring differing experiences. CoD veteran frustrations/rage do come to mind. Oh and I remember beating all the lvls in Too Human w/no deaths being a serious challenge. Thank god for the co-op and a good Defender partner. Labor of love for me though believe it or not, lol.
Great write up big_jon. Very well done, and it's refreshing and so powerfully informed by your extensive experience playing the game.
My 2 cents: I like Halo 4 but it is still quite a bit less than I expected with their budget and the build up to release. So many oversights, from nonsensical story stuff, awkward canon sharing , the lag and retreaded environs in Spec-ops, no FF, the lack of any updates, to the terrible first set of DLC maps(imo). I play BTB pretty much exclusively and the numbers there have dropped by at least 2/3rds. 343 needs to react to the various problems and the game performance a lot quicker I think.
Anyway, I'm still a huge Halo fan and I look forward to the next game, and hopefully there will be improvements, and hopefully 343 will show their learning curve too. They'll have a hard time matching the web series that preceeded this game though. So awesome.
I agree with the tc. I especially like his enthusiasm and you can really tell he loves what he's doing at GB. Sometimes his game opinions seem a bit uninformed but that's that just his urge to contribute again. It's all good.
My recommendation would be to play the first two games because they are easily worthy on their own.
But there are plenty of places to get caught up on the storyline and the previous endeavors and experiences of Isacc if you wanna avoid the possible burnout before the next impending installment. Wiki for one.