?

Log in

No account? Create an account

shunji
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.

Security:
Subject:And then, "Fun With Dirt!"
Time:08:04 pm
I've always had trouble figuring out how to respond to detractors of Halo (and now Halo 2). On the one hand, it's sold a crapload of copies. On the other hand, it's hard to find a post on any forum about Halo that does not have its share of anti-fans.

Anti-halo folk tend to have a PC gaming background, usually hardcore. Debating the value of Halo is akin to arguing about the validity of Wicca to an evangelical Christian. There's just no common frame of reference to have a meaningful discussion.

One thing Halo does better than most PC games is optimize the user experience for the average player: the kind of player that has a limited in-game lifetime (i.e., they die every so often). Hey, that's just like me!

Firstly, the checkpoint system encourages all levels of skill to keep playing. It takes only 4-6 seconds to restore the last checkpoint;.5-1.5 if you invoke the pause screen and restore explicitly. That means you do not have to switch mental modes in order to continue playing after dying; it just happens. Even if you die every 5 seconds, you're still always back in action right away. (Personally, I'd much rather play a game than manage a game; that's just me.)

Secondly, we made sure to optimize the single player experience for a straight playthrough. If you play Halo 2 all the way through, you should never see a long interruptive loading screen. (You will see the Loading... done text, but that's unavoidable for the size and complexity of levels.) Even Halo 1 only had 9 significant loading screens, and those were at appropriate points in the game (i.e., at the end of a level), not in the midst of gameplay. That directly translates into a minimal amount of dead time waiting for the game to start, and a maximal amount of time available to play the game. If you happen to die a lot, who cares? You'll never have to wait for the game to reload your checkpoint; you can get right back into the game.

The immediacy of gameplay is one aspect many just don't understand. Or rather, many that disagree with the success of Halo don't understand. (In my opinion.) My theory is the combination of PC gamer and hardcore gamer results in a type of gamer that doesn't experience what I consider to be the least polished areas of most games: player death. And as such, they don't experience the excruciating experience of restarting gameplay.

Then again, maybe it's all the marketing hype. No, probably not. :)
comments: Leave a comment Previous Entry Share Next Entry


mochiman
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-10 04:42 am (UTC)
Thank the gods for those checkpoints! I found myself dying like five to ten times at certain points. Really, at most points. But those fucking alien fucks just ambush the shit out of you. It makes you change your tactics. Hell, it makes you come up with tactics. I've found that most FPS that I play on a PC don't really engage your brain. Just point, shoot, and hope to fuck you kill something.

BTW, your artists are pervs. I've noticed that the female models are unusually stacked.
(Reply) (Thread)

(Anonymous)
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-10 07:15 am (UTC)
First I want to say that I've been a fan of Bungie ever since I played Marathon (sometime in '95). I loved Halo1. And I'm going to be brutally honest; I was a little dissappointed by Halo2's Campaign. It just doesnt 'feel' the same...multiplayer may just be the most fun Ive had playing a game ever, bar none, but campaign was just missing...something. I cant really put my finger on it. Its not the over-the-top cinematics. Its not the somewhat lame attempts at humor. Its not the graphics, or the AI. Its not even the CENSORED that happens in the 5/6th level, really, although I think Im getting warmer now.

I'm sorry, Bungie, but this is the first time I've felt let down by one of your games.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

(Anonymous)
Subject:Agreed.
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-10 07:40 am (UTC)
Halo 2 does "feel" a lot different. I'm still trying to figure out if I feel good or bad about that- it's just weird.

I think that, in the end, Halo 1/2 will be like Soul Calibur 1/2 for me. I love playing SC2, and I think it's a better game than SC1. But I have always and will always feel more at home with SC1. It just feels right.

Halo will probably always be the same... I don't think I'm ever going to stop wanting to go back and do a regular old warthog jump, or to go back to the different scales of things... like how Hunters didn't look so tremendously massive back then. I prefer the way it is now, but it's not "home".
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


bigshady2k4
Subject:Re: Agreed.
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-10 09:45 am (UTC)
I too completely agree. My balls have never been so blue at the end of a game before. And I think it may be partly our own faults, for hyping it up, and setting our expectations so very high that noone, even the fantastic bungie team could never acheive that level of awesomeness. But that is only for campaign, and most definitely the ending. I can actually say that i wasnt only disappointed in the ending, but i actually hated it. And i know that sounds like im bashing, but im not. I love the game, it is still the best game in the world, ever. But the ending just plain sucked. I sat thru 6 hours of gameplay, just to cliffhangin and deeply confounded? But thats just my opinion. But overall, congratulations to bungie for a successful game, and thank you for making my life complete...ish. See you on Live.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


diaryarena
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-10 03:10 pm (UTC)
That's weird because Halo 2 felt more "bungie" to me than anything of theirs I've played since Myth II. With ONI it's sort of understandable, but the level design in Halo 2 feels much more Bungie to me. Some places even felt familiar... like I might have seen them in Marathon.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

sigmacharlie
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-10 06:29 pm (UTC)
I think the reason why Halo 2's campaign was somewhat letting me down is that it was a LOT "faster" than Halo 1. Guns, literal movement, it all felt so much damned faster than Halo 1.
It also felt very cramped. Even in the open areas, nothing had the same ungodly-huge environment feeling as Halo 1. Although I must say, the overall design was an exponential improvement over Halo 1.

The one saving grace. The new library was FUN : D
Well, that's a lie, after the first half I think it went way up.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

shunji
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.