Blank Posted September 24, 2009 Share Posted September 24, 2009 (edited) So I picked up a copy, as I am a shooter fan. Overall I like the game, as I liked the other Halos. The developers didn't break a great working formula, and there were some interesting additions and changes to the story and gameplay. The story takes a slightly different approach than the other Halo games. Instead of being a genetically enhanced super-soldier, you are simply a well-trained special operations soldier. Instead of traveling to ringworlds and alien locales, the action takes place primarily in some good-looking landscapes of a futuristic earth. Half the campaign, you play at night, as a rookie spec-ops soldier who was separated from the rest of his team, having just regained consciousness after a orbital drop. He slowly pieces together their story by finding artifacts in the city. When players find an artifact, they are transported to the time earlier in the day to play out some of the story as a fellow squadmate the rookie is separated from. Eventually players see how events unfold to the current moment, the rookie trying to reunite with the squad. If you loved the other Halo games, do not be alarmed. These are all healthy digressions from the normal model of the games. I could see how running around the city looking for artifacts might get annoying after a while for some people, but usually there are enough enemies interspersed in the areas to keep things interesting, and a map system with sandbox choices in searching for artifacts might keep some happy. There's also a graphic novelish side-story players can puzzle together. Playing the campaign co-operatively has always been a strength for the Halo games, and I had fun going through the game with my brother. Characters in the game are voiced by some familiar actors you might know from Firefly: Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, and Alan Tudyk. So the voice-acting had some talent in my opinion, although some of the lines can be poorly written at times. Overall, for an FPS, I thought the acting and plotline were usually on par with the current day successes in those areas, e.g. Bioshock. I thought the musical score was delightful. From a noir-P.I.-of-the-future style of sound, to the orchestra crescendos Halo fans would be familiar with from the other games. The gameplay also differs from the other Halos in some slight ways. First, because the player's character is human, movement is somewhat slower, and jumps are somewhat shorter (I would know, because I played Halo 3 much). Along with the health issues I'll discuss later, these features cause players to take cover more often and force them to plan out movement more deliberately in battle. Second, the battle rifle is mysteriously gone, but I find it joyfully replaced with a pistol akin to Halo 1's 2x zoom butt-kicking hand cannon. It has less power per bullet than Halo 1's, but has a 4x zoom and it shoots much faster. I really enjoy this additional gun. The Submachine gun from Halo 2 and 3 is replaced with a suppressed, somewhat recoil-modulated, and 2x scoped one. I also feel like the gun shoots more accurately than the other game's versions, but I have yet to compare. Third, the player-character's suit has an infrared/shape-outline vision that helps tremendously in the darker, nighttime settings of the game. Fourth, because the character's suit is not a Spartan one, there are no shields. Instead, a stamina/health system is used. The stamina aspect is similar to Call of Duty or Gears of War, depending on the difficulty (on legendary, your stamina is done usually after being shot once or twice). The health system is similar to Halo 1's conventional health bar. Once the stamina is gone, your screen is reddened, and any additional damage takes away from a health bar. This is where I found my most hated aspect of the game: a beeping noise any time the player's health is not a 100% bar. Wow, I cannot stress how annoying this beeping is. *Boink* *Boink* *Boink* *Boink*... This part of the game is worse than the invasive semi-cutscenes of Cortana and the Gravemind in Halo 3 during the campaign. It is worse because it also takes place during the multiplayer aspect of the game. Which leads me to fifth: firefight. The best comparison of this is Gears of War 2's horde mode. Waves of enemies get dropped into a map of choice at mounting degrees of difficulty, but the difference is that gameplay gets altered (easter-egg skull alterations for those familiar with Halo) every few waves, rounds, and sets. My only disappointment about this multiplayer setting is that only 4 players can play together at a time, which is surely less than the normal 16 players for Halo's multiplayer . I know there are technical/hardware issues with having too many players at once, but seriously, I at least expected 6 players, like Gears' Horde mode. The game comes with an extra disc containing all of Halo 3's multiplayer options, including all online downloads and updates ever made for the game. That would be a nice addition, but I think it is to be expected so as to not make people angry for having to buy a $60 game that could be accused as a Halo 3.75 expansion instead of a separate, full game. I'm not bashing the developers. I'm sure they worked their butts off to make the game. I'm just saying they are charging for a full-priced game, so they are expected by people to make it a worthwhile purchase juxtaposed to the last game. I think the Beta-invite to Halo: Reach, the next game being developed in the series, might help alleviate critics too. Lastly, the shotgun is still crap at mid-range. I'm sick of this misrepresentation of shotguns. A military shotgun would do significant damage to a human being who is simply 20 feet away. Halo 1's shotgun was more realistic to me, as it's supposed to be a shotgun from the future, and it could do what I expected at mid-range. Yet, in Halo 2, 3, and ODST, the weapon is only effective at 5 feet, after which the spread seems to widen into infinite. Weaksauce. I'm done now. Share your opinions/reviews too if you feel like it. Edited September 24, 2009 by Blank Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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