Comments on

Making Waves

Original entry posted: Thu Nov 1 00:34:21 2007

Chris @ Thu Nov 1 07:32:36 2007 EST

It's interesting to see the nub of your critique here... I had problems with Halo, although mostly of the kind: why am I running through miles of identical corridors, in a lacklustre Aliens pastiche, and what happened to the beautifully rendered landscapes we enjoyed at the start of the game?

Unlike most shooter players, I have the unusual trait of enjoying melee combat rather too much. Most FPS games don't give me the melee options that I want; at least in the case of Halo a dedicated melee attack control is provided.

But as you say, the game kind of assumes a particular play style and does not allow for much variation. In particular, when I am not playing in melee I like to play as a sniper - but the Halo games seem to deny ammo to you, meaning you can only play at sniper where they want you to.

These restrictions will not have significantly affected the commercial potential of these games - but they assuredly niggled many players, including both you and I (albeit for different reasons).

Best wishes!

Josh @ Fri Nov 2 11:08:51 2007 EST

Hrm - I finished on the PC version without, I think, throwing a single punch. Granted there were a couple of scenes where I think I figured out a way to get around the main path that the level designers may not have intended...

The repetition didn't bother me. Didn't bother me in Oblivion either - which really did have cookie cutter level design. I liked the narrative (liked, not loved) and the overall design. Plus, some of the concepts of Halo - limited inventory, easily restorable health - are concepts long due for the time.

It's also probably one of those games best experienced as coop or multiplayer (preferably LAN) as well.

Thomas @ Fri Nov 2 11:38:13 2007 EST

I finished it the first time, on Normal difficulty, without ever using melee. I don't think you can avoid it on the harder difficulties though. Or at least, I'm going to use that as an excuse.

It's not the repetition--it's the lack of progress. I just never felt like I was getting anywhere. At least when I'm stuck in Half-life or FEAR or something like that, I can set metrics--make it just a little further down that hallway! You can't do that when the location is static.

That Fuzzy Bastard @ Fri Nov 2 14:39:56 2007 EST

I *love* the melee in Halo---there are few more satisfying ways to finish a big fight than by punching the last scrambling Grunt right inna face.

But like a lot of things in Halo, the melee attack is really there for multiplayer---because it's a one-hit kill if you do it from the back, it's the ultimate in humiliationcide---not only did I get the drop on you, I bitch-slapped you to death.

I was bugged by the endless corridors, both because I'm terribly prone to getting lost in FPS games, and because it was such a come-down from the beautiful exteriors of the early levels. But the locked-room-full-of-baddies didn't bother me a bit---I had the same feeling of not knowing when I'd be done, but I found that kind of delightful---a red mist covered my eyes and I entered a killing trance, hacking away at my foes until, even after the last was dead, I still fired my gun, not knowing the screaming in my ears was coming from my own mouth...

Um... Yeah. What I'm trying to say is that it was... immersive.

Thomas @ Fri Nov 2 14:42:30 2007 EST


I'm staying out of your elevator.

That Fuzzy Bastard @ Mon Nov 5 13:03:55 2007 EST

Oooh, and speaking of... How could anyone hate on that first discovery of The Flood? You find the corpse, find the message, the doors slam shut, and just as you begin to suspect something bad's about to happen, a few piddling little jellyfish come out... and then the onslaught begins---it's a divinely perfect gaming moment, and it would be infinitely less effective if you had anywhere to run to, or less overwhelming odds.

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