I guess the obvious question might go something like, "Hey! Why the hell are you reviewing
the original Halo? It's old n00b olololol." Well, to put it bluntly, it's the only Halo
game I ever got close to really enjoying. A Halo 2 review would go something like the
review. So, if you want my thoughts
on Halo 2, just skip the StarFox related stuff and skip right down to the 5 things you could
spend your money on instead of StarFox Assault and just replace all instances of "StarFox
Assault" with "Halo 2." Halo's another one of those games that I honestly don't quite
understand why it gets the attention it does. I suppose it's pretty decent for a console
first-person shooter, but the flaws in this game are BLARING and its gaggle of
idiot-fuck-non-thinking fanboys can't quite come to grips with that.
You're Master Chief. A flat, one-dimensional, cardboard cutout cyborg thrust into a mediocre
sci-fi adventure that tries to lull you into thinking it's more than what it is. It all comes
down to Master Chief saving the world, and there's nothing wrong with that tried and true
concept, it's just that Halo stumbles all over itself as it tries harder and harder to make the
situation feel dire. And when it's all over, said, and done you don't feel like you've
accomplished anything. The story isn't epic, it's not strong, it's just there. The only thing
that kept me paying attention to the story at all was hoping they'd throw some more background
information at me about The Covenant. But, you won't find much out about them until Halo 2.
Halo's audio isn't too shabby. Weapons sound like weapons. They're neither bad nor good,
they're adequate. Your enemies are constantly barking hints at your location to one another or
comically running away from you pleading for their lives, so it does help give them a bit
character, even if they're funnier than they may have intended to be. The real star in the
audio department is the soundtrack. Halo features some very nicely done orchestral scores that
always fit the action and the situation. I find myself listening to some of the game's tunes
when I want something to chill out to. There's also a lot of cool ambient environmental sounds
that try to draw you into the experience.
The meat of the course is obviously the combat. They don't have the game tagged with the
subtitle "Combat Evolved" for nothing. And I did enjoy the combat. Chief can carry two
weapons on him at any one time and he's armed with two types of grenades. The weapon
combinations you choose to run with will sometimes turn out to be the deal breaker on how
well you can get yourself out of certain situations. But, I found that most times, it was
okay to go with whatever they drop you off into the mission with. That's not to say that
you shouldn't play with all the weapons, because I believe you should. There isn't really
one weapon in the game that I don't like. They're all pretty useful and pretty fun to
use. You'll never be at a loss for something to use. Your enemies usually always drop
thier weapons, so as you rack up carnage and your reserves become depleted, just bash that
Elite and gank his Plasma Rifle and let the damage continue.
Along with weapons, Halo features a nice little set of vehicles you can take control of to lay
waste to those Covenant swine with. Surprisingly, while I expected it to suck, vehicles are
both really fun and very, VERY easy to control. They're implemented into Halo's combat very
well, and transitioning from on foot combat to vehicular combat feels pretty seamless.
Halo does sport some fairly decent AI. Enemies are always on the move giving your aim a
run for its money. You get the feeling that your enemies have a strong desire for
self-preservation as they duck and maneuver around your shots, hide behind walls and rocks,
and sometimes just tuck tail and run away altogether. Very rarely will you have an enemy
flat out suicide rush you unless they're a member of The Flood, which are purposefully
programmed that way. Though your enemies are a lot of fun to fight, I was rather disappointed
that there are no bosses to speak of to break up the monotony just a bit. Which basically
means once you've figured out a way to dispatch your normal enemies, it becomes an excercise
in just assessing who's in the room and which order to take them out in. Bosses were added
to Halo 2, but didn't quite turn out as good as I'd hoped they would.
And then the game takes a really bad turn. What good are cool weapons, vehicles and
above average AI if the stages you're experiencing all this in suck all to hell? Halo's
level design is a fucking travisty. This is some of the worst cut and paste work I've ever
seen. And it's not like they cut and pasted large areas either. Far too fucking often you'll
go into a room, clear it out, run down a hall and into a room that looks EXACTLY like the one
you just left. This makes for a whole hell of a lot of confusion especially in the stage
entitled The Library. The early outside stages tend to mix things up a bit more. In fact
the first few stages of the game are done well, however once you reach "The Silent Cartographer"
expect to experience far too fucking much deja-vu. The level design is a big part of what held
this game back from being really good to me. It almost kills the entire single-player campaign.
"But, Polly! You dumb fucking twit! Multiplayer is TEH COOL OLO!!!" Well...guess what? Not
everyone in the world loves multiplayer. And as far as Halo multiplayer being fun or requiring
any kind of skill, fuck you. Halo's multplayer has always been a horrid unbalanced steaming
pile of polygonal vomit. One weapon to conquer all. Fuck that shit, there's no skill in
remembering where a certain weapon respawns. Halo 2's Sword. I don't even have to say another
I hear arguments all the time that Halo is the ultimate multiplayer game. It's also an excuse
I hear people throw around to defend the fact that Halo 2 sucks. "it's a multiplayer game.
The singple player game doesn't matter much." What the hell? You're just giving permission to
Bungie to pull their pants down and drop a link right into your eager little mouths. You're
giving them an excuse and a reason to
be lazy and never do anything
original ever again
. And you're telling them that you'll willingly give them your money
to do so. Paying for nothing but multiplayer maps. You stupid fucking sheep. I hope you die.
Rant aside...I did have some fun with Halo. I finished it on Normal and Legendary on both PC
and XBORX. It makes for a day or two of nice shooty action, but that's really about it. Halo
didn't do anything for me that other better First-Person Shooters hadn't done already.