October 3, 2010

Halo: Quite the Reach..a mid-game review

Alright everyone...I tried.

I really
really tried.

Sadly, Halo Reach is just not a game I can really get into.
Oh, I can't wait to get the hate mail for this one. Let's see if I can't justify my feelings...

I played all of Halo 1, and I can  happily say that it was different, intriguing, and fun. I skipped Halo 2 after I tried the first level (couldn't get past the weird controls/game feel...no thank you), and I played bits and pieces of Halo 3 (mostly multi-player). So, I was really excited to dedicate myself fully to Halo Reach, since I hadn't done so in the past. I really wanted to get caught up in the hype and love for the story and game play. I really wanted to complete the campaign and try my hand at different multi-player styles. And yet, here are the big cons so far:

  1. Futuristic Soldiers can't Run n' Gun

I suppose I'm partial to fast-paced shooters. I grew up playing FPS's like Quake and Unreal, so when I encounter game mechanics like the ones found in Halo Reach, I get very frustrated - fast. Having power-ups is neat, but I would never suggest to have 'sprint' as one of these, as 'sprinting' should be something that every soldier has the ability to do all the time, Spartan or not. It also kills me that many of the guns have no scope (at least having add-ons to guns would be nice). Overall the controls seem slow (at least slower than what I'm used to) and unresponsive. I'd love to hit the left analog stick once to crouch, instead of 3 or 4 times. However, this could also be a PEBCAC problem.

     2. Lets do the same thing, over and over and over again!

After three levels of the campaign and a few rounds of multi-player, I keep having to force myself to put the disc in and keep playing. I have little to no interest in finishing the campaign; this may be because I didn't play all of Halo 2 & 3, but also because as of now all the levels are looking the same (both look and objective-wise). Now, I'm still fully committed to completing this game, but for some reason I'm not having nearly as much fun as I would have liked.

But have no fear, there is a silver lining:

  1. One small step for FPS's, one giant leap for Online Match-Making
I really like what Halo Reach is doing with the match-making process in multi-player games. Before I joined a clan and became accustomed to the way people interact in online multi-player games, I would avoid playing multi-player games unless I knew everyone playing. I knew I'd only interact with uber-competitive guys who would relish the idea of making fun of a girl playing video games. But in Halo Reach, I'm able to describe my gaming style and preferences, and the game will automatically match me with similar-style gamers. I love it! Too bad I don't love the game.

Now, don't totally hate on me just yet. I'm still determined to see this whole thing through. I'll make my final decision about the game later, after I've beaten the campaign and played many more online multi-player games. But for now...blah.

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