HALO


#21

3 is a big return to form (but not a return to the .45 magnum (that came with Reach)) in that it is much more about sandboxes where you (and three friends) are given your choice of tools. Much less authored than CE/2’s campaign structure and has aged wonderfully as a result. Multiplayer is impossibly well balanced and its legendary plate-spinning haunts the people responsible for maintaining balance simultaneously across PvE and PvP in Destiny to this day.

ODST is stretching tone and narrative muscles they may not have used since Marathon (taking @shrug’s word for Marathon’s prowess here, can’t into keycards, born in '92) with an espionage story with a neat twist that is basically the antithesis of Starship Troopers (Verhoeven, again). There’s a song with a soprano sax solo and another song that’s basically Kashmir by Led Zeppelin and they somehow cohere. It’s a great gaiden game, made with Halo 3 assets as a series of flashbacks you access by finding your teammate’s gear around a hub city you can explore freely. Definitely prototyping for Destiny at work here. They also got a bunch of Firefly actors and use them well (?!).

Firefight is unlimited PvE Halo and introduced in ODST/modified in Reach. Best Horde imo, just lots of fun doing improbable bullshit around the margins of the sandbox.

I must admit I am a hardcore Reach stan - got the legendary solo campaign achievement.


#22

damn, huh

I guess I may have been too biased against it from the combination of never liking the campaign in the first place + being let down by 2 + wanting nothing to do with 2000s Microsoft military funtime

I did have a real real good time with coop reach after ignoring all the other 360 stuff so I guess I’m looking forward to more of this than I thought


#23

I keep hearing that 3 is the best one and that’s what I’m looking forward to the most really


#24

ODST and Reach get better at it by showing that the “heroes” are basically assassins for the fascist government. The first mission in Reach is checking up on some farmers that might be trying to rebel on the UNSC’s skunkworks colony.

The messianic shit with Master Chief is baffling tbh. I do like the Covenant society coming apart in the original games, though.


#25

I bounced after 3 (seriously bought it at midnight along with a case of the first Gamer Fuel and marathoned through it coop Legendary before dawn, never touched it again) but I played an insane, insane amount of 1 back in the day, even doing the XBConnect thing to play it online in a janky unofficial way. I never touched ODST and Reach so I guess I’ll have to dip back in.

I do agree that it feels bizarre playing these with M+KB, I tried it with the 1 port and nothing felt right, especially vehicles.


#26

3 is the best for having giant fights and giving you lots of tools to mess with them with three friends, which usually means it turns into a challenge of who can do the stupidest shit.

ODST and Reach are both worth it for making the “UNSC are fascists and Chief is an emotionless muderbot” plot much more explicit.


#27

How’s 4 and 5? Weren’t they not even by Bungie?


#28

I played the free PC multi for 5 and it felt… still wrong with a mouse

not unfaithful though


#29

I only played 4. It was a horrible mess in campaign mode at least.


#30

The cracked/modded version of Halo Online (cancelled Russia-exclusive F2P Halo 3) feels excellent on M+KB FWIW. The engine also scales beautifully with no game logic tied to refresh rate.

I wonder if they’ll take a page out of Destiny 2 PC’s book and change the tuning for controls, but without ADS I’m not sure what changes they’d make.

4 is a tech demo and Star Wars prequel created by a hodgepodge of ex-KojiPro, Bungie, etc. staff at 343i, the Halo-only studio Microsoft made. It’s a mess and it really fails to split the difference between console FPS design circa 2012 (i.e. BLOPS II) and traditional Halo.

5 is a weird one - makes a lot of the same mistakes that Halo 2 did like ending abruptly out of nowhere and “boss” “fight(s)” (and seemingly came in real hot because of technical issues) and the Chief half of the plot is extremely frustrating shit. I think @tiburon or @Dracko had the joke that Cortana being secretive and paternalistic was “Just Like Mom” which is still vivid hilarity in my memory. The engine is great, though! They made a bunch of trade-offs in image quality to get to a totally unwavering 60 fps and the new power armor lets the spartans ADS (but you get knocked out if you take flinch damage and there’s no mathematical benefit to it) and boost around like Advanced Warfare.

343 said they view Infinite as a spiritual reboot, which, yeah, please.


#31

This is happening right now in Destiny and I am psyched about it. Dismayed to see how many lawful evil Guardians are among us.


#32

Man, I really need to catch up on Destiny.


#33

They’re adding “catch-up” mechanics at the top of each season so it’s less of a brutal grind up to new stuff. If you don’t have time to play I still think the new lore books are worth a read on Ishtar Collective. They’re not terribly long but they’re excellent imagination fuel.


#34

The only halo or fps period I really got into playing online was halo 4 and a lot of it was bc of how fun destroying randos w/ that charge shot shotgun pistol / x ray vision combo was.


#35

The single-player campaign in 3 is not great IMO. Like Halo 2, there is no persistent health behind your shield which means that the only result of encounters is either full survival or death. (I had a huge problem with that as it reduces levels to disconnected vignettes and neither penalizes carelessness nor reward perfection.) In comparison to ODST and Reach, some of the levels also came across as extended one-note gimmicks with lots of identical enemies.


#36

ooh does cortana go full rampant? what’s she up to anyway

am i gonna end up on a wiki about this


#37

Cortana ends up on a Forerunner world called Genesis where she finds “the fountain of youth for artificial intelligence,” which cures her rampancy. She then meets some of the more assholish of the Forerunners and decides that she needs to take up the Mantle of Responsibility which was the Pax Forerunneria enforced at gunpoint by gigantic evangelion-looking things called Guardians. AI, unlike organic life, are capable of “long-term planning” and Cortana makes a coalition of fascistic AIs to get her new thing going.


#38

ODST is the best Halo game, I love it so much

Halo 3 is also still great, except for that one shitty flood level

Halo 1 is still a fun time, except for that one shitty flood level

Halo 2 blows

I liked reach until i tried playing it on legendary where it felt much more messy. i don’t like it as much as everyone else, but it’s still good


#39

I wonder if the PC port will be better than the first time around…


#40

I tried to play ODST back in the day since it was divorced from the main storyline and man, I just bounced off so hard. But reading what people are saying ITT makes me want to try it again. I wonder if my Laptop will be able to run it since it’s just a remaster. (It can basically run anything that came out on the 360)