Have you ever stood in front of an ice cream stand, looked at all the amazing flavors and not been able to choose which?
This is exactly how I felt when trying to write this review…Do I go with my long time pal vanilla? Or do I pick scummy Mint chocolate chip? Or try a really odd flavor like muffin or something?...of course there are ones you can never pick, like Turkish delight flavor…What’s up with that??
Anyways, enough talk of iced creams I decided to go with my old pal, Halo.
Halo is the starting point of a story that spans from earth, to odd floating rings and back. For all of you who don’t know, (that’ll be all 3 of you then) the story follows one of the last Spartan solders (a super solder of sorts) while he, along with a ship full of marines crash on a floating ring…being persuaded by a small alien armada. While on this ring, the Master Chief (title of our lead) discovers a weird race of mutants, thwarts the aliens attempts to kill everyone and no top of all that, stops a floating ball of light from wiping out the universe.
Not bad for 7-8 hours of gaming.
Halo works, simply it works, I will admit certain levels are very samey with halls and corridors the same and big sections that look like they’ve been copied and pasted like this review. But you can over look all this for the moments that exist within these maps. Take for example this reviewer’s personal favorite level Assault On Control Room. This map has been seen as the worst offender of the cut and paste maps and i whole heartily agree; the vast majority of this level is exactly the same as the last part you just played, same corridors, same rooms and same bridges across the same area. But guess what?
I love it
The action on the bridges is furious, running along as the glass shatters under foot, alien grunts and elites changing at you, blasting you with there plasma guns, over head Banshee’s (singe man alien ships with the most bad ass paint job in the universe) zoom past you, pelican’s to your side drop off marines that you’ll be bailing out in a few minutes time. The atmosphere in those samey corridors is intense, sneaking past the sleeping grunts, creeping up behind the tale alien squad leader and breaking his skull with the butt of your rife….before realizing a Hunter (living artillery) is charging his arm cannon…with it aimed squarely your visor.
When describing Halo 2, Bungie talked about 5 minutes of fun that must happen again and again and again, I think this is a decent way of describing halo, no matter what I was doing while playing I was always having fun…from escaping the ship that brought me here, to riving 6 Km in under 10 mins while my friend mans a machine gun, I was having a blast the whole time.
The graphics on this game are, in sort, amazing. Even now they are good enough to rival same of the best games out there, when played on a big TV on single player, the level of detail on every gun, ever shell and every alien four mouthed weirdo is astounding. It really showed off the Xbox early in its life time, showing a glimpse of what the ‘box could do, leaving promises of much more…promises that were fulfilled time and time again.
I will hold my hands up and say; multiplayer has never been my strong point. Before the Xbox, I had only ever played one game in multiplayer and that was Golden eye on the N64. One day, I went out and bought an extra controller for my box (the first time I had ever done so) and me and my brother sat down and played co-op…
And now I feel multiplayer is one of the best things you can do with a console.
Multiplayer in halo is one of the best features of the game, and letting a friend join in was a stroke of genus (it worked for Perfect dark on more then one level) the afore mentioned assault on control room comes to life when one of you grabs the hidden banshee and your friend is in the speedy Ghost (hovering recon vehicle…gotta love it) the fun you can have is un measurable. And that fun just grows in Deathmatch.
One grip I did have with Halo was the difficulty. On the lower levels, I could have finished it blindfolded, with a hand tied…..to my other hand….while being strung over a volcano. But on the higher levels, the game assumes you have the intelligence, reflexes and patience of a Spartan. That said...I did have an amazing amount of fun playing halo like I would play a Ghost Recon game, slowly creeping everywhere, ducking behind cover and lobbing grenades everywhere.
The other little problems I had were minor, such as a little iffy AI every 1 time in a million times I played, and. well the less said about the Library level the better. But these little niggles are nothing and are easily over looked when presented with such an amazing game.
Gameplay – 9
Graphics – 9
Sound – 8
Lifespan – 9 (short game, but damn you’ll keep playing it…and that’s without the multiplayer)
Overall – 97%
Simply an Amazing game