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Halo: PC Version - views and comments


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#61 of 78 John_Berger

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Posted October 19 2003 - 02:56 AM

I'm almost close to finishing the game from what I can tell, and at this point I just wish that I could get it over with. The section involving the canyons on Halo just seems to take FOR-E-VER! I was so-o-o-o-o glad to finally get the hell out of there, although flying the Banshee was fun.

I wish that the PC version kept the ability for multiple people to play through the campaign simultaneously. Hell, even Quake II allows that, and how old is that game?

#62 of 78 Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 19 2003 - 05:20 AM

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The section involving the canyons on Halo just seems to take FOR-E-VER!

But those levels are so great! They can be handled different ways. Try taking a Banshee as far as you can into the tunnels, or land outside and take on as much as you can on foot. And going into Halo you have to decide to use Warthog, tank, ghost ... lots of different ways to play.

They are long, but treat it like a journey. There is a lot of gameplay in those levels.

And yes - multi-player would have been nice.

#63 of 78 Romier S

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Posted October 19 2003 - 05:51 AM

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The section involving the canyons on Halo just seems to take FOR-E-VER!


Oh boy, just can't to hear your thoughts on the Library.Posted Image

#64 of 78 John_Berger

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Posted October 19 2003 - 07:03 AM

I'm past the library and have gotten past the three generators. The library was annoying to an extent, but it wasn't too bad when I figured out that
(A) the little squid-like flood creatures do minimal damage, so I let them run into my shields to not waste ammo then let the shield regenerate, and (B) the exploding flood creature could usually take out anyone near it when I ruptured it.
I did really enjoy the outdoor/vehicular levels. That's not the part of the canyon level that annoyed the hell out of me. What made the canyon annoying is that you end up in four or so underground segments that were basically identical. The repetition of the level design throughout the canyon really got on my nerves to the point that I once said out loud, "Aw, come on! Not again!" Yes, the library was just about the same, but for some reason didn't aggravate me like the indoor canyon levels did.

Now I'm at the point where I just want to win the damn game so that I can remove it and move on to Max Payne 2. Unless I absolutely hate a game, I don't like ending it with any feeling that it wasn't completed; but with the exception of the outdoor/vehicular levels, this game doesn't provide anything that countless FPS games haven't provided before.

#65 of 78 Romier S

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Posted October 19 2003 - 07:50 AM

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but with the exception of the outdoor/vehicular levels, this game doesn't provide anything that countless FPS games haven't provided before.


The same of which can be said for Max Payne 2 (which you mentioned) which really doesn't do anything "newer" than the original Max Payne or what countless other third person shooters have brought to the table since its release. It polishes and improves on what the original had already established and manages to knock the competition right out of the water.

Please don't take the comments above the wrong way. I absolutely loved every last minute of Max Payne 2. I completed the game in about 8 hours and it is one of the best action games to come out this year IMHO. However its core gameplay has been seen ad nauseum.

However the reason I mention the above is that at the time of Halo's original release it did much of the same. Most of what Halo does has indeed been done in various FPS over the years but Halo's strengths are truly how much it polishes certain aspects of the genre.

The in-game physics are really open for exploration and fun testing by the player. The enemy AI at higher difficulties (ie Legendary) is truly impressive. Allowing the player only two weapons at a time. The team (AI NPC's) interactions and the games ability to make you feel as though are you really part of a conflict. The vehicles and thier implementation were all evolutionary to the genre not so much revolutionary. Especially for the console market which was the games intended audience at release.

We are after all talking about a 2 year old game that for the most part has been ported almost intact for the PC market which has since then seen a good number of quality FPS product.(some of which happened to use some of Halo's small innovations).

I do however agree that the level design is problematic and at times horribly repetitive. No doubt a product of a rushed schedule and needing to the game to the market for the launch of the Xbox (a rather important event and a rather important game that NEEDED to be on store shelves). I would imagine Bungie is taking special care in how it handles the level design for Halo 2. Microsoft seems to be giving them the time they need to create a successful predecessor. I'm looking forward to it.

#66 of 78 John_Berger

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Posted October 19 2003 - 08:12 AM

Yes, but Max Payne had a richness and ambience that very, very, very few PC games ever had. They made the gameplay a factor, but not the entirety. Story and atmosphere were put on equal footing as the action. Halo just feels like an FPS with well-done vehicular combat. (And I will agree that the physics models for the vehicles are very nicely done.)

The only FPS that ever really broke the mold IMHO is Thief where secrecy and stealth (in combination with gorgeous graphics and environment) took place over blatantly beating the crap out of someone. I can't wait for Thief III.

Hopefully, the level designers of Halo 2 will get rid of the issues like the repetitive level design in Halo.

#67 of 78 Romier S

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Posted October 19 2003 - 08:20 AM

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Story and atmosphere were put on equal footing as the action.


Some would say the same of Halo as the war with the Covenant, the atmosphere of having your soldiers fight alongside you. The introduction of the Guilty Spark character and the first video footage of the Flood were high on many lists for the best aspects of Halo. Myself included.

Some would also say that the first Max Payne became horribly tedious, repetitive and downright boring the more it went on. Regardless of story. Again myself includedPosted Image. A problem that the sequel thankfully does not at any time suffer from IMHO.

Of course this whole conversation is of a very subjective nature so to each thier own as always.Posted Image

Quote:
The only FPS that ever really broke the mold IMHO is Thief where secrecy and stealth (in combination with gorgeous graphics and environment)


Come now, surely you must have played System Shock 2, Deus Ex etc..Posted Image

#68 of 78 John_Berger

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Posted October 19 2003 - 08:37 AM

I couldn't get past the first few areas of System Shock without getting it off my hard drive. I just never liked the game. I can't explain why. It just never made any positive impression with me.

Deus Ex was released after Thief so one could argue that it was a more futuristic version of Thief, but still not necessarily a groundbreaker. Both games were almost identical in gameplay - stealth, managing resources, purchasing equipment, etc. That's nothing against Deus Ex (the sequel will be here soon enough). It's just that it didn't come first and still plays and feels a lot like Thief.

Unfortunately, Halo is reaching the "Can't wait to get it off my hard drive" feeling. Admittedly, the level repetition, particularly in the canyon level, is the biggest part of that.

#69 of 78 Romier S

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Posted October 19 2003 - 09:03 AM

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Deus Ex was released after Thief so one could argue that it was a more futuristic version of Thief


Of course it could also be argued that Deus Ex shares alot more in common with original System Shock and its sequel. Those gameplay elements, including stealth and character management are more grounded in the original System Shock which pre-dates Thief by almost 4 years. The wonderful world of PC connect the dotsPosted Image.

#70 of 78 John_Berger

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Posted October 19 2003 - 09:10 AM

I'm waiting for someone to talk about a game for the Commodore 64 that predates all of them in gameplay. Posted Image

#71 of 78 Max Leung

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Posted October 20 2003 - 04:06 AM

Max Payne 2 is out already? Hmm I'm really behind the times. Posted Image

I did like Max Payne, although I didn't try it until a year ago...it chugged on my P3-733 when it came out! My complaint with Max Payne is the lack of strategy...or at least lacked the feeling of having strategic options. Luckily, Halo doesn't have this problem, as Romier pointed out.

Max Payne = John Woo game done a la Dragon's Lair or Space Ace. Yeah it's fun, but it sure didn't feel like a game. Posted Image

Will Gearbox actually work on Halo co-op play, like I heard they would after the game hits the shelves?
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Gamesh....

#72 of 78 Brian J Dupuis

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Posted October 20 2003 - 06:46 AM

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I wish that the PC version kept the ability for multiple people to play through the campaign simultaneously.
Don't quote me on this, as I haven't tried it, but isn't that what the "Profiles" part of the UI is meant to manage?

I love Halo personally. I only wish it performed better on my hardware. Otherwise, I'm enjoying it. This is coming from someone who beat the Xbox version on Legendary, and is working through it again on PC.
"I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle." - Arthur Dent

#73 of 78 John_Berger

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Posted October 21 2003 - 03:32 PM

Okay, I've finished Halo (finally).

My general feel for it is that the game is fun and unique for the first half or two-thirds. There is a nice mix of regular combat and vehicular combat, and the landscapes are pure eye candy.

The last third of the game is more closely related to Doom than anything else. I found that the continual stream of beasts (both Covenant and the Flood) gets old very, very quickly as does the repetition of the level design.

I also got somewhat aggravated at how monsters just kept respawning in certain areas.

I really hated how the uninterrupted transition from one level to another suddenly made my nice collection of weapons disappear and armed me with the basics. Um ... I just transported to the ship. Where is my rocket launcher? So, the transporter knows to change the molecular structure of my power weapons to that of basic human weapons even though it's not a transporter on a human ship? Uh huh. I know, I know ... it's "for the challenge" - the catch-all phrase used by game developers for tactics like this. That doesn't mean that I don't have to like it nor approve of it. Certainly there must have been more imaginative ways of adding challenge than stripping you of your power weapons.

There is only one instance of a timed level. I generally hate timed levels, but I only had to do it twice before it was done - and it was vehicular, which made it more interesting.

No impressions on multiplayer because I generally don't buy pure action FPS games for their multiplayer function, the Unreal series being the only exception. (I know. That statement is sacrilegious to some.)

I liked the story, which had some really nice curve balls thrown in there; I really liked the vehicular combat, both ground and aerial; but the continual and unimaginative stream of beasties in the last third of the game got old really, really quickly. Like a book that gets bad as you read on, it got to the point that I just wanted to finish the game to get it off my system.

I'm not going to recommend not buying it because I've heard that its multiplayer function is excellent. Maybe that will balance it out. But as a single player game, I wouldn't recommend it if you too get bored with the "let's just throw a sh*tload of monsters at him" scenario.

All of this is just my two cents. Disagree if you want. I'm just giving my opinion on the game.

Now it's time to go out and buy Max Payne 2! Yeah, buddy!

#74 of 78 JamesHl

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Posted October 21 2003 - 04:22 PM

I've always felt the enemies are reasonably well placed. The only level that wore thin on me enemy-wise is the library, and I think it's supposed to be that way. Hell, the little titles that display at cutscenes allude to that.

Quote:
I know, I know ... it's "for the challenge" - the catch-all phrase used by game developers for tactics like this. That doesn't mean that I don't have to like it nor approve of it. Certainly there must have been more imaginative ways of adding challenge than stripping you of your power weapons.

As for the weapons, I think the level designers pick what you start the level with to match the situation that you begin in. You can find most of the weapons in the game lying around anyway, except for the rocket launcher generally. All other weapons are equal to me, and I really only use the rocket launcher on hunters, or mortar tanks in a few cases. I guess I just don't see what the big deal is.

I am more annoyed about being forced to play through most of the same level twice now that I've thought about it (assault on control room and whatever assault on control room backwards is called), but at the time I didn't notice.

I guess for me the biggest part of the game is choosing what tactics to use to defeat enemies and seeing how they work out. I think of each encounter by assortment of enemies, the local environment, and what the enemies are likely to do. It helps considerably that the AI is fairly compelling. When you look at it this way, there is pretty reasonable variety (except for the library, which is just monotonous with the flood).

Honestly, how can you be so excited about a game that is considerably more repetitive than a game you were just knocking for those very attributes? I guess it boils down to how you look at the gameplay. I hear Max Payne 2 is incredibly short, anyway, so at least you shouldn't get too bored with it...

This is just a statement of the difference between my opinion and your opinion of the game, not anything factual or personal.

#75 of 78 Max Leung

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Posted October 23 2003 - 05:57 AM

New NVIDIA drivers ("ForceWare" drivers...what a dumb name!) are available.

http://www.nvidia.co...ers/drivers.asp

According to nvidia's press release, they claim up to 58% increase in performance with Halo. Naturally, they fail to say if that only applies to the Geforce 5x00 FX cards or not. I hope to try these out on my modest Geforce 4Ti 4400 card.
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Gamesh....

#76 of 78 Brian J Dupuis

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Posted October 23 2003 - 08:18 AM

Quote:
I hope to try these out on my modest Geforce 4Ti 4400 card.
If you do, let us know how it goes... I'm too busy to try it on my Ti4200, but if you say something interesting, I might have to make time Posted Image.
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#77 of 78 Max Leung

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Posted November 03 2003 - 05:12 AM

Found this webpage with a more detailed explanation of the command line and console options available in Halo PC:

http://www.tweaktown....Id=456&dPage=8
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Gamesh....

#78 of 78 Max Leung

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Posted November 03 2003 - 05:13 AM

Oh, I didn't notice any improved performance on my Geforce4 with the new nvidia drivers. Oh well.
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Gamesh....


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