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First Review of Halo 369

The Halo Guy writes: "Voodoo Extreme has posted the first review of Halo, the new first person shooter from Bungie Software that's an Xbox launch title and will be ported to the Mac and PC later next year. Included are some very cool high resolution Xbox game captures too." I guess buying the bundle will be a little less painful if you get good games with the system.
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First Review of Halo

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  • Slower PC's (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JohnHegarty ( 453016 ) on Friday November 09, 2001 @10:42AM (#2543020) Homepage
    "had the game chugging along nicely on a Pentium 2 powered 300Mhz PC equipped with a TNT2 graphics accelerator"

    How come games like this can not be designed to run on older pc's. As these graphics look like they would need at lease 600mhz running on a normal pc.
  • Good to see (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jued0001 ( 95852 ) on Friday November 09, 2001 @10:47AM (#2543040)
    Finally some competition worth looking into in the console market. It's seems the Console Wars are back on and much better than ever. Time to see if Nintendo's rehashed ideas and Sony's "old" PS2 can compete with the X-Box.
  • by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <> on Friday November 09, 2001 @10:54AM (#2543072) Journal
    This [] "halo effect" sure looks like a Photoshop filter the guys in our design team use.

    But, then again, I'm just a developer...

  • by Uttles ( 324447 ) <> on Friday November 09, 2001 @10:55AM (#2543074) Homepage Journal
    I used to have a Macintosh, so when everyone was talking about Duke Nukem and Quake and all that I was left out in the cold, but then Marathon came along. I used to go to my friend's house and play his shoot 'em up games on his PC, so I knew the type, but Marathon just blew them all away. I even snuck a copy to our high school computer lab and setup some network games for us "geeks" while the rest of the class was still working on their assignments. It was the coolest game as far as fluidity of game play and ease of use. If Halo follows in that tradition then it must be pretty good. It's unfortunate though that it's only released on the XBox as of yet, I mean it's a shame that the first release is going to be tainted by the "blue screen of death."

    On a side note, Bungie has a cool product page [] with a little more info.
  • lifespan? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2001 @10:58AM (#2543097)
    I noticed the author said he played through it a few times. If he means fully then this must be some short game. Also console games don't have the same life span as PC games since at the moment, no mods/maps/etc. (although getting closer to this).

    So your life span is cut short, and as for the graphics, well, with Unreal 2 and Doom right around the corner, I doubt this will hold the crown for too long in first person shooters.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see a kick ass fps on a console's launch and I've noticed Halo since its birth, but for some reason I doubt people will play Halo as long as they did (and still do) Half Life, Quake and Unreal.
  • by pi radians ( 170660 ) on Friday November 09, 2001 @11:05AM (#2543132)
    Those screenshots are supposedly from the XBox version, then how are they so big? I didn't catch the actual resolution of them, but they filled up my 1600 x 1200 monitor quite nicely. I know the XBox can't push resolutions like that (it would be pointless because TVs don't go that high) so where dod the really grap those screen shots?
  • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Friday November 09, 2001 @11:06AM (#2543142) Homepage
    Yeah, except that the game was to be released years ago, and it was the Xbox holding up development, not Bungie. The e3 alpha version ran on a 266 with a tnt2. They were doing fine, it was going well, it wasn't "the project that wouldn't die". Oh, well.
  • And so it begins (Score:2, Interesting)

    by alexjohns ( 53323 ) <> on Friday November 09, 2001 @11:12AM (#2543171) Journal
    I guess buying the bundle will be a little less painful if you get good games with the system.
    And so it begins. The path to the dark side is so seductive, so easy to take. One wonders how many steps Michael has taken. Or, is it a slippery slope and he's just accelerating his slide?

    Wake up, people. M$ is making money off this. Don't be tempted. Stay strong. Buy a Gamecube 3 days later. The less money they have, the sooner there will be parity in the marketplace. The same goes for keyboards and mice, too. Sure, their mice are nice but Logitech and others make good ones, too. Don't be sucked in! Stay strong.

    (I can't tell if this is begging, sarcasm, funny, or insightful. Probably just flogging the old dead horse. Either way, I'm not buying one.)

  • Re:And so it begins (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Reality Master 101 ( 179095 ) <RealityMaster101 ... minus city> on Friday November 09, 2001 @11:44AM (#2543329) Homepage Journal

    Actually, if you want to hurt Microsoft, buy the box, but don't buy any games. They are selling the box below cost, but hoping to make it up on games. :)

  • by cryptochrome ( 303529 ) on Friday November 09, 2001 @11:57AM (#2543468) Journal
    As a longtime mac user, I was (and still am to a lesser degree) a huge fan of Bungie. Starting with the original Marathon, they've always put a lot of love and technical detail into their games, and their storylines were some of the most complex and intriguing in the industry. Even now, the Marathon story is still a matter of discussion. Hopefully, all that and more carried over into Halo (which is a spin-off of the Marathon story). But considering what we've lost already - the game was originally to be played from a third-person perspective to enhance the storytelling - I'm a little doubtful it will live up to our original impression. Well, here's hoping the mac version will run on my new powerbook.
  • by JatTDB ( 29747 ) on Friday November 09, 2001 @12:17PM (#2543650)
    Bah. When I first played Marathon, not only was I a die-hard PC gamer, I was a die-hard anti-Mac person. They were toys, pure and simple, in my eyes. You couldn't get anything *real* done, whether it be work or entertainment. But Marathon stood all that on its head. It kicked the crap out of the FPSs available on the PC at the time. Sure, the basic concepts were still run around, shoot, find switches, solve puzzles, etc., but goddamnit it had a STORY! A story so engrossing that, until Half Life, no PC-based FPS could even begin to challenge. That was the first FPS where I really got into the game. Playing a co-op multiplayer game in a dark room with headphones...damn game gets creepy as hell.

    As far as your revolution assessment, a FPS capable of scaring the crap out of the average fairly jaded gamer *is* a revolution. If nothing else, it's one hell of an accomplishment. The ability of the game to draw you in, to make it more than a game, that is a very hard and key factor. Look at this very review...even it talks about the importance of Half Life's story elements, and how that makes it the best FPS...until Halo.

    And yes, I bought Marathon II for the PC.
  • Disappointment (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bugmaster ( 227959 ) on Friday November 09, 2001 @12:29PM (#2543743) Homepage
    The review (both of them, actually) seems to imply that Halo is an incredibly beautiful and advanced first-person shooter for the Xbox console. There are a couple of facts contained in that statement that disappoint me:
    • It's a first-person-shooter
    • It's for the console
    First-person shooters, in general, are IMHO the lowest class of games. Regardless of smart enemy AI, semi-deformable terrain, etc., the gameplay is almost always the same: "aim for the face". That's it. Just run around, look at the nice backgrounds, and shoot demons in the head. It gets boring after about 5 minutes. The notable exceptions for this rule are HalfLife and Deus Ex, both of which introduced story elements and puzzles into the braindead shooter genre. The ultimate continuation of this trend is System Shock 2, which has actually caused my college grades to drop a couple of points, and gave me nightmares for years to come. Unfortunately, it looks like Halo is sticking with the stale old formula: shoot monsters in the face, and that's it.

    As if this wasn't bad enough, Halo is a shooter game for the console. There are 2 reasons why FPS games for consoles rarely work. First of all, consoles have no mouse. It's hard to aim without the mouse. When the sole purpose of the game is to aim for the face, the lack of a good aiming mechanism becomes troublesome. Second of all, consoles rarely have good Internet access support. This means that multiplayer games (i.e., deathmatch) are hard to pull off. Actually, the Xbox may be able to overcome this limitation - we'll have to see.

    In general though, I wouldn't buy Halo even if it was released for the PC. Not because of some kind of a religious anti-Microsoft passion, but simply because I expect the game to be boring. In case anyone remembers, Max Payne was also hyped as the best forst-person shooter game ever - and it turned out to be a glorified rail game with a cool graphics effect that you get to watch over, and over, and over, and over again.

    Unfortunately, modern games seem to be focusing more and more on graphics, and less and less on actual gameplay (works of art such as Ico are rare exceptions). I, for one, will note use my hard-earned cash as a vote to continue this sad trend.

  • Marathon predates Quake by a few years.

    I was playing the beta of Marathon in 94 at the latest.

    Marathon was a killer app that drove sales of the first generation of PPC macintoshes. No shit.

    Pathways to Darkness, also by Bungie, was around circa Wolfenstein.

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM