We Make You Think

Revisting the Gameplay of Halo: Combat Evolved

Revisiting Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved was released on November 15 2001. Developed by then-Bungie Studios (now just Bungie, Inc.), it spawned a whole new franchise. Between the compelling gameplay and amazing story, the former of which will be covered in this article, Halo was a smash hit. It’s hard to make a case that Microsoft would still be in the hardware market if Halo wasn’t as great as it was.

But it didn’t just launch a console, Halo also brought forth many innovations to the console FPS scene. From setting the standard control scheme that would be borrowed by other developers for their games later down the line. So let’s look back at what made Halo great by looking at the magnificent campaign.

Revisting the Story of Halo: Combat Evolved

It is difficult to know where to begin writing about Halo’s story; I became enthralled in it from the very beginning. When I came upon the fan site HBO, I read through all of the entries in the Halo Story Page. I even made a few submissions of my own. I went to the HBO Forum and began engaging in wild theories and speculations with fans even more captivated than myself. It was a very enjoyable experience. Halo’s story seemed to lend itself to that kind of discussion.

But why is that so? It is difficult for me to quantify it. I cannot easily express what makes the story in Halo so fascinating. When I considered whether 343 Industries captured my interest in Halo 4 in the same way Bungie did with previous Halo games, I began to wonder what exactly got me so hooked in the first place. The universe? The characters? The conflict? Rather unintuitively, the combat?

I cannot think of a better way to find out than breaking down the story level by level to try and glean from the parts what makes the whole so good. So why not join me as we awake from our slumber aboard the Pillar of Autumn?

New Plot Devices Needed

I am sometimes often accused of being too critical when I judge gameplay mechanics. For example, while I understand that an invisible wall is sometimes the best way to limit a player’s movement, generally I find them to be a product of lazy game design. I also think it is cheap to temporarily take away a player’s abilities during an encounter just to make it more difficult (like removing Ezio’s ability to use “acrobatics” in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations or decreasing the player’s health in Bioshock).

I feel the same accusation mounting as I write this, but I cannot help it. For a while now I have felt that games lack a certain amount of creativity in their plots. It was difficult for me to put my finger on it exactly, but I felt like I encountered the same story in every game I played, even though they were very different at first glance. After I thought about it, though, I realized that there are two plot devices that are far too common: zombies and super weapons.

World of Warcraft Can’t Excite Me Anymore

I was raiding with my guild in Dragon Soul recently. We killed Deathwing, the Aspects channeled their energies into the Dragon Soul, and Thrall fired the artifact off. Deathwing exploded into a poof of fireworks—rather anti-climatically, actually. All that was left behind was an Elementium Fragment.

Our loot rules are as follows: main spec rolls beat off-spec rolls; anyone who hasn’t won gear yet gets priority over those who have won something. Simple, except the Reins of the Blazing Drake dropped. It’s not a piece of gear, so main spec and off-spec don’t apply here. What was our raid leader to do? Open rolls, of course!

DLC Already on the Disc

If you like to keep your ear to the ground when it comes to gaming news, you have no doubt heard your fair share of controversies that seems to have a large portion of gamers up in arms. Recently with the release of Gears of War 3, one such controversy has risen to the surface again: DLC already present on game discs. It seems that no matter which gamer you ask, he or she is going to have a polarized opinion on the subject. And since individuals with opposing views on the internet tend to be incapable of making civilized arguments, I thought it might be a good idea to share my rational views on the subject.

© 2011-2017 Clever Musings All Rights Reserved