This Week: Halo: Combat Evolved
So, am I video game blog now?
No, I am not so broadly well versed in video game lore and history that I think I could do an effective gaming site. I leave that to the pandas.
However, I did want to discuss my history with a few franchises of my past and how I am revisiting them now. Let’s begin with the one that will leave me in financial ruin every time they decide to launch a new console based around him.
So, since the dawn of time, I have loved helmets. Power Rangers, Knights, the Guards in Judge Dredd, Motorcycle helmets, Iron Man, the whole shebang. I particularly preferred ones that covered the whole face. Sorry RoboCop and Dredd.
There is probably some psychological thing in there about me preferring the hero to be an every man so I can self insert myself into that role, but nah, I just think helmets are cool.
So when I got the Xbox, I’m not one hundred percent sure how quickly I got Halo. It might have been bundled in with it, or my parents might have bought it later, but I’m pretty sure I got it fairly quickly.
Oh and I can tell you right now, when I started playing that bad boy I didn’t stop until I got to the second level and put the controller down for like several years.
I kid you not, Halo 2 had already been out for a while before I ended up finishing Halo: CE.
For one, I never was a big fan of First Person Shooters (FPSs). I played Goldeneye on the N64 and got pretty good at setting traps for my friends with a room FILLED with proximity mines, and I finished the game a couple times, but games like Doom, Hexen, Turok, and Duke Nukem all got played for a little bit, but eventually I got killed and gave up.
Finishing games wasn’t a conditioned past time. I died way too often to think games could be finished or had a story. Sonic, Mario, and Tetris all taught me to play the beginning, die, then play the beginning again. The N64 tried to fix me of this with finishing Super Mario 64, Goldeneye, and StarFox, but these were outliers, right?
Also, I was never a multiplayer guy. I didn’t bring my Xbox over to other people’s houses and link up to do a LAN party. That requires, like, friends. Which in the early 2000’s I did not have.
(Oh so you had friends in the late 2000’s?) Shut up.
So I played alone. I played Halo for the story instead of getting my butt kicked in Multiplayer ALL the time.
I actually think I might have had the 360 and been awaiting the release of Halo 3 when I finally dusted off Halo: Combat Evolved. I think I had to relearn how to hold the massive controller after getting used to holding the 360 controller.
Not to brag, but I beat the whole game on Easy.
I never cared much for the multiplayer. I’ve always understood and accepted that I am a low quality wretch of a gamer. Everyone else out there is much more dedicated and have finely honed their skills to become masters of death. I’ve at best developed the habit of shooting until I run out of ammo and then throw a hand grenade to buy time to reload.
I can snipe the hell out of you if you have put down your controller to go make a hotpocket.
So in 2015 when I moved back into my parents house for
2 weeks 4 months while trying to buy a house, I got the Master Chief Collection and decided to try my hand at Legendary.
Interestingly enough, I made it to roughly the same spot I died at the first time I played Halo on easy. I beat the first level, then I made it to the base first base on Halo and kept dying horribly. All the marines I was trying to save were long dead. I eventually was just not having fun and decided to try and decrease the difficulty. I found out I would have to restart the level/game and just went back to Dark Souls.
Because I wasn’t having fun dying, if you recall.
After I moved again, I couldn’t find my Master Chief Collection at all. I kept looking at prices for a new disc, but they weren’t low enough for me to justify buying it again. So for several years I just carried around my empty case and watched as more news about Halo games came out and I still wasn’t ready to pick it back up again.
Then everything changed when the Covid-19 attacked.
I decided I wanted to finally push through my block of playing Halo. I decided to ask my dad if he found the disc and even prepared to buy the Master Chief Collection did not resurface.
Then I opened my old Dark Souls case and guess what was inside?
There it was, my Master Chief Collection. So I called off the search that I initiated twenty minutes earlier and loaded up Halo:CE.
I switched back to my comfortable mode that makes me feel like a god and only died maybe a dozen times the entire playthrough. Most of them coming from that damn Warthog run at the end of the game.
It was really neat to see the graphics upgrade between the original Halo:CE and the Anniversary edition.
I never really took to the Covenant Weapons. Except for the Ghost. I like just driving around and shooting everything to death. The Scorpion tank is fine for just blowing everything up, don’t care for the warthog because you either drive or shoot, not both. Except when you stop, get out, shoot everything for 10 minutes, then move on.
Banshees I have yet to fly effectively across any of the games. Just like the Warthog I have to choose between flying effectively or shooting things to death.
Favorite weapon would probably be the Sniper Rifle when I am in a situation where I can snipe everybody and then move on. However when I am running and gunning, I like the Shotgun and Assault Rifle combo. Only downside is how few shots the Shotgun carries and how long it takes to fully reload.
Now, it is really difficult for me to judge video game stories. Hell, most movies I judged as “good” as long as I finished them. It wasn’t until I started watching online reviews that I actually decided North maybe wasn’t the masterpiece I thought it was simply because I saw the credits.
However, games are a bit different. If you go through the effort of finishing the game, it means you probably enjoyed it enough not to give up. Doesn’t necessarily mean the story is good, but at least the gameplay is enough to keep you interested enough to finish. Am I a good judge of whether a video game story is good?
Well, I enjoyed Shadow the Hedgehog’s story. All 50 of them. So if you want to use that as your-
Nah, there were some things I found weird about Shadow, but I did enjoy the game. But that is for another review. I enjoyed the characters and the overall mythos of the Halo universe enough to keep playing it across 9 soon to be 10 games, 2 movies, 2 mini-series, and 3 books. Is it a good story? I’ll let the more snobbish critics decide, but I enjoy it.
Halo: Combat Evolved is the starting point of a great series. Although I was mainly in for the story rather than the multiplayer madness that everyone else was in for, it was a fun ride.
Next Week: Halo 2. We get to use 2 GUNS AT ONCE!