Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Good And Bad Encumbering Halo Reach

With the release of Halo Reach just around the corner, let’s take a look at the good and the bad. Keep in mind that I am speaking from a competitive aspect and I don’t mean to bash the “fun” additions Bungie has decided to waste their time on.

The Good:

3). The Elites Don't Look like dinosaurs:
   Seriously, a big reason why COD outsold Halo 3 was because of the quality of the graphics and personnel. Halo 3 got a little too crazy when they designed the Elites, and made them look like dinosaurs. Despite the huge contrast in looks, the Elites didn't have any special or unique abilities; just a big head to to shoot at. Elites in Halo 3 were for the jokesters, MLG players, and the noobs. In Halo Reach, the playing field is level with unique abilities, loadouts, and physical attributes being assigned to each kind of personnel. The Elites look a lot more sleek, formidable, and fast in Halo Reach which is going to create some strategy aversions and awesome Elites Vs Spartans game play.Thumbs up to keeping the Elites relevant in Halo Reach.

2). The Elites And Spartans Have their Unique Attributes:
In Halo Reach a rift has already been pronounced between Elite And Spartan Personnel. The Covenant attack the Spartans on Planet Reach, the last stronghold before Planet Earth. Well, Bungie added on to this rivalry and made Elites And Spartans completely different in matchmaking. Spartans have low hops, more health, farther lunging ability,and a sleeker design. Elites have Unsurpassed Speed [there regular speed is that of Spartan in Sprint], more maneuverability with larger jumping and roiling ranges, more shields [less health], and overall the advantage with wielding close- range weapons because of their stealth and speed. Yes, the strategy pf whether to play as a Spartan or as an Elite is huge and can be adaptable to certain maps. For example, on a small map like Zealot; you would choose an Elite because of their attributes fit that level better and on Reflection choose a Spartan because their attributes go better in that level.

1). Strategy Is A Staple:

In Halo Reach, everything you do is based on strategy: whether to choose a Spartan Or An Elite for a particular map, which loadout to start out with, hat gametype to play to achieve the greatest credits so you can upgrade your armor, when to use your grenades, which load-out combination to have for different game situations, and the general gaming tactics.

1.) Single shot marksman weapons return.

Are you one those people who thought the Battle Rifle was good? Think again. The spread on the Battle Rifle made Halo gameplay extremely inconsistent which ruined one of the best and most consistent games on the console. Bungie FINALLY realized that simple games are better games. Halo: Reach introduces the Designated Marksman Rifle or DMR which is the Battle Rilfe’s replacement. The new mid to long range weapon will take 5 shots to kill your opponent (the last one being a head-shot of course). I am very excited to use the DMR and see how well it compares to the Battle Rifle. The pistol makes a return as a close range weapon which also takes 5 shots to kill, hopefully this time around they make the pistol useful. Thank you Bungie for going back to your roots.

2.) Fall Damage and Health are back

I am so glad Bungie is adding fall damage & health as it adds another component to manage which makes the game require more strategy and skill instead of “hide for 5 seconds then push.” When fall damage was removed it made players reckless and random, now players have to actually be aware of their surroundings and move around with caution. Bungie hasn’t said anything about reducing fall damage by crouching like in Combat Evolved so we just have to wait and see.

3.) Spartans don’t have hops anymore! (Reduced Jump Height)

From the beta preview you can clearly see that the jump height is greatly reduced. I am not going to say much more but if your armor weighed a ton, would you float like you did in Halo 2 or 3? I didn’t think so.

The Bad:

1.) My armor does what???? Lock it up. Literally.

Bungie is introducing new armor abilities kind of like the Arbiter was in Halo 2. In Reach you can turn on your choice of a cloak, jetpack, armor lock, sprint, or a barrel roll. I am not a fan of this at all, imagine 2 or 3 guys with camo whenever they choose. It is not like in Halo: Combat Evolved where you and your team would actually work for the power ups and weapons. These “abilities” make the game less difficult so now just press x to become invisible instead of fight for who gets it every minute. Halo Reach has similar traits to a RPG which is very different fro mall 1st person shooters.

2.) Loadouts….

Why? Halo is different than Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Killzone. Just because the other games do it doesn’t mean it is good. Classes or loadouts is simply not how Halo is, there is a particular strategy when your given certain weapons and have to make your way through the map to get better weapons before the other team does. Bungie needs to stay as a trend setter and quit worrying about following what their competition does.

3.) Assassination Animations

The new animations are fancy but take away from the stealth factor. Lets say your behind 3 opponents, there is no way your going to be able to kill all 3 quickly and quietly. Instead your going to go into a 4 second animation that totally gives away your position. I’m not a fan of the fancy assassinations, Bungie should stop wasting time on the flashy garbage and make the game good, not fancy.

So the hype locomotive is storming down the tracks and the next stop looks to be Halo:Reach. The Halo series is unquestionably one of the biggest franchises out there and anything they do is bound to be newsworthy. So now that they have started to role out the tid-bits about their newest venture, gamers everywhere have started to get that familiar foaming at the mouth sensation…..just me?…..moving on. Past the break are my five reasons that Halo:Reach is going to be good like a solid gold candy bar and 5 reasons why it’ll suck.

5)It is set on Reach, humanities main military planet

Inside of the Halo canon Reach is probably the second most important planet, the first being earth (overrated planet if you ask me). And it is the foremost planet in military research. So if you do the word math, you are pretty much adding up to a awesome planet. With awesome new toys to play with. Like civilian vehicles. It will be like in a cop show where they yell, “Stop, Police! I need to borrow your vehicle” except since it is halo it will be without sissy things like informing them of what you are doing and more kicking them in the face while you commandeer their vehicle.

4)New enemy types

Oh Grunts, at least you show up...right?

New enemy types are going to be a sweet addition to any game. I don’t know about all of you out there in internetlandia but I do get a little tired of killing the same enemies all of the time. So with new enemy types, such as the Skirmisher, I look forward to bashing new heads in. Cause that's what I do in Halo. I bash heads in. Ya dig

3)New Weapons

You know what people need in shooters? Guns. You know what Halo:Reach is going to have? Guns. I know earth shattering. And nothing gets us excited like bigger and better guns. That picture above used to be new and exciting. Now it is old news. So get pumped, because new guns equal new ways to kill people. And that is always good news.

2) New Engine

Now I know a lot of people were a little upset about the amount of content Halo 3: ODST had to offer for the price. One thing most people weren’t to upset about was how much more the team at Bungie managed to squeeze out of the Halo 3 engine. But for the new game they have completely scrapped it for a new improved engine. Nothing says next gen like brown levels! Here’s hoping guys!

1) A Whole Team of Spartans

Master Chief is cool. We get it. He saves the universe and looks good doing it. But he must get lonely all alone. No other super-strong super soldier friends to hang out with. Well Halo Reach fixes that. A whole team of Spartans to pal around with, bashing in alien skulls and taking names! Now that is what I am talking about. Can I get a what what up in here?

On the other hand there is reason to be concerned. The last entry wasn’t exactly ground breaking. So here are my five reasons Halo: Reach might blow like Louis Armstrong.

5)It’s not really based of the Eric Nylund novel

You remember paper pages? Me neither

So if you have read any of the Halo books Eric Nylund is pretty much the bee’s knees of the novels. His novels make the Covenant look scary and the Spartans look scary. And that is just the way we like it. The new game, while taking inspiration from the novel, is striking its own course through Reach. I hope that was a wise decision.

4) Got a case of the same old same old

Everyone has heard the jokes about space marines every time a new shooter comes out. But there is some truth in the jokes. And this is another Halo game where you play as a soldier shooting some Covenant. Nobody was sure how long Bungie was going to keep making games in the Halo universe. Should they have branched out a little more? I guess we will find out.

3)How is the Story Going to Be

.......get it.......west side STORY.....heh heh

I know I already touched on the fact that it doesn’t really follow the novel. And that’s a shame, because it is quite good. Does anyone remember the story lines for Halo 2 and Halo 3? As Gwen Stefani would say, it was B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Serious case of “yea man, that’s awesome. What if some more stuff that doesn’t make sense happens and we add some explosions. High five!” (yea they yelled high five). Who knows how they are going to handle Reach.

2) You Kind Of Already Know how it Ends

Fitting no?

Even if you haven’t read the book (have I said book enough yet?) you know how it ends. Master Chief is the only Spartan left in the Halo series. And I believe it was Confucius who once said that one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever know. So knowing the ending might put a damper on your party.

1) No Master Chief

I know that we are supposed to branch out and make new friends. But don’t you miss the big lug. I mean we’ve been through a lot together. Bashed some skulls, rode on some bombs, good times. Now that he isn’t the star for the third straight game my hearts got a little Spartan shaped hole in it. Well it’s not really that small, more like a Shaq sized whole. And that a lot of heart hole to fill.

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