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View Full Version : HALOSTRAVAGANZA Pt. 1: Halo CE Campaign


Parish
09-10-2007, 10:56 PM
Given the sudden spike of interest in Halo in these here parts, and the incipient release of the third game, now seems like the ideal time to chat about the series. We'll break this into three parts: Halo campaign, Halo 2 campaign, and multiplayer.

I know, I know. Some of you hate Halo SO HARD. I'll open up a second alternate selection topic to appease you.

Halo: Combat Evolved
Bungie | Xbox | 2001

Halo! The game that pretty much justified my knowledge of old Peter Gabriel songs by allowing me to make "Here comes the Flood" jokes until everyone was sick of it.

I've written with nauseating detail about my impressions of the series at the Retronauts blog (http://retronautsblog.1up.com), so I'm sincerely curious to hear other people's opinions of the game.

Since this is a single, unified topic for a single game and some people will be playing for the first time, please use spoiler highlights to discuss important plot elements beyond Assault on the Control Room, please.

ringworm
09-10-2007, 11:01 PM
The excitement inspired by your latest Marathon 2 writeup was almost enough to do a playthrough of that again, but I think a trek through Halo will suffice.

reibeatall
09-10-2007, 11:03 PM
Two quick blurbs that I've gotta add really quick.

1. On "Halo", I once killed one of the Elites in the banshee at the beginning. It then flew down to the ground and I started flying around. It made that level SO much easier.

2. Truth and Reconciliation is THE WORST level in the game. No, Keyes isn't worse.

Parish
09-10-2007, 11:06 PM
Truth and Reconciliation starts so well, though. The night-time sniping? So good. The ship itself? Puke.

By the way! After the Halo 3 Fun Club, I promise that we won't do another FPS for a few months. It's just been an FPS-y era lately.

Schmidt
09-10-2007, 11:16 PM
Is it Silent Cartographer that drops you on the beach? The fact that you could walk around the whole island seemed so awesome to me at the time. It still seems kinda awesome.

Makkara
09-11-2007, 03:22 AM
Truth and Reconciliation starts so well, though. The night-time sniping? So good. The ship itself? Puke.

I thought the initial ambush on the ship was fun. Hard as crap, but fun. The rest was pretty blah.

TheSL
09-11-2007, 05:41 AM
The best part of the game in my opinion is the fact that you can actually take a lot of the vehicles into places they weren't really intended to go. I've only played through the campaign a single time so I don't know stage names, but in the stage leading up to the release of the *you know who* I actually got a warthog a good deal of the way into the low ceiling, everything looks the same forerunner(I think) areas. My brother jumped in the gunner's turret and was actually above the ceiling of the stage and unable to shoot or be shot at through it.

Makkara
09-11-2007, 05:54 AM
The Covenant hoverbikes (wraiths or poltergeists or boos or whatever they're called) are perfect for bringing along where you're not supposed to have them. Often there will be an opening that's too narrow to drive straight through, but if you come at it from an angle, you can sort of wiggle your way in. Hilarity ensues.

Adrenaline
09-11-2007, 07:47 AM
There happens to be an Xbox and copies of both Halo games sitting in my room, I might join this discussion.

Balrog
09-11-2007, 08:25 AM
There happens to be an Xbox and copies of both Halo games sitting in my room, I might join this discussion.
You already have ;)

Swordian
09-11-2007, 10:08 AM
I just finished this for the first time a couple of nights ago. I can only assume that it reached massive levels of popularity due to the multiplayer because the campaign really drags in the second half.

Radical Ans
09-11-2007, 10:12 AM
I started playing halo a couple months back. I got a few levels in and haven't picked it up since. Perhaps if I can finally finish Bioshock tonight I'll jump in on the action.

Traumadore
09-11-2007, 10:36 AM
Weird, I just played through the entirety or this campaign with my girlfriend or all people. It kind of unexpected that she asked to play a game, and it was one of the few cooperative ones I had. Anyway, she loved and kicked some ass even though she hasn't played a video game since playing Perfect Dark with her brother what like 7 years ago? She hijacked a banshee for the awesome little shortcut at the end of Assault on the Control room.

As far as bad levels, Truth and Reconciliation and Keyes have nothing on The Library. I completely hate that level.

That said, The Silent Cartographer is the most well designed level in the game. It has a great variety of encounters, almost all of which can be approached from several angles, whether indoor or out. The indoor bits have none of halo's notorious cut-and-paste badness going on. Each floor is a unique, large room that can be handled in a open ended manner. Furthermore It can be completed in like 30-45 minutes, while most of the game's levels drag out to 1-1.5 hours. I'll load up the game simply to play this level, which I have played probably 30 times or more. They should make more levels like this, period.

Parish
09-11-2007, 11:21 AM
I absolutely agree about Silent Cartographer -- Bungie needs to use that as a level design template more often. Or ever, even.

I am a normal difficulty kind of guy, because my self-esteem is not contingent on the machismo of my gaming time and because good developers set the best-balanced gameplay as the default. But I've decided to take this opportunity to tackle Halo at Heroic difficulty.

So far, I'm not terribly impressed. The enemies are very slightly more clever, but the increase in difficulty seems to stem primarily from the fact that your weapons are weaker and the level distribution involves more enemies of higher ranks. This is disappointing. The weapon balance in the normal difficulty is great -- tough enemies are tough, but you can go far with sharp aim and the good sense not to let yourself become surrounded. I can see the higher difficulties degenerating into drawn-out shootouts, especially with the Elites. I'll keep playing, but so far I'm not optimistic.

ringworm
09-11-2007, 11:27 AM
I could be wrong, I don't play an awful lot of shooters, but I was under the impression that that is how they all handled higher difficulty levels.

reibeatall
09-11-2007, 11:31 AM
As far as bad levels, Truth and Reconciliation and Keyes have nothing on The Library. I completely hate that level.

You sir, are wrong. The Library is an amazing level.

I was just about to list it as the best, but then I remembered Assault on the Control Room, Silent Cartographer, and The Maw. Those 4 levels (almost half the game) are the best.

So this game is made up mostly of best levels.

Parish
09-11-2007, 11:36 AM
But that's lame. Higher difficulty should focus on smarter AI, like Half-Life.

reibeatall
09-11-2007, 11:38 AM
But the AI seems pretty smart to begin with (midnight sniping on TaR not included), doesn't it? That's one of the big draws of Halo, at least for me.

ringworm
09-11-2007, 11:39 AM
But that's lame. Higher difficulty should focus on smarter AI, like Half-Life.
I agree, but I think its one of those things where A.I. is so complicated and hard to do right that it almost seems a shame to tone it down at all. I think most developers would rather let you see the "full glory of their truly smart A.I." and then balance it on something as mundane as weapon strength.

Traumadore
09-11-2007, 11:48 AM
Heroic is pretty good to do by yourself, I can't believe I beat every level solo on legendary excepting the library, solely because of the portion where you are locked in a segment of hallway for a couple minutes with dozens of flood pouring in. Legendary is really for two players I think, especially when the flood start packing shotguns and sniper rifles and you find yourself being one shotted contantly.

And the enemies don't really get smarter I think, but they have more hps, shoot impossibly fast, have incredible accuracy, and manage to spot your elbow poking out from behind a rock from 100 yards away.

Balrog
09-11-2007, 12:00 PM
Is fighting the Flood supposed to be fun? Because I don't think it is, ever.

Schmidt
09-11-2007, 12:33 PM
Man, the Flood vs. my shotgun is totally fun. After spending a big chunk of the game fighting the shielded covenant who run for cover, it's cathartic to just blast things to bits with one shot every time you turn a corner for a little while.

Anonymooo
09-11-2007, 12:49 PM
Threw a sticky, which hit an Elite in the crotch. He roared, then exploded, only problem being that he himself had a sticky which flew right into me as I was gawping. True story, just happened five minutes ago.

Makkara
09-11-2007, 01:01 PM
Is fighting the Flood supposed to be fun? Because I don't think it is, ever.

I think so. I even enjoy the Library, even though it's a bit long. And assault rifle vs. hundreds of infection forms is funny.

Zen
09-11-2007, 04:11 PM
You sir, are wrong. The Library is an amazing level.

I was just about to list it as the best, but then I remembered Assault on the Control Room, Silent Cartographer, and The Maw. Those 4 levels (almost half the game) are the best.

So this game is made up mostly of best levels.


The Library was awesome for like two minutes. After that I had already gotten the point. And lost.

Zen
09-11-2007, 04:12 PM
Actually, getting lost implies that there's anything to find, which in most of this game's levels there is sadly not.

MCBanjoMike
09-11-2007, 06:30 PM
Every time I see the title of this thread, I think that the CE stands for Championship Edition. Then I get all excited and I'm like, "cool, this is the version of Halo where I can play as Sagat!"

Traumadore
09-11-2007, 10:08 PM
Man, the chain reaction explosions are another halo first I think, at least the first time I saw it happen in a game. I think the most extreme case this last playthrough was in Keyes, where I just got done shotgunnin 20+ flood as they stream out of the ceiling, finally one of the bubbular ones plopped down and detonated himself and about 10 grenades under my feet! I kind of like the flood just because they really are ridiculous in a frightening way sometimes.

At least there isn't ever an "infinite enemies" part, because you know we would all just stand around trying to kill them all for 20 tries.

Parish
09-11-2007, 10:39 PM
Every time I see the title of this thread, I think that the CE stands for Championship Edition. Then I get all excited and I'm like, "cool, this is the version of Halo where I can play as Sagat!"
You're thinking of Halo 2 and the Arbiter sections. If you go back and play the first Halo again you get to see the scene where Master Chief gives him that big scar on his chest with a cheap attack at the end of the tournament.

Merus
09-12-2007, 12:34 AM
Silent Cartographer is an excellent level, something I'd expect to see in a much more creative game. I don't really think I can add to the discussion other than putting Warthogs on the island so you can go nuts with it was genius. Asking you to infiltrate the island, and the path going up and all the varying challenges you're confronted with, really works out well and feels very substantial. I would have liked to revisit that island in the latter half of the game where you play all the levels backwards.

I didn't mind The Library, as I saw it as a chase sequence. Staying and fighting the Flood was folly, because they kept spawning and you'd run out of bullets. So as soon as you had a goal to move for, you moved, and damn any Flood that was in your way. And even better, trying to use the same tactics over and over again doesn't quite cut it. It was a nice change. (The architecture's not a problem so long as you keep 343 in view at all times, which honestly you should be doing anyway.)

It's possible that I didn't mind the Library because I'd already been broken by Assault on the Control Room, which reminds me a lot of my first skiing trip. See, on my first skiing trip I was at the ski school, and we alternated between learning how to walk on skis uphill and skiing down a small incline and sitting inside getting bored to tears. That's how Assault feels - the same room copy-pasted fifty times, punctuated by occasional mildly exciting outdoor sections that provided radically different and even possibly exciting gameplay, and the contrast between the two threw the tedium of the Forerunner tunnels into stark relief.

And, of course, right after the Library you do it all again, but in reverse.

The problem with revisiting the old levels with the Flood is that, after the Library, the Flood's old hat. It's not a threat. In addition, the Flood don't appear to have affected anything, so it's not as if you're going back to familiar areas and finding them dangerously different: they're just how you remember, except with an enemy you've already learnt how to deal with. So what's supposed to be an echo of the start of the game merely comes off as cheap copy-paste, and Assault has set up people's expectations that the game is willing to stoop to cheap copy-paste so that's what everyone sees.

Excitemike
09-12-2007, 10:13 PM
I picked up this and Halo 2 today and whoops, it's midnight already. How long is this game?

I'm pretty new to FPS, so I don't have a frame of reference. But I am enjoying it so far. I'm glad I played Marathon first, this almost feels like a sequel.

reibeatall
09-12-2007, 10:45 PM
I picked up this and Halo 2 today and whoops, it's midnight already. How long is this game?

I'm pretty new to FPS, so I don't have a frame of reference. But I am enjoying it so far. I'm glad I played Marathon first, this almost feels like a sequel.

It's got 9 levels of varying length (Pillar of Autumn and the Maw are pretty short, whereas Assault on the Control Room can take quite a while.)

If you're playing on easy/normal, it should take you about as long as Marathon did. If you're playing on Heroic or Legendary, plan to multiply that by 1.5 or 2.

Stiv
09-12-2007, 11:43 PM
It's not Marathon.

I kid! Halo's pretty good in its own right as a game that pretty much perfected console FPS controls and placed a little more emphasis on choice and strategy by having large, open areas and AI that wasn't completely braindead. That said I got through the whole game on normal difficult by barely using grenades and sticking almost exclusively with the dreaded pistol/shotgun combo from The Library onwards. This is a game that desperately needed some balancing and thank goodness that Halo 2 brought the pain (while introducing some new pain).

Anyway once I got over my raging hateboner because Halo wasn't Marathon after a couple hours, I really enjoyed it. Halo 2, not so much, but that's for a different thread.

Parish
09-13-2007, 12:31 AM
Oh man, you missed out. Grenades aren't necessary on normal difficulty, but they feel oh so good. If I could go through the game doing nothing but sticking Elites, I totally would. Watching them panic as they realize they're totally boned shortly before they go flying across the room with a guttural yell never, ever gets old.

Traumadore
09-13-2007, 01:03 AM
GWAHHH!! VOH VAVAHSSS!!!!

I stick with plasma weapons most of the time, keeping a shotgun handy for flood once they appear. The plain ol' plasma pistol and rifle feel good to me, especially the pistol. It shoots as fast as you can pull the trigger, which is ridiculous with a little practice, and the charge shot is an excellent option to have.

Parish
09-13-2007, 09:02 AM
Actually, my favorite is the girly AAIIIIIEEEEE you sometimes hear when the grenade detonates. I was pretty sad that the Elites became coherent in Halo 2 -- they were so much more fun before they started spouting clichés like, "Your death will be quick and painless."

Sarcasmorator
09-13-2007, 09:13 AM
Wort wort wort!

Stiv
09-13-2007, 11:16 AM
That's actually something else that bothered me about Halo vs. Halo 2.. when did the covenant take some time out to learn English beyond the BOB-isms of the grunts? I'd like it if Halo 3 would play nice and provide us with the answers, but the alien chatter in Halo was one of my favorite aspects of its sound design. Bungie's always been unnaturally good at making alien environments actually feel alien and that was one of the biggest things that worked in Halo, since the ring('s exterior) feels a little too familiar.

Parish
09-13-2007, 11:27 AM
I always assumed it was a "universal translator" thing and that Master Chief's new suit came with an upgraded babel fish that could parse the Elites' language. I mean, it's not like the Grunts' natural instinct under fire was to scream for help in English.

Adrenaline
09-13-2007, 02:52 PM
Played the first mission. Really solid shooting for a console game, I don't know why other games can't control this well. Somewhat interesting story, although I'm looking forward to levels a little more creative and open than that corridor-fest.

Adrenaline
09-13-2007, 04:10 PM
Second mission - pretty cool, I enjoyed driving the Warthog into trees and rocks. The wide-openness of most of the combat was cool, although I didn't have a huge orgasm.

Zen
09-13-2007, 08:17 PM
You need to throw a grenade to get an orgasm.

Adrenaline
09-13-2007, 09:07 PM
I did throw some grenades. They're fun. Do you have to manually save and quit to actually save your progress mid-mission? Because if you do I lost a lot of progress in Truth and Reconciliation when I went to eat a while ago.

Savathun
09-13-2007, 09:13 PM
I always assumed it was a "universal translator" thing and that Master Chief's new suit came with an upgraded babel fish that could parse the Elites' language. I mean, it's not like the Grunts' natural instinct under fire was to scream for help in English.

I always thought Cortana translates on the fly or something. Why she suddenly stops in Halo 2 for no apparent reason is completely beyond me. But a snap of her fingers seems to set things right.

So we could just pretend that, um... that she was still learning the language in part 1.

Yeah, that's it.

Ah screw it, the suit thing makes more sense.

Eusis
09-13-2007, 09:21 PM
I think the first book says that the Sparta suits have a built in translator thing. I didn't read too far in though. Then there's the fact the Arbiter conversed just fine with other humans in Halo 2. Maybe it's not part of their suit, just some sort of standard military thing.

Adrenaline
09-13-2007, 11:15 PM
Do you have to manually save and quit to actually save your progress mid-mission? Because if you do I lost a lot of progress in Truth and Reconciliation when I went to eat a while ago.

Turns out yes, yes you do. Anyway, played through that and Silent Cartographer. Definitely a very good console first person shooter, but... still not cumming.

Stiv
09-14-2007, 11:42 AM
I always assumed it was a "universal translator" thing and that Master Chief's new suit came with an upgraded babel fish that could parse the Elites' language. I mean, it's not like the Grunts' natural instinct under fire was to scream for help in English.

You think about this stuff way too much, but I guess that's because it's your job. It's as good an explanation as any, but I'm still not a fan of the WARK WARK WARK WARK turning into YOU ARE GOING TO DIE DEMON and similar phrases that sound like one-liners from that terrible movie where Arnold Schwartzenegger fights the devil.

BossGoji
09-17-2007, 11:12 AM
First-time poster(yes, I realize it's uncouth to be offering opinions on things before I've established myself as a regular, but what the hell, I'm bored), so let's get this glaring flaw out of the way first: I suck at FPS games. This by no means implies that I, y'know, don't play them a lot, but for the record I am absolutely terrible at them, so keep in mind that this is all from the perspective of someone who's not any good at what he's doing(shooting things, that is, not writing).

I'd like to start off by saying that Halo rather cleverly subverts what is, from my point of view, one of the single most glaring flaws of modern FPS design: there is no gun-grinding. What's gun-grinding? Well, do you know what level-grinding is? Gun-grinding is the FPS equivalent: you spend the game mowing through hordes of enemies, hoping to get the Holy Grail of weaponry, the one that can wipe out whole rooms with a single shot. After much toil, you acquire it, only to have the game start hurling bigger, badder, nastier enemies at you, making you realize you better save your precious ammo for enemies who deserve, and go back to using your regular old guns against the regular old enemies.

Halo, however, neatly subverts this by making the most powerful weapon in the game... the first weapon in the game, if you know how to use it properly. You start with the pistol and if you're smart you'll keep it with you for the whole damn show. There's a true "whoa, I'm badass" satisfaction in running into a Hunter, and managing to dispatch him with naught but a single well-placed bullet.

The fun in the weapons variety, therefore, comes from seeing what the less capable armanent can do, and deciding on your preferred backup for the pistol. Horribly imbalanced, to be sure, but it's a FUN kind of imbalance, so I can live with it. Also, did anyone else here EVER use the human grenades once they got their mitts on the sticky stuff? Exploding the crotch of an Elite NEVER gets old.

The gameplay itself is... average. And I don't mean that in a bad way. There are very few truly average games, and truth be told mediocrity can be a virtue when it comes to game design. Halo is not the same grinding, painful, dear-god-please-make-it-end carnival of bland gameplay horror as your favorite(read: least hated) incarnation of Medal Of Honor, nor is it the similarly tedious by sheer volume of shit-trying-to-kill-you slugfest as something like Serious Sam(which is fun for the the first couple of stages, until you realize you're going to be spending the next 4 hours doing nothing but circle-strafing). Halo is averagely-paced: an even balance between large-scale carnage, tactical gunslinging, and sneaky pistol-whipping. At no point is it overwhelming, and it's not particularly boring, either. Like the game's look itself, everything feels well-polished.

Unfortunately, that polished look brings us to the sad, sad truth of Halo's completely hit-or-miss level design: everything looks pretty, mainly by virtue of looking nearly identical. Apparently Bungie is a big, BIG fan of the copy-paste function, because most of the levels feel like a recurring montage of "didn't I just LEAVE this room...?" But when it's good, it's DAMN good. The level design here is truly schizophrenic: we go from the mindless tedium of Truth and Reconciliation, to the free-wheeling fungasm that is Silent Cartographer, then BACK to the mindless tedium for Assault on the Control Room, and then for some reason it's 28 Days Later in 343 Guilty Spark(which manages to make the copy-paste architecture cool by virtue of simple lighting changes and some very nice scripted setpieces). The level design was so inconsistent that my first playthrough I almost dreaded the loading screen, hoping and praying to whatever god might listen to me "not another Control Room, not another Control Room".

Short version? Halo is a solid(not exceptional) FPS. It has some remarkably fun bits, and the gameplay is really damn good, but it's ultimately sold down the river by level design that seems like it was crafted by people whose idea of high art is pictures made with macaroni and glue.

reibeatall
09-17-2007, 02:18 PM
I just have a question for everybody who says that Halo's not a great game.

If it's not a great game, why is it STILL being played to this day? I'll use WoW as an example. I don't like WoW at all, but I can absolutely recognize that it is an incredible game.

TheSL
09-17-2007, 02:36 PM
I just have a question for everybody who says that Halo's not a great game.

If it's not a great game, why is it STILL being played to this day? I'll use WoW as an example. I don't like WoW at all, but I can absolutely recognize that it is an incredible game.

Just a guess(since I do enjoy Halo), but I would have to say probably the same reason a lot of terrible NES games are still being played by people to this day- you can never account for peoples' differing tastes.

Sarcasmorator
09-17-2007, 02:46 PM
People are Micro$$$oft tools, that's why.

Schmidt
09-17-2007, 03:46 PM
Man, sheep still eat grass, that doesn't mean grass is delicious, they're stupid sheep lol!

nathan
09-18-2007, 10:56 AM
I started playing this for the first time this past weekend and just finished the Library last night (which I loved).

The only thing that is really bothering me is the repetitive nature of a lot of these levels. It reminds me of all the boring padding put into RPG's to stretch out the gameplay time. There have only been a couple levels in Halo that I felt ended at the right time while most seem to go on about 15 to 30 minutes too long. Not a big complaint since the gameplay is so fun and constantly changing. Any other game though and I probably would have stopped playing by now. It's not a perfect game but it still surprises me while playing it that it is six years old.

I'm going to try and play through this and Halo 2 before the big bomber comes out, and I am probably playing them all in a three week period and then maybe never touch them again for a few years. At least the single player stuff.

I also made the mistake of trying the Halo 2 multiplayer a few times without playing a second of the campaign. Man, do I suck at that multiplayer business. I was even trying to kill my own team for the first couple minutes of a match last night. Sorry, guys. I'll try and get better.

Sarcasmorator
09-18-2007, 02:44 PM
I started playing this for the first time this past weekend and just finished the Library last night (which I loved).

The only thing that is really bothering me is the repetitive nature of a lot of these levels.

ERROR

reibeatall
09-18-2007, 04:23 PM
Man, sheep still eat grass, that doesn't mean grass is delicious, they're stupid sheep lol!

Speak for yourself, buddy. Grass is one of my main food sources.

Excitemike
09-18-2007, 10:19 PM
I just finished the game. I liked the last level better when it was the last level to MGS. And the library was not as hard as I was led to believe. Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with the warthogs?

So I beat the game, kick back to watch the credits and I kicked the plug out from the 360. Am I missing anything story-wise, or should I proceed straight to Halo 2?

reibeatall
09-18-2007, 10:21 PM
The only thing you missed is that if you beat it on Legendary, Sarge and an elite hug as Halo blows up.

Stiv
09-18-2007, 11:49 PM
Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with the warthogs?

Mostly hate. But it's so much fun to use them to run shit over, especially on Silent Cartographer. Everything else about them is seriously hit or miss and I'm glad that the extent of USE THIS VEHICLE! was limited to being almost entirely optional.

I love the Ghost, though.

Schmidt
09-19-2007, 12:30 AM
I just finished the game. I liked the last level better when it was the last level to MGS.

Except there it was a retarded "Haha, new game, suckas!" style change-up a la God of War. Here, it's how to avoid the boss fight cliche and still go out with a bang.

Excitemike
09-19-2007, 07:24 AM
Also: it could have used a boss fight. I played a few minutes of Halo 2 before starting Halo, and I naturally assumed I would be fighting (or at least meeting) the Arbiter by the end.

Makkara
09-19-2007, 08:15 AM
Halo's better for not having any bosses. Halo 2 does, and this is kind of a spoiler, but they're not that great. Boss fights rarely work well in first person shooters, as they usually come down do unloading huge amounts of ammo into the boss, or some contrivance that makes it impervious to normal weapons.

Merus
09-19-2007, 08:36 AM
I can't help but think that bosses don't work in first-person shooters because they're not very good bosses. The Nintendo philosophy is that bosses are a high-tension way of checking you know how to use all the skills you have so far; the same sort of flow is present in first-person shooters, as you gradually learn skills. The difficulty, I guess, is coming up with some way to enforce the use of those skills without it seeming a contrivance, but that's more specific design.

That said, I like how Halo demonstrates that any sort of high-tension situation will work just as well as a boss fight.

Makkara
09-19-2007, 08:57 AM
I can't help but think that bosses don't work in first-person shooters because they're not very good bosses. The Nintendo philosophy is that bosses are a high-tension way of checking you know how to use all the skills you have so far; the same sort of flow is present in first-person shooters, as you gradually learn skills. The difficulty, I guess, is coming up with some way to enforce the use of those skills without it seeming a contrivance, but that's more specific design.

The problem is that the skills you learn in first person shooters are usually related to crowd control and taking down enemies quickly*. This obviously doesn't work with bosses in the traditional sense - that is big, strong, tough and unique enemies. That's why Halo's non-boss battles work so much better than Halo 2's actual boss battles.

*Metroid Prime is a notable exception, but it's really more of a first person action adventure with shooting than a bona fide FPS. Also, its bosses would never work in a semi-realistic game like Halo.

Adrenaline
09-19-2007, 10:07 AM
I liked the last level better when it was the last level to MGS.

What, MGS invented chase sequences?

Excitemike
09-19-2007, 10:11 AM
What, MGS invented chase sequences?

No, because you don't chase anyone in MGS. Or in Halo.

That type of ending has been done before (it's a staple of the Metroid games), but those are the only two I can think of where you are trying to outrace an explosion in a jeep.

Violentvixen
09-19-2007, 02:24 PM
The only thing you missed is that if you beat it on Legendary, Sarge and an elite hug as Halo blows up.

And the Elite grabs Sarge's ass, if I remember correctly.

MCBanjoMike
09-19-2007, 02:30 PM
And the Elite grabs Sarge's ass, if I remember correctly.

I want to believe that this is true SO BAD.

I'd say the one story thing that might actually matter is that you see 343 Guilty Spark flying away from the exploding Halo. OMINOUS. Of course, I haven't actually played Halo 2 yet (I bought it today!), so it's hard to know how important that tidbit is.

Adrenaline
09-19-2007, 04:28 PM
No, because you don't chase anyone in MGS. Or in Halo.

That type of ending has been done before (it's a staple of the Metroid games), but those are the only two I can think of where you are trying to outrace an explosion in a jeep.

Getting chased by an explosion is still a chase. The jeep thing is similar, but a million things have ended with escaping from a dangerous or soon to be dangerous area.

Savathun
09-19-2007, 04:43 PM
I want to believe that this is true SO BAD.


Oh, it's true.

And I remember being upset that Halo didn't have any boss fights when I first played it, but it really worked well. When they added boss fights in two, it kind of made things... well, less "realistic," though that's not really the word I want to use. It just sort of took me out of the experience. Well, the final one did, anyway. The second boss is pure gold, as far as I'm concerned.

Parish
09-19-2007, 04:50 PM
Yeah, that's why he and the Arbiter don't immediately go for the kill when they meet in Halo 2. They have a history, and it clearly ended badly, but they still can't forget that special moment. And that stayed their killer instincts.

Stiv
09-19-2007, 11:21 PM
I think the first encounter with the Sentinels as foes kind of counts as a 'boss' encounter, and so does the final level with the engine core. They're just way less obnoxious than Halo 2's boss fights, which are more of the Quake-style "fake puzzle" FPS boss thing. Lame.

Sarcasmorator
09-19-2007, 11:46 PM
Only the last one was really like that. The first was just shooting the right one, and the second was just beating the guy to death.