The "Stop picking on the FPS/Stop "But Half-Life"ing me" challenge is actually a little difficult. I liked Halo: Reach and Combat Evolved, but purely because of a gameplay aspect. I won't lie, the writing is pretty bad and Halo 2 had me sick of the hyper-machismo before Gears of War was ever published. FPS games are easy prey for critics.
Let me think of the good ones...
Condemned: Criminal Origins, but that was more melee based.
BioShock had RPG elements and an element of strategy (Sort of) not seen in the typical"Gun down enemies with complete impunity because you have regenerating health" style of a lot of FPS games, but the difficulty curve got fucked once you had a full line-up of Plasmids and the Natural Camouflage Gene Tonic.
Fallout 3 also survived thanks to it's RPG elements and also had quite a bit of melee. It also had bugs out the ass.
Portal counts as a "But Half-Life" argument. I mean it's a great fucking game, but comparing Valve to the people at Infinity Ward or 3D Realms would be a massive insult.
Thief? Again, a little too sophisticated to play by the same rules as Halo.
...you know, the thing about the FPS genre is that it seems to be a total hit or miss on the single player, and we know you can just "But Team Fortress 2" and "But Counter Strike" him to death in that field for devout multiplayer FPS games.
...more Valve titles now that i think about it. I wonder if Bungie would have survived if Valve was more aggressive in advertising and did better commercially as far as games are concerned.
Can't find a FPS with fun game-play and a great story? Three words: The Marathon Trilogy. There, I just answered the question in less than 5 seconds. And guess who it's by too. That's right, Bungie themselves. This game is considered the spiritual predecessor to Halo, but it has a waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more in depth storyline. I'd consider it what you would get if you crossed Half-Life, Halo, and System Shock together but with DOOM graphics. The game play and story is like Half-Life, you're controlled by a sadistic, sarcastic AI (like SHODAN or GLaDOS),
and it's universe has a lot similarities to the Halo universe.
If you haven't played Marathon, you're missing out, especially since the entire trilogy is absolutely free and can be played on PC, Mac, AND Linux.
I remember Oni and know Bungie isn't totally talentless. Their little Ghost in the Shell clone really makes you wonder just what the fuck happened during the making of Halo 2. But now that Halo is over, maybe they'll go back to third person action games or go back to their mythological touches instead of space marines vs. headcrabs.
THEY MADE HALO TEH GEHY just kidding but honestly I really liked halo legends for pulling halo into an entirely new direction
eidt: possibly the only reason i liked halo was because it was part of my childhood and the gameplay aspect......and special mention to the music guys you did great
I'm not going to defend Halo, God no, but you're kind of biased against the Western front here. Yeah, there's the machismo crap, but Japan has machismo crap too. In fact, nothing new has come out of Japan in my opinion since Akira. You can pretty much call Naruto, Bleach, and any number of beloved animes the "school or team for insert interesting slightly nonsensical thing here" formula. Japan's got it's strictures, trends, and cycles like everyone else, but they do get the advantage of wowing non-Japanese people with the "lolwhut?" factor, or something that's total normal to Japan, but strange here.
In fact, as it stands right now Japan is stagnating in the Western market badly, from what I can tell. If JRPGs were going so well Square-Enix wouldn't have needed to buy up Eidos.
HA HA HA! Oh boy, I'm beginning to get the feeling that Bob is trying to anger me, particularly giving all the credit to the animation studios when all the writing was done by the guys who wrote the halo novels, who happen to be American and worked with bungie on the books by the way. Saying the spartan project was a quest for "militaristic machismo" rather than a sacrifice for the sake of humanity. I know I sounded semi-brainwashed in that last sentence but comparing the spartan project to the cogs of gears of war. I thoroughly enjoyed Legends myself, My favorite was probably Prototype, it being about how military training can mold some people into machines who care only about a mission success and not about their comrades, and how one event can make someone open their eyes. My least favorite by far was The Package, it just felt like a Michael Bay film to me, and had terrible art direction (last time I checked Halsey was in her fifties not in her teens)
Are you serious? That sounds awesome! I love halo!(Mainly because of all the fucked up things it brought me which just made my relationship with my best friend even deeper) But they at least still kept multiplayer to formula. That is awesome! I have to go pick that up now!