More on Halo: Reach

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I've yet to fully buy into the "a game must stand-up on single player alone" argument. Is having a bad single-player mode a failure? Of course it is. But if the single-player is good (not great), but the mutliplayer is phenomenal, addicting, whatever, then the game is a good game.

Let's take a film for an example. Michael Mann's "Collateral" is an action movie, with elements of a character study film. Do I declare that an action movie must stand by its action alone? No, of course not. A movie is, in essence, a sum of its parts. "Collateral" would not be a good movie if it took out its action parts, and it wouldn't be a good movie if it removed its introspective bits.

Just because you don't play multiplayer doesn't mean it doesnt exist; it is still as legitimate a piece of the game puzzle as the single player. Ignoring it completely is just like closing your eyes during the parts in "Collateral" when people aren't getting shot. If a reviewer is saying "I refuse to play multiplayer", fine, that's his choice. But do not declare the game bad or mediocre or invalid simply because you only tasted a piece of what the game as a whole has to offer.

Now, I'm no Yahtzee, but I feel his problems are more of a deal of personal preference (which is ok, this is a subjective medium in games reviewing). But its not like the camera is universally bad or the controls are unresponsive. We're not talking about something universally regarded as bad.
For instance...

As I said in the review, all the members of Noble Team have all become engaged in a "Who Can Die The Noblest Death" competition, but none of them show the slightest emotional connection to anyone or anything (one of them has a mum, but their interactions are so cold and loveless she might as well have been his driving instructor), so the sheer regularity with which they knock themselves off is closer to comedy than tragedy. I guess the only reason Master Chief was the last Spartan was because he was out sick while everyone else was at Kamikaze school.

Carter gets hit pretty hard with the 2nd death in the team. Listen to his voice before, and then after the incident, and its pretty evident that he's just trying to stay together.

Or Jorge, ya know, trying to comfort the researcher's daughter.

There are other instances during the game when various characters will speak out of desperation in a firefight. Its not like we have mindless killing machines here, and it wraps into an experience where you feel like you're an unstoppable armored badass.

The other thing is that if you're making a first person game, you need to make a decision - are you going to characterize your lead, cutting away from the first person perspective for cutscenes and zooming into the back of their head when gameplay resumes, or will you take the Half-Life/Bioshock route, stay in first person permanently and let the player project their personality (don't say that sentence out loud 'cos you'll get saliva all over your computer screen). Halo: Reach's habit of switching between first-person and third-person cutscenes feels undirected. There were moments when I felt staying in first-person would have made a scene much more effective. Particularly the bit when your mate throws you off a space station as part of his Noble Death competition entry and you fall through space watching the ship drift off into the distance before silently exploding. It felt immersion-breaking to keep cutting away to reveal that, yes, you're still falling through space, and have you noticed this skybox we made? Nice, isn't it?

This is something I will happily rip Half-Life for. The whole "silent protagonist, projecting your personality to the main character" is pretty much a copout. If we're going to be using that as one of the golden standards for immersion, its existed since Wolfenstein 3d, and even before.

When I play a silent protagonist in an FPS, I do not feel immersed. I feel like I'm controlling a floating camera. This is especially problematic in something like Half-Life 2, where you can look down, and you have no body. Halo: Reach, being my first Halo game on 360 (I'm probably the furthest you can get from a fanboy) I greatly enjoyed looking down to see the rest of my character model. It was... immersive.

On the flip side, Yahtzee argues that bouncing between different cutscenes feels undirected. I felt that it was simply the usage of the first-person perspective as another tool. This is another problem I have with the "first person perspective and ONLY THAT" school of game design, namely, I'd much rather watch a more cinematic cutscene, from a third perspective, then sit there watching two heads yammer on and on as in HL2. This usually leads to the player growing bored, and indignant, and running around said room in which talking heads have their discussion, mutilating things and whacking everything with a crowbar.

There are other examples, but I don't think I need to expound on them.

It should also be noted, that until recently, I absolutely HATED Halo. Blind fanboy hatred of the series. Thought it was overrated, generic, terrible terrible stuff. Then I got just a little bit interested in Reach, and bought a 360 bundle (something that, myself being a self proclaimed PS3 fanboy, nobody EVER thought I'd do), and I thoroughly enjoyed the game. I realized something else in the process as well, namely, If you're going to be calling Halo games generic, you're going to have to be doing it to just about every shooter under the sun. There just isn't enough variety in the genre to go about proclaiming one game Legendary and place it on a pedestal, and others as generic fecal matter.

Great read! Yahtzee is always fun to read and watch. Again, big thanks for the EVE video review. :D

Well what some of you don't seem to realize is this is his OPINION sure he doesn't like mutiplayer etc. but its just not his thing, each to his own. If he doesn't like a game doesn't mean its a bad game its just not his thing. It's like this with every review. I am a big fan of the Halo series, I love its gameplay, single player, multiplayer the customization and yes even the story. I LOVE Halo's story but am I mad Yathzee didn't like it? No. Its all opinion.

Ampersand:

Cat Cloud:
I'm just glad I'm not the only person who deosn't care about multiplayer. Great article.

There are lots of games that i don't care for, that's why I don't play them. I don't force myself to play them and then go on line bitching about them........that would be retarded.

What point are you trying to make? I just said I don't care for multiplayer, not that I don't like Halo. I don't care if other people like multiplayer or not, but it is nice to know, as I've said, that I'm not the only one who thinks games don't have to have multiplayer to be good. I thought the article was good because it brought up valid points and amused me. I think Halo is a fine series, but it's not my favorite. I'm not trying to bitch about anything.

Neferius:

kael013:

Fronzel:

kael013:
Yahtzee did you actually READ that "ancillary media", because it also explains away the floaty movement feel and the first half of the book makes the whole "mum" thing completely false. Next time make use of all the facts there, just taking the ones that support your argument shows narrow-mindedness.

No one should have to read a novel to understand the plot of a video game...or a movie or whatever. Singular works of fiction should stand on their own, otherwise it all just becomes a closed, fanboy-centric loop.

That wasn't the point I was trying to make. I was pointing out the idiocy of using one fact from a source to back up your argument, when another fact a couple chapters later blows your argument out of the water.

As for your point, I agree with you. But how do you slip power armor specs into a "save the galaxy' story, especially when the PC starts the game in the power armor? The fact that he's in it already kind of says that he knows how it works.

I'm just going to go ahead and jump on the bandwagon here and suggest that you should go and give MassEffect a try.
It has this little thing called a Codex built right into the Game where it explains all the obscure facts and references which relate to the game's universe, thus foregoing any need for phonebook-sized manuals or explanatory literature, which you actually piece-together as you play the game adding a fun yet optional dynamic to it.

I'm guessing Halo: Reach could have easily ripped-off on that, but then that would have put a serious dent in their Merchandise revenue :P

Own it and while that Codex feature is pretty nice to help you understand why things work the way they do in the game, it isn't necessary to the plot, so I don't look at it too often. I did look at it a couple of times and learned some things, but that knowledge didn't help me progress through the game. Though it does answer the types of questions that Yahtzee pulled up here without resorting to becoming a "fanboy". I guess it just comes down to different strategies to getting the backstory out. Bioware wanted to pass up the extra cash from ancillary media and put all the game's backstory and explanations of the tech in the game (they did the same thing with Dragon Age, seems to be a recurring thing for them), while Bungie decided to put the info out as books.

And Fronzel, I don't think I wrote my thoughts down very well earlier. Yahtzee used a fact from a Halo book (that the SPARTAN's armor weighs a ton) to question parts of the game, even though ANOTHER fact (that the armor's shielding system reduces traction, meaning that the armor and user are in an invisible bubble and can "glide" as they walk or "manipulate" the armor's weight) answers the questions that Yahtzee asks. I was pointing out how narrow-minded Yahtzee was being by just using the fact that supported his argument and completely disregarding the rest.

As for storyline, yes, a singular work should be able to support itself. Halo does that. It doesn't mandate that you have to read any of the books first; it supplies background info that is unnessecary to the plot of the game as quick one-liners (similar strategy to the original Star Wars trilogy talking about the Clone War), but it explains eveything you need to understand to know what is going on in the game.

VondeVon:

Ahlycks:

VondeVon:
Ah-HA! I'm not WEARING a shirt!

rawr.

woops, your a chick. <.< really, i'm not a pervert.

Mumorpuger:
Of course it does. This is my fat shirt.

Rawr.

(ok thats better)

(Laughs)

Wait... is that gender inequality...? :P

naw...

Among dudes it like, "lol", because everyone knows it's not sexual, but with chicks it's like, perverted.

It's technically not inequality because it stills value both the sexes the same, but you still treat them differently in some circumstances.

For example, would someone say "scooping" a guys man boobs/pecs then not doing it to a chick is sexist?

anyway, thats the end of my little speech against mega feminists. Not to specifically you, just to others that might be reading this.

SnakeCL:
snip.

im glad im not the only one who noticed this, it seemed more like personal problems rather than actual universal problems with the game itself. while its good and all to have your opinion and i can respect that, yahtzee, i have yet to see examples of games that you want to compare to that are so much better than halo reach in the areas that you are calling it mediocre (you called the whole game mediocre but im assuming you meant more parts than others)

oh and idk if you knew it or not...but jorge did NOT say "mum", he said "ma'am", that was not his mom, hell she kidnapped him, but i wouldn't expect you to know that since you dont know the background story, just saying that they were not related at all, only that she is the one who brought him into the program.

i also agree with the above poster i quoted, i personally preferred having NOT a cutout bland "stick your head here!" character, i liked that my character had reactions and was part of the cutscenes and actually had shit happen inbetween them, plus i could actually see my body when i looked down?!?!?! holy shit! didn't realize i could do that.../sarcasm

also, i liked how they switched between first and third person on the cutscenes, personally i think they did hte first person scenes very effectively, like after you save the professors daughter, but then the third person view is where its at for cutscenes, a picture is worth a thousand words so seeing my character interact with the world/the plot of the moment was much more satisfactory than seeing bobbling heads talk to him while i can't say anything.

once again, this is all personal opinion, i just think it came across in the article a bit...more than that.

i7omahawki:

MorphingDragon:

i7omahawki:
some angry words

The fact is that Yahtzee shouldn't need to know about the established Halo universe, Reach is a PREQUEL. Nothing has happened, its BEFORE the ORIGINAL Halo trilogy. Giving Yahtzee crap for not knowing the subtext for a PREQUEL is pretty bad logic (Story writing tip, a prequel should establish subtext, not rely on subtext otherwise it defeats the point of a prequel). A proper PREQUEL shouldn't ASSUME anything. An 8 year old should be able to pick up Reach without playing any other Halo game and understand the story without any subtext.

Also MassEffect 2 is a SEQUEL, it happens AFTER the events of the first one, so its perfectly good story writing to assume that the reader should already know things. I don't expect a reader of the last LOTR book to understand whats going on if they haven't read the rest of the series.

(Capped words are important, improve your comprehension)

Wow, massive presumption on what a prequel should be. A prequel is a sequel, just set before the events of the original work.

Thats still not an excuse for bad story writing.

brainslurper:

AceAngel:
Yahtzee, I just think I need to mention this to you:

The reason most developers go to the Mutltiplayer side of the games, is because it's much easier to create, as opposed to a single player game, that's why games like Halo, have no indulgence to create a solid varied SP game, since MP is much more standardized and easier to manage in a small team (ironic choice of words, since the Bungie is pretty big as far as teams go).

i totally agree you can make an intelligent game like fallout 3 that will take one of the most dedicated game studios years to make or you can make a 30 minute long *cough*modern warfare 2*cough* campaign and then spend your time on 10 multiplayer maps and then you can go to outsell every form of entertainment of all time. which sounds more appealing?

Sadly, the latter my friend. Me and a couple of colleges are picking up UDK, but as much as people like to call it 'easy' to use, have to say, it's still hard to do thing correctly.

For example, did you know that you need to create a 8 base Node system, with 8 "Yes/No" Commands inorder to get a simple button working, to say, make a door invisible?

ZahrDalsk:
Yahtzee should have played with subtitles on. I know Jorge pronounces it "mom" but that's just his accent - he's saying "ma'am."

Anyhoo, I guess Reach can join Half-Life 2 at the Mediocrity Table, eh?

I thought he was saying "mom" and to me it made sense because he's a Spartan II and in a way Dr. Halsey was the mother figure for the Spartan IIs.

I'm just going to say this one more time. There is a market for people who only play games for multiplayer. Thus a 'game' is not an automatic failure if it has a crappy single player. Anyone who says so is claiming that their aesthetic values are objective.

THERE ARE NO OBJECTIVE VALUES: NEITHER ETHICAL OR AESTHETIC. READ SOME NIETZSCHE PEOPLE!

THE UNIVERSE DOES NOT PASS JUDGMENTS ON WHO IS GOOD OR EVIL, NOR ON WHAT IS A GOOD GAME OR A BAD GAME.

REALLY. IT'S THAT SIMPLE. YOU GUYS ARE ARGUING PAST EACH OTHER, THERE'S NO WAY OF DETERMINING WHO IS RIGHT OR WHO IS WRONG, BECAUSE THERE IS NO FACT OF THE MATTER.

So... if there is a market for people who don't care about single player, then companies will produce games marketed to those people. Stop trying to burn each other in effigy. This isn't the dark ages. Yet.

Oh. And those of you who are arguing about the Halo back-story... REALLY? REALLY PEOPLE? FOR HALO OF ALL THINGS? YOU'RE TELLING ME THERE ARE HALO NERDS? I've played all the Halo games (except ODST which I only rented briefly because my friends insisted I play firefight) yes this includes Halo Wars, which is awesome on the principle of being a good console RTS, disregarding it's namesake. The story was never designed to be coherent. It was made so after the fact by multiple authors, so there's probably going to be all sorts of inconsistencies. And frankly this is all assuming that the makers of the game bothered to look any of this up. They probably just made up whatever suited them.

sunburst313:

derelix:
Actually it sounds like you are the "ball in chain" because you seem to assume the other guy is less useful. The thing is, I always feel like I'm being lead around by an asshole when I play games like this on Coop. "Go there, STAY THERE! Hold the line right there, I'm going to go do some fun shit. What are you doing? DON'T MOVE! Your ruining my strategy! YOU ALWAYS GET US KILLED"
I'll die on single player and be happy about it XP

That actually seems like a reasonable theory. Also, your friends are douchebags (unless you play random co-op online which is a horrid idea). Just because I waste more of my time playing video games than my friend doesn't mean I get to boss him around.

It was actually split screen ( I don't have a mic so online coop would be impossible) but he's really only a dick when it comes to games like GOW or halo, games he's good at. I admit I suck at these games but that's because I would rather almost die because I'm having fun slaughtering the enemy without thinking rather than constantly taking cover and slowly taking out the enemy as if this was my job. Still I notice I can be a dick on a certain game, the warriors. When I'm holding the enemy or the enemy is holding me and people are beating me to death I have a tendency to bark orders when the other guy is just mashing buttons on some guy that's already knocked down.

Still I hate playing coop when I feel like I'm being put on a tight leash and being lead around, only getting a kill when the person feels I deserve one or something.

InvisibleMan:

derelix:

InvisibleMan:
"why an AI is on a bit of glowy pipe rather than, say, a USB stick..."

...or an e-mail attachment! The AI is basically data, right? Why do they have to transport it instead of just transmit it? This weird notion of having to carry Cortana with you existed since the first Halo, but back in 2000, when all console games were still on disc, no one questioned it. Today, when you think about it, it doesn't make sense...

um...we had storage devices back in 2000 also.
It's not that hard to explain away, it is fiction after all. Maybe it's too complex to be "just data" so it needs to storage container to keep it at a constant temperature and to house the complex parts. It's not a music file, it's AI, something we don't have so it's not quite fair to compare it to a simple data file.
You can just as easily nitpick any fictional story. Why didn't they just ride the dragon all the way to the volcano in LOTR? Why did they wait so long to rescue Han Solo in star wars? Why do all of my plot holes involve something from family guy? Why was arrested development canceled but we still have the Cleveland show?

All good questions... But my complaint was not about storage space, it was about transmitting data! I guess the writers could get away with a "The Covenant scrambled all communications around Reach" explanation.

Full disclosure: I am a BIG fan of the Halo series, and I actually think Reach is Bungie's best!

What your saying makes sense, I haven't played the game yet so maybe I'm not understanding but it seems like an AI would be more than just data. If it's something that can think and feel for itself, that would probably require parts and components that need to be kept together, probably at a certain temperature (Explaining the strange storage device needed since it should only require something small if it's just data) but that's just my opinion.
I'm obviously making excuses, I guess that's the writer in me. I would like to believe that I could write a better plot device but I can see how this could be logical.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: More on Halo: Reach

If you thought Yahtzee liked Halo: Reach, you're wrong.

Read Full Article

My only question is: why bother reviewing it when you're such a 'master of pattern recognition'? And I realised either this is one you've been told to OR because it's there.

ReiverCorrupter:
I'm just going to say this one more time. There is a market for people who only play games for multiplayer. Thus a 'game' is not an automatic failure if it has a crappy single player. Anyone who says so is claiming that their aesthetic values are objective.

THERE ARE NO OBJECTIVE VALUES: NEITHER ETHICAL OR AESTHETIC. READ SOME NIETZSCHE PEOPLE!

THE UNIVERSE DOES NOT PASS JUDGMENTS ON WHO IS GOOD OR EVIL, NOR ON WHAT IS A GOOD GAME OR A BAD GAME.

REALLY. IT'S THAT SIMPLE. YOU GUYS ARE ARGUING PAST EACH OTHER, THERE'S NO WAY OF DETERMINING WHO IS RIGHT OR WHO IS WRONG, BECAUSE THERE IS NO FACT OF THE MATTER.

So... if there is a market for people who don't care about single player, then companies will produce games marketed to those people. Stop trying to burn each other in effigy. This isn't the dark ages. Yet.

Oh. And those of you who are arguing about the Halo back-story... REALLY? REALLY PEOPLE? FOR HALO OF ALL THINGS? YOU'RE TELLING ME THERE ARE HALO NERDS? I've played all the Halo games (except ODST which I only rented briefly because my friends insisted I play firefight) yes this includes Halo Wars, which is awesome on the principle of being a good console RTS, disregarding it's namesake. The story was never designed to be coherent. It was made so after the fact by multiple authors, so there's probably going to be all sorts of inconsistencies. And frankly this is all assuming that the makers of the game bothered to look any of this up. They probably just made up whatever suited them.

I guess that makes it a little like a good comic series. People look at characters like deadpool and say they are awesome but most of them don't realize, or choose not to remember that certain writers have done terrible things with the character.
Halo is going to be like that I think, except gamers are really nitpicky with a sense of entitlement so those things will constantly be brought up by hipsters that need to bash anything that is popular.

Post modernist BS aside, yes no game is strictly good or bad. Most people are simply following social perception. I started playing brutal legend after hearing it was simply "decent" but imo this is probably one of the best games I have ever played, I think I'll remember it in the same light that I remember my first mario experience (actually megaman x was my first video game that I remember playing but I suppose mario is more recognizable so I'll just use that example)
I keep finding games like that, people say it's not worth playing but when I actually try it for myself I'm completely shocked by how fun they are.
Dante's inferno
Wolverine
Silent Hill HC
RE5 (ok that did get pretty tedious after the first half but it did have potential)
Land of the dead, road to fiddlers green

Most of the people that bash games like halo probably haven't given it much of a chance or it's simply not a game made for them. People need to stop obsessing over the games they dislike and start obsessing over the games they enjoy, or you know, stop caring about video games and do something productive with our lives.

Oliver Pink:

ReiverCorrupter:

Everyone except those who don't have gaming consoles. I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of people who own a console and play games regularly can afford those other things. If you look at my post above, you'll see that I only rent games for their story, but I buy titles like halo because they are a lasting investment. Games have been moving away from being story based because it's economics. Just look at the numbers, all the best selling games are the games people play for the multiplayer. The numbers suggest the actual facts, developers have relegated single player to secondary importance. You suggest this large market of people who will pay 60 bucks for ten hours of story. I don't know anyone like that, story games are 'renters'. Your economic presuppositions are all wrong. WoW, Starcraft, Halo, Call of Duty. All multiplayer centered games, all dominate the market.

Economy? Sir, Cigarettes make huge bathing swathes of money every year - does that make Cigarettes a good thing? Just because something makes more money than God doesn't mean that it's any better. Pyschonauts has No multiplayer to speak of whatsoever, and I rate it as one of my top 3 games I've ever player.

However, your Console based arguement is somewhat subverted when you use Starcraft and WoW as an example. I don't use Consoles myself, neither do many of my friends - all avid gamers I might add, who enjoy very much playing Single Player games moreso than multiplayer.

I don't disagree that such games make Huge amounts of money - but that's because they charge HUGE chunks of money for the privelage. Starcraft? Around a hundred Australian dollars. Psychonauts? 10-20 off Steam. And I love Both games, but never play Starcraft online multiplayer because I'm in it for the campaign.

Not every gamer is an online adrenaline junkie who wants to verbally tea-bag people of all nations and creeds - there are plenty of gamers who want to have a game that they can enjoy on their own, or possibly with one or two good buddies. The reason Multiplayer games make such a Huge chunk of money is because they generally tend to be hideously expensive by comparison to account for the online support. You pay less for Single-Player games because they're only that: single player. (Console games excluded because they'd be expensive even if you were buying Farmville, god forbid.)

Everyone is different - and I know for a fact that things like this new Knights of the Old Republic game coming out I'm going to sadly miss out on because as far as I can tell, it's an MMO - and no doubt they'll be charging monthly for it. I Loved KOTOR and KOTOR2 because of their story, they were delicious victory wrapped in a lovely buffet of single player character extravagance. And now what - they're bringing out the so called 'third' game, and making it Entirely multiplayer based?

I assume by your comments that you own Halo Reach, (and if you don't something similar). If one day a new Halo sequel was released and they suddenly decided to change the entire format to Single Player ONLY - you'd be a bit miffed... but not as miffed as the gent who finds his beloved sequel focuses on the Multiplayer, something he can't play.

I seem to have gone on a bit of a rant here - but the point is, Multiplayer is not everyone's cup of tea. The only Multiplayer online games I play with regularity are TF2 and L4D (1&2), and of the two of them, only TF2 is exclusively Multiplayer.

Like many others, I purchase games because they have charm, character - or an appealing storyline. TF2 I paid for the art-style and the engrossing characters, and I've never once regretted my decision.

You praise Call of Duty for its multiplayer, but the only reason I bought COD4 was because I'd heard the single-player had an epic story - Single Player.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that Multiplayer is popular - it really is. But by focusing on Multiplayer at the expense of the Single Player, you're cutting out a Huge quantity of potential buyers.

After all, the Half Life series hasn't got a multiplayer (aside from Deathmatch, an entirely different game), and MANY agree that it's one of the best - if not The best - series of FPS games ever released.

Anyway - this block of text has gone on for a bit, I'm going to go for a walk and buy me a sandwich.

That was, unbelievably brilliant. And that's really all I have to say in this matter.

Shihan2:

RexoftheFord:

Shihan2:
Ok, call me a fanboy, because I probably am, but he's already stated that he hasn't followed the series and this is a fan game. Bungie would've been happy not having to do another Halo if people had shut up about it. The Spartans aren't meant to be relatable, and they were trained to die if need be to give a significant advantage to their team members, all of which is covered in those wonderful little books that I'm sure Yahtzee refuses to read. I'm not saying Halo Reach was perfect, it's far from, but I think Yahtzee is letting his own personal experience(or lack thereof) and feelings get in his review. I thought Halo 3 was the pinnacle of the series and has since gone downhill. It would've been a lot better if they'd gone with ODST's or Marines, because most people I've talked with are tired of playing as Spartans. They've been predictable since before Halo 3 when the first book series came out. I hope this isn't the last in the franchise since I'd like to see something done outside the Spartan story arcs, and maybe it'll be fresher since it won't be Bungie's child anymore. Maybe something along the lines of playing a Marine from his first deployment out of boot and taking us through a career we can choose depending on what our preferred play style is.

So instead of being a steroid pumped super soldier, you would rather play as a Marine. A man, who without all the steroid pumped super soldiers running around, would be dead ten seconds after stepping onto the battlefield? Why not just play Call of Duty then?

Personally, I can't relate to anyone who regenerates health by walking over a health pack, or anyone that only jumps 10 feet in the air as opposed to the 40 feet Spartans seem to manage. If you change it to a marine, it would just feel like ODST where your Stamina's basically your shields and your health is your health. You're still taking about 20 shots before you die, so you're still a steroid pumped super soldier.

Oh, nice use of one of Shamus's "You have to know every detail from every form of media even remotely related to the game before you can review it" thing from his Fanboy Guide.

Lemme guess, you're a Cod fan that views Halo as the root of all evil. Allow me to explain my position a bit better. If I wanted to play in a sand pit and shoot at terrorists in a realistic setting down to the grain of the round, I'd enlist in the military. But since I want to play a sci-fi game where instead of being an unstoppable military juggernaught, you play as the underdog that's slowly but surely loosing the fight. I'm merely trying to say how the franchise can be improved instead of whining that there's another game out to compete with CoD. Realism isn't the most important thing to a game, I regard Bioshock higher than I do Halo, and the original Dark Forces, an old game you probably don't remember, was what first got me into the genre. MW2 was a very good game, but it wasn't perfect, particularly because I like huge battles to take part in, not get suckered into a half-assed stealth bit.

Well, actually, I'm a fan of both games. CoD has its good points. Halo does too. Why would you want to play a Halo game that is more like CoD though? Realism in gaming does suck at a certain point in gaming, but wouldn't making you a marine, one of a million, just make Halo more about realism with just a hint of scifi added to it? I did play Dark Forces, I played Jedi Knight, and Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy. They were all good games. Instead of wanting to play Halo as a marine, why not just go play Doom? It's got scifi setting and you're just a lowly marine. Would satisfy your desire. Halo won't improve beyond where it's at until people stop buying it up everytime they release the same fuckin' game, slightly different story repeatedly. But whatever. By the way, Bioshock was pretty badass. I agree with you there.

Redd:

Oliver Pink:
Snip

That was, unbelievably brilliant. And that's really all I have to say in this matter.

Why thank you sir =D - I appreciate that.

hehehe delicious!

I'm not really sure what to say. Even though Yatzhee is incredibly wrong on all points about the HALO storyline (Yes, there is a cohesive plot that ties the whole series together.) and the characters with-in said storyline, he is entitled to his opinion, even though I disagree with it.

So this shirt does make me look fat!

Thanks! Been stressing me all day.

In regards to the story.

There are low fantasy writers trying to write hard sci-fi and well obviously failing.
Game devs making a game irrespective of the story.
And a mix of the two trying to maintain the aloof manner of a hard sci-fi story without any real attempt to write one.

There is so much 'background' information we're meant to know presented like a Hal Clement hard sci-fi novel, except the background isn't real science and they don't tell us about it or why its there or anything of it.

Spartan's weighing a ton is a perfect example, the way its treated is: "You know this, its science, it explains things and the end" except it doesn't hold up to science. So either get off the high-horse, make it make sense, or make up your own mythology THEN EXPLAIN IT!

The core story isn't BAD really it isn't, the idea of spartans the idea of the covernent, the concept of the halo rings, the flood, the prophets - there is the core ideas of an amazing story - its just getting presented by about 3-4 different groups all trying to do the wrong thing and it gets messy and sloppy and sadface.

Its so much wasted concepts, ideas and development. :(

I don't understand why some of you are bringing up the books, because they aren't relevant to the work being reviewed. You review something as a stand-alone, not as part of something greater. If a game needs to support itself on past works, than its relying on too much from the past. Reach is not able to support itself with it's own interesting and flowing story, and add something, anything to Halo's legacy. Each new entry in a series has to add something, or it isn't worth anything. The books are not relevant to Reach, have no business in a review about Reach, and aren't required reading before playing the game. If I can't hit the ground running with no prior knowledge, I have to go out and buy a copy of Halo: Printed to even fathom this assuredly deep and meaningful narrative about a human colonized planet overrun by a warring alien empire, where I follow and participate in an uphill battle to save the beautiful planet of Reach from its fall, Than it is not worth my time. It suffers from MW2 syndrome, where the multiplayer is worth more than the single-player. A game is supposed to have a story, a little at least, that new players can understand without having to dig through past games and novels to make sense of. Even Team Fortress 2 has a meaningless story, just to add some motivation( You are on one of 2 sides,Red or Blu, each controlling half of the world's government.). Stories that are "you kill things. The End." have no business in a $60 dollar purchase.

Did I contradict myself several times? I think I did. TL;DR Version the books are worthless and don't belong in this game's review. "Well, if you read the books..."

Know you may never read this Mr. Y, but I think I can clarify the Cortana bit, at least in English.

Halo: Reach didn't convey this very well, but Cortana is a rare breed of AI. In the Halo 'verse, AI are the result of some crazy gobbly gook that takes a person's personalties and empties them into the computer to provide a lattice for the virtual AI. Dr. Halsey's DNA provided the material, via melting space clones, to make what usually kills the original person possible without 'human' loss of life and brain mass.

Now you see where the writers of Bungie REEEALLLLYYYYY want off the Halo train.

Anywho, they wanted Cortana cause she knows things. She knows how to find Earth, a task even humans aren't trusted with (something about mind reading and hostile space colonies). She's also shares Halsey's character, which is somehow important to the rest of the series. We do know she's smart and committed to the cause, which is a hit and miss with the other smart A.I. that were made with kidnapped children brains who couldn't cut muster in SPARTAN summer camp.

Finally, her namesake is a sword mentioned in the legends of Charmane and his knights, cast of the same steel as... DURANDAL, a sword that has such importance to Sir Roland that one can easily start to see phalic references. I haven't gotten too far in the book, but it's safe to say that those knights really loved their swords, and Cortana is indeed the weapon of the future.

A damned sexy weapon.

It's priceless how Yahtzee dismisses the co-op in halo Reach as being 'single-player with a ball and chain', even though he's spoken up the co-op in games like Left 4 Dead and Guitar Hero as being fun with friends. It's actually a bit depressing, as if he thinks being a sad, opinionated loner makes him cool.

Palademon:
Yes, it is rather boring. There are new weapons and vehicles. (Or should I say old). I much prefered ODST's characterisation. I only starting liking Noble team (a little) after about half of them were dead.

Ew didnt think the characters in reach were that likebale, but I thought even less of ODSTs characters. Cept for the story told through the audio diary you could find, those characters I kind of liked :}

I liked Reach better than halo 3, but like halo 3 it referenced the books (especially fall or reach) too much, and tried to pull our heart strings (which they more often than not failed at) and make it all about the characters. I preferred it when you didn't really have to have any back story as in the first game.

Fronzel:

kael013:
Yahtzee did you actually READ that "ancillary media", because it also explains away the floaty movement feel and the first half of the book makes the whole "mum" thing completely false. Next time make use of all the facts there, just taking the ones that support your argument shows narrow-mindedness.

No one should have to read a novel to understand the plot of a video game...or a movie or whatever. Singular works of fiction should stand on their own, otherwise it all just becomes a closed, fanboy-centric loop.

He shouldn't have referenced the book like that then. But the whole cortana-aunt thing was, amusingly accurate yeah.

"...and that shirt you're wearing makes you look fat."

Actually I'll have you know it's got nothing to do with the shirt and everything to do with my lardy gut, mate.

I enjoy playing Halo, and I agree about games having to stand up on single-player. Multiplayer and co-op are important, but sometimes I just prefer to play by myself. Gaming sometimes constitutes my "me time," so if a game isn't worth playing when it's just me, what's the point?

Not to mention, I look fantastic in this shirt.

skimmed a few pages, then tl;dr'ed the thread.

Anyways, why are we arguing about Yahtzee's opinion? That's what critics do, they say what THEY think about things. Not whether you would like it. Yahtzee is not a big fan of multiplayer, m'kay? If he talked about it, it would just be negative anyways. He's also right, by the way. Games SHOULD stand on single player alone if they have it. It should also be able to stand alone on multiplayer, aka TF2.

Played the game. The story is bad, the game itself mediocre. Entertaining for a while, but nothing special. It just feels like another Halo 3 with different weapons. The graphical update is minimal, at best.

I'm not saying the game is bad. I'm just saying a "remake" of Halo 3 with new weapons just isn't worth the praise it's getting from almost every game reviewer out there. Friends of mine have agreed with me, and they were psyched about this game. They got disappointed when playing it though.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
..and why an AI is on a bit of glowy pipe rather than, say, a USB stick.

Yahtzee, I love you.
This too baffled me. If we could probably fit her on a (albeit very large storage-space wise) USB Stick NOW, like, 500 years before the events of Reach, surely they could fit her in something... I don't know, thinner than paper, in 2552.

But it's negligible to me really, Halo was never known for it's realism. I guess it was just for effect, having a glowy blue pipe to signify Six was carrying something pretty damn important.

Anyway, I completely understand Yahtzee's view on Halo, I just disagree with it. Love the entire series (call me a fanboy..), but respect the fact that Yahtzee doesn't.
At least he gives good reasons why.

KhakiHat:
Finally, her namesake is a sword mentioned in the legends of Charmane and his knights, cast of the same steel as... DURANDAL, a sword that has such importance to Sir Roland that one can easily start to see phalic references. I haven't gotten too far in the book, but it's safe to say that those knights really loved their swords, and Cortana is indeed the weapon of the future.

Durandal is, incidentally, the name of the semi-antagonistic AI from the Marathon games.

Haven't read all the comments, but I'm guessing it's yet more "Why can't Yahtzee judge the game on the strength of the parts that go nowhere?" type stuff?
(The "parts that DO go somewhere" would be the stuff with the story progression that goes from point A to point B to point C etc until 'something' gets accomplished, instead of putzing around on a selection of maps where 'nothing' gets accomplished.)

I suppose I would have liked the story to end in some way other than just transporting Cortana, since I know she will eventually ruin the end of Halo 3's story, but I still think it was good. You finally had the chance to fight with other spartans, although I do see the noble death competition as being a real thing. I guess the cutscene where they set up the terms of the competition was cut from the game so as to not make it too obvious.

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