The Big Picture: Combat Evolved?

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One other thing: so what if some guy's eyes turned blue? It takes a lot more then one guy's eyes turning blue to have nazi/aryan undertones in something. From what I've seen, hardly anyone fits into the blond-hair-blue-eyes type, and I'd say you would at least need around 33% or more to fit that type before you can legitimately call Nazism. I swear, you're grasping at as many straws as Glenn Beck usually does. Oh well, that's Godwin's Law for ya.

1. I'm happy Bob got another show. Many here seem to know him only as the "movie guy", but he's been doing gaming commentary much longer (look up Game Overthinker). So no, the "movie guy" didn't get a new show, the guy who just happens to also do the "movie show" got a new show. In addition to the two other shows he's already doing.

2. I like the overall format of the show, and I like Bob's style overall. This applies to Game Overthinker and Escape to the Movies as well. Though I do admit, I'm starting to wonder at which point the whole "slides of funny and somewhat relevant pictures with audio commentary" thing will get stale. Not yet, but not that far into the future either...

3. However, I disagree with the choice of theme for a first episode. It will piss off a lot of people who like Halo and it will not really sit well with a bunch of people who don't really like Halo but find this to be overthinking and nitpicking. I do admit, the whole "eyes turning blue" thing was creepy...

4. I always liked the Covenant better. The only Halo game I really liked was the second one, and that was mostly for the parts where I got to play the Arbiter. Whenever I had to play as Master Chief, I couldn't wait to get through those levels and get to the real star of the show.

Interesting, but I think you dove way too deep into the subtext there. In my opinion, the whole point of the covenant is to express that unity behind the wrong cause is just as bad and dangerous as the 'traditional' badguy portrait of having faceless and emotionless enemies. I also do wonder why you called it "Combat Evolved?" if you were going to rant on the undertones of the game. Odd.

Good piece though. This kind of series will really get people talking on the forums, so I applaud you for bringing it to the site.

While I'm glad to see another Moviebob show, since I love the other show as well, I can't say I felt this was a great start.

Now, don't get me wrong here, I certainly see how things could be read that way. I even see how you could go so far as to point this out as a collective sociological issue that we don't even notice, and that really needs to be addressed. But I think that in this one case there's one big thing to take note of here, which is that he's only analyzed this in the context of a story. That's fine and all, but a videogame is interactive story telling, and when you've got a game like Halo there's a purely mechanical issue to be addressed, specifically that you want variety in your enemies.

I can't know this for certain, but I would bet all the money in my wallet that in the case of Halo the people at Bungie were concerned primarily with the issue of having a variety of enemies for the player to fight so that it would be more interesting. They gave these different enemies different shapes and said "what story can we make up that will explain why all of these different aliens are working together?" The fallacy in analyzing Halo games like this is in the assumption that the story came first, when it's also possible that the different enemies (the game part of the game) came first and were then placed into the mold of a story that came second.

Gigaguy64:

Ultratwinkie:

Zakarath:

Exactly. He is reading waaay to much into this, and he's coming at it from the wrong angle. By the end of Halo 3 you're practically working with the Covenant against the Flood, whose STATED GOAL in the ark terminals is the utter homogenizing of the entire galaxy/universe.
Oh, and also: We were fighting the Covenant because their "arcane belief system" led them to try and wipe us out. I guess because they looked more diverse we should have just let them kill all the humans, right? Oh, and they were going to extinguish all life from the galaxy because their crazy prophets wanted to become gods. THAT is why we were fighting them, not because they were "the other". And honestly, DIVERSITY IN YOUR ENEMIES IS NECESSARY FOR INTERESTING GAMEPLAY. Oh, and one last point: you might want to note that for Halo 3, your team is comprised primarily of an alien, a black guy, a robot, and the love interest is an AI. If that isn't a diverse cast, I don't know what is.

but does that mean your ALLIES have to look the same? hell no.

I remember in Halo 2 i had a Hispanic man, a Woman, and SGT.Johnson on my team during several missions.
And hell you got to work with Elites in H3.

You played as a Human, generally Humans look the same in certain ways.
And they were apart of the military.
The Military uses uniforms.

oh great, token minorities to make a game not racist? wonderful. Not all military units mean everyone looks the same. They have different uniforms and issued weapons. In halo its the same damn spartan and the same damn star ship trooper look-a-like. Same weapons, same uniforms, and no resemblance to a working unit.

shotgun guy.
rifle guy.
green armor guy.

that's it. that is the scope of the human military? No battle medics, mechanics, tech specialist etc? A military means MORE than just a guy with a gun. They need soldiers to do a diverse range of functions. Halo soldiers just run about like jackasses shooting things and dying if anyone so much as farts in their direction.

I like the new show, but I have to disagree on Bob's characterization.

The diversity of the "aliens" has been present throughout Bungie's games. In Marathon, the Pfhor were the "master race" alien, enslaving others and sending them into battle. They even had "enforcers" who would ignore humans, only firing on their own troops when they fled battle (they shot at the player too, but that was a plot point).

In Marathon, you even assist one of the slave races to rebel.

In Halo, the same ideas are there. Yeah, they're diverse, but only because of slavery, and (for those who joined the Covenant willingly) a common belief that humanity is the equivalent of devilspawn.

If we're going to go down the path of competing ideals, think of it less as "purity vs. diversity", but instead as "facism vs. theocracy".

JPArbiter:
Normally I would criticize Bob for not reading into the Halo lore more, but the sad fact is he hit the nail on the head when he said that MOST halo players seem not to give to shits and a fuck about the campaign, and expanded universe.

The funniest thing is that the Covenants campaign of genocide against humanity is centered around the fact that a bunch of middle managers on a archeological dig found that it was the human race, a group largely ignored and avoided by the covenant, that was designated as the chosen heirs to a "Gods" legacy and not the crazy Camel people or the Pseudo-Predators. Read the book Contact Harvest for more.

I do appreciate the point being made however. Slave army or no the covenant do fascinate me more then humanities role in the Halo Universe, though that may be based on the unfamiliar vs familiar. Hell I want there to be an entire game centered around the Arbiter, preferably from well before or well after the current Halo Timeline.

there WAS a game centered around the arbiter, play halo 2.

I think that I've been on these forums for all too long. I heard him say "Does anybody else notice this?" at 1:48 and automatically thought "You're never the only one".

Archangel357:

Bobic:
Has it crossed bobs mind that maybe their isn't some big ugly subtext and maybe the reason for all the different creeds and colours of the enemies is to give you more variation in the things you shoot at?

Thank you, you just have solved every controversy ever.

Because, you see, Hitler didn't hate Jews, "Jud S" just depicted them like blood-sucking parasites to provide people with entertainment.

*facepalm*

The whole point of looking at "big pictures" isn't to analyse what's visible on the surface, but to ask why the surface appears as it does. And the idea that there is a subliminal factor which would make people create a universe in which the white supremacists are good and the diverse multicultural group is bad, WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT IT, well, it's quite troubling indeed. Not the subtext of a particular medium is the problem here, but the cultural subtext behind it, the cultural subconscious, as it were. Nobody is saying that what you say isn't true - the diverse nature of the Covenant makes for a better game mechanic than, say, the Helghast - but then, nobody is accusing Bungie of being consciously racist, just like I don't think that the people behind Resident Evil 5 hate black people (they do hate the laws of good story-telling, however). The problem goes deeper than that, that the audience would readily and uncritically accept such premises.

Good start to the new show. While I don't always agree with Bob, I usually find his thought processes very entertaining. Keep it up, big guy.

But you could read something negative like that into any form of media, it doesn't mean that anything of the sort actually exists on any level, including a subliminal one.

Ultratwinkie:

Gigaguy64:

Ultratwinkie:

but does that mean your ALLIES have to look the same? hell no.

I remember in Halo 2 i had a Hispanic man, a Woman, and SGT.Johnson on my team during several missions.
And hell you got to work with Elites in H3.

You played as a Human, generally Humans look the same in certain ways.
And they were apart of the military.
The Military uses uniforms.

oh great, token minorities to make a game not racist? wonderful. Not all military units mean everyone looks the same. They have different uniforms and issued weapons. In halo its the same damn spartan and the same damn star ship trooper look-a-like. Same weapons, same uniforms, and no resemblance to a working unit.

shotgun guy.
rifle guy.
green armor guy.

that's it. that is the scope of the human military? No battle medics, mechanics, tech specialist etc? A military means MORE than just a guy with a gun. They need soldiers to do a diverse range of functions. Halo soldiers just run about like jackasses shooting things and dying if anyone so much as farts in their direction.

ODST has a lot more of the diverse military unit thing going. You have Squad Commander Guy, Heavy weapons guy, explosives guy, pilot/tech guy, sniper guy, Navy Intelligence girl, etc.

ZephrC:
You're making a dangerous and sadly common mistake here. You assume that fascism equals racial purity. That's simply not true, however. Fascism only requires a clearly delineated "Us" and "Them" to provide an artificial conflict between.

Certainly racism is a possible source of that delineation. On the other hand, there are other options as well. Which side of an imaginary line you were born on is a pretty common one. Also your deity of choice, or even simply how you choose to worship said deity can be used as a tool by fascists. Even within a group it can come down to something as vague as actions. How you dress, what music you like, who you like to fuck, all these things can be used to group people into "Us" and "Them".

When you're looking for signs of fascism, don't look for similarities to Hitler. Those are easy to pick out and will never gain any kind of foothold again at this point. Look for someone saying that we have to stop "Them". We need to make sacrifices to stop "Them". It's okay to do bad things to "Them". That's when you really need to start worrying.

I fail to see your point. You accuse Bob of having a limited view of fascism as being based on questions of race, and then proceed to list every type of protonormalist archetype which can be used to form an "us v them", with the conclusion being... what?

How does your definition of fascism (which is really a definition of protonormalism, but whatever) conflict with his? Just because a racially diverse group can develop fascist ideas based on something else which unifies them, or because fascist tendencies can rise from what is ostensibly a democratic society (looking at you, republicans), suddenly the notion of fascism based on racial uniformity becomes less valid?

Not trying to be an arse here, just curious about what your point is.

rddj623:
Interesting stuff. I don't think any of that was intentional but I can see the correlation. For me the difference comes with choice. The Covenant races didn't have any, they were converted. For the Spartan's they chose to become part of the ultimate in protection. Choice is everything. That is what makes the Covenant a threat. If they had showed up at Reach and said "hey you guys wanna play intergalactic UN with us?" and accepted whatever answer we gave, that would be ok. The fact that they came to conquer and enslave us, well that pretty much makes them an enemy. Regardless of their multiracial ranks.

Not be an absolute fan-boy (although I am, sorry), but the Spartans were kidnapped at the age of about five or six and replaced with a clone so no-one would notice.
And also the Covenant just want us dead, not to make us their slaves. We were scapegoated by the Prophet of Truth who wanted to cover-up the fact that we were the descendants of the Forerunners, an ancient, technologically-advanced race that the Covenant worship as 'gods', to fulfill his own power-hungry agenda. The discovery of this information would have caused the collapse and dissolution of the Covenant.

Ultratwinkie:

Gigaguy64:

Ultratwinkie:

but does that mean your ALLIES have to look the same? hell no.

I remember in Halo 2 i had a Hispanic man, a Woman, and SGT.Johnson on my team during several missions.
And hell you got to work with Elites in H3.

You played as a Human, generally Humans look the same in certain ways.
And they were apart of the military.
The Military uses uniforms.

oh great, token minorities to make a game not racist? wonderful. Not all military units mean everyone looks the same. They have different uniforms and issued weapons. In halo its the same damn spartan and the same damn star ship trooper look-a-like. Same weapons, same uniforms, and no resemblance to a working unit.

shotgun guy.
rifle guy.
green armor guy.

that's it. that is the scope of the human military? No battle medics, mechanics, tech specialist etc? A military means MORE than just a guy with a gun. They need soldiers to do a diverse range of functions. Halo soldiers just run about like jackasses shooting things and dying if anyone so much as farts in their direction.

I love it when someone doesn't even bother playing the previous games, there were seperate units in the first and second games, tech specialists, medics and engineers, the third was mainly wrapping things up, and how is ODST not a seperate unit? No, lets make them look different, give them armor that doesn't blend in and weapons that are ineffective for combat. In the first two games marines pick up whatever armor they can find, and even use covenant weapons.

Ampersand:

Ultratwinkie:

Zakarath:

Exactly. He is reading waaay to much into this, and he's coming at it from the wrong angle. By the end of Halo 3 you're practically working with the Covenant against the Flood, whose STATED GOAL in the ark terminals is the utter homogenizing of the entire galaxy/universe.
Oh, and also: We were fighting the Covenant because their "arcane belief system" led them to try and wipe us out. I guess because they looked more diverse we should have just let them kill all the humans, right? Oh, and they were going to extinguish all life from the galaxy because their crazy prophets wanted to become gods. THAT is why we were fighting them, not because they were "the other". And honestly, DIVERSITY IN YOUR ENEMIES IS NECESSARY FOR INTERESTING GAMEPLAY. Oh, and one last point: you might want to note that for Halo 3, your team is comprised primarily of an alien, a black guy, a robot, and the love interest is an AI. If that isn't a diverse cast, I don't know what is.

but does that mean your ALLIES have to look the same? hell no.

Their soldiers the wear uniforms, also theres normally only like 2 or 3 or them on screen at a time and in spite of that they still have a surprising amount of diversity (they were even given names.)

not all soldiers look the same. Say that to a US military officer and he will bitch slap you back to the stone age. As i said before, soldiers mean MORE than just a guy with a gun, they have different ROLES, UNIFORMS, AND WEAPONS. All halo soldiers are just jackasses who run around shooting things with the same armor and the same gun. Just because modern warfare shows soldiers running about quick-scoping doesn't mean that's how actual war is. try that in a war zone and that will get you blown to bits. diversity in halo: combat evolved in the starship trooper look-a-likes? bull shit.

Gigaguy64:

Sylocat:

Bobic:
Has it crossed bobs mind that maybe their isn't some big ugly subtext and maybe the reason for all the different creeds and colours of the enemies is to give you more variation in the things you shoot at?

Then how hard would it have been to give more variation in the things you shoot WITH?

What?
Aside from the main humean wepons like the Rocket Launcher, Assult Rifel, and Shot Gun, you also got to use alien weapons like the Needler, Plasma Rifel, Fuel Rod Cannon, Plasma Gernades, and Covant Combine.
Even though some of the Alien weapons are the Equivalent of a Human weapon, it just fires energy, id say that was a good variety.

I meant characters, not weapons.

Bobic:
But you could read something negative like that into any form of media, it doesn't mean that anything of the sort actually exists on any level, including a subliminal one.

First rule of hermeneutics: if you can read it into it, it is there, even if it wasn't in the creator's intentions to include it - because the creator himself is shaped by temporal and local epistemes down to a subconscious level. All you need are arguments.

Bob did deliver arguments which are not easily dismissed, so the subtext is there.

I like it, looking forward to next episodes.

Also, Godwins Law ftw !

Ultratwinkie:

Gigaguy64:

Ultratwinkie:

but does that mean your ALLIES have to look the same? hell no.

I remember in Halo 2 i had a Hispanic man, a Woman, and SGT.Johnson on my team during several missions.
And hell you got to work with Elites in H3.

You played as a Human, generally Humans look the same in certain ways.
And they were apart of the military.
The Military uses uniforms.

oh great, token minorities to make a game not racist? wonderful. Not all military units mean everyone looks the same. They have different uniforms and issued weapons. In halo its the same damn spartan and the same damn star ship trooper look-a-like. Same weapons, same uniforms, and no resemblance to a working unit.

shotgun guy.
rifle guy.
green armor guy.

that's it. that is the scope of the human military? No battle medics, mechanics, tech specialist etc? A military means MORE than just a guy with a gun. They need soldiers to do a diverse range of functions. Halo soldiers just run about like jackasses shooting things and dying if anyone so much as farts in their direction.

the unit you were a part of in Reach had that Diversity.
Kat was a Tech expert.
Jorge was the Heavy Weapons expert.
And then we even had a Sniper Spartan and Assault Spartan.

And in the early games it talked about the different units in the military, but YOU weren't apart of them.
You were sent in to clear a path for the rest of the army.
The soldiers you were with had the same objective.

Uh... Almost everyone in Noble Team has a different accent. You also gotta take into consideration that's what the military does. Strip individualism to create a single unit.

As far as I know, different species don't normally hang around because... you know, planet distance and all that. The different alien races in Halo are simply to create gameplay variation and show how large the ideals of the covenant have spread. They aren't exactly slaves... Uh, maybe slaves to religion? FOR THE GREAT JOURNEY!

Ultratwinkie:
that's it. that is the scope of the human military? No battle medics, mechanics, tech specialist etc? A military means MORE than just a guy with a gun. They need soldiers to do a diverse range of functions. Halo soldiers just run about like jackasses shooting things and dying if anyone so much as farts in their direction.

Mechanics and tech specialists are all over the ships when you're on them.

As for medics, you're going to single out Halo for that? Many FPS don't have medics, or if they do, they perform magic juju to fully restore players/npcs (SW: Republic Commando comes to mind).

Wheee, new Bob show!

OT: The Covenant is more interesting? DUUUUHHHhhh...

Halo 2 arguably had the most interesting story of the series (back when it was a silly tongue-in-cheek space opera), and most of the interesting parts revolved around the Arbiter, the Brutes, the Heretics, the Hierarchs, you got to see how the Covenant actually functions, etc.

As far as mainstream shooters go, at least Bungie decided to channel Heinlein instead of Tom Clancy. Of course, the gameplay is what people buy it for, and I've heard a lot of players who "are still not feeling it" just like Moviebob. The regenerating-shield-two-weapons-plus-grenades thing is a rather specific taste. For the record, I love how the Halo games work, but I only play the campaigns.

Ilikemilkshake:
nice, looking forward to more of the new show.
oh and where was that footage of the guys eyes turning blue from?
i've only played halo 1+2 so if its from 3 or reach, that would explain why i havent seen it.

It's from one of the trailers for Reach I believe. I'm not sure which one, but I know I've seen it before and I put no effort into finding or watching extraneous Halo stuff, so it must have been in a trailer.

Why aren't we noticing it Bob?
Because it's generic. It's so bland that the subtext has become invisible.
Imagine you are the world's most boring and inconspicuous person. You look like an ordinary dude in the crowd even when you're walking by yourself.

And because of this, as long as you remain in society, you are so marginalized and insignificant that you might as well be invisible.

Secretly, you could be a spy. Or an assassin. Or a psychotic serial-killer. Or mega-genius just walking home from a day of doing Foyer' Equations in his head.

But nobody would ever look twice at you unless they caught you in the act.

Halo has not one single iota of original thought behind it when it comes to the context; and it's done in this manner because writing an original story would not appeal to their target audience nearly as strongly.

Sorry, but Halo's story was made to appeal to an audience 12-20 year old males, and it was good for business. Hell, even I like those sorts of stories on occaision, but I would never call them "deep".

What's the story:
"Aliens want to conquer humanity, and we'd rather they didn't."

Get McGuffin, shoot the bad guys, cue the end credits. The only simpler plot is Mega Man where we just skip the McGuffin part.

Halo never wanted to be deep, yet some people tell me that it is. Too many people, following Reach's release. I'd really like it to stop.

The whole "Nazi-Fascism" gig is a coincidence; I doubt anyone writing the Halo stories has the capacity for clever use of symbolism at this point; and if they did, it would certainly be squelched out in favor of more "badass". Everything up until now has been so blunt and thinly-veiled that I still have a black-eye from Halo 3.

Besides, isn't there some other, slightly different video-game story that used the concept of a slave-army of aliens to conquer humanity? Perhaps some of the aliens then switch teams halfway through because of a plot contrivance or rebellion?

Nah. Maybe it's just a coincidence...
Now I had better fire Reach back up so I can get back to fighting off the Combine Covenant.

Warachia:

Ultratwinkie:

Gigaguy64:

I remember in Halo 2 i had a Hispanic man, a Woman, and SGT.Johnson on my team during several missions.
And hell you got to work with Elites in H3.

You played as a Human, generally Humans look the same in certain ways.
And they were apart of the military.
The Military uses uniforms.

oh great, token minorities to make a game not racist? wonderful. Not all military units mean everyone looks the same. They have different uniforms and issued weapons. In halo its the same damn spartan and the same damn star ship trooper look-a-like. Same weapons, same uniforms, and no resemblance to a working unit.

shotgun guy.
rifle guy.
green armor guy.

that's it. that is the scope of the human military? No battle medics, mechanics, tech specialist etc? A military means MORE than just a guy with a gun. They need soldiers to do a diverse range of functions. Halo soldiers just run about like jackasses shooting things and dying if anyone so much as farts in their direction.

I love it when someone doesn't even bother playing the previous games, there were seperate units in the first and second games, tech specialists, medics and engineers, the third was mainly wrapping things up, and how is ODST not a seperate unit? No, lets make them look different, give them armor that doesn't blend in and weapons that are ineffective for combat. In the first two games marines pick up whatever armor they can find, and even use covenant weapons.

what? i played the first halo and all i saw was the same human guys running around with rifles with the same over used lines. its all the same shit which is shoot this, go here, you won the game now go play muliplayer and scream into the damn mic at little kids using your "1337 skillz".

no matter which spartan it is, it ends up being the same testosterone filled dumbass running into enemy fire then "dying tragically derpity derp" and having a big sob story about how he is a victim then everyone forgets about him and continue as if nothing happened. Same stereotypical characters every single time. That isn't diversity.

A lot of people seem to be missing the Fact that the Halo series is primarily a Lone Hero type of game. While there were slight departures in ODST and Reach, On a whole you're the hero, and the marines around you are pretty much only there to make combat a little more interesting while giving enemies a distraction. The squad is bland BECAUSE THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO FOCUS on them. The game is focused on you shooting aliens in the face, not on your team, and so your team doesn't need to be spectacularly diverse and characterized.

Sylocat:

Gigaguy64:

Sylocat:
Then how hard would it have been to give more variation in the things you shoot WITH?

What?
Aside from the main human weapons like the Rocket Launcher, Assault Rifle, and Shot Gun, you also got to use alien weapons like the Needler, Plasma Rifle, Fuel Rod Cannon, Plasma Grenades, and Covenant Combine.
Even though some of the Alien weapons are the Equivalent of a Human weapon, it just fires energy, id say that was a good variety.

I meant characters, not weapons.

Then im not sure what you mean.
John was the main character, so you played as him.
Is that somehow bad?

SODAssault:
Or, y'know, maybe they just wanted a diverse array of aliens to shoot up, where their hazard level is broadcast by their physical stature (small monkey thing = weak; gigantic bear-gorilla = strong) similar to TF2's classes having distinct silhouettes, and then filled in an excuse plot around it. Doesn't strike me as "kill them because they dare to be unlike us" so much as "and that's why you're shooting split-face reptiles and shield-carrying vulture-people". I know the implications are there, but it's hard to consider them intentional.

Just saying.

Have to agree here. Nno matter what they're alien (not human), and we're human (we just aren't that interesting). When you have a crazy Religious cult bent on domination, sometimes you get mixed races they've conquered and subjugated. Plus concept artists love to go crazy on wierd alien species. I think it was more for the flavor of the universe than actually being 'afraid of diversity'.

The Humans are the protagonists because that's who we identify with, and the Spartans are the 'super-soldier' formula that basically represent Neitsche's superman that we all want to be. It evokes a response in humans that's why it's a winning strategy to make a game around. Us fighting Aliens will always be popular because it brings out that ingrained emotion that links us to our humanity and other humans.

The thing that bothers me here is, some of this could just be Overthinking the plot. It's a shooter, the story is somewhat involved but not overly, you've got aliens, it doesn't have to be read on the same level as Herbert, Asimov, Card, Gibson, Bradbury, Heinlein, Clarke, ..you see where I'm going.

Freaking genius! As much as I love the movie reviews from someone who seems remotely culturally aware I'm really glad the Chipman is moving outside the norm into things more abstract. I'm always in support of people bringing forward the things we need to discuss, especially when they're something people are so reticent to have a public opinion on. Difficult Discussion Incoming! Fantastic news!

PS: Between The Big Picture and Extra Credit, The Escapist has elevated Tuesdays and Thursdays to culturally relevant event days! Add the sometimes cultural discussions from weekly feature articles and I'll be wrapped in controversy all week long! Yay!

Great so see another interessting show on the escapist :)

What if you looked at it the other way around?

Isen't a unified human race diverse?

And it is worth mentioning that the Covenant are made out to be bad guys because they are trying to wipe out humanity.
The diversity of alien races might as well be a gameplay element to make for more, diverse, enemies.

Great show, but I think comparing a game that is basically about shooting aliens in the face to a neo nazi conspiracy is abit much.

Apparently, MovieBob forgot that he himself noted that the Covenant were diverse but enslaved when he launched into his little "Master Race" rant, although his comparison of Halo with the conflict between the Greeks and Persians was spot on. And was 300 fascist? Maybe. But it was one hell of an awesome, gory film.

"I am working for crazy people and it's awesome!" -MovieBob
You got my attention, interesting show, look forward to new installments.

TomLikesGuitar:

Ultratwinkie:

TomLikesGuitar:

I love how he rants about how honestly cool and in depth the story really is, but then pretends like he thinks its bad.

Congratulations MovieBob, you're just as brainwashed about the "need" to hate on Halo as the rest of the world.

bull....shit. People hate halo because its so overdone. it stole 90% of its content from other successful literature, games, or pop culture.

flood = Half life.
shields = starcraft.
etc.

[sarcasm]Yes.

Halo stole the idea of energy shields from... Starcraft.

There were never energy shields in any Frank Herbert novel.[/sarcasm]

Hell they date way back before Dune.

Oh, and having a relatively brainless alien race that ends up converting humanity into slaves dates WAY back before Half Life in science fiction. Hell they all tend to look the same too with their brain suckers and whatnot. Just because a fictional work wasn't released during your lifetime doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Do your fantasy theme research.

Way to prove my point that people will say ANYTHING to make Halo seem bad. It's like, when someone who dislikes Halo hears that another person likes Halo they HAVE to attack it. It just shows that you are an angry internet fanboy.

technically its the starcraft community saying they stole regenerating shields. However a small animal that latches onto your body and turns you into a zombie? a couple years after a popular game was released that was revolutionary? on the same platform as Halo? before it went to consoles? seems a bit... too coincidental don't you think?

THIS

Bobic:
Has it crossed bobs mind that maybe their isn't some big ugly subtext and maybe the reason for all the different creeds and colours of the enemies is to give you more variation in the things you shoot at?

Different races are a great way of introducing different enemy mechanics and somewhat (ineffectively) getting rid of some of the repetitious feel of the game.

Also it could be argued that the choice of a focus on fascism works very well. It dose a lot to help the storey spreading a nice blob of grey over the usual black and white. And now I'm more aware of it I think that ill find my role in the game more disturbing and a lot more interesting. Dystopia > Utopia

To everyone making claims about why people play Halo or why they like it or what it's good for, I'll just say the story can be pretty involved, even if over half of it is in the novels and other non-game sources, and there are fans that love all of it, and fans that love some of it, and fans that don't care and just love it because it's really fun, and fans that play it mostly for the story, and even fans that made a website that says, nominally and not seriously, that Halo: Reach isn't canon to draw attention to how think the story has been harmed.
Anyway, that's one of the nice somewhat unique things about Halo, sure it's shooting aliens in space (SPAAACE Space space space) but they aren't all faceless, even the ones that are actually part of a hivemind (though less so), and it turns out they aren't evil, and they don't just want to take over or destroy us and our homes because they felt cranky that day. As for the Spartans, that is to say, the successful participants in the Spartan-II and Spartan-III programs, the sameness is on purpose, for a variety of reasons-- there aren't a lot of civilians shown in the series but the ones that are are pretty different from each other.
The whole societal thing or whatever you want to call it, that's kind of the point, in Halo 2, though unfortunately not any of the others, the motivations for the Covenant are explored pretty well, and first contact with the Covenant, as shown in the novel written not by an outside author but the guy who does the stories for the games, was diplomatic and tried to continue that way, the Covenant were the first aggressors. The Conversations from the Universe booklet that came with the limited edition of Halo 2 is a pretty good source too, it shows an Elite that respects humans and thinks they're worthy of consideration for joining the Covenant, and of course by Halo 3 they've joined forces-- I think Hood's speech at the end of Halo 3 sums up a lot of it well, where he talks to the Arbiter, "I remember how this war started. What your kind did to mine. I can't forgive you. But... you have my thanks, for standing by him to the end," after which they shake hands.
As mentioned above, we're talking about video games here, there are hardware and software restrictions and matters of aesthetics, having more types of enemies to deal with is generally more fun, and the Spartans are partly so similar because it saves on disk space and memory to load the same things and use them over and over-- this would be the point where I point out Noble team, for all their faults, are at least varied, and are different people, and have somewhat different armor and gear to top it off.
Also the blue eyes thing may in fact have subtext but not what you think: blue is kind of the color of the Halo series, that Spartan's armor and that of another on Noble team are blue, the logo is (generally) blue, Cortana is (generally) blue, some of the Covenant's weapons are blue and most of the rest of the Covenant's stuff is purple, which is close to blue, Grunts have blue blood, and a lot of the tiny lights on Forerunner architecture are blue, not to mention the gas seen stored in Halo 2 and the power storage devices seen in various Forerunner places in Halo 2 and 3 glow blue.
There's one more thing, and it's more of an issue, the Covenant forces aren't exactly a slave army, the Engineers are pretty much forced to comply and the Drones are in a situation like blackmail or ransom, the leaders of the Covenant keep their colonies and queen in good condition, and the Hunters realized they couldn't win the war they were fighting against the Covenant and joined them and have a lot of respect for the Elites, but the Jackals are pretty much doing it for money, and the rest of the races are trying to recover Forerunner stuff to reach salvation through a poorly-understood "Great Journey", and will eliminate whatever stands in the way of that.
As a bit of an aside, also in the extended fiction although does show up a tiny bit in Halo Wars and Reach, humanity isn't as united as you might think, the whole reason the Spartan-II program was created was to put down human insurrectionist rebellions, and as was said in the video the making of Spartans isn't always shown as being the noblest or most moral thing to do.
This Movie Bob guy and Yahtzee both act like they know the Halo story probably because people have pointed stuff like this out to them and then they miss these things that indicate they don't know it, obviously they looked into it a little bit and that's nice but it's clear to me they're bluffing a bit and that's pretty frustrating.

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