Zero Punctuation: Halo 4

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Yellowbeard:

OuendanCyrus:
Never been a huge fan of Halo, only played Combat Evolved on the PC and got bored halfway through.

Man, I got bored before the opening cutscene was over and quit ten minutes later. Dull, dull, dull.

You spent $60 or whatever on a game and quit after 10 minutes? Are you Paris Hilton or something?

The WORST thing to happen to the Halo series (And probably Shooter franchise in general) was porting Halo over to the PC. Halo is a Console shooter, with mechanics based around using a dual-joystick controller instead of Keyboard & Mouse.

SanAndreasSmoke:

DVS BSTrD:
No waves? Well I guess that tides well for Halo fans.

Well, it'll certainly tide them over until the next installment.

...I suddenly feel ashamed of myself.

Torrents of puns are good, except when you repeat a pun on the same word someone else punned.

"It's not spunkgargleweewee."
Put that quote up on the game box, people, that's a glowing recommendation if I ever saw one.

Video won't load. It just dims the screen as if it's about to load a secondary box (Like it does, usually successfully), but not this time.

EDIT: After twenty minutes of fucking with all kinds of things, it decides to work seconds after I post this. Go figure.

A friend came back to visit for the holidays last weekend, and he brought Halo 4.
Yeah...it's the definition of "stagnant".
I haven't liked the series as a whole; but I am did enjoy ODST and thought Reach was fairly brilliant (well, firefight and the class-system were legitimately good).

Then Halo 4 comes along...the only thing I can say is that I like how some of the environments look a bit better in places (and can only scratch my head at the developer's obsession with the color orange)

Hahaha oh Halo, how much i love and dislike thee. . .wait Yahtzee has played space hulk?

343 is nothing but Bungie employees who said, screw this, we rather stay with plush Microsoft benefits than to sail into the unknown untested charted waters that Bungie went off too. Hell, they even have the same physical studio left by Bungie. 343 = Old Bungie.

Dire Sloth:
Master Chief was downloading porn all those years, and with the porn came viruses.
And that's how Cortana snapped! Porn viruses.

Over each iteration, he's also been DL'ing sexier higher poly DLC models for Cortana.exe.

Naughty naughty naughty!

Cecilthedarkknight_234:
I'll just say it as a halo fan, the story was wrapped up in the third game despite not being the ending everyone wanted. Tacking on new story seems pointless to me when some big name characters died in the 3rd game as well. I know that halo 3 hasn't aged that well multi player wise as well, however that's not really a reason to release a brand new game and mess up story that was finished/Rant over.

did you not complete it on legendary? they left it wide open

blackrave:

Yellowbeard:

OuendanCyrus:
Never been a huge fan of Halo, only played Combat Evolved on the PC and got bored halfway through.

Man, I got bored before the opening cutscene was over and quit ten minutes later. Dull, dull, dull.

Same here- got bored pretty fast, quit after meeting the flood (not because it was hard, but because it was boring)
Couldn't stand aiming system in this game (ditched automatics for semi-autos as fast as possible)
Although regenerating shield+non-regenerating health system was awesome- I'd even go as far and say that it was the best part of the game

Man, totally agree, only I quit much sooner. I got bored at the start menu. That dull choir music? I never even bothered playing past that start menu 'cause it was so boring. What a dull game, all in space and stuff with its "Ahhhhs" and violins. I need more dubstep and grunge-rock. Throw some Skrillex in that sh*t. How could anyone make a franchise on this series when the start menu alone is so bland and dull. Sheesh.

Yahtzee seems to have a lot of aesthetic criticisms of the game which is a more sticky area to objectively judge something (though that doesn't mean you shouldn't) whilst his gameplay criticisms are perhaps more measurable and less subjective but what I don't understand is his criticism 'its all a bit boring'. I find Halo rather compelling as far as video game based universes and stories go but Yahtzee remains seemingly unmoved. Different compositions I suppose.

Then again, he's rarely interested in the multiplayer aspects of any game which whilst understandable when multiplayer has been poorly tacked on as a way to tick a box, when it's as integral to the overall game and as large an aspect of it like it is in Halo, then its clear Yahtzee doesn't care too much for 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts' approach and philosophy. So as entertaining as Yahtzee is and as valid and justified as many of his criticisms are, at a fundamental level, I disagree with his reviewing approach and prefer a review that deals with the whole thing, not just one aspect of it.

I believe that looking at anything as a whole is very important, so whilst there will always be a place for Yahtzee to express his views on one aspect, that is, the single-player experience, the fact he doesn't weigh his judgement equally at all means you're only getting one piece of the larger puzzle, the larger experience. Multiplayer, often by its very nature, is a rather fleeting aspect of the game that gets largely replaced by the latest iteration (and sometimes even made null in certain game's cases- Battle For Middle Earth 2 for instance) so I understand why Yathzee isn't interested in it and he has every right to largely ignore it if he doesn't care for it and continue as he is. But at the same time, the multiplayer, despite its temporality, is to be enjoyed in the moment and time in which it exists, and reviews which judge it thus are more interesting to me and more informing than Yahtzee's narrower analysis.

The single-player will live or die on it's merits alone whilst the multiplayer will, whilst not necessarily die, feel less and less a part of the overall experience in the long run, which again, may be why Yahtzee doesn't care for it, but in the moment of time it exists, it's still an important aspect of that whole that gives the game a longer more constant life (even if that longevity or lack thereof is later provided by a good or bad single-player). Besides, online multiplayer may eventually wane, but so long as the game has a split-screen mode, it can live on in some fashion for much longer if you have those willing to play it. Yahtzee, despite his great support of video games as an art form that granted still has some growing to do and despite his pertinent observation that interactivity is one aspect which makes them so great and engaging, he misses out on certain games' social aspects which also distinguishes them in certain ways from other art forms (though not necessarily above them).

That, or he simply doesn't think what exists at the moment, regarding the social aspects, is all that worthwhile or integral to a games potential 'artistic merit', which, if that is the case, I understand and do believe is justified to a certain extent. Still, 'artistic merit' doesn't preclude entertainment value, nor do I think it should, as that which engages your more spirited, excitable side and is fun to experience can make any more 'serious' or heady stuff more effective and possibly powerful by contrast. Shadow of the Colossus is a case in point when it comes to games. Now that is obviously a purely single-player experience but multiplayer in other games can be the more 'light-hearted' and free-flowing aspects that can give a welcome distraction from the more directed, author-driven and possibly more 'serious' single-player experience. Of course, it is their distracting nature which some have a problem with on a basic level, distracting the player from what is arguably at the core of the experience, the single-player story. That and they can be seen to be taking away development time from the single player experience and thus possibly negatively affecting it. For the best of both worlds you must balance the development carefully giving neither weight over the other but letting the two inform each other in beneficial ways. Granted, doing this on a practical level is no doubt more difficult and I don't have the answers there, only ideas of my own, though those ideas are not informed by years of experience developing games.

I could go on but this has already spiralled out of control from a fleeting comment to a full-blown argument that needs more development and careful reflection and I'm feeling tired staring at this computer screen right now, so I'll come back to this in my own time and develop this roughly hewn argument further then.

Eh, I was always more of a Red VS Blue fan than a Halo fan. At least Halo has an interesting story/concept, unlike with say, Call of Duty.

Oh SNAP! Yes I went there!

*insert my fanboy rage* His criticisms were pretty much that the some aspects of the game were not like the things he criticised the cod and bf franchises for, Halo has never been about action action action, and it's not the games fault if you don't concentrate on the story, it is an inherently deep universe.

Scow2:
The WORST thing to happen to the Halo series (And probably Shooter franchise in general) was porting Halo over to the PC. Halo is a Console shooter, with mechanics based around using a dual-joystick controller instead of Keyboard & Mouse.

SanAndreasSmoke:

DVS BSTrD:
No waves? Well I guess that tides well for Halo fans.

Well, it'll certainly tide them over until the next installment.

...I suddenly feel ashamed of myself.

Torrents of puns are good, except when you repeat a pun on the same word someone else punned.

I hope you sea the error of your ways.

Gotta admit the single player was kinda short, 10h you might as well just borrow your friends copy. I thought the minimum was at least 20h now.

Marik Bentusi:

Balkan:
Another example of Yahtzee neither hateing nor liking a game . The result is always a boring review, sorry dude .You should have reviewed Epic Mickey 2 or something.

With a game like Halo 4 I'd say there's a high chance it was simply expected of him - by fans or the Escapist. It's not like those times where he does a retro review or two indie titles that drew his eyes.

My favourite ZPs are when he hates the game like when he reviewed wolfenstein or darksiders .

Grach:

Doom972:
"It's not Spunkgargleweewee" - Microsoft should put it on the front of the game's case.

It should be name of Halo. Because, to me, that's the only thing going for it.

Do we have HALO to blame for the deluge of spunkgargleweewee currently flooding the market? Only 2 weapons at a time and regenerating health/shield. And I prefer brightly-colored levels with dayglow highlights than the current grey-brown schmutz other devs make their games in.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Well, at least Halo fans can say he likes it more than Call of Duty. That's something... I guess.

It is true that reading the books before playing this is Warhammer 40K level of mandatory.

You don't have to read the books, but you would benefit a lot from taking some time to find out what happens in them.

Darth_Payn:

Grach:

Doom972:
"It's not Spunkgargleweewee" - Microsoft should put it on the front of the game's case.

It should be name of Halo. Because, to me, that's the only thing going for it.

Do we have HALO to blame for the deluge of spunkgargleweewee currently flooding the market? Only 2 weapons at a time and regenerating health/shield. And I prefer brightly-colored levels with dayglow highlights than the current grey-brown schmutz other devs make their games in.

I don't think Halo really popularized the regenerating health and two weapons at a time. CoD 4, the only really good MW game, did that. Also, I actually like how the original Halo had only regenerating shields, not health. It was a good way of making a game forgiving but keep an edge to the challenge.

While dark and gritty can go too far, also can colour. Halo is not really that colorful (except for the covenant ship, because jesus pissing christ). I do prefer my battlefields look grimy and dirty no matter if it's the future, but making say, a hospital look grimy and dirty, you're just doing it wrong.

"Sticks head out from out behind cover" Is it over? Oh...well that wasn't too bad. I admit I'm tired as Hell as everyone saying that Halo is just for twelve year olds, but Yahtzee's review wasn't too bad, and I kinda knew that he wasn't going to like it. It really seems less like he hates Halo and more like he doesn't care, besides what goes on in the story seems to be more tailored for Halo fans like myself, so it's understandable that he was lost. At least he says that the characterization was improved but...wait a minute, Del Rio is well characterized...uh...no he isn't. Wow, never thought that Yahtzee would praise a part of Halo and I would disagree with him.

Also four years of masturbating...HA!

As far as the multiplayer goes, my cousin said it felt too much like Call of Duty. Which surprised me, since I was pretty sure he'd never played a Call of Duty game. Can anyone confirm or deny this? That Halo 4 is like it, not that my cousin has played it.

Darth_Payn:
Do we have HALO to blame for the deluge of spunkgargleweewee currently flooding the market? Only 2 weapons at a time and regenerating health/shield. And I prefer brightly-colored levels with dayglow highlights than the current grey-brown schmutz other devs make their games in.

I don't think it's a good idea to blame a game for other developers churning out cheap knock-offs. If anything, the current trend of putting everything on rails and forcing the player from setpiece to setpiece comes from developers still desperately trying to ape Half-Life and failing.

I like that Yahtzee is actually committing to spunkgargleweewe.

As someone who never really got into Halo, I can't say much about this, but I do like that Yahtzee seems to prefer games like Halo over games like CoD or Battlefield...even if it's just by a little bit.

Funny things about toy weapons:
1. Super Soakers carry the Nerf brand these days
2. The bright colors are pretty much the only difference between Nerf guns and futuristic weapons in any videogame. Modern Nerf guns actually look more like futuristic human weapons than futuristic alien weapons and they even make red dot sights for the things these days.

Baldr:
343 is nothing but Bungie employees who said, screw this, we rather stay with plush Microsoft benefits than to sail into the unknown untested charted waters that Bungie went off too. Hell, they even have the same physical studio left by Bungie. 343 = Old Bungie.

Well, no. Out of the 97 employees there, only 4 are ex-Bungie.

I've only played Halo as a multi-player party game, except for the last level of the third game where my friend and I returned our warthog to the dealer. Either way, its more fun to steal vehicles than to actually follow whatever the story is.

anonymity88:

Scow2:
The WORST thing to happen to the Halo series (And probably Shooter franchise in general) was porting Halo over to the PC. Halo is a Console shooter, with mechanics based around using a dual-joystick controller instead of Keyboard & Mouse.

SanAndreasSmoke:

Well, it'll certainly tide them over until the next installment.

...I suddenly feel ashamed of myself.

Torrents of puns are good, except when you repeat a pun on the same word someone else punned.

I hope you sea the error of your ways.

You mean the error of my waves.

Casual Shinji:
I'm always bewildered how Cortana gets more unnecessarily sexy and voluptuous each installment.

Does she have like special firmware updates?

I just didn't like that they got rid of her code-scrolling. Seemed like a logical place to express her rampancy - she was always described as literally wearing her thoughts on her sleeve.

Waaghpowa:
That's something about Halo that's always perplexed me, the alien weapons. They all look so ridiculously like toys. When you envision alien weapons, do you think nerf guns with glow sticks on them? I don't. Also, why is it in every Halo game, human weapons always seem to be the best guns, or is that just me?

On another note, Halo 4 is the only Halo game since 2 that I'd say was decent. My only gripe is difficulty. I choose legendary difficulty and it isn't even difficult, just inconsistent. As Yahtzee pointed out, you kinda just die from random bullshit.

Well, in-universe, Covenant weaponry is energy-based (what most civilizations will tend towards once they're advanced enough), and is most-useful for taking down energy shields and not against flesh. Human weapons, however, still use projectiles and are thus the best choice for taking on flesh. The reason (as far as I can tell) that the Covenant use energy weapons is because most of their fighting is, traditionally, between other Covenant who also use shields. Alternately, they could have just never been that invested in projectile weaponry in their long history.

Especially in the earlier Halo games, the best way to kill enemies is not to just pick up a human weapon and use that, but to use a Covenant weapon for shields and then switch to a human weapon once the shields are gone. I feel like many of the detractors to the series don't understand that there is some actual design in the fighting if you play it enough.

As for looking curvy and artificial, humans obviously prefer silver and steel coloring and sharp corners, but why would an inter-species coalition of alien bad guys adhere to the same aesthetic preferences?

This isn't necessarily a direct response to you, but your post sums up a lot of what other posters and Yahtzee talked about.

Eh, i had no trouble following the story and i never touched one of the halo books.

You can easily understand the story if you take the time to piece it together, i played the campaign twice (Once on heroic and once on Legendary) and that was enough for me to gain a clear mind about the story but that may be because i wanted to hear the story and did not share Yahtzee's boredom.

Damnation Yahtzee, could you actually play the previous games to get the full story before shitting on a sequel?

As a halo fan i adored halo 4. and i felt it explained everything it needed to explain while leaving enough open to explore in future games.

and whats with people saying Master Chief is a boring character? he isnt, he's exactly what he needs to be.

and why are people saying the game is boring? Up the difficulty. i played that shit on legendary solo and i swear it started getting fucking brutal.

not to mention he ignored spartan ops which expands the story a tad bit and adds more gameplay.

halo is awesome...still.

I've been a Halo fan since the beginning, and even though I've read a few of the books the story STILL confuses me. I'm given to understand that there are three new books that perfectly explain the story of Halo 4. And the terminals. And comics. And the webisodes... whatever. I just can't be arsed with it. That has always been the weak-point of Halo for me; it fails to tell an engaging story unless you're willing to at the least spend some serious time reading on Wikipedia.

This was also my complaint for Final Fantasy XIII - a story that made zero sense at the start unless you read the 'codex' or whatever they called it. Listen, don't hand me a fucking brochure (or tell me to go find one) in order to enjoy your story. At the very least, tell an articulated story and let that other media be supplemental. Halo has always been for uber-fans and I was hoping that 343 would change this in order to get more people into the franchise. It was a fresh opportunity that was clearly squandered.

Those gripes aside, I enjoy Halo 4 more than I thought I would, given that franchises rarely do well under new management. Maybe it was my low expectations, I dunno.

Yahtzee, I would love to play Halo with you sometime. But first, I need to play it for myself. I happen to love playing with Fisher-Price toy guns in a plastic play castle.

Raiyan 1.0:

Dire Sloth:
Master Chief was downloading porn all those years, and with the porn came viruses.
And that's how Cortana snapped! Porn viruses.

Over each iteration, he's also been DL'ing sexier higher poly DLC models for Cortana.exe.

Naughty naughty naughty!

Might be why she won't ever keep her fucking mouth shut.

You're not even talking! Close your damn mouth!

Sick of looking as those fucking teeth.

Yellowbeard:

OuendanCyrus:
Never been a huge fan of Halo, only played Combat Evolved on the PC and got bored halfway through.

Man, I got bored before the opening cutscene was over and quit ten minutes later. Dull, dull, dull.

Oh yeah? Well I managed to get bored just glancing at the box art! I got so bored I stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated!

Scow2:
The WORST thing to happen to the Halo series (And probably Shooter franchise in general) was porting Halo over to the PC. Halo is a Console shooter, with mechanics based around using a dual-joystick controller instead of Keyboard & Mouse.

SanAndreasSmoke:

DVS BSTrD:
No waves? Well I guess that tides well for Halo fans.

Well, it'll certainly tide them over until the next installment.

...I suddenly feel ashamed of myself.

Torrents of puns are good, except when you repeat a pun on the same word someone else punned.

I agree. I'm perfectly fine with keeping console games and pc games away from each other. What usually goes down:
I play on PC and this game is shitty! Keep it on consoles! This game got ported from console, it's shitty! They moved this game to console, it got more content, the developer/maker is shitty!

I hope to play Halo 4 at some point, played everyone except ODST and like them a lot. I just do most of my gaming on PS3 or indie games on my PC.

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