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Halo!? I thought I hated this game? Tim 
Posted by: Tim at 4:12 AM EST on 7/8/2002
File Under: Games -> Xbox -> Quickview

Alright, so you know how I felt about Halo and you know that I just so happened to get the game not long ago, but have my feelings on it changed after giving it some more time? Eh... Kinda. There's no question that it's at least a competent game. However, it's not innovative, it's not revolutionary, it's not what it should have been, and it's certainly not "Game of the Year" as the packaging so boldly exclaims. (My personal vote goes for Ico, but, well... I don't think many people are going to back me up on that one.)

I think what may have happened is that, when the game was first unveiled, it really was something different, but by the time it came out, people were still so hyped by the original idea that they didn't really judge the game by the final product alone.

Originally, it promised team-based gameplay and a truly open-ended world to explore. Oh, and it looked really damn good, too. As a result, people got REALLY fucking hyped for it. Then, over the years of development, the game was scaled back into a typical FPS, the online team aspect was scrapped, the levels were trimmed down into only somewhat open ended, and finally it was rushed to make the Xbox launch. Add onto all that, the graphics - while still good - were not as mindblowing as they once were by the time the game finally came out. As a result of all of these changes, we were left with a game that was only a semblance of what it should have been.

How about when I judge the game based on the final product on its own, without taking into account the disappointment over what was scrapped? Well, then it's still a good game, but doesn't really bring anything new to the table. It refines the aspects of gameplay that other games innovated. I still stand by Goldeneye as the best console FPS and Deus Ex as the overall best FPS ever, though. Oh, but I do have to mention the AI. This is one area that Halo really does stand out. Those enemies are pretty damn smart, and your fellow Marines are competent, too! Sure, they die pretty quick, but at least they take enemies down with them!

Initial Vibe: Positive. Most of my complaints about the game deal with the undeserved amount of praise that it received, as well as all the truly innovative ideas that were scrapped for the final version. This doesn't mean it's a BAD game, by any means... It just means that it isn't as innovative or mindblowing as everyone else tries to make it out to be. I know the game is old news, but I'll go more into my thoughts in a full review anyway.
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