Review by acidslayer57

Reviewed: 12/05/03

An average game hyped up to be the next great thing

This review is an attempt to give the most realistic and unbiased review as possible for Halo, and frankly, I don't think Halo is as good as the hype suggests. In fact that hype was what made Halo into it's success, but when you get down to the bones of the game, you are left with a merely above average shooter that has a few interesting innovations.

Gameplay: 6/10

Before many of you complain that this is an unfair rating, why don't we really analyze why I gave this game a six shall we?

First of all, Halo is a fun game and you will have a lot of fun with it simply due to the fact that the flukes that made Halo get this rating still make the game playable, and they don't take away from the story or any other category that scored an overall high. Halo's major strengths are the large areas (That aren't boring) and some intuitive areas that make the game seem more real. The guns are well designed, and very balanced, yet overdone, but they serve their purpose.

Really, there is nothing, in general, that will really hurt the game at first, and you will find the game to be fun. There is nothing to say about the gameplay's benefits except for a handful of small innovations.

For one thing, The game is hard, and the interesting life system makes it possible. You have a shield and normal life. When your life reaches zero you consequentially die (No surprises there) The interesting part is when your shield gets damaged it recharges in a few seconds. This subtle, but cool way of recharging makes the game more enjoyable because I could not imagine surviving this game if the life was standard you lose your shield then your life and your dead with no recharges.

Another good thing about the game are the grenades. You can throw a grenade without having to switch to a different weapon so; it makes it easier to shoot and grenade simultaneously and still have enough time to use this strategically. This is the same with going up to somebody and smacking him or her. It requires no switching. These are two amazingly useful features.

Something good about this game is the relative easiness it is to control it when compared to other Xbox title. Even the somewhat clumsy controller is not really a downside when playing this game. The controls are laid out effectively and in a professional manner that makes it easy to get what you want from the game with little effort. If you are used of Console Shooter, the controls will take a little time to master, but you should be on your way within a few hours of playing.

Lastly, the level design is great due to the large areas and the action, but it also backfires. Some levels can be so immense that the game becomes, I hate to say it, but a bore. Really, I don't think it would of hurt the game to make The Library a couple of corridors shorter do you?

Along with all these good things about the game, come the bad things. First, as I just said the level layout can be genius, or repetitive and boring. Before this game I have never actually wished to take a break from a FPS in the middle of the level due to it's length. It can take you anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour to beat a single level, all while killing the same enemies with little variation. Other times the game can be fun and the sequences can be appealing and great. Sadly, half the fun doesn't cut it.

The weapons are another bad point to the game. Don't get me wrong here, the weapons are balanced very nicely and they can be very cool to use and see the effects of. Sadly, There are few weapons in this game. I think Doom 2 might have about the same amount of weapons. There is not a lot you can do with these weapons either; you must just choose the right one in certain situations. This happens in every shooter as well.

The vehicles in Halo are in general a plus, but I always hear people talking about how great the vehicles are. The physics engine for the vehicles is ingenious and they are pretty cool, but innovation? Not really. I don't see much different from using vehicles from Command and Conquer Renegade.

The multiplayer is really not so great. Have you ever played a deathmatch before? Do it again. Same with team deathmatch and Capture the flag etc. Nothing is new here. Been there, done that. In fact I find it quite lacking. The only reason I see for playing multiplayer is that you can have 16 players in the game at a time. 16 has been topped, but it gets interesting none-the-less.

Story: 9/10

The story is very good in the game, but is a little predictable. In fact you can kind of compare it to Starcraft is a few ways, but that is beyond the point. The story, told through some nicely done FMVs is very in depth and really pushes you into the next mission and makes you feel on the spot, like you actions will actually make a difference, and in the game, they certainly do.
If there is a reason to buy the game the story is it.

Graphics/ Sound: 7/10

These Graphics are nicely done, don't get me wrong, but by this time on PC's don't you think they are a little less then perfect? If this game came out for PC two years ago I would be loving them, and giving them a ten, but there are better in the PC industry these days.
The sound is flawless. Period.

Replayability: 7/10

Well, I only finished the single player once, and then didn't feel up to it again. Eventually I will try though. The multiplayer boosts the replayability up a notch.(or two) It is classic deathmatch that has been done countless times. There are other styles of play too, but nothing beats either Capture the Flag or team deathmatch. They may have been done before, but it is done very well in Halo, and is obviously worth a try. Some levels (Blood Gulch) are just plain overplayed though. It may be a good level, but seriously non-stop Blood Gulch? Come on.

Bottom Line:

Gameplay: 6/10
Story: 9/10
Graphics/ Sound: 7/10
Replayability: 7/10

Average Score: 7.25 rounded down to 7.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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