Review by acdcfanatic77
"One of the Better Games you can get on XBLA"
I got involved with the world of Marathon in 2005. Obviously Halo and Halo 2 were out, so not many people cared about anything else from Bungie. That saddened me, because, as a retro-gamer, I view this game as one of the best FPS's of all time from that time period.
I feel like this is where the weakest point of Durandal on XBLA. You have two options: HD Graphics, or the original Mac graphics. HD works for bigger TVs, but the punching just doesn't look right. Of course, it looks better with the original graphics, but everything else just doesn't look as good as it could be. My one problem with this game.
Before you think about the motion sickness factor keeping you from buying this, just remember: there is an option to change this, thus reducing the effects of motion sickness.
Now on to the real review.
Gameplay is just amazing: such a variety of weapons, the levels are very memorable, and you can't stop until you beat the game. The storyline is simply one of the best out there. How many other games have sadistic, rampant AI's being in charge of you? (Besides that one!) Often times you will get lost and explore most of the levels, so unless you actually LIKE linear gameplay, this should be interesting for you.
Not much to say about it. Yeah, there's no music for it (except for the menu), which many will discredit the game for. Remember that custom soundtracks option? Use that instead. The normal sounds were ahead of it's time. Voice acting? Don't remember that before Marathon. The gunshots, rocket blasts, and screaming BOBs will almost simulate an actual battlefield.
Didn't see this one aspect coming up, did you? Anyways, most of the achievements are easily unlocked, the only hard ones being the "read all terminals" achievement and VidMaster. VidMaster is a whopping 35 GS, but you have to teleport out/kill every BOB (human allies), play on Total Carnage, punch every switch, and use only pistol/fists. I believe you can use grenades with this, but I'm not entirely sure.
The best part is here. Multiplayer has it all: King of the Hill, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and a primitive version of Oddball (I say primitive because Marathon 2 came out in 1995). It also has an EIGHT-PLAYER CO-OP MODE. You obviously can't save and go to those parts in the single-player game, but playing with buddies, killing everything in your way is quite fun. Many of the achievements can be unlocked through here, and VidMasters often come out of a session. I believe that it honestly is one of the greatest parts in ANY first-person-shooter.
The game's developers, Freeverse, tried to sell this game as "the game that made Halo", but many didn't go for it. As for all games, you should try before you buy, but this was my view on it. Bungie truly had something special with the Marathon trilogy, and rumors of a remake of Marathon (after the split with Microsoft) have got me hooked playing the original versions on Aleph One. I highly recommend this title for anyone who's looking for a good time, and anyone looking back at our past's best games.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/11/08
Game Release: Marathon: Durandal (US, 08/01/07)
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