Saturday, February 4, 2017

Game Talk #6: Halo - Combat Evolved (Anniversary Edition)

It's time to talk about the transition of Halo from Bungie to 343i.

At first, it seemed like a good idea.

Famous last words.

When I first heard rumblings that a new company was taking over, I was immediately skeptical. How many times have we seen an IP change hands and the new company doesn't know what the fuck they're doing and push out some total shit?

Then information started leaking out about Halo: CE Anniversary Edition and I thought...well, okay, that sounds pretty cool. Given how far graphical capabilities have come since 2001, I thought Halo: CE could use an HD facelift. Although, honestly, even today I still think Halo: CE looks good. You know why? Aesthetic. Sure, the graphical fidelity isn't up to snuff with the stuff we're releasing now, but Halo is just beautiful to look at because it has a well-designed aesthetic.

So what do I have to say about the Anniversary Edition? Well, not much, honestly. I mean, it's not even a remake, just a re-release. I will say that I liked it. A lot. Still do. They did a good job. I thought it was interesting, the way they basically 'painted' over the environment, and honestly that should have been industry standard for companies looking to do the same thing. I mean, don't get me wrong, what they did with Perfect Dark and Gears of War was commendable, but obviously extremely time-consuming and costly, (at least with GoW, I don't know about PD), but then you get cases like Doom 3: BFG Edition (I'm SO going to do a Game Talk about that), where it hardly looked any better than the fucking original version!

The ability to switch back and forth between old and new graphics mid-game was also a really neat ability that they didn't have to throw in but they did. And then there were the multiplayer maps that got added on to Reach, so that was really cool. I imagine it must have been nice for the Halo vets that were still around from the Halo: CE days to be able to play some of the maps from the original game again.

Complaints? Well...I guess, honestly, the only thing that bugged me was that sometimes the new graphics will screw with gameplay. Example: I fell off a cliff that definitely looked solid. When I switched over to the old graphics, surprise! The new graphics extended the cliff only visually, not physically. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, I was prepping to snipe an Elite and I had a rock solid shot. I fired and...nothing. He was still alive! Worst of all, now he knew I was there! Switching over to the other graphics...oh, that tree he was standing next to? Yeah, it turns out that in the old graphics, that tree actually extends farther than it looks, so it's basically an invisible barrier.

So...yeah. I mean, that's pretty much all I have to say. I really liked the Anniversary Edition of Halo: Combat Evolved. It was a good effort and, seemingly, a great starting point for a new company handling a beloved intellectual property.


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