Monday, February 13, 2017

Game Talk #9: Halo Wars & Halo 5


So, Halo Wars first.

I don't really have too much to say about this one. I remember the first time I saw the trailer, sitting at my desk in my room, not all that long after getting out of high school, and all of a sudden it had arrived. I think I was looking up information on Halo 3 for a fan fiction, and bam! There it was: the trailer for Halo Wars.

I pretty much shit bricks.

Fast-forward to me actually playing the game. Well...it was fun. At first. Kind of. I was really into StarCraft way, way back in the day. In fact, StarCraft might be the first game I played for longer than an hour or two in one go. I was enraptured by StarCraft, so I was at least somewhat familiar with Real Time Strategies.

I never ended up actually beating it.

The biggest problems I had were with the story honestly. I mean, I know there are a lot of people who would scoff at the idea that a bad story could ruin an otherwise good game, but that's just how it is for me. Halo 4 is a great example of this very idea at play.

It wasn't even necessarily that the story was bad per say, although I'll be honest, it's been at least three or four years since I played this game and I don't own it anymore, so I don't plan on playing it, (or the sequel for that matter) ever again.

I think what threw me off the most was the fact that you ran into The Flood something like twenty years before the first Halo game. And yeah, I know that they kind of wrapped it all up in such a way that it still fits into the timeline but...I dunno, this just doesn't gel well with me. Prequels pretty much never seem to go over well and again it's really just a personal preference against prequels. Just off the top of my head, The Thing (2011) sucked beyond belief, and well all know how well the Star Wars prequels went over, and Cube Zero sucked. I'm sure there's lots of examples.

So yeah, I'm just going to end this here because, like I said, it's been years since I played it and I don't remember too much of the plot beyond being mildly entertained and often frustrated. I just thought it'd be really weird if I reviewed all the other Halo games, but not Halo Wars, especially having actually played it.

So, ultimately, it wasn't for me and I wish they hadn't made it a prequel.


Okay, Halo 5.

I'm going to be up front: I didn't play this fucking game.

After Halo 4, I was pretty bitter, but I wasn't completely out of the game yet. I began to hear that 343i admitted that they dropped the ball on Halo 4, and they were planning on fixing everything. And I believed them. For a little while I believed them, and I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe not pre-order it or buy it on Day One, but not too far into the future.

Especially after I started seeing the Hunt the Truth campaign ads. I mean, it looked pretty cool. But, as we all know, that isn't how it turned out. What was to be an epic rivalry, a showdown to the death, apparently culminated in a seriously lame fight.

There's a lot that's to be said about the shortcomings of Halo 5 that I only know about because of some basic research, but I'll tell you the absolute, number one failure that killed Halo 5 for me, the one thing that made it a certainty that I wouldn't purchase Halo 5.

No split-screen.

Seriously, I probably would have snagged a copy otherwise. I've looked into it and the best they were able to come up with as to why they had to drop split-screen was because the game couldn't run full true 1080p, 60FPS without it.

Guess what? I don't fucking give a shit about that and I think a lot of other people don't either. All the previous Halo games looked and ran fine without having to sacrifice split screen. I'd definitely, definitely rather have a game that looks and runs a little shittier than sacrificing the ability to play couch co-op. And as for everyone who sits there with their bullshit excuse: Couch co-op is dead and you fucking old losers need to get with the times!, well, I invite you to go fuck yourself because A) Shockingly, not many people have the ability to throw away another fucking grand or so on another console, another controller, another TV, another copy of the game and another subscription to Xbox Live just so that they can play in the same fucking house. And B) 343i knew they fucked up because they've stated that they're seriously considering putting it back into Halo 6.

But this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the things that apparently went wrong with Halo 5. The Act Man can say it a hell of a lot better than I can, so just check out these videos below. In fact, just go watch every single video he has related to Halo 5 and you'll get a way broader picture of why it's a shockingly bad game. Halo 5 is to the Halo franchise what AVP was to the Aliens and Predator franchise.
So, yeah...Halo 5 was a failure, I think. But honestly I won't know probably for a long time, maybe never. The only way I'm going to play this game is if Halo 6 comes out, it looks really good and has split-screen capabilities. Then, because I don't usually play sequels to games without first playing all the games before it at least once, I'd pick up a dirt cheap used copy of Halo 5 and run through the campaign.

The worst part about this is that I didn't want to hate Halo 5, I wanted it to succeed, I wanted it to be so awesome, I wanted it to be every bit as awesome as the original Halo Trilogy. Or, shit, I at least wanted it to be, you know, passable. I mean, I get it, shit gets watered down this far into a franchise, but that doesn't have to mean it needs to suck. I've played every single Halo game (with the exception of Halo Wars), split screen co-op with my wife, several times. We've beat them all on Legendary at least three or four times. Obviously there's a lot of love for the franchise on my end, but it just seems like 343i just doesn't know what they're doing at all.

And on top of all that, I can't fucking make machinima in Halo 5, unless I want to either have only one character, or never have more than one character on the screen at once because I don't think I know even a single person who also owns Halo 5 and on top of that, I don't want to have to rely on other people to get on their consoles and take the time to help me make a machinima and have to trust the internet connection not to stutter or crap out. So...yeah, that really sucks.

So...yeah. Sorry to end this first series of Game Talks on such a sour note, but this is where it all sits at me for right now.

Fuck Halo 5.

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