It launched with so many problems but I respect that they are still devoting so much time and effort to improve it years after its release.
I’m being attacked
bold of them to release the collection starting with just the worst halo so it can only go uphill from there
I just realized they are releasing on Steam as well, anyone happen to have any idea why? This seems like The Thing to drag people on to the MS store so why shoot yourself in the foot?
The Steam page says the game requires an Xbox Live account. Microsoft apparently wants to expand the Xbox brand beyond just consoles, so my guess is selling their games on Steam and having their games use Xbox Live on there is probably part of getting more users into their ecosystem. Since they seemingly already have something set up for getting Steam games to use Xbox Live, I could see them releasing other PC games on Steam as well.
I was 24 when Halo: Reach came out. That game was great. Apart from armour lock. Why is everyone hating?
SPARTANS NEVER DIE THEY’RE JUST MIA.
For the life of me, I cannot understand the hate that Reach gets. It tried some fun things with the multiplayer, the armor customization was great, especially for the time, and the campaign had some really fantastic moments. I can’t wait to replay it with 4K/HDR/60fps and no motion blur.
I’m curious if they’ll keep in Bungie’s goodbye message at the end of the campaign. Seeing as they had nothing to do with the remaster the new devs might just excise it from the game. Hopefully not though, it’s a really nice moment.
A new thread about Halo just in time!
I never had an Xbox console until this month, so I’ve never played Halo. I thought it might be fun to jump into the Master Chief Collection on Game Pass and See Where It All Started but got bored with the first campaign around 3 hours in. I recognize that it’s one of if not THE foundational game in the modern FPS genre, but without the nostalgia factor I feel like it didn’t age well. Especially having just come off playing the Titanfall 2 campaign.
For someone who hasn’t played Halo before, is there one you’d recommend starting with? Or do you think a lot of the magic is sort of lost out of its historical context?
If you’re coming off of Titanfall 2, I’m guessing that you are finding Halo 1 to be too slow. That’s absolutely valid and I get where you’re coming from. If you want something a bit more modern, Halo 5 is one of the best feeling shooters this gen IMO. It does a great job feeling like a modern day shooter but still being distinctly Halo flavored. If you are concerned with jumping in midway through the story, Halo 4 has a good amount of the same improvements and is essentially the start of the modern Halo storyline.
I mean, I still love CE’s campaign - even tho I can see areas where it’d really suffer for anyone who didn’t play it way back when, particularly in how the levels can be so easy to get lost in sometimes - so I’m maybe not the best person to answer this… But you might want to try Reach? It’s a prequel with an almost completely separate cast of characters, so you won’t feel like you’re stepping into a story halfway, and I think the level design is generally better thought out, even if I’ll always have more affection for CE’s big confusing boxes. (Less so the massive networks of corridors.)
Actually, wait, shit, I just remembered that Reach isn’t in the MCC yet. Uhhhh… ODST is super good, and similarly standalone, so maybe try that? It’s not exactly a ‘traditional’ Halo experience, though.
I personally wouldn’t recommend playing Halo 5, even though I generally like the basic gunplay/movement, because the campaign is - in my opinion, at least - absolutely terrible. The story’s nonsensical and incredibly poorly-told–like, there’s some ideas in there that could’ve been interesting, but it’s pretty much impossible to get invested in anything that’s happening because the game never takes the time to show you who anyone is, or why you should care about what’s happening. And, even ignoring all that, I found the actual missions mostly boring–and there’s this one boss fight they make you do, like, four or five times, with basically zero changes–and it really wasn’t much fun the first time. Halo 5 is the only Halo game I outright dislike.
Halo 4’s campaign is significantly better, buuuuut the campaign story relies heavily on you having followed the expanded universe up to that point, and it also utterly squanders the potential of Halo 3’s ending, in terms of what they could’ve done with those characters and that universe going forwards. (Which, I’ll admit, is probably a slightly unfair criticism to ding the game over.)
Halo 2 and 3 are both pretty great in their own ways, but whether you’ll enjoy them really depends on what it was, specifically, that put you off CE. If it was the level design, then both are generally better - or, at least, more focused - in that regard.
Overall, my firmest recommendation is definitely still Reach, but you’ll have to either pick up a cheap copy - it’s on Xbox One backwards compatibility, but not Game Pass - or wait for it to be added to the MCC/Game Pass, which should be sometime later this year I wanna say?
for me it took out all the stuff that made halo interesting like the flood and the ridiculous space opera plot in favor of a really trite hard military fiction plot with the single most boring and one-dimensional characters in the entire franchise (somehow outdoing all the other one-dimensional characters in the last four games by forcing you to listen to their awful dialogue all the time)
also the multiplayer was awful. the maps are collectively some of the worst bungie has ever designed (boneyard, the spire and sword base are particularly striking examples of just how atrocious they were). nobody i knew wanted to play on anything that wasnt the blood gulch remake (which was also one of the worst versions of that map), they fucked up vehicle physics and made them even more squirrely while also basing entire maps on being vehicle based, meaning nobody wanted to use the vehicles and all the action took place in the 1/10th of the maps where close combat was actually possible. so you had a terrible campaign story with a terrible multiplayer, a lot of diehard people went back to halo 3 to play the mlg / btb playlists instead of playing reach
also personal conjecture but i hated the armor abilities because it was obvious that sprint and jetpack were significantly better than all of the others from the second you started playing so there was no reason to ever experiment other than using armor lock to waste peoples time
Thanks for the super detailed response! I sometimes struggle to put my finger on why I didn’t like something because it’s always a combination of factors. I got a little lost in the levels, but don’t think that was a huge problem. Honestly I think a big part was the fact that the time to kill on enemies is so absurdly high, even on easier difficulties, compared to modern shooters. Especially without the ability to aim down sights you just have to kind of spray and reload and spray and reload and spray and reload until they all go down. That combined with the fact that I never felt particularly threatened made the combat feel like a chore which, in a game all about combat, is kind of a problem.
One of the reasons I decided to pick it up in the first place actually was that I’m just about to start GMing a sci-fi tabletop campaign and was looking to add some cool sci-fi bullshit to my brain library. The Halo itself is definitely one of those things. Do any of the games particularly stand out in that department?
I said a similar thing in my reply to @SandwichAnarchy but yeah, slow particularly in the time to kill sense - even on the easier difficulties the enemies are bullet sponges which I don’t find particularly fun.
Out of the initial trilogy, the first game is the most focused on cool sci-fi bullshit and the mysteries behind it. The halo, the flood, the index, Guilty Spark 343, all that stuff is probably what you’re looking for. Time on a wiki on those topics would be well spent.
2 and 3 are fine in that respect but they don’t “add” much to these concepts, they are more about resolving various plot threads and less about exploring a space mystery. The 2nd does expand quite a bit on the Covenant if that’s your thing.
I can’t speak in detail about the later games but everything I’ve read about them leads me to believe they’re more about space marines and less about mysterious alien wonders.
If you want more sci-fi bullshit you could do a lot worse than having a run through the Marathon Trilogy (which is Bungie’s precursor to Halo) and goes some places! All available free now.
Gameplay is a bit closer to Doom also in terms of movement/TTK
The thing I really hated about Halo 4 and 5 was the new promethean enemies. I just remember Halo 4 you were killing these knights and then all their robot dogs and drones. Halo 5 had those awful boss fights with those giant dudes you had to shoot in the back. When I think back to Halo CE-Reach, the combat was never boring, it just had this mega freewheeling vibe to it. Destiny still has this dynamic in it’s firefights, but Halo 4 and 5 just felt lacking. Part of the problem was that Halo 4 had to bring back the covenant as a ‘splinter faction’ despite that whole war being sorted out in Halo 3. They just haven’t been able to provide an enemy that are as well designed and fun to fight as the Covenant.
Ultimately it may come down to how the DMR interacted in multiplayer, it meant that you could easily cross map people with little effort even if you weren’t skilled. Reach is seen as the start of the decline of the competitive scene by some.
Hmmm… If the time to kill was the biggest issue, that’s gonna be something of a recurring problem no matter which Halo you play–one of the things that kinda defines the Halo ‘feel’, as compared with other shooters, is the survivability of both your own character and the enemies you’ll face. For what it’s worth, precision is important with guns like the pistol - headshots bring enemies down quite a bit quicker than bodyshots - and that factor will be further emphasised in later games; Halo 2’s staple gun is the Battle Rifle, which is all about precision at mid/short range.
The fundamental rhythm of Halo’s combat kinda comes down to quickly dispatching the fodder enemies - grunts and jackals, mainly - so they can’t wear you down, then using all the weapons available to you - grenades are particularly crucial - to wear down elites’ shields while maintaining your own. It can be a lot of fun once you get into the swing of things–but plenty of people never warm to it, precisely because it can feel a fair bit slower than other shooters, and that’s just not what a lot of folks want out of the genre, which is fine!
If you’re looking for the good sci-fi bullshit, all the games have it to varying degrees, but the original trilogy is definitely where they do the best job of that classic space opera Bungie Big Ominous Proper Noun world-building–though, really, I think it’s more the tone/aesthetics than anything else that really sells that stuff in those games. ODST operates on a smaller scale, but it might actually have some of my favourite sci-fi bullshit in the whole franchise, particularly in how it handles the idea of AI given body through the municipal infrastructure of a city.
As for Reach, it’s definitely more on the ‘grounded’ military-SF side of things, as @Lilly said, but it does still very much have that wonderful Bungie SF aesthetic - albeit filtered through a grittier, handheld camera war movie-esque lens - that I love so much. Writing that initial post actually inspired me to dig out my copy and give it a fresh playthrough, and I’ve been taking screenshots as I go (sorry for the massive screenshot spam!):
Thanks again. Those are gorgeous screenshots! If that’s the signature Halo feel it may not be the series for me, but I’ll keep it in my pocket for the occasional day when I’m just in the mood to fill up some bad guys with bullets. It sure happens sometimes! Maybe I’ll watch some playthroughs or cutscenes to still get the the sci-fi bullshit part of it.