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Gamespy: Halo overrated


foogledricks
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Halo is grouped among games like Final Fantasy VII, Neverwinter Nights, Mario Sunshine, and Donkey Kong Country as one of the most overrated games of all time. Let me just say, that I do not think that Halo is overrated. BUT, I do think it has some lazy level design that I never really heard people complain about all that much.

 

For example, "The Library" was soooo repetitive. It was just the same hallway over and over. Then there was the circluar room that was reused over and over. And then there was that sequence where you went through the same map, again, only backwards. Fortunately the great AI and gameplay made even these repetitive levels fun. But this aspect stuck out like a soar thumb in an otherwise stellar game.

 

Anyone else agree?

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Click here to view the Gamespy article.

 

I'm not qualified to comment on lots of them (because lots I haven't played) but one did stand out.

 

I'm sure some of you were present for the discussion not too long ago at you-know-where and I'm sure some will think it's in poor taste to bring it up again. But now with some credible (or so perceived) backing I'll venture once more into touchy territory.

 

It's about HALO. I've always maintained that I was never floored by it like all the reviews/ friends/ co-workers were. DrunkOM and I discussed it briefly and the above article captures the essence of why I was never too impressed with that game. It's mostly to do with the repetitive level design. As I neared completion of the game it was starting to become a chore. Enemies spawned too frequently and with no good reason, there wasn't much variety in how you dispatch of them and it just got plain old.

 

Worst of all were the levels, which offered fleeting glimpses of brilliance, but all too often degenerated into recycling the same areas over and over until you were bored to tears. It was as if someone at Microsoft or Bungie realized Halo was an amazing six-hour game ... but needed to pad it out to 10. "The Library" may well be the worst mission in the history of modern shooters, and it amazed me that so many people were able to overlook these issues -- or get upset that we had the nerve to point them out.

 

That about sums it up. Read the whole thing here.

 

I can't help but think that most people who thought Halo is perfect are those who didn't have much FPS experience before getting an Xbox. Not that there is anything wrong with that, don't get me wrong. And Halo isn't a bad game - in fact it's quite good. Just not as good as some people will have you believe.

 

I'm just suggesting that reviews (not just from publications, gamers too) with close to perfect scores make you wonder about their entire objectivity.

 

Anyway, no flames please. Let's keep it civil, unlike that last discussion.

 

Oh, what am I saying... that was redundant. This is LCVG! :)

 

P.S. If nothing, take this as a vent. I just feel vindicated. In fact I'm even thinking about trading in my copy of Halo while the value is still good. But the collector in me feels otherwise...

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Halo is grouped among games like Final Fantasy VII, Neverwinter Nights, Mario Sunshine, and Donkey Kong Country as one of the most overrated games of all time.

 

People who say that about Halo just don't have any friends -and haven't discovered multi-player Halo. ;)

Seriously though, multi-player Halo is why the game is so highly regarded. Yes, the single player game is great but multi-player is damn near perfect for a non-online enabled game on a console.

BTW, I agree about those other games being over-rated.

 

There are parts of the single-player game I dislike. I hated the flood (which includes the Library sequence). Hated the flood storyline, hated the flood gameplay, hated the flood in every way. The flood reminds me a lot of the Zen level of Half-Life.

 

The reason I hated the Zen levels of Half-Life is because the fun of fighting the marines was over. The (at the time) brilliant AI and scripting was done. The game went from nerve-racking intensity to just another shooter in the span of a level.

 

I hate The Flood for the same reasons. Fighting Covenant troops was just so much fun that when I came to the Flood it was just like going through the motions. I got that typical video game feeling that I "must do X before I can get rewarded". The game lost its ability to suspend my disbelief.

 

Luckily for Halo, the Flood faded away toward the end. I got to take on more Covenant -and had more fun before it ended. Half-Life, on the other hand, ended leaving a bad taste.

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I have had LAN parties and Halo is great fun for that. That, co-op play, and the exceptional single player make Halo one of the best games of all time. For people who haven't experienced all three of the above to the extent that I have, can't really appreciate Halo the way I do. But as I've posted, and as others have posted, the game has flaws. Even so, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I do not think this game is overrated at all. More than anything, I can see where Halo 2 could improve on Halo 1, and I am very excited.

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I don't think it's overrated, and I've played a number of FPS's, both PC and console. While my friends who's only FPS expeirence was the original Doom and Goldeneye thought it was "the bomb", I wasn't as floored. Reason being was Deus Ex. That's one of my favorite FPS's of all time.

 

However, Halo is in the upper echelon of FPS's, and damn near tops for consoles. It was one of the better "killer apps" to be released with a system. Outstanding graphics, emmersive story (and good voice acting), phenominal AI, co-op goodness and finally, mutilplayer with up to 16 people.

 

The level design never really bothered me. In fact, I liked many of the levels. It was nicely varied with indoor and outdoor types as well. The mix of vehicles was also put to good use, as was your squad AI.

 

What it comes down for to me, for what makes a great game, is whether or not I finished the game (althought not always the case). Halo had me hooked to the end, just like Deus Ex, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Medal of Honor Allied Assualt, and Metroid Prime, to name a few.

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Guest santiclaws

I've been thinking about registering, and seeing this thread, just had to jump in. I am actually pretty new to Halo, having only bought it a month or two ago. I've been wondering what all the fuss is about myself. It has some nice touches, and maybe the best console FPS, but there have been several better FPS games for the PC.

 

The level design is not that interesting, drivable vehicles are nothing new, and while the AI is good, it is nothing groundbreaking either. It is a GOOD game, and deserving of some praise. But Halo is hardly the end-all of First Person Shooters. I don't think that it can hold a candle to what for my money was the best FPS of all-time, and the one that I compare all FPS games to--Half-Life.

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First off, gamespy's credibility is questionable. I remember reading their Halo review and then shortly after their review of Azurik: Rise of Perathia. They scored an 85 for Halo, and an 84 for Azurik. I don't think I've ever played a console game quite as boring as Azurik. The game was technically crude as well, I felt ripped off for the rental price. How gamespy sees these two games as basically a wash is beyond me. I purchased Timesplitters for the ps2 at the launch of that system, and consider that money basically thrown away. Gamespy rated it a 90, but said the single player experience was lacking. Correction, single player was a joke as were the so-called levels on that game. The only thing TS had going for it IMO was the 60fps framerate and the split-screen multiplayer. I remember TS as becoming very quickly a bargain bin title.

 

Some of the statements made in the gamespy review of Halo are so incredibly off-base, they're laughable. Such as this was a 6 hour game padded out to 10. How about the game was supposed to contain 20 levels and was cut down to 10 being the actual reality.

 

The library level is repetitive, but the whole notion of being bored to tears by the levels represents hack writing at its worst. This is just sour grapes reviewing. If I was truly bored to tears by a game's levels, I would never rate the game an 85. Gamepsy's most overrated list, is more like titles that sold that gamespy didn't like.

 

Halo needs no defense from me. The game has stood the test of time better than any console game in recent memory. For August, Halo still managed to be the fifth best selling xbox title and racked up sales of 47k. No game is going to please everyone, that game doesn't exist. Halo will have its share of critics, but it will also have a far greater share of fans. I'm one, and I don't particularly care for the fps genre. And, I didn't particulary care for the game initially. No game sells as many copies as Halo has and continues to do, if it's truly over-rated. I mean, if it was true, don't you think the word would have got out by now, after nearly two years on the market.

 

I would say this is a case of gamepsy blowing a review and still not wishing to admit it. I hope that one day they post 25 games we thought were good, but nobody else did and then they can explain why Azurik is just as good as Halo.

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santiclaws,

 

I think what you said was the key here. HALO may be good, but it was nothing groundbreaking in the way the reviews had readers believe with the scoring. It was also hampered by things mentioned above, and all that seemed to have been conveniently ignored by professional reviews and gamers alike.

 

And thus, by that definition, it was overrated.

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Lets all remember what "over-rated" means, anyway. That the 'general opinion' of whichever group are doing the over-rating think a game is better than the individual calling it over-rated does. For instance, I think American Beauty (to pick a random non-game item) is over-rated, because it got many stellar reviews and collected a handful of Oscars, while once I got over the stunning cinematography and typically good performances from Benning and Spacey I didn't find a terribly interesting message at its heart.

 

So all Gamespy are really saying with this list is that the author doesn't think these games are as good as "most people" do. And in this case, I strongly suspect the people doing the over-rating are his target audience. Certainly, I can find no shortage of non-Gamespy readers who were underwhelmed by Sunshine; too put off by the wildly varying difficulty to get to grips with those maddeningly cunning void levels.

 

Returning to this particular debate about Halo, I'd say that this is clearly the fact that opinions fall into two very distinct camps on the level design. Those, like the Gamespy author, who slam the levels because the fixed environment is distinctly lacking in variation on some stages, and those who are too busy appreciating how the AI makes two firefights go completely different ways in two rooms that, devoid of enemies, look identical.

 

To put it another way, I'm sure that the people above who are raving about its multiplayer have played on a level rather more than once. Yet they still enjoy regular games on terrain they already know. The "greatness" in Halo, if there is any, is in bringing that to the one-player game as well.

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and the one that I compare all FPS games to--Half-Life.

 

As do I, but let's also be fair to Half-Life by pointing out that, as Camp mentioned, the Xen levels are a terrific let-down compared to the earlier sections. I appreciate what they were trying to do, but it wasn't done very effectively. It turns into a really noxious jump puzzle combined with some nasty stupid-hard gameplay.

 

I don't think it's fair to bash GameSpy's opinion because it doesn't jive with your opinion, since both are opinions, right? I mean GameSpy is giving its own version of games that they think are over-ranked, over-hyped, etc. What games I've played on that list I generally agree were over-hyped, but nobody is going to agree with everything.

 

Even if you did want to go and pick on GameSpy as 'teh bias', they are still just giving an opinion and they at least have the decency to go back it up rather than sling childish insults at their own list and go 'nyah nyah nyah' (not that people here are, just saying). They explain what they thought the faults were and you're free to agree or disagree as you see fit.

 

Oh, and for those of you who are really put off by it, have no fear, it looks like today's Penny Arcade is in fact going to be a slag of GameSpy ;).

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Originally posted by Sam P@Sep 19 2003, 12:49 AM

santiclaws,

 

I think what you said was the key here. HALO may be good, but it was nothing groundbreaking in the way the reviews had readers believe with the scoring. It was also hampered by things mentioned above, and all that seemed to have been conveniently ignored by professional reviews and gamers alike.

 

And thus, by that definition, it was overrated.

I would somewhat agree with that, since I think it's wrong to appreciate Halo as a "groundbreaking" or "innovative" game. For the most part, it isn't. To me, what makes Halo a truly great game is that it takes ideas from other games and just polishes them up to an incredible degree. For instance, to compare it with Half-Life, Half-Life is a much more *important* game because it truly did introduce a lot of innovations to the genre. And it's a very enjoyable game in its own right. But when I strip all that stuff about importance away, I would still prefer to play Halo because I think it does a lot of what Half-Life did, but does it better (it might be easier for me to have this opinion because I played Half-Life later than most people and have a more distanced perspective on it). I've played lots and lots of FPS games since Wolfenstein 3D came out and I simply have more fun playing Halo than I do most other entries in the genre, and having fun is what I think is most important :)

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I loved playing Halo until I got to the flood. Then I just lost interest and stopped playing.

 

 

I'm not sure what to say about a comment like that, except that you cheated yourself of some great gaming. The most interesting sections of the game for me involve getting thru areas where the flood and the covenant are battling each other. It was just great to hear firefights in corridors and then rush to that area to see a firefight in mid-progress with you caught in the middle, picking off a covenant here, a flood there to keep both sides in the battle.

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If Halo were released today, would it still be considered all that and a bag of grenades? I think it's arguably one of if not the best launch game for any console, but ultimately it's just another flawed FPS. I came late to the Xbox party and after reading page after page of "Best Game Evar," I was a little disappointed that people weren't really mentioning the mind-numbing sameness to much of the level design. Co-op play and multi-player deathmatch maps are nice bonuses (I guess, I have no proximate friends and no game bots is another beef), but whenever someone trots 'em out as examples of Halo's greatness, I think it underscores the single-player's flaws.

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Originally posted by adamsappel@Sep 19 2003, 12:22 PM

If Halo were released today, would it still be considered all that and a bag of grenades? I think it's arguably one of if not the best launch game for any console, but ultimately it's just another flawed FPS. I came late to the Xbox party and after reading page after page of "Best Game Evar," I was a little disappointed that people weren't really mentioning the mind-numbing sameness to much of the level design. Co-op play and multi-player deathmatch maps are nice bonuses (I guess, I have no proximate friends and no game bots is another beef), but whenever someone trots 'em out as examples of Halo's greatness, I think it underscores the single-player's flaws.

I was in the same boat. I think my expectations also had something to do with how I felt playing through the game. Like it or not, after you hear everyone tell you its the "Best Game", no matter how much you resist the influence that's largely what you expect - the best game. No qualifiers needed.

 

That's the problem with speaking in absolutes. And giving perfect scores. I get the impression that it will be perfect, and when it turns out its less than that I think it's overrated.

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Okay, who the HELL ever "overrated" this game?

 

Pre-release hype counts as overrating. You could even go as far as to say Romero overhyped his own game. Or, really, the marketing boys did. See: Masters of Doom

 

Sam, I could not agree more with your statement, btw. I know exactly where you're coming from because I had a very similar experience with Metal Gear Solid. Great game, but hardly the most amazing thing ever.

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  • 6 months later...

OK, so I am way late to the party, but I picked up Halo today and played it for the first time. Personally, I'm blown away. The sound, voice acting, story, control, and squadmates are all top notch in my book. I've only made it to The Reunion, which is very early in the game. So it would be very silly of me to spout out my agreement with "Best Game Ever" quotes, etc. Especially with all this chatter about repetative levels and backtracking soon to come.

 

And let it be known that I haven't played many FPS. GoldenEye and Timesplitters 2 are the only ones I can recall finishing. I made it a ways through Perfect Dark, but gave up on some snowy level where you had to rescue the President.

 

Anyway, just wanted to share my perspective on this game since it is totally fresh to me. I imagine it'll be worth a lot more to me than the $15 I spent to buy it.

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Actually, its taken me until last week (don't ask) to play through Halo as far as The Library.

 

And you know what? I'm really enjoying the level so far. Maybe its because I saw Dawn Of The Dead the other day that is making the prospect of blowing away a roomful of zombies with a shotgun and pistol so cool.

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I never jumped in on this thread, but I found the Library stuff very, very annoying. It seemed to me that Bungie got lazy with level design at that point... but that might have just been me.

 

Honestly, I enjoyed the game, but I never thought it was even close to the "best game ever" title.

 

Glen

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I didn't mind the Library, it was one of the more challenging levels. It was almost like a 60-fiend challenge in the new Ninja Gaiden; we're going to give you more enemies than you can shake a stick at, but only minimal ammo and no gun swaps. Can you make it? The repetition sort of backed that thought up, as you round a corner and say, "dammit, another hallway and more flood?!? I'm almost dry here."

 

The circular room repeating was annoying though, and having to fight your way back through it was a waste.

 

But this is like the the mole on Cindy Crawford's face. You get hung up on that mole and you are missing all the niceness surrounding it :green: Halo was a great game, don't be hatin'

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Playing that on Legendary, in Co-Op was one of the best experiences I've ever had on a console.
Totally fun stuff. A buddy and I just did that the other day.

 

"Where the hell are they?"

"I think they're going to come from over here."

"AAaargh! They're behind us!"

"They're in front of us too!!"

 

*BOOM* *BOOM* *buddabuddabudda*

 

"SHIT! I died. Don't take my fucking shotgun."

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