I’m sure some Dopers will deny that Halo was a great game, but there is a world full of gamers that disagree with them. And I am one of them. I think Halo was a great game (not Halo 2 or 3, though many will disagree with me on that!), and enjoyed sniping people on Blood Gulch or trying to beat The Library on Legendary in a cooperative game.
But I can’t explain why the game was so great. Why was Halo any better than previous shooters? It’s really hard for me to even start putting it into words.
Is there somebody more eloquent than me who can explain just what it was that made Halo so good?
The guns were well balanced, you were able to drive vehicles (which AFAIK, I know had never been done before) and have teammates man the mounted guns (again, another new feature, at least for me) the game flowed smoothly, and it was the first FPS on a system that allowed you to host 16 person LAN parties.
Up until that point, FPS’s on consoles were pretty much a single player experience. Sure some of them had the small multiplayer mode but who it’s no fun with a split screen and one friend. Halo gave you CoOp missions and a chance to play against 15 of your friends.
In high school, we had so much fun ditching class and figuring out who’s house was parentless so we can go and have a “LAN party.”
For many PC gamers such as myself, playing an FPS with a console controller is like making origami with boxing gloves on. But that’s not a fault with the game itself. Halo has a good multiplayer component, but it also has floaty controls, an incomprehensible story, identical rooms that seem literally copy and pasted, Fisher Price guns, and seizure inducing bloom lighting.
I still buy them and enjoy playing through on co-op with friends, but after that I’m done. I’d rather not get pwned by cussing 12 year olds on X-Box Live while I struggle with the controls.
Oh, I see. You’re too young to remember Goldeneye.
For me, Halo was great because of the co-op, the badass deathmatch boards, and the story. The story fell to shit in 2 and 3 and I was kind of sick of deathmatch by then so I’m lukewarm on those. But I would call Halo a great game. It’s possibly my favorite game of that generation (with KOTOR and Psychonauts in contention.)
I think Halo gained so much popularity due to the accessibility and portability of the XBox. LAN parties have been around for a long time, but they were for basement dwelling nerds. When the XBox came out, suddenly frat boys could get in on the action and playing video games was now a cool thing to do on a Friday night.
this may all be true if you are talking console, however for games in general? not so much. the thing I hear all the time about halo being the greatest game ever.
you can play ONLINE against or WITH YOUR FRIENDS and you can TALK TO THEM LIKE WITH YOUR VOICE!!!
and I was like yeah, welcome to 1998.
it was the game that brought a crap ton of non pc gamers into the world of fps’s and while its a truly weak game for the genre over all, it is the king of the console fps’s
halo broke a total of 0 new ground, the pistol was insanely powerful and the maps were less than inspired. but if its the first one you ever played and you got a kick out of the multiplayer experience I would not be surprised if you think its the Uber fps.
Well, let me try this! The BEST FPS ever is the Unreal series, the problem with that is, the learning curve is soo great, you had a small but hardcore following! Halo is a slow dumbed down version of Unreal! People love Halo, because mass people are idiots!
Halo did almost nothing original. It was, however, a very well polished and well executed game(excepting the Library levels), with a strong story and unique and interesting characters. Ok, Master Chief wasn’t all that great, but the supporting cast was brilliant. Cortana rules.
Oh, and the theme song is probably the single best puece of game music ever.
It was also one of the few FPS games at the time with a strong co-op mode(still a relatively rare feature to this day).
The single-player campaign is a good experience. Halo 2 and Halo 3 on Legendary difficulty are two of the harder video games I’ve ever played, and a pretty noteworthy achievement. Halo is beloved because of its multiplayer component. Don’t get me wrong, vast numbers of folks never go online for fear of kids, but never think about using the Internet to find groups of people that play amongst each other and never have to deal with the kids It’s a bit of laziness to point to kids as the reason to not play online, in my opinion.
Anywhoot, the controls are perfect, the weapons are all pretty balanced, and there’s quite the array of weapons, the maps are great online, the lobby system is still the best lobby system in console gaming two years after it was released, Bungie is a good developer that listens to the fans, there’s online stat tracking, the ability to save your games and watch them online, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things in there.
Is the campaign a great game? It’s okay. It’s fun to run through, I suppose. Is the real strength and replayability of the game on Live? You betcha. Then again, most games find their replayability online.
I didn’t go bananas for halo but I did like it. Two things I really liked were being able to look up and see that you were on the inside of the ring. It’s hard to explain. I liked how the world continued straight through the sky.
Also Halo has got to have the best score of any FPS ever. The sound was amazing and the opening music was haunting.
The thing I liked most about Halo was the instant Mythos thing it gave me, the way it gave me the idea there was a whole working universe behind it. Like the names: the Pillar of Autumn or the High Prophet of Regret somehow these names just resonate with me
Combined with the one of the best soundtracks and the pretty levels (lots of green hills and blue skies)
The multiplayer maps that were really really balanced
I liked it because I could play it. I’m terrible at twitchy FPS-type games, but I could play Halo because dialing down the difficulty actually dialed it down, and it wouldn’t let you get too lost. And it had a story I was actually interested in, so I had a reason to keep playing.
I liked the story and the way it put you into this really epic world. The rings are just massive in scope with their own oceans and mountains and canyons and monoliths over pits that go miles into the ground. I like the ancient yet super advanced technology aspect and I thought they used it well to give the game some sense of mystery and lore. They also did a good job of creating this sense of urgency, trying to storm the beach and beat the covenant to the ring’s controls or charging your Scorpion into the middle of a battle in the snow, turning the tide in the Marines fight against the Covenant.
I can’t think of a vehicle in a video game that’s more fun than the warthog. Running over the enemy while your friend mows them down with the gattling gun and a cpu controlled marine launches rockets from the passenger seat is just sublime.
It’s also nice to play a game where your character is a badass and everybody knows it. Where other games would have you kill a million things and still be treated with scorn and contempt by your enemies (and sometimes even friends), in Halo your Marines treat you like the cavalry coming to save the day and the enemy will panic and run away from you. It really helps the mood of the game. You are an epic badass doing epic things because that’s just how you roll.
It introduced a new generation and segment of gamers to first-person shooters. After a genre has been quiet for a few years, players who missed the previous iterations always respond well to a reintroduction. The console market in particular had little experience in what a modern shooter game was like, since up until Halo they universally had poor graphics and limited multiplayer capability. Split-screen deathmatch, ugh.
BTW, multiplayer vehicles, turrets, etc had all been done at least 3 years earlier in Tribes, assuming you don’t want to count something like Longbow 2.