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Halo First Impressions

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Halo First Impressions

Old 11-02-01, 03:56 PM
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Halo First Impressions

Well, I had the chance to go by Gamestop this afternoon. As I mentioned before, these guys got in the full version of Halo, not the demo version.

My opinion: Halo kicks ass! Pre-order your copy NOW.


After watching one guy play for a while, we started up a co-op game and played through the first level and part of the second. This was a ton of fun. The controls are kinda awkward at first (like Goldeneye). You have the d-pad for moving forwards, backwards and strafing, and either joystick for moving your view (though pushing the top left one down will crouch), right trigger for gun, left trigger for grenades. X reloads, A switches weapons, white turns on your flashlight. I don't think the other buttons were used for anything, but you may be able to configure them. I'd probably invert my view button. I was able to work with it, but I'm more used to down=up and all that jazz. Very smooth, responsive controls though.

Graphics: Very nice. Most of the screenshots are from higher resolutions, but it still looks great on tv. reflections off faceplate, full colored lighting effects, everything, handled very well. In some darker areas, glare can make it pretty hard to see though, if the room is too light.

AI: Very well done. If you're fighting alongside marine allies, they won't get in your way unless you force them to. They'll jump in front of you, then crouch and fire away. Everything is very reflexive. Toss a grenade and people scatter (except for some of the smaller, dumber aliens). Everyone (enemy and ally), knows how to make VERY good use of cover.

No limit I could see to saved games or saved profiles. This is nice because if I've been playing with my roommate, I can then take the whole thing over to my friends house and start up a new profile for me and him.

Co-op at least on normal difficulty (#2 out of 4) is pretty nice because even when one person dies, if the first person is still alive, the second person can respawn once the first person is out of harms way. Even if both die, you can continue from the last checkpoint without losing too much.

Gameplay from the first level to the second was very smooth. No loading times more than a sec or so between areas. no loading time between video clips and game. There were some areas where you're totally surrounded by enemies, but even then, on normal diff. it isn't too difficult to get to higher ground and regroup. If you're not smart and start running into the middle of everything, you can die really quick (esp. if you run into a guy with a plasma sword).

The Jeep (you first use it in lvl 2) is really great. Physics are sweet. Looks like it's about as easy to tip it over as it would be in real life. Thankfully, you can right it with your cyborg strength.

Overall, this game really, really rocks. It blows HL away in terms of scripted events and AI. Graphics are great, animations, gameplay everything. I obviously haven't played much more than the first level and a bit, but I would still say that based on my exp. I'd give this a 9/10. It was really that fun overall.

Didn't have a chance to play much further into it though, so I could be missing some stuff.

Tuan Jim
Old 11-02-01, 04:08 PM
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Halo does indeed look kick ass. I'm not a huge FPS fan, really only liked Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and Medal of Honor, out of the ones I've played, but this looks sweet. I'm hoping one of my buddies gets an X-box and Halo so I can play it, unfortunately it's the only announced X-box game that looks good enough to interest me in the system. Maybe I'll pick it up in a year or two after a price drop if the game library improves. It still sucks though, as I'd love to have this game, but there's no way I'm shelling out $350 ($299 + $50) just for it.
Old 11-02-01, 04:09 PM
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Sounds great man! Halo has been getting tons of great reviews from so many people around the net. I cannot wait to bust out Halo on launch day with my 5.1 surround sound. Directional audio rules! I heard, on Legendary Mode, you can be fighting with just one alien for 10 minutes.

How many missions did you get through? I read at Bungie.org there are 5 mission per chapter with 11 chapters, bringing the total single player game to around 40+ hours.

How much do you want to bet someone says something about waiting for the PC version? LOL! It always happens in this forum.
Old 11-02-01, 04:17 PM
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I only played the first level on the ship, from the cryo pods to the escape ships, then part of the second level when you first land on Halo. Don't know how the missions are broken up exactly.

If you're used to Goldeneye, it shouldn't take too long to pick up on the controls here. Co-op was really cool. I'm guessing there're more enemies when you play like this, but I could be wrong, since there were still a ton of the aliens around in single player too. Still, it's great having someone to watch your back, and if you get too far ahead and hit the next "checkpoint" your teammate will automatically teleport up to your position.

No way in hell my PC can touch this, it has enough hassles with Giants.

the only weapons we got to try were the assault rifle, pistol, plasma rifle/gun thingy, and plasma pistol (and plasma and frag grenades).

One of the coolest things was just chucking a grenade, and then a few seconds later, you *boom* - little aliens flying through the air.

couldn't hear too much with the audio. The vol controls on the tv didn't work. Those aliens keep yelling taunts at you (some are a little dirty IIRC ;p). Very funny stuff.

Oh, and the built in force feedback works like a charm.

Josh, hope by then, there are some other games out that you want.

Tuan Jim
Old 11-02-01, 05:36 PM
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Originally posted by Flay

How much do you want to bet someone says something about waiting for the PC version? LOL! It always happens in this forum.
Well, since you asked... I'll be waiting. Nothing personal against the X-Box, it has some cool looking games and I'll probably get one eventually. And Halo looks awesome. But I just can't play an FPS with a controller.
Old 11-02-01, 05:41 PM
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Originally posted by larryw


Well, since you asked... I'll be waiting. Nothing personal against the X-Box, it has some cool looking games and I'll probably get one eventually. And Halo looks awesome. But I just can't play an FPS with a controller.
If you've ever played Goldeneye, you'll know it's easier than it looks. I'd recommend checking out the playable demos if you've got a store near you.

that said, I forsee it coming to PC with huge reqs. For it to run with a comparable smoothness and near-non-existent load times, it's gonna take one heckuvalot of machine power. Esp. with the vid. card.

Tuan Jim
Old 11-02-01, 06:28 PM
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Actually - I'm thinking about getting the Xbox as well, but for FPS games, I think I'll wait until they are on the PC. I have a badass PC that cost 10 times what the Xbox will cost and I plan to make use of it. Plus I just rule on FPS games with a mouse and keyboard. I went to visit my cousin in California awhile back and they had an N64 and Goldeneye or whatever the 007 FPS game was. I had never played it or even held an N64 controller in my hand. My cousin's roommate said he played it all the time and he was the master, so I picked up the controller to play against him one on one and I kicked his ass to the tune of 20 - 1 or something like that... he was ashamed. Consolers have no idea what FPSers are all about... Of course, I have no idea what RPGs are all about, so you console guys could kick my ass at like Final Fantasy or whatever - if you can kick somebodys ass at a game like that. And to be fair - the same guy kicked my ass at Gran Tourismo and Tony Hawk Pro Skater.
Old 11-02-01, 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by Tuan Jim
If you've ever played Goldeneye, you'll know it's easier than it looks. I'd recommend checking out the playable demos if you've got a store near you.
What do you mean? I have played Goldeneye and it is just not the same with a controller. I found it pretty difficult to get used to. Maybe for some people it's not as much of an issue.

Originally posted by Tuan Jim
that said, I forsee it coming to PC with huge reqs. For it to run with a comparable smoothness and near-non-existent load times, it's gonna take one heckuvalot of machine power. Esp. with the vid. card.
Probably.
Old 11-06-01, 11:52 PM
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Anyone else had a chance to play yet? Some of my friends went by the mall this weekend and enjoyed it nearly as much as I did ;p

At any rate, here's a more detailed breakdown from someone else -- I don't care enough to write this much : http://forums.teamxbox.com/showthrea...threadid=33577

admittedly the guy was biased going into it, but I still think it's a good, detailed breakdown.

Tuan Jim
Old 11-16-01, 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by Tuan Jim
Anyone else had a chance to play yet? Some of my friends went by the mall this weekend and enjoyed it nearly as much as I did ;p

At any rate, here's a more detailed breakdown from someone else -- I don't care enough to write this much : http://forums.teamxbox.com/showthrea...threadid=33577

admittedly the guy was biased going into it, but I still think it's a good, detailed breakdown.

Tuan Jim
I went through the first two levels last night with fellow DVDTalker Sundog and it was real tight. What's most impressive is that the level of detail WRT graphics is not compromised when playing the one-player game in co-op split-screen mode.
Old 11-16-01, 08:53 AM
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x-box came in a bundle with 2 games and i haven't even removed the shrinkwrap from the other one. Halo rocks
Old 11-16-01, 10:02 AM
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I played through the first 2 levels last night. First off, in general I hate FPS games. Half-life was the only one I really enjoyed. I never played Quake 2 or 3. I bought Unreal Tournament and played it for all of 2 hours. Most just give me motion sickness, so I was hoping this one didn't.

For the most part I thought it was a great game. Since I'm not a huge FPS fan I wouldn't say it totally blew me away but it looks great and was very fun. I did get a bit of motion sickness during the first level (its always indoor FPS scenes that do it to me). Fortunately the 2nd was outside and didn't bother me at all.

The AI seems pretty good and I love the voice effects. One of the aliens will spot you and you can hear him call to his buddies 'He's over there!' and stuff. If you are blasting a guy he'll run away and hide behind an object until his shield recharges. The little aliens are kinda neat how they run around all frantic when you hit them a couple times and get close. I also liked the way NPCs on your side help out and talk to you, so you can fight with them.
The vehicle was cool, you can drive around, pick up an npc teammate and he'll control the gun in the back while you drive around. Or you can drive around, stop in front of some enemies and hop in the back to shoot them up yourself (kind of a cheap tactic, but very effective).

I'd say my only real issue with the game is its a bit too easy to pick off aliens from real far away outside. They just kinda stand there taking a beating and their shots are easy to dodge from that far away.

I did have some problems with the controls at first (since I don't play FPS's in general its not that I'm used to a mouse). It was hard to get the aiming and moving at the same time down, I'd find myself always moving sideways to target something instead of moving my aim to the side. It became a little more natural after a while, however I've never been to adept at analog controllers so it still needs some getting used to.

Its the only game I have so far for xbox, so don't have anything to compare it to, but its a great game. Probably won't be my favorite since I'm not an FPS fan, but if you are you should love this one.
Old 11-17-01, 07:42 PM
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Just so as to not start a new thread about the same disk, Halo comes with a pretty sweet playable demo of Fusion Frenzy and the crappy kiosk demo of Oddworld.

Halo so far, I've been able to pilot 3 out of 4 vehicles so far. Man, the tank really rocks. The only one I've driven that can actually take damage/be destroyed seems to be the Ghost, but that might just be because the marines and I hit it a few times before I got in.

This game is sooo great. There have been a few frustrating bits in terms of overwhelming attack from all sides and low ammo (
Spoiler:
trying to sneak up to the cruiser at night and rescue the captain
), but in general it's been going pretty well -- I really hate the yellow dudes with the big swords. You need more than one clip to kill them and they're faster than you. A grenade midway through can work sometimes. I'm playing on normal right now. Just worked my way out of the snowy ravine. The setting and environment is absolutely incredible. The only way this could be better is if they can work in a terrain damage engine in Halo 2 (like Red Faction).

No question about it, however, Halo is THE MUST HAVE Xbox title. At least for launch.

Tuan Jim
Old 11-17-01, 10:15 PM
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I've got a question for anyone who's playing this game . Where in the hell do I go after I get the 1st vehicle ? I've driving around for an hour and i'm getting no where . I went down into the big cave and I didn't see anywhere I was suppose to go .
Old 11-17-01, 10:56 PM
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Errr, did you jump over the gap? If you do, it's pretty obvious where you need to go.
Old 11-17-01, 11:12 PM
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Holy crap. You don't play Halo, you experience it. I'm only using a crappy 13" tv, but even with this, I'm totally sucked in. The cut scenes really build the story well, the Voice acting is top notch, etc. I've driven all the vehicles that are available now. It's pretty cool, depending how things work out, if you plan well, you can sometimes capture and use vehicles from the enemy. Shoot them out and jump in. Very nifty. Strategy is a necessity, but interestingly enough, if you die and go back from your checkpoint, there are often things that are different. Some enemies may not be in the exact same position as they were before. The AI never reacts the same way twice. sweet!

Spoiler:
found the control room, headed to the swamp -- awesome graphics. The story here seems to take a little halflife/aliens plot twist, but I haven't seen any reviews calling it unoriginal, so I'm assuming things take a big swing back the other way. Some parts are getting really chilling. Not freaky in the sense that Clive Barker's Undying was freaky, but the wet noises and the video you see from the soldier's helmet really up the tension mode. Of course i would be a lot more tense if you didn't have the motion sensor. Also kinda interesting that the shotgun doesn't do much damage on the little parasites, but one shot can take out a full xenomorph/hybrid dude.


Anyone worried that the only enemies you have are shown in the manual can put their fears to rest.

Tuan Jim
Old 11-17-01, 11:45 PM
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Tuan, I just got to that part in your spoiler. The Flood.

Yikes, it was so damn scary the first time I went through it. I thought it would never end.

And I second that part about the enemies. There are tons of creatures in this game.
Old 11-18-01, 12:04 AM
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Holy Cow. I've just checked out IGN's new Halo game guide. without reading any of the missions, I checked out the contents page and it looks like after all I've been playing -- probably close to 6 hours yesterday and 4 1/2 hours today have only gotten me about
Spoiler:
1/2 way through the game. that's right. Finish the first round in the swamp vs the Flood, and you still have half the game to finish.
And I'm only playing on normal. I've heard that there are some more secrets if you can beat the game on legendary though. It'll be a LONG time before I get around to trying that.

Tuan Jim
Old 11-18-01, 10:07 AM
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That's nothing. I have played a total of 23 hours on Heroic to get to the Library. This game rocks! Legendary will be a blast. I also heard the ending changes in Legendary.
Old 11-18-01, 12:02 PM
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I heard the same thing, but why in the world did you start on heroic? Looks like it's taken you twice the time I've played to get the same distance -- I think 343 Spark is the library level. I'm now torn between playing Heroic next or jumping right to legendary. It's nice that there are (it seems) unlimited profile slots.

Tuan Jim
Old 11-19-01, 05:34 AM
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Has anyone else tried playing it on Legendary? I started on Normal and progressed through a couple levels, but I felt like I was breezing through it too easily without any major challenge.

So I started over on Legendary. I made it through the Autumn with some moderate difficulty, and it was much more fulfilling. However, once down on Halo, it's near impossible with the number of aliens and the open spaces. Anyone have any strategies or tips? I can only imagine how quickly you (and your soldiers) die once you get on the Warthog.
Old 11-19-01, 07:59 AM
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Halo is awesome. I have been out of the console realm fo awhile waiting for something to come along worthy of my money and especially time. However, having started palying some computer games lately I decided to check out the latest console offerings. And Halo is the reason I bought the XBOX now. But I think the library of games will only get better. As with every system there are some rushed titles and some well planned ones. HALO being the latter.

I have a single player game and co-op going both on heroic. I don't want this game to end. I am on the 3rd level and it keeps getting better. What I like best that even single player feels like co-op since the other marines really do work with you. I also, like the strategy of using the marines and trying to protect them at times. The last FPS i partially played and enjoyed was Half-life. This blows that away in some respects. Not sure about the immersive storyline though. Not deep enough into the game.

The controller was the most frustrating at first. I literally hated the game because I could not figure out the controller. But now I can thread that warthog through a need at full throttle. I mean the realism is uncanny. Has to be game of the year in action genre at least.

As for the computer user waiting for HALO. Good luck! I have been singing that tune for years. If you can afford 4K on a computer than you have no reason not to treat yourself to an XBOX. If for anything the larger screen to play on. My 36'' split screen is stiill double the viexing area of my 17"Monitor and connected using component unput is very sharp.

BTW does anyone notice more load time when playing co-op than single player. I get them more often it seems.
Old 11-19-01, 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by Todd B.
Has anyone else tried playing it on Legendary? I started on Normal and progressed through a couple levels, but I felt like I was breezing through it too easily without any major challenge.

Well, one of the devs did say it took him about 60 hours to beat the game on Legendary difficulty. for the first time through, normal is definitely tough enough (wait till you have to try rescuing the captain). The first couple of levels are easy, yes, but it gets a lot more complicated. Even Flay is just playing in heroic.

Tuan Jim
Old 11-19-01, 01:23 PM
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I have a Halo to trade if anyone wants to give up their DOA3. I just didn't end up loving it as much as everyone else did.

[email protected]

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Old 11-19-01, 02:35 PM
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I am about halfway through the 8th level and I have logged in about 28 hours playing on Heroic. My guess is the total time will be around 35-40 hours on Heroic.

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