Halo: A Necessary Evil

Gaming

I wanted to like Halo: Combat Evolved on the original X-Box. I love first-person shooters and science fiction ones in particular. But I couldn’t make myself finish the game, and I’ve finished some amazing online unblocked games.

There were a few things that just felt wrong about the game, and they are the same issues that have plagued every Halo game I’ve tried. Don’t misunderstand me – I don’t think the Halo series is bad, but it is a series I cannot bring myself to play any more than the few hours I’ve put in.

My major complaint is the way enemies react when hit, or rather the lack thereof. It seems no matter what you shoot enemies with they just shrug it off until they’ve received enough shots to make them fall down dead. As a rather inexperienced Halo player, I find it frustrating to figure out whether my shots are actually damaging enemies.

I’m used to games where enemies flinch or grunt or stagger when hit with a high-powered weapon. Halo games never give me the satisfaction.

I also have problems with the level design. The levels, to my taste, seem repetitive in their textures and design. I found myself constantly turned around in the jungles and corridors of Halo 3 because of everything kind of looks the same. This is simply unclear level design.

Perhaps I’m too pampered by more clearly designed maps, but the level design is a big part of what draws me to different shooters. I can vividly recall the clear and brilliantly designed layouts of levels in Black and Prey. But trying to recall Halo levels, I mostly just see too many jungle leaves obscuring my view and a series of drab grey walls.

My final complaint is the unresponsiveness of the vehicles in the Halo series. They seem to glide about almost of their own accord, and I never got used to controlling them. They are a big part of the series, but they always feel a little off when compared to vehicle segments from games like Gears of War and Half-Life 2.

I realize most of these issues are not a problem when playing the game online against other players, which is where most Halo fans spend their time. But I mostly play games for the single-player portion, and on that front, Halo fails to deliver.

On the one hand, I’d like to see this series bite the bullet to make way for something better, but I also know that it is one of the driving forces behind my favorite console- the Xbox 360. Without Halo and its many games, the console would not be what it is. So for that, I can appreciate it.