Most trollicious posts title I could come up with.
Nah, let’s get down to it for real: I feel like I have missed something by not playing the Halo series up to this point. It’s a massive, massive, huge, massive part of gaming culture, and reading the Wikipedia page is still really confusing to me, so bummer, I missed the story and the excitement. I finally bought 4 because I played it at work in the break room and the FOV didn’t make me nauseated, so I took the plunge on a RadioShack deal and bought it a few months after the release date. I like playing local multiplayer games with my co-workers but as we read last week, playing multiplayer online really terrifies me, so with my own fear in my way, I started playing the campaign.
I’ll skip ahead and say after I finished the solo campaign, I started playing the campaign with my brother. We just finished, and even after my second play through, I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON. In both play throughs, I never skipped any cutscenes. I even tried to peruse the Wikipedia page, and I’m still mostly lost. So we can derive that I’m either a total idiot (this, truly, is a possibility. I’m not just being self-deprecating) or this game is really poorly written. Also, we could deduce that the previously dozen Halo games (4? actually? There are only like 4 or 5 other ones? Today’s post is brought to you by not googling) were REALLY integral to the plot of 4. I don’t think this is totally true, but hey, what do I know, I never played them.
Aside from plot holes I didn’t really understand, the convenience of the entire Halo system made me facepalm. “We need to get to the other side of the planet. But how?!” “Chief, I’ve found a portal that will take us where we need to go!” “Good one, Cortana!” lookofdisapproval.jpg. That’s some lazy-a writing, if I’ve ever seen any. And I have, because I’m a lazy writer.
The bottom line is that Halo is a cash cow, though, and 343 and Microsoft aren’t really worried about new players picking up the campaign; they’re more concerned with the multiplayer experience being so addicting, people die in front of their TVs trying to get the next level, unlock the next ordnance, create the next grifball-type game, etc. And I really can’t blame them for that. It’s a good model, and it worked on me. I bought the game because I had so much fun playing multiplayer at work.
So good on you, 343. You’ve made a successful model that pays off in a (for me) non-traditional way: through multiplayer, rather than storyline. To each their own, just please don’t assassinate me over and over again in SWAT. It makes me feel bad about myself.