The game I choose to play was Halo 3. With very little familiarity or experience in the Halo universe, I choose the campaign mode rather than the multiplayer or online mode because I was afraid of getting embarrassed.
As I started to play my first session and get oriented with the game, I sensed some of the other guys in the room getting excited for me just during the introduction video. I would be hooked, they were telling me. As I began actual play, shooting the invading aliens, I received more instructions from the other guys in the room rather than from the game. As a new comer to the game, it was interesting to here them discuss the game. First, it became clear there was a hierarchy of players. Certain performances during online gaming sessions, where the highest level of play occurs, were well recollected and accounted for. There was a definite social aspect of the game.
It was easy enough to understand that Halo 3 was a game of progression, however it involved elements of emergence. As a game of progression, the levels were very well designed because you have the feeling of being in a completely 3D dimensional world where you are free to roam wherever, when in the reality of the game world, the levels are fairly linear. In terms of emergence, from my friends, I learned that certain weapons facilitated certain forms of combat. Certain strategies can be employed that were not so apparent. Obviously use the sniper rifle in a concealed, elevated location. But also, the shotgun works great in close combat, and I did not realize how pragmatic it was to use grenades.
I found the story line of the game to be a bit bizarre. It was not detrimental, but neither was it beneficial to the experience of play.
I was not completely new to the Halo universe when I started to play; I was a bit familiar with the original Halo. I had not played any of Halo 2, but found the new elements in the game quite interesting. What particularly stood out, was the shield mechanic that the aliens would use them to protect themselves. Initially it was frustrating; I couldn’t shoot them. But again with the grenades, I simply roll one in that shield and those aliens are done for.
The game makes you feel safe as you are playing. There are frequent checkpoints, so even if you die (it seems you have an unlimited amount of re-generations, which is also comforting) you are quickly thrown back into the battle sequence in which you just died. This benefits the game play in that you get really involved in a particular challenge, because you are quickly confronted with that challenge. It keeps you involved
As a beginner, I also found the armor regeneration mechanic essential to play. It allows you to keep playing and become familiar with the game and not have to seek any sort of regeneration pill like an elixir. Also, I found having a platoon of soldiers and an alien at your side quite helpful in defeating aliens and making the game seem more interactive. If you shoot your comrades, they yell at you and if you save their life or make an impressive kill, they compliment you.
Halo 3 is interesting in that there is no traditional reward system. You don’t collect coins, or have a kill count; only the knowledge that you are good at Halo. The highest reward you can receive from the game is achieving a high rank online, indicating your mastery of the game.
Rating (out of 5):