Tuesday 15 January, 2008
Summary: Halo 3 is the third in a trilogy of first person shooters from Bungie Studios. The Player takes the role of Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced super-soldier who is the last of his kind, in the middle of a war with an alien race called the Covenant, who are trying to eradicate all human life. Following a long standing tradition of FPSs, Halo 3 guides the player through each level with radio chatter or other such mechanisms, with the general goal of killing all of the aliens that you come into contact with. In addition to a detailed story mode, the game also sports expansive on- and offline multiplayer experience. The goals in multiplayer (which is what I'll mostly be discussing) vary from capture the flag type games to the standard 'most frags win' type game types.
Gameplay: The online multiplayer of Halo 3 is both incredibly captivating and exceedingly frustrating. It is captivating in three ways: 1) each kill or score of each game is very satisfying, knowing that you have bested a real-world opponent. 2) the ability to talk with both your team mates as well as your enemies via a headset allows for a much more competitive and social experience. And 3), there is also a reward system for winning each match, players can rank up when they win enough matches, a players rank is used by other players in order to get some sense of the skill levels of their opponents and team mates.
Halo 3's online multiplayer is also very frustrating for the same three reasons: 1) Each death is outrage or injustice of some kind, this is exacerbated by the online experience, which does not always provide as smooth of gameplay as a the story mode. 2) The ability to talk to your team mates and enemies also means that they can talk back, which is not always a pleasant experience when the trash talk start to flow. and 3) Players rank up by winning matches, but they also rank down by losing them, this makes each match very important. Both the captivating and frustrating feelings that are promoted by the game serve to wind the player in more and make it easy to play and replay for hours on end.
Gameplay: The ability to bring friends into your party as well as team up with other players really makes Halo 3. It adds a level of social interaction that is absent in many other more single-player oriented games. I also found that even though I would be angry at myself (for performing poorly) or at my team mates (for performing poorly), or at the other team (for beating me), the game was still a genuinely fun and rewarding experience.
Design: Halo 3's online multiplayer did not really bring anything terribly innovative to the FPS genera. The recharging shield system and the ability to dual wield weapons were already introduced in Halo's 1 and 2 respectively. One element that I feel really makes Halo 3 one of the best FPSs created is the damage balance of the weapons. Each weapon has a specific use (close or long range, different accuracies, etc), as well as a specific amount of damage that is dealt with each hit. In many FPSs, there is one weapon that is the end all. In Halo 3, however, no one weapon can guarantee a victory, for example a more powerful weapon is limited by the ammunition it can carry. Not only this, but the damage that each hit gives is balanced with the amount of health and shields of the player.
Another aspect is the map design. Maps in Halo 3 are extremely variable, ranging from small chaotic maps, to very large maps that emphasize stealth. Each map has a theme that dictates the architecture of the buildings to the climate and landscape of the surrounding area. For instance, there are alien temples, ruined human cities, and military bases, all of which relate back to some level in the single player mode.
As mentioned before, the ability to bring friends and talk to the other players is a key aspect of the online multiplayer in Halo 3. There is a level of social interaction that acts as part of the rewards system and keeps you playing the game, either to flaunt your victories, or to restore lost honor.
This is a fine entry. It brings up good points in a clean, concise manner. For your future entries, please write two separate log entries for each gameplay session. Also, please have a space between each paragraph, so they do not blend together as much.
Saturday 19 January, 2008 by Lagaes Rex
- David Seagal (Grader)