Tuesday 22 January, 2008
Gamelog Entry 2: HALO 3
This time around, I focused on online multiplayer Team Slayer and Team Hardcore (a variant with different, more "professional gamer" weapons, such as starting with the Battle Rifle for longer range). This time, however, I joined a party with a close friend of mine, as he played from his house, and I from my dorm room. I found that I actually played better when in the virtual-reality presence of my friend, and we seemed to work together well, as we've played the Halo games since their original releases on the Xbox. I found it more enjoyable and motivating to get congratulations and team support from my friend, which allowed me to actually play better. Winning the game, I found, depends on teamwork and strategy much more than individual skill.
Again, I didn't want to stop playing, even after losing a game.
The design of Halo 3 is truly unique. It isn't necessarily "realistic", but it gives a feeling of immersion nonetheless, as it stays consistent.
The animation flows very well, and even with online play, the lag is minimal and doesn't ruin game play or visual design. The characters themselves are made to stand out against the beautiful backgrounds, so you can spot an enemy all the way across the map, and yet they all fit in with the environment. The weapons are split into three categories, depending on their "creators" (the Humans, the Covenant Elites, and the Brutes), and all have distinct styles, both visually and functionally. Elite weapons are plasma-like, and are able to take down shields very well, while Human weapons do more damage to a shield-less body. Brute weapons seem heavier, and throw spikes or grenades, rather than energy or bullets. They do a lot of damage but are somewhat harder to use.
Another aspect that makes Halo 3 an attractive game is the fact that there are, really, four different kinds of attacks. First, there is your regular weapon (typically your gun [sometimes a sword or hammer]). Then there are grenades (Plasma, Frags, Spikers, and Firebombs). Melee is the up-close physical attack of swatting your gun at your enemy to deal a large amount of damage in intense "fist-fights". And the new addition to Halo 3, Equipment. Equipment items allow for new situations that have never been seen in games before, such as a deployable "Bubble Shield" that temporarily completely protects anyone who steps inside (Which means an enemy can kill you and hijack your bubbleshield for protection).
Each level is laid out with specific weapon locations that the players soon learn by heart, providing unique gameplay and visual experience with each one. Some levels are indoors, causing more use of close-range weapons, while some levels are wide open, allowing the use of the Sniper Rifle and other long-range weapons, and possibly vehicles.
Vehicles themselves create situations where two or three teammates can work together in a single vehicle, such as the Warthog car. A turret mounted on the back allows one person to shoot, one person to drive, and one person to ride shotgun. The shotgun player can use any weapon that he was holding when he entered the vehicle, which allows a variety of situations to arise from any warthog encounter.