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Halo series coming to PC

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It's probably old news, but I just learned today that Microsoft will be releasing The Master Chief Collection, comprising 6 games in the series, starting in 2019. Games will be released in the lore's chronological order, starting with Halo: Reach, then Halo, 2, 3, ODST, and 4.
I played Halo CE on PC and loved the game. I was always hoping that there would be PC versions and was bummed when subsequent games in the title were for XBox only.
The older titles will be remastered but gameplay and story will be left unchanged. They'll be available on Steam and the Microsoft store.
 
That's cool. My only contact with Halo series was a demo of Halo: Combat Evolved many years ago, but with The Master Chief Collection coming out it might be a good opportunity to catch up with the franchise.
 
AH... fond memories of The Library... <evil grin>
That was probably the only part of the game I found completely frustrating. (Mostly because I was fighting with the Xbox gamepad as much as The Flood.) I just could not line up the shots fast enough. By comparison, playing it later on PC...the Library felt like fish in a barrel.
 
Played only Halo 1 and 2 long after their original release. Wasn't impressed. But always wanted to play other games. I'm getting the collection.
 
Played only Halo 1 and 2 long after their original release. Wasn't impressed. But always wanted to play other games. I'm getting the collection.
I'd say the first 3 games were really well-done. Just masterful mechanics. ODST was pretty cool, too.

The later games...I honestly disliked. I played a little of each one, and they simply felt like very generic shooters with a Halo skin.
 
I'd say the first 3 games were really well-done. Just masterful mechanics. ODST was pretty cool, too.

The later games...I honestly disliked. I played a little of each one, and they simply felt like very generic shooters with a Halo skin.
Funny enough - "generic shooter" is precisely what I thought about 1 and 2. Very weightless. I just didn't get what was so appealing about them and why they became such a big deal. Maybe it was a big deal on Xbox, but... I don't know.
 
Funny enough - "generic shooter" is precisely what I thought about 1 and 2. Very weightless. I just didn't get what was so appealing about them and why they became such a big deal. Maybe it was a big deal on Xbox, but... I don't know.
At the time it was released, there had never been a shooter with that level of variety, sense of weight and substance, extremely satisfying sense of weapon kick and impact, nor the graphical fidelity and story-telling that was happening. AI was actually intelligent, the environments were mind-blowing, and the pacing was great.

We had things like Quake, Unreal, Red Faction, and Soldier of Fortune -- all of which were great games that did new things -- but they were all noticeably "twitchy" at their core. The only thing that could compare with Halo was Half-Life. Just a nearly perfect gelling of all mechanics and game elements that started surprising players from the beginning and didn't quit.

In hindsight, with all of the advancements that have been made over time since then, it's easy to dismiss it as kind of tired and loose by modern standards. But on the release date, it literally meant going to sleep for one night, and going:

 
I certainly can see some technical improvements. Early bumpmaps and specular effects, before it blew onto screens with Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 couple of year later... Again, just like with GoldenEye, it's multiplayer was probably a big deal for consoles. But it just probably didn't age well, that's why I've found it underwhelming a few years later... It wasn't really technical aspects. It was just arena-corridor-arena-corridor. Exhausting and monotonous. With 4 enemies - small guy, big guy, spore thing, flying thing. I prefer when SP shooters have more exploration, more interesting level design. If it went progressively worse over the years, it begs the question if it's worth trying later games (3 and onwards).
 
But it just probably didn't age well, that's why I've found it underwhelming a few years later... It wasn't really technical aspects.
That's the main foozle. It wasn't just about the graphics; it was about the gameplay. Things like Half-Life or Jedi Knight introduced absolutely amazing environments and some really cool gameplay...but they were still based on standard, shooter mechanics. Granted, Half-Life definitely had some impressive AI that could create very engaging scenarios...but the gameplay was still very exaggerated. Jedi Knight created some fantastic level design, but enemies still basically stood still and shot at you or charged straight in. Most games were exactly what you describe: corridor levels on foot with your standard arsenal of pistol / shotgun / SMG / Sniper / RPG / BFG. Or some variation of that with a couple of great twists.

Halo was...awe inspiring. Yes, the graphics improved a bit. But also:
  • The sense of scope and scale was literally epic. "3D open world" had barely begun at that point. Landing on the ringworld for the first time and having that HUGE, organic area to seamlessly explore -- with both friendly and enemy AI -- dropships flying in to insert / evac forces -- getting to drive the warthog -- fighting from indoor to outdoor locations with no loading screens -- dealing with air attacks from Banshees while simultaneously fighting ground forces -- it was: :eek::Do_O:love:
  • Enemy AI was incredible. They didn't just dodge back and forth -- they flanked you, shot through your shield then bull-rushed you, got angry if you caused too much damage, panicked and ran if you took out their leader, shouted alarms to wake up nearby allies, lured you into ambushes, actively and organically used cover or mounted weapons. It was utterly mind-blowing -- especially for a console-only title.
  • The level design wasn't simply "corridors" (even if sections did technically utilize that approach, especially by modern standards). In fact, the game would taunt the player by landing them in "cookie cutter" sections...then dropping in wholly different arrangements of enemies that would create a surprising and engaging challenge.
  • The details. The details. Soldiers called out actual tactical info in real-time, reacted to situations believably, automatically manned positions on vehicles, always had a comment that fit the situation. The first time I jumped a Warthog and the gunner pumped his fist, whooped and went, "Yeah! That was awesome!!!" I nearly crapped fingerpaints. Bungie had completely outdone themselves.
  • The vehicles! I definitely did not expect to be able to drive a Warthog with AI or coop gunners...zip around on a Wraith like a speederbike...drive a Scorpion while fellow soldiers rode along on the armor taking potshots at enemies...fly a Banshee through wide open areas to freely dogfight and strafe ground targets...in my shooter.
  • Enemy design was fantastic. Most games gave you the trash mob, the fast guy, the big bruiser, and the sniper. That was it. Halo offered swarms of Grunts that could really be a pain if you didn't break them up quickly. The Elites were a real danger if you didn't manage them fast enough. The Jackals would actively distract you and required a lot of timing to deal with effectively. Hunters really impressed me once I discovered the most efficient way to take them out was by closing in, drawing their charge, then sidestepping and putting a few shots into their backs with the pistol or shotgun.
  • Weapons were sooo cool. There was no real "progression". Every weapon had its pros and cons. No weapon was useless. And all of them felt so good to fire. Lots of impact, awesome effects, great sound. The needler was just a piece of genious.
  • And the story... It wasn't common for a shooter to a.) take itself that seriously and b.) actually pull it off without any "cringy" moments. Learning what the ringworlds were for the first time was a mouth-agape moment in gaming. That was really well handled, and 343 Guilty Spark's reaction was pretty haunting.
At the time, it was like winning the free trip then getting the new car too, 'cause, why not? Nowadays, sadly, there's no way to recreate the impact it had. Most of the stuff Halo introduced has become "standard". Possibly even boring and old-hat.
 
AI certainly felt more active than usual. Which somewhat compensated stupidly dull level design. Maybe because levels were that primitive it allowed AI employ deeper tactics in the end. It was really hard to be impressed by open world shooters when the market was actively introducing MMO. Which was a lot more mind-blowing couple of years down the line. With hundreds of people participating in something. But yeah... It's impossible to evaluate the game properly now if you weren't there in 2001 when it shipped.
 
AI certainly felt more active than usual. Which somewhat compensated stupidly dull level design. Maybe because levels were that primitive it allowed AI employ deeper tactics in the end. It was really hard to be impressed by open world shooters when the market was actively introducing MMO. Which was a lot more mind-blowing couple of years down the line. With hundreds of people participating in something. But yeah... It's impossible to evaluate the game properly now if you weren't there in 2001 when it shipped.
Looking at the new release versions...I have to say that I'm not much of a fan of the new textures. More detailed, sure, but they're missing a lot of the visual balance / color pallete the gave Halo 1 such a great look and feel. Halo 2 and 3 look better to me, somehow. Hm! Interested to see more.
 
Looking at the new release versions...I have to say that I'm not much of a fan of the new textures. More detailed, sure, but they're missing a lot of the visual balance / color pallete the gave Halo 1 such a great look and feel. Halo 2 and 3 look better to me, somehow. Hm! Interested to see more.
Some time ago I watched Digital Foundry video about the first one and it compared the original with PC port. They seriously messed up the aesthetic of the game on PC. I'm a very vanilla type of a gamer - I want games to be preserved, not enhanced. So it's underwhelming if they won't allow original look of the game for the sake of teh hirez texturezzz. I don't even like wide-screen mods if it wasn't in the original version. I want a game to belong to the time it was released in to 100%.