Halo? I Just Don’t Get It.

I'm playing through the PC version of Halo right now, and it makes me want to ask: Why is this game such the blockbuster hit for the X-Box? Are there really that few good titles for the X-Box that this is considered a standout?

Now, I wouldn't say Halo is bad necessarily, it's just unremarkable. Most of the levels seem to be the same room, over and over again, fighting the same two or three enemies over and over again. It's repetitive to the point of almost being boring. The self-recharging shields remove any real challenge from the game, if you get in trouble just hide somewhere for a minute and wait for your shields to recharge. The story is spread way too thin, there seems to be a decent plot to the game but it feels almost completely undeveloped.

Sad, really. I expected better from Bungie. They were one of my favorite game developers back in the day. The first two Marathon games were masterpieces of video game story telling, and had interesting and diverse (though marred by the occasional frustrating jumping puzzle) level design. Ditto for Myth & Myth II. Though the storyline in the Myth games wasn't as engrossing as Marathon's, the level design as still top-notch. The third installments of Myth and Marathon were done by other developers, so I can excuse those. Marathon: Infinity was still good, IMHO, even if Myth III was terrible. I can even forgive them for Oni, every developer can make a bad game, and Oni really wasn't that bad anyway.

Makes me wonder if Halo would have been better had it not been saddled to the X-Box after the Microsoft buyout. I guess we'll never know.