Monday, April 17, 2006

Halo 2 (Completed)

I didn't get on with the original Halo because the fiction was lame and the level design consisted of the level designer using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V a too much. Halo 2 does nothing much to change that and in some respects the level design is even worse than the previous game. At several points in the game you are put into a massive hall and (I at least) spend the next fifteen minuets trying to find the door out long after everything has been killed.

The level design brief for every stage in game goes something like this:
He walks into a big room. And stuff comes out. And shoots at him. And then more stuff comes out. And shoots at him. And then he goes through door to get to next room.
There is a suspended space station that is kind of interesting. I thought the big cable was an antenna at first, but it is a cable going up into the sky. No word on what the station is for or what the cable is attached to, but judging by the design of the level I think the station is a deathmatch arena with lots of stuff to kill.

The fiction in the game is like walking into an action film half way through. There is a slight mention this time about the construction of Halo and we finally findout how it acts as a weapon although still no mention on why it has all those islands or plants on it's inner edge. I assume the whole thing was constructed to destroy the flood, but that is just my own assumption as the game doesn't even attempt to offer an explanation.

The Covenant are very affluent so how the hell they ended up going to war with the Americans I don't know. And yes I am also am assuming they are at war with the Americans as the game also offers no explanation in this respect either. Maybe it was the Covenant's refusal to buy Hollywood films and end the domestic dominance of the market.

Some of the weapons in the game are a little bit awkward to use and having to keep picking stuff up from the ground only adds to their awkwardness, but it slows down gameplay so maybe this is by design. And to prevent the player from simply running through all the levels.

I could go into micro detail and talk about how the second level earth city doesn't feel alive because there are no civilians or evidence of life except a few abandoned trucks, but all the levels in the game suffer from not being anything else than deathmatch arenas for the Chief to fight in.

Multiplayer is good.