Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Halo 3

Yeah, I was there for a lackluster (and poorly handled) midnight launch. I have my Legendary Edition, and have been playing for around four hours.

It's great fun -- especially cooping through campaign with a friend in the same room.

I need to think more about my first impressions, and maybe I'll revisit them.

First, yeah, it's fun, and the graphical fidelity is a bit improved over the multiplayer beta. It's tough to have this game following BioShock (which I've been playing a lot lately) -- it really doesn't compare favorably on the graphics, sound, or story side to that game.

Gameplay is fun, firefights are great, and cooping feels like it matters.

** Potential Spoilers below **

But, cutscenes are ridiculously uneven in quality. Some good stuff, some really stilted, original Half-Life kind of stuff; and more time on Master Chief and the Arbiter (or armored folks) than on believable human beings. And nothing approaching Final Fantasy quality footage.

Another pet peeve is is cutscenes not matching the action. If my in-room buddy (playing Arby the Arbiter) pushes the switch, don't switch to a cutscene of M.C. doing the switching.

And what is with me ending the co-op campaign, and the game barfing about me turning off the second controller?

But my big concern is on the technical side. So many hiccups and stutters I didn't expect. And the audio mixing on 5.1 surround does not sound good. I lose voices in the music or effects, sound stutters and drops out quite a bit, and Guilty Spark is neigh unintelligible.

That sounds like a lot of negatives, but the game is good. That being said, the hype machine has set expectations. So, on some basic fronts, I was expecting a lot more.

More later.

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