Ooh two completions so far for February
3. Halo: Reach (Master Chief Collection) PC
So the journey is over, I have finally completed all the main line (i.e the FPS ones) Halo games. Dare I say it, it ended with a little bit of a whimper rather than a bang.
So I was late to the party with the Halo series. I did have CE on the original Xbox, but I (whisper it) wasn't really that keen. I got as far as driving the Warthog , found it near impossible and gave up. As far as Halo 2 goes, for some reason I never played the campaign, although I did spend many hilarious hours playing couch VS with @Gordzilla
And I may have bought Halo 3, Reach and indeed 4; but I never actually managed to play them. You know just because. And I developed a distinctive 'obviously' correct opinion that the Halo games were well a bit meh really. Despite never really actually y'know playing them
So when I got a Xbone I bought the MCC collection - mainly because it was like £6 and I had a shiny new console. But I was actually keen to give the games another go, because well all that noise about Halo.
And well I was wrong 18 years ago or whatever it was. Halo is a fabulous game.
Anyway I have gradually made my way through the series from CE onwards and played the entire series available of the MCC (and 5 too, although the less said about 5 is probably the better).
I've had half an eye on playing Reach (for which I still have a 360 disc on my gameshelf) through BCC - but once the game was confirmed for the MCC collection and y'know remastered and all that jazz I decided to wait. And as these days I have an all singing all dancing gaming laptop the PC version beckoned.
Not sure on balance whether that was the correct option.
So yeah Reach. Its well okay. But turns out a little anaemic. Some this may well be down to the gimped sound; its still not fixed as far as I can tell and everything sounds well a bit tinny. And I know the soundtrack for this is much admired; but I badly missed the actual Halo theme - it nearly appears on a couple of occasions and well its kind of frustrating.
Which ultimately fits with the way the game presents. Its all a bit clinical and well lacking something. As you may be aware Reach is a tragic war movie prequel as presented through a video game, or basically Rogue One the videogame. I may have played all of the preceding and succeeding games but I still failed to care much about Noble squadron. I knew they were all going to die and it had very little impact when they did. Your character, Mr proto Master chief is an ambivalent cipher (oh and look Cortana chooses him and he was second only to the Chief in various war games) but he fails to develop any personality of his own.
And its a pretty short campaign, definetly shorter than the numbered titles; and whilst I've heard comment that it has some of the best set pieces in the series, I wasn't quite feeling it. I mean yes it has the Halo dynamic, it doesn't feel divorced from its predecessors like say 5 does. But there were far more memorable moments in well, Halo 4 for example. It feels like Halo, I was enjoying myself but I never had that feeling of wow what I am I playing like I got from say Halo 3.
So yeah DLD Halo rankings: Halo 3 > Halo 4 (its really good no really it is) > ODST > CE > Reach > Halo 2 > Halo 5 / 10
3. Shadow Warrior 2 (PC)
And now for something completely brainless and explosive.
I loved SW1, whilst I played it later, turns out it was the original prototype for the Doom reboot. Nineties FPS game design meets 2010s graphics.
This wasn't as good. Mixing Shadow Warriors vibe with the looter shooter genre ends up being slightly more miss than hit. By having procedurally generated levels some of the fun of exploring the maps of the first game was lost. The game also badly misses the lovely anime seriousness of the originals plot and cut scenes ; this time it goes straight for silly cock jokes with little or no messing about. Hoji is much missed.
But it does have guns, lots of guns. And the swords are still phenomenal. Some reasonable improvements with the controls makes the special moves a lot more intuitive to pull off too.
It never even tries to rise above, go here, kill some demons, go over here and kill some more as far as level design goes, but it still manages to be entertaining as you blast and slash from A to B.
And my word it does look very pretty in places.
Meh I had fun but the first game was better / 10