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Halo 2: The New Medal of Honor


blandishment
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Can't help thinking that the single-player Halo 2 is too scripted. What I loved about the first game is that you never felt like you were being pushed down a tunnel. Sure, there were checkpoints and scripted moments, but no where near as many as there are in that E3 demo.

I'm hoping that the over-reliance on scripting is just for show, and to impress dumb Americans.

On a more positive note the multi-player looks AMAZING.

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If you are on about last years, do you realise it was deliberately scripted in places just to show the new gameplay elements - 2 weapons, marines driving, kicking out of ghosts etc?

I would be very surprised if that sequence is not in the final game.

It's a shame that Halo 2 is critically going to be a repeat of the first game, with any attempt at objectivity shouted down with hype.

Watching some people's reactions to the new demo is like something out of the Twilight Zone. Two weapons?! How can this be! Slightly prettier models! Hubcaps!!1 OMG WTF!

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They probably consciously overloaded on the scripting to lever in as many new odds an ends into a short demo as possible- if it was just 15 minutes Halo-style you might only ever mess about in the Warthog, for example.

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That's only because with every new element we see, the permutations and strategies for multiplayer fun grow exponentially.

Don't get me wrong - I can't wait for Halo 2. But I'm a bit uneasy about some aspects of what I've seen... on the new E3 video, you could hear the fanboys going apeshit over the souped-up violence... "more powerful guns..." "hell yeah!" "whoop! whoop!" "bomb the Covenant back to the Stone Age!" As if more, and bigger guns automatically makes for a better game. Like every game should have stupid Quake 3-sized guns all over it.

Will Bungie overcomplicate it, with hundreds of new moves? Will the gameplay be too centred around the guns themselves? I couldn't care less about "caseless rounds", whatever they are, but some of the Bungie people seem a little taken with firearms.

Halo was about The Dance - the elegant, crafty struggles with a wily enemy - not how big the guns/explosions were. I hope Halo 2 retains that fine balance, that magic.

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I'm worried about where the single-player has disappeared to. They've released plenty of multiplayer shots and info, not much singleplayer stuff. If last year's E3 demo was just put together for the show then we've got very little information on the genuine one-player campaign. My fear is that they overload on the multiplayer and neglect the singleplayer. They won't be able to get away with widespread level design repetition again. Fears are mostly likely just neuroses though, in the time they've had to develop I can't see how Bungie could feasibly mess it up.

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I wouldnt worry, they introduced it as 'the multiplayer demo' so no wonder the single player was ignored. I bet you the single player is at least as big as it was last time.

As for the balance. i too am worried. Mainly about the guided rockets and destructible vehicles. If I drive a warthog into a base to grab the flag, they can just destroy the warthog while i'm in the base. Giving me no getaway at all.

it does look like they are still concerned with baance though. Losing the pistol seems like a great idea as its now all i ever use. And the needler certainly needed reworking.

Its the level layout that really blew me away though. It looks like a hell of a lot of thought had gone into it.

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Don't get me wrong - I can't wait for Halo 2. But I'm a bit uneasy about some aspects of what I've seen... on the new E3 video, you could hear the fanboys going apeshit over the souped-up violence... "more powerful guns..." "hell yeah!" "whoop! whoop!" "bomb the Covenant back to the Stone Age!" As if more, and bigger guns automatically makes for a better game. Like every game should have stupid Quake 3-sized guns all over it.

Will Bungie overcomplicate it, with hundreds of new moves? Will the gameplay be too centred around the guns themselves? I couldn't care less about "caseless rounds", whatever they are, but some of the Bungie people seem a little taken with firearms.

Halo was about The Dance - the elegant, crafty struggles with a wily enemy - not how big the guns/explosions were. I hope Halo 2 retains that fine balance, that magic.

Erm...

3 or so new weapons, the Elite sword, a few new vehicles.

What the big deal, Bob? :(

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If you are on about last years, do you realise it was deliberately scripted in places just to show the new gameplay elements - 2 weapons, marines driving, kicking out of ghosts etc?

Exactly, they admitted on their site that many of the new play mechanics(such as kicking out of ghosts) werent even finished yet.

It was more a trailer than a demo.

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Erm...

3 or so new weapons, the Elite sword, a few new vehicles.

What the big deal, Bob?  :(

Fair point - it's just the "gun happiness" of the audience on that demo that worries me. "Woo! Big guns! Awright!" as if they didn't understand the need for balance in a Halo title. I just hope Bungie can ignore bozos like this who want the explosions bigger, bigger, bigger.

The preview in Edge last year saw Bungie crowing about the weaponry a lot - vehicles, guns (saying the new assault rifle uses caseless rounds*, so it's even more powerful etc.). The emphasis seems to be on making everything more powerful. Of course, this may not equal imbalance in Halo 2... let's hope the beautiful balance in the first game was design and not luck on Bungie's part.

I have to agree that the multiplayer level shown looks sweet - and the vehicle damage seems fun. But two guns? More powerful guns? Give me a break! It's all relaitve. If all they've done is make Master Cheif's weapons more powerful, and upgraded the Covenant's arsenal to level the playing field, and then souped up Master Cheif's shields so he doesn't die instantly from these new uber-weapons, it all amounts to fluff. They could be firing tactical nukes at each other - but as long as Master Cheif's shields can withstand a few hits, and the Elites can also take the punches, the characters in Halo 2 may as well be duelling with pea-shooters. Therefore, bigger guns = penis substitution shite.

*whatever they are. Like anyone cares.

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it's a first person shooter, what exactly would you suggest they do?

Erm... keep a balance, keep The Dance between the Master Chief and the Elites. Bigger <> better.

To explain - if Bungie simply makes the guns more powerful ("Wooooo!" etc.) then the game would be far too easy. So they have to give the Covenant more shield or hit points. So we're back to square one. It just reaches Quake III levels of silliness* very quickly.

As I said above, we could be fighting with pea shooters or tactical nukes. It makes not one jot of difference how "powerful" the weapons are, if the shields/hit points take the same number of shots to deplete.

Personally, I think Halo 2 will be great. Unless Bungie really have gone gun-mad. We'll have to wait and see. Either way, the new, bigger guns mean nothing at all, above penis substitution cack.

*I mean in terms of Quake III's po-faced Huge Guns aesthetic, not the gameplay, which I hear can be quite enjoyable.

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As I said above, they could be fighting with pea shooters or tactical nukes. It makes not one jot of difference how "powerful" the weapons are, if the shields/hit points take the same number of shots to deplete.

ergo the balance is maintained and everything just looks and feels cooler. problem?

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ergo the balance is maintained and everything just looks and feels cooler. problem?

Bigger <> cooler, unless you have a gun fetish. Halo's universe <> the (plain daft) Quake III universe.

Also, they can't keep making everything more powerful in every game. What do they do by the time they reach Halo 4? Have one shot from Master Chief's pistol demolish the planet he's standing on? "Wooo!" etc. etc. etc. [keels over and dies]

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Bigger <> cooler, unless you have a gun fetish. Halo's universe <> the (plain daft) Quake III universe.

slightly bigger, you mean.

it's just bells and whistles - which arguably was needed, and was always going to happen. without the extra-ness, we'd just have a new level set for Halo. woo.

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Well, the multiplayer demo was fantastically exciting, obviously.

I reckon Bungie have a very good understanding about what worked in the first game, and I'm sure they have some players on staff who could kick the arse of Kerraig's Team Ninja or a Findus "dream team" or whoever. They are going to be just as concerned about game balance as anyone on here. There's no sign that Halo 2 has been rushed, so I'm expecting a finely tuned multiplayer experience.

My main worry is that on Live I won't even have a couple of weeks of grace while people learn the game: I'll be shit from the very start. That might mean its not the best game to attract people to Live, as it will be as competitive as a PC FPS.

When are we likely to get a look at the singleplayer? Any big Xbox events in the near future?

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slightly bigger, you mean.

it's just bells and whistles - which arguably was needed, and was always going to happen. without the extra-ness, we'd just have a new level set for Halo. woo.

True.

I guess my fear is that, if they've gone for power, they might have lost the balance.

I hope they realised how important the balance was (I've heard conflicting reports on how much the original Halo's balance was design, and how much accident).

In a similar vein, I also hope the new actions (e.g. second gun) don't ovecomplicate things. Where does the throw grenade button go?

For me, for Halo 2 to be good, it has to retain its "Halo-ness". If they make a Quake III beater, it will please the Quake III fans, but I won't be so chipper.

Overall, I expect this to be a great game - maybe better than Halo, maybe not - but it's got the potential to be disaster of the decade if it mutates into something else. We'll have to wait and see...

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In a similar vein, I also hope the new actions (e.g. second gun) don't ovecomplicate things. Where does the throw grenade button go?

The left trigger. You can't throw grenades when you dual wield, or melee. It's the trade off. That, and your aiming goes to shit if you fire both guns at once.

Halo 2 looks to be nothing like QIII.

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Bigger <> cooler, unless you have a gun fetish. Halo's universe <> the (plain daft) Quake III universe.

Also, they can't keep making everything more powerful in every game. What do they do by the time they reach Halo 4? Have one shot from Master Chief's pistol demolish the planet he's standing on? "Wooo!" etc. etc. etc. [keels over and dies]

What the fuck are you talking about? The innovation in level design was obvious from the clip, and everything else looked finely tuned and balanced.

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I dont see them going the bigger = better route. The rocket launcher now has a slight tracking to it when zoomed. it looks to be avoidable. But the rocket launcher looks no more powerful than before.

The warthog has a rocket launcher, which I must say bothers me as the gatling gun works perfectly and getting close to a hog now to plane a plasma grenade looks like its gonna be very tricky.

The needler needed reworking for multiplayer cos its useless.

And the pistol needed toning down cos its all powerful.

Where are these humungous Quake 3 guns you are talking about?

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What the fuck are you talking about? The innovation in level design was obvious from the clip, and everything else looked finely tuned and balanced.

The level looked great. Everything else balanced? We'll have to wait and see. I agree it's looking as sweet as it could, but so much of Halo is intangible - it's down to what they can't show in a demo like that - so it could go either way.

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I dont see them going the bigger = better route. The rocket launcher now has a slight tracking to it when zoomed. it looks to be avoidable. But the rocket launcher looks no more powerful than before.

The warthog has a rocket launcher, which I must say bothers me as the gatling gun works perfectly and getting close to a hog now to plane a plasma grenade looks like its gonna be very tricky.

The rocket launcher has to be aimed at you for a few seconds for it to track, similar to Unreal Tournament.

And I'm sure the rocket warthog will have a longer wait time between shots. Didn't the PC version have the rocket warthog in it? (never bethered to play MP) How did it work in that?

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The needler needed reworking for multiplayer cos its useless.

And the pistol needed toning down cos its all powerful.

Where are these humungous Quake 3 guns you are talking about?

1. The new Assault Rifle unveiled last year

2. That shotgun-type thing in the demo

3. Bigger guns on the vehicles (could be good, maybe not)

4. Powered-up Needler. (I don't agree that it was crap in multi)

5. Two guns at once. (Although I didn't realise until now that there was an inherent disadvantage - i.e. losing grenades and accuracy, so that's fair enough) - but then this makes all the wooping at two guns all the more silly "you can use two guns! but you can't throw grenades, and they becomes much less accurate!" "Woo! Hell yeah!"

All points to there being a lot more firepower this time around. Coupled with the explodeable vehicles, with primary and secondary explosions, this means a lot more carnage. Could be great, could be shite. As so much of Halo is in the intangibles, we still don't know. My feeling is that Bungie will make it a good one, but apart from the new level, nothing we've seen yet tells us either way if Halo 2 will be any good.

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Changing the subject a bit, how do you guys feel about the seeming increased level of skill in Halo 2?

With all the new moves, I suspect experienced players are going to be even further ahead of relative newbies/worse players than before.

In multiplayer Halo, I own everyone I play with* - I suspect Halo 2 will see me pulling even further ahead.

Is this a good or bad thing?

My view is that it will make games between players of a similar ability even better - Halo 2 will be an even greater contest of skill than its predecessor - but the increased skill quotient may alienate less able players, who will survive for even shorter periods of time between respawns.

*i.e. in games against my mates.

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1. The new Assault Rifle unveiled last year

5. Two guns at once. (Although I didn't realise until now that there was an inherent disadvantage - i.e. losing grenades and accuracy, so that's fair enough) - but then this makes all the wooping at two guns all the more silly "you can use two guns! but you can't throw grenades, and they becomes much less accurate!" "Woo! Hell yeah!"

What's wrong with the new AR? 3 round bursts or single shot while zoomed in. It's hardly a BFG9000.

Duel wielding is still useful, there's just no use in firing both at the same time unless you're at point blank range (at which point you've probably been combo-d to death by your single-weaponed foe), but the option to have a regular weapon and an energy weapon will come in handy in numerous occasions.

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