I had fond memories of CE. Back in the day it was a blast. But playing it now it’s really clear how far game design has evolved. The encounters in CEA are very generic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice trip down memory lane, and the price point is perfect because Microsoft isn’t charging for a full price game so this isn’t a knock against the product, just an observation of how far design philosophy has evolved.
As I’m playing through the game there’s a lot of bland hallways and back tracking. The encounters are extremely generic. Battling at the base of the lift is a prime example. You clear the bottom and stand there while wave after wave just appear in the bottom and get killed. I remember it as being very epic but nowadays it’s a bit of a chore. My friend and I were playing co-op and we got 4 missions in and gave it a break because the main source of fun the game was providing us with was us just having fun and flipping warthogs and messing about.
The outdoor levels is where Halo shines. The encounters still aren’t very inventive compared to modern games but the sandbox makes the experience more engaging and compelling and the vehicles really add an awesome level of depth.
But I just couldn’t shake the feeling of boredome whilst running through the hallways of the covenant ship on Truth and Reconciliation. It was honestly a chore to finish that level. It was a dirge. It’s just bland hallways then a big room that feeds enemies into it through doorways. There’s little variety or tension.
That’s no insult to the game. Heck it’s 10 years old, I don’t expect it to best the best Halo. I don’t expect modern design. It’s just really fascinating seeing how designers thought back in 2000. The game has a beautiful shiny new coat of paint and it polishes up nice but boy do the encounters and design show their age. I found myself enjoying the game more with the older graphics on because then the visuals matched the gameplay. I just found that when a game with such modern graphics has such dated level design it felt unbalanced. The gunplay and the gameplay also feels worn out. I can’t put my finger quite on it but something feels … dated.
If this game was released now for the first time in our modern era the reviewers would tear it to shreds. But obviously that’s not what this is trying to be. The title ‘anniversary’ and the cheaper price point is very appropriate. It has an elegance to it and in the words of Indiana Jones it belongs in a museum. I’m glad they didn’t change it, I’m glad they preserved the original gameplay. It’s definitely still fun and for $70 (i live in Australia) it’s a good buy. Plus the maps sweaten the deal.
Halo Anniversary looks pretty. But it’s like a 50 year old woman dressed like a girl half her age. But not an old looking 50 year old, I mean a 50 year old woman that looks great for her age, she’s still really attractive, a MIL F even. But if you look passed all the make up and young clothes you can still see the age.
Anyway, that’s just my thoughts, my opinion, you may agree or disagree, it’s all just personal perspective amd I’m not saying I’m right or you’re wrong for disagreeing. I’ll probably finish the game tomorrow after I’ve had a break and I’m the mood for more.
Also, I’m glad they used Reach multiplayer. I played loads of CE multi-player and while it was fun for it’s time, I don’t think it was as good as Halo 2 or 3.