Considering that Halo 2 just stopped rather than ending, I had to start Halo 3 immediately. Just think, though — imagine you’d played Halo and Halo 2 on PC the first time around, and then they just… didn’t release Halo 3 on PC at all. That would have been truly awful, and right here lies the vindication of my decision to avoid all contact with Halo until I could play the lot. At least if the Master Chief Collection had never come, I wouldn’t have been cut off mid-swing.
And after all that… Will Halo 3 be even more of the same?
Remember when sequels were just “more of the same”? When there weren’t seismic shifts in tone and mechanics or … pretty much everything… between entries in a franchise?
Of course I can only be talking about one thing — it’s time to continue exploring the Master Chief Collection and dive into Halo 2. Which is very much more of the same.
Halo is a franchise that utterly passed me by. I’ve never owned a console and I guess I never knew that its first entry was also out on PC. I’ve always been curious, though; it’s had a lot pop-culture influence through the ages, and hell, I like sci-fi shooters anyway.
So when I heard they were finally (re)porting the full series to PC, I must admit I was a little bit excited to finally see what all the fuss was about. Fast-forward long enough that the porting is complete and has had plenty of time to stabilise and… here we are.
So let’s begin, in release order, with Halo: Combat Evolved.
For some reason, it has become a festive tradition that I replay UT2004. To the festive tunes of artists I never listen to at any other time of year, I will joyously frag my way up the singleplayer tournament ladder and… dream of how it could have been?
For the UT2004 singleplayer ladder has a “team management” mechanic that ultimately offers nothing but fires my creative juices right up.
I didn’t play Prey at the time because it was visually unappealing to me and I’m as shallow as a puddle. While the thought of sneaking and shooting one’s way around a space station ticks many of my boxes, the thought of doing so while fighting the most nondescript aliens you could ever imagine poured doubt on the entire enterprise.
But the reviews all said it was good and I saw it on sale while I was picking up the fantastic XCOM2, so I thought to myself, “how bad can it be?”
I’m always late to the party, but I never let that drag me down. I first heard about Strafe when it was half-built and it looked interesting to me; a shooter in the classic fast-paced style, full of crunchy low-poly levels and laser guns, albeit with procedurally-generated levels.
Having recently finished grinding my way through Dragon Age: Origins, I followed that up with Divinity: Original Sin: Enhanced Edition (hence the, er, lengthy blogging hiatus), which left me somewhat in the mood for something a little snappier. As is always the way, Strafe recently released its powered-up Millenium Edition and went on sale…
It seems to me that everything Westwood touched turned to gold. They were most famous for their real-time strategies — the pinnacle being Tiberian Sun itself — but they seemed to diverge from that mould more than history would have you believe and come up roses all the same. Foremost of course was their stab at the hack ‘n’ slash RPG, which produced one of the greatest games of all time, Nox.
Over here, though, we have their first-person shooter. Set in the Command & Conqueriverse, occurring some time during the original C&C, this answers the age-old question that haunts every strategy franchise — what would it be like to be in one of those battles?
My brother gave me five games for crimbo, but I’ve been so busy working on my own that I’ve hardly even looked at them. I played open-world RPG Two Worlds during the festive holiday but didn’t have much to say about it; it’s a bit janky, sometimes interesting, couple of nice ideas but ultimately bland.
Sometimes, though, you need to recharge your batteries with a classic late-90s first-person shooter, and it seems we have one in the pile — SiN.