Content of the article: "Played Halo CE for the first time, what a nice change of pace. (Spoilers?)"
Just finished the game on PC version of MCC. Some thoughts:
First, I tagged spoilers because somehow I managed to go 19+ years without knowing anything about the story. I got to enjoy all the plot points and twists the game had to offer, which is amazing in this day and age.
The game started slow and seemed very repetitive compared to modern games. Eventually I started to appreciate the pace, learning to take things slow and be more methodical in combat instead of trying to run and gun all the time. I only had time for one level each night after my kid went to sleep, which made me appreciate each one before playing the next.
I also enjoyed the simple gameplay. Even though it's linear, there's no mini map, very few quest markers and no obtrusive mission lists on the hud. You have to pay attention to the dialogue and the environment. This was refreshing compared to modern games that tell you exactly where you are, where to go and what to do. And having less than 10 guns was also really nice. You never felt too overpowered and each weapon felt distinct.
Though there were repeats, the levels were interesting and fun for the most part. I especially liked 343 Guilty Spark for the horror build up, the snow battles/vehicles of Control Room/Two Betrayals, and the amazing finale level The Maw. Pillar of Autumn and the Library were my least favorites, too many repetitive hallways.
Introducing the flood was such a brilliant idea. I honestly thought the AI for the covenant was pretty great (especially compared to modern AC games and the like where enemies do the dumbest, most predictable stuff) and by midgame was finally starting to master my combat approach against all the different covenant variants. Then suddenly this zombie horde starts bull rushing me and blitzing my cover, forcing me to adapt to a new approach. Then you have triple battles and have to mix both styles to survive, which was a lot of fun in the later levels.
Maybe I'm dumb but I was certain the plot twist was going to be captain keyes betraying humans and teaming up with the other side, or trying to harness the flood or something. I was convinced that "Two Betrayals" was foreshadowing that as the second betrayal (guilty spark being the first), and then the next level being called Keyes made me certain. Until I was completely wrong, which was a nice little surprise.
The final level was so satisfying. It really changed up the gameplay, had all the enemies (including invisible flood), had some challenging rooms, and ended with a sweaty palms race to the finish. I suck at warthoggin' and the first time making it to the end, I had taken too long and the ship blew up about 40 meters from the finish. No checkpoints though, so I had to try a bunch more times and finally made it all the way out with 1 second left on the clock. It was honestly exhilarating and a great way to finish the last level (even though it makes no sense and comes out of left field.)
Overall I enjoyed it the change of pace, the AI and the length of the game. I'll probably take a break and play some new games before I jump into Halo 2, but I definitely plan to complete the first trilogy.
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