Sunday, May 20, 2007

Musings the from Halo 3 Beta

So...I spent some time in the Halo 3 Beta...

First off, I am realizing just how bad I am at this game, lol. And that my skill level is completely dependent on the skill level of my opponents... there were a few games where I finished in the top 3, and others where I finished dead last. But I expected that... and it wasn't long before I turned off the voice chat...

My initial thoughts - It's still Halo. And that is a good thing. It still feels very much like all the other Halo multi-player matches I have played. very fast paced, very chaotic at times. The graphics are nice, but didn't blow me away. Then again, these are just multi player levels, so they had the usual rocks/grass/water etc.. looked good, but not Gears of War good... The new controls are superb, they take a game or two to get used to, but after that they worked perfect. The difference being the R/L triggers and bumper buttons correspond to your left/right hands in game... which makes it very easy to pick up or drop dual-wielding weapons, and you can independently reload the guns as needed.

The equipment button is very cool (X) and lets you use any "gadget" you might find, included the very cool Bubble Shield. This stops all incoming gun fire and explosions, but doesn't stop people from entering (think of the giant shields the Gungans used in Episode 1) and man does it look and sound awesome! Though once people are used to it.. they just pop in and stick you with a grenade and pop out... so don't stand in there admiring the look/sound of it when being attacked like I did :D

Other equipment are Potable Grav Lifts which you drop and then leap really high when you hit it, or you can toss it in front of an oncoming vehicle to send it sky high. Then there is the Power Drainer which, as it sounds, drains the energy from everyone's shields within its AOE.. haven't really gotten to try that one much...

I only used two vehicles, a Ghost (which felt exactly the same, though it looked way more detailed) and the new Mongoose, which is cool, very quick, no weapons, controls very similar to a Warthog. The new weapons: the Spiker, which is pretty cool, and can be dual wielded, has a blade beneath it (its a Brute weapon)... the Spike Grenades are very fun, they stick to anything, people, ceilings, vehicles, etc.. and fire a burst of spikes in a conical type shape, which can ricochet all over exploded in an enclosed area. And the Spartan Laser, which I have only been able to fire a few times... because you instantly become a target once they know you have it.. but its worth it. It fires a "tracer" beam that has lasts a few seconds before the laser fires in an impressive blast that destroys anything in its path.. All the weapons seem really balanced, and it seems as if you can do pretty good no matter what you pick up, instead of the usual race for the good stuff. And the returning Assault Rifle is a fantastic starting weapon...

There is an awesome new game feature (that is somewhat limited in the Beta, but will be fully integrated in the full game) where you can save films of all your matches to watch later. And Bungie is allowing space for everyone to store their films on their servers, so you can see just how terrible you did! Apparently in the full game you can send just snippets of games to people if you want them to see a cool explosion of kill, etc.. and its way easy to do. (after a game is over, in the lobby, there is a button that says hit this to save, and thats all there is to it...) Full details on that are here.

Anyway.. its much fun, even when I die all the time. Thats pretty much what I did in the last 2 versions of the game... right now I have 97 kills, and 145 deaths, lol. You can see my horrible game stats here.

Verdict? Halo is great. halo 3 will be awesome... gonna go play some more...

2 comments:

lokipan said...

Hey Karl, wasnt sure how often you checked this. Just thought I'd drop a line

Pondrepof said...

Life has been somewhat chaotic recently, so I have not been able to update much...but I check it every once and awhile... Good to hear from you Chris! Feel free to drop me an e-mail.