September 30, 2009 by Tim

So last week I was talking about how little I cared for the Halo franchise anymore, the newest edition included. I received a lot of emails from readers, some agreeing with me, some suggesting that the game is still worth playing. My best friend came up to visit this past weekend, and we were looking for a co-op game to veg out on. I figured if there was going to be any way I would enjoy ODST, it would be in co-op. So we decided we’d give it a try, and went out and bought it.

We got through a few of chapters before we sort of looked at each other and said “I’m bored, let’s play something else.”

I’m not writing about this to once again rag on Halo, but rather to let you know that I did give the game a fair shot.

I knew going in that it was going to be the same old Halo, but I have to be honest… even I was a little surprised at how much was recycled. All of the weapons, sounds vehicles… it all felt like just the same thing. And yes, I know ODST was originally just going to be expanded content for Halo 3, but I think that once you decide to charge full price, you could put a little more in there.

If I had just started playing in the middle of a chapter or something, and nobody had told me otherwise, I wouldn’t have known I wasn’t playing as Master Chief. That’s how little of a difference I saw in this supposed “tactical-stealth oriented” gameplay. By the end of our play time, we were just charging into every fight, guns blazing, and having no problems with it ninety percent of the time. And if one of us did die? The other just ran out of range to respawn the deceased, just like every other Halo.

The game is told via a series of playable flashbacks, and I was actually looking forward to this idea, until I saw it in practice. While it’s still neat, the whole “detective” aspect is seriously weak. You’re running around the city looking for clues as to what happened to your squad-mates, and when you find something, you play the events leading up to the clue. But really the game just says “There’s a clue here” and marks it on your minimap. You’re not participating so much as following orders.

In the end, the game was just too much Halo for me. I thought it was a really great opportunity to try something different with the universe, and they did the same thing they’ve been doing for eight years. I did enjoy the Firefly crew in there, but honestly not enough to play through the whole campaign.

Also, I posted this on my Twitter a couple of weeks ago, but for those that missed out… YEAAAAAAAH!

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