What are you currently playing?

Jarrito3002

Elite Member
Jun 27, 2020
434
266
68
Country
United States
Playing Nickelodeon All Star Brawl and this is smash clone actually no platform fighter cause smash clone kills some really good games with that label. Most of the things I found negative was the menus can be weird and trying to add people or cpu to matches could be more streamlined. The gameplay I am loving it feels more deliberate than Smash Bros and it balances that easy to pick up but fun the master vibe so far.

Now the most important thing is that so far my matches online have been fun had some disconnects here and there but overall pretty smooth.

The best thing about this game is that I can say I am maining Powder Toast Man and boomer meming some Gen Z randos.
 

Chupathingy

CONTROL Agent
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
124
54
33
Been playing Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon for PS3.

I fucking love the first two DAH! games, but after the second the series was given to other developers and I never really bothered playing them 'cause I assumed they'd be shit. Well, this year has been pretty dry for me with video games and the recent DAH! remakes have got me invested back into the series so I figured I'd give Path of the Furon a try.

So far it's been a broken, buggy, mess filled with horrible missions, noticeably worse writing than the first two, terrible character, saucer and weapon redesigns, and unresposnive controls. Not to mention the ear-raping audio quality during cutscenes, the excessive vaseline smear looking AA, and constant animation issues. I've seen so many T-posing NPCs that I'm pretty strongly convinced they said "fuck it" and just released this game when it was still in beta stage. The 2nd game looked and played better than this, and that was a PS2 game!

I think the only things so far that I like are some of the levels look really good and have a nice style (especially the 'Hong Kong' level), and the jetpack mechanics have been marginally improved.

*sigh* I miss Pandemic.
 

BrawlMan

Lover of beat'em ups.
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
10,999
3,685
118
Detroit, Michigan
Country
United States of America
Gender
Male
I decided to do a few rounds of Onechanbara Z2: Chaos after finishing Oneechanbara Origin for comparison. While the remake is good overall, the game is not worth the asking price unless it's on sale. Z2 is still the better game, because of more content, more characters, better variety in environments, better music, enemy variety, and overall content. There was still DLC, but it's mainly costumes, and the game already allows the player to unlock in game costumes by progressing or completing quests/achievements. Where the game falters is that while the game has many bosses, most of them range between okay and decent. With a couple of good ones sprinkled here and there. And obviously, it's a budget title and some weird glitches, but the same can be said for the recent installment.

Where Origin prevails is it's defensive and dodge mechanics. Enemies are more active and aggressive, so dodging is made trickier (mainly for Saki. Aya has the best dodge out of all the ladies and you can practically spam it 95% of the time.) and the you have a parry button with tight timing. The parry is even on the CRCLE button a la DMC3's Royal Guard. What's cool is that you can dodge cancel and parry cancel out of attacks. An expert player can just wreck enemies and bosses with enough practice. Not only that, but you can still dodge in the air and can parry in the air too. You don't even have to buy skills for it like in DMC or Bayonetta. Perfecting dodging rewards and fills your Xtasy gauge. A special attack meter that does devastating damage and high stuns enemies.

While the boss variety in Origin is shorter, they are way more fun to fight with the new mechanics. Specially the human sized bosses, though I won't lite and say the zombie bear is my favorite non-humanoid boss in the game. I've heard some people complain the that the move list too short, and while there is some truth to that, the move list is not that short. Yes, it's shorter than Z2, but that's only because that game had so much. You have light and heavy attacks, a sub-weapon button [CRCLE] (Saki gets a charged parry attack instead.), and a different type of dodge dedicated to each duo of sisters. Origin did streamline certain moves to go with the new mechanics. Your strong attacks doubles as a stun and sub-weapon attack for Aya and Rei depending on the button presses. Hence why the sorta shorter move list. Chase is also gone gone too. It was a mechanic in the last game you could dash after a enemy, if you were locked on to it. This makes sense as it's a prequel and they're not a full power yet. So the characters get a good sized move list overall.

The other problem with Origin is that it could have used one more playable character. I find it odd that Eva, the final boss, is not playable. She has a full move list, and is a unlockable character in the original version of 2. A reminder that Origin is a remake of the first two games. The environments are lacking too, and are not that creative. They did not go further enough with it. It's a remake, doing something different with your levels. Don't give me graveyard, empty hospital, sewers, empty city, empty mall, and sewers with blood and wall meat instead. They could have done so much better in making new levels.
 
Last edited:

Chupathingy

CONTROL Agent
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
124
54
33
Finished DAH!: Path of the Furon.

If THQ Nordic intend on making an original DAH! game at some I really hope they get someone competent. This series deserves better than the send off it got.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
Legacy
Apr 6, 2020
5,403
657
118
Country
USA
Just finished 1 of 3 of Vader Immortal on the Oculus. Shorter than I expected but a wonderful experience.

 

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 18, 2020
7,686
2,392
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
Finished Unmetal

Overall a good time. There's some frustrating bits in there, notably how the solution to some puzzles are trial and error akin to playing an adventure game. In fact, this game almost feels like an adventure game and a Metal Gear clone kinda fused together at times with a big helping of not taking itself seriously and focusing on being amusing. Certain puzzles you're more or less guaranteed to fail the first attempt because you won't know what to do and then realize you have do something different to succeed. There's one late game puzzle involves trying to bluff your way past the door by pretending to be the Pizza guy and you have to legitimately make it look like you have a smoking hot pizza(and the right kind of pizza to boot) or the guard will call BS and sound the alarm on you(luckily you can solve the puzzle with stuff from the same room you're in).

There is some genuine creativity here, especially in the boss battles which, while mostly along the lines of what you'd expect from a game like this, also have some wacky encounters(one of the late game bosses is a Samurai who fights you with a sword...and can cross the room almost instantly with a powerful slash). The final boss feels like something out of Metal Gear, for reasons that are complicated and rather spoilery to boot. I did have to replay the battle a dozen times to get it right because of the curve balls it throws you. You do have to pull a rather counter intuitive strategy at one point to make the battle easier and it generally goes against gamer instincts of how to properly play video games, even if the solution is obvious. The big bad has a cloaking device and will steal your health kts when you hurt him to heal himself. He'll do this until you run out of health kits, which means you could waste a lot of ammo hurting him and then having him heal up with your health kits.

The game does acknowledge Jesse is a bit of an unreliable narrator and that probably explains a lot of the weirdness and silly bits that occur in the game. Jesse is also a bit of a loon as well. At one point he steals a guard uniform and he's asked "Why didn't you just steal a guard uniform at any time and use that to infiltrate instead of all the sneaking around and dodging cameras and such?". Jesses's response is "Well, if I dressed like the guard, I'd begin acting like a guard, sleeping like them, eating like them, and eventually I'd become one of them, forgetting who I really was". The question is dropped quickly because Jesse....yeah, Jesse is a special boy.

I finished in about 10 hours on normal difficulty with little help from a guide(only places I got really stuck) and would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to play a new Metal Gear but has already played all the actual Metal Gear games, or who kinda liked the old style top down Metal Gear games but no so much the player unfriendly BS the NES/MSX games had. There's also value as a comedy game, though as we all know, humor is highly subjective and you may or may not find the game funny. I got a few chuckles out of it but I can't say the same for anyone else.

Added later: I do want to mention some of the interesting gameplay mechanics that makes Unmetal a little bit different from Metal Gear.

In Metal Gear, Stealth and Pacifism were encouraged but not required. Unmetal, on the other hand, actually is a bit more strict about this. Stealth is encouraged most of the time and outright mandatory at others. If you knock out a guard without raising the alarm, you get experience points which eventually level you up and when you level up, you get offered a binary choice of perks to upgrade. Some of it's ammo capacity, some of it's being harder to see when hugging a wall, some of it's being able to punch faster, etc. This makes it much more preferable to take out guards without alarms going off, aside from, a shit ton of more guards flooding the room and trying to kill you(and at that point you might as well load the last save).

At other times, such as when you start encountering security cameras,tripping any of them will lead to an instant fail(ironically for narrative rather then gameplay reasons) and you end up having to find interesting methods to avoid detection(such as replacing a guard in front of the cameras arc with a dummy that looks like a guard when the camera isn't looking).

In Unmetal, if you get hit, you begin bleeding and your health bar begins to slowly drain. You can use a reusable bandage you pick up early in the game which stops the bleeding but doesn't restore your health OR you can use a consumable first aid kit you find around the game to stop the bleeding and slowly heal you back up. Either has to be applied in real time during gameplay(so you can't just pause, use a kit, and then unpause to be back at full health) which means you have to take at least a few seconds to apply, and while this is not bad during normal game play, during boss battles this can feel like an eternity because you have to stand still while doing it. There is a perk you can get to halve the time to apply bandages/first aid and it's strongly recommended you grab it when offered because you only get one chance to grab it.

The whole "Bandage your wounds" mechanic actually becomes a little more complicated at one point where you find the sickbay where all the guards you've been knocking out have been sent. The doctor is mad at you for giving her so much extra work treating their wounds but agrees to let you go without raising the alarm if you promise not to kill any guards. After that point, if you shoot or grievously injure anyone, a little health bar appears over their body and if they bleed out, you instantly fail. So you can shoot them, but you have to bandage their wounds to stabilize them if you do and 90% of the time it's not worth it because that's costing you precious first aid kits. Note that bosses, with like one exception, do not actually apply to this rule, so that Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine(which normally have hundreds of crew members) you end up blowing up in a boss battle at one point? Those guys don't matter. Nor does the crew of the tank you fight at one point. It's a little jarring but whatever.
 
Last edited:

hanselthecaretaker

My flask is half full
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
4,821
2,208
118
Finished Unmetal

Overall a good time. There's some frustrating bits in there, notably how the solution to some puzzles are trial and error akin to playing an adventure game. In fact, this game almost feels like an adventure game and a Metal Gear clone kinda fused together at times with a big helping of not taking itself seriously and focusing on being amusing. Certain puzzles you're more or less guaranteed to fail the first attempt because you won't know what to do and then realize you have do something different to succeed. There's one late game puzzle involves trying to bluff your way past the door by pretending to be the Pizza guy and you have to legitimately make it look like you have a smoking hot pizza(and the right kind of pizza to boot) or the guard will call BS and sound the alarm on you(luckily you can solve the puzzle with stuff from the same room you're in).

There is some genuine creativity here, especially in the boss battles which, while mostly along the lines of what you'd expect from a game like this, also have some wacky encounters(one of the late game bosses is a Samurai who fights you with a sword...and can cross the room almost instantly with a powerful slash). The final boss feels like something out of Metal Gear, for reasons that are complicated and rather spoilery to boot. I did have to replay the battle a dozen times to get it right because of the curve balls it throws you. You do have to pull a rather counter intuitive strategy at one point to make the battle easier and it generally goes against gamer instincts of how to properly play video games, even if the solution is obvious. The big bad has a cloaking device and will steal your health kts when you hurt him to heal himself. He'll do this until you run out of health kits, which means you could waste a lot of ammo hurting him and then having him heal up with your health kits.

The game does acknowledge Jesse is a bit of an unreliable narrator and that probably explains a lot of the weirdness and silly bits that occur in the game. Jesse is also a bit of a loon as well. At one point he steals a guard uniform and he's asked "Why didn't you just steal a guard uniform at any time and use that to infiltrate instead of all the sneaking around and dodging cameras and such?". Jesses's response is "Well, if I dressed like the guard, I'd begin acting like a guard, sleeping like them, eating like them, and eventually I'd become one of them, forgetting who I really was". The question is dropped quickly because Jesse....yeah, Jesse is a special boy.

I finished in about 10 hours on normal difficulty with little help from a guide(only places I got really stuck) and would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to play a new Metal Gear but has already played all the actual Metal Gear games, or who kinda liked the old style top down Metal Gear games but no so much the player unfriendly BS the NES/MSX games had. There's also value as a comedy game, though as we all know, humor is highly subjective and you may or may not find the game funny. I got a few chuckles out of it but I can't say the same for anyone else.
This game is on my list but I still need to finish Metal Gear and its sequel from the Legacy Collection. It sounds like a fun homage that took the right approach in being just that, while adding a bit of its own flavor. I’m still not tired of the source material either, even after what’s got to be a couple hundred hours in MGSV (need to confirm).

Speaking of, MGSV is officially S-ranked as of last night, so now my victory lap will be finishing up mission tasks. I finally got the one from the prologue about not letting the Man of Fire (nice Denzel reference there too) to attack. Apparently it’s the last thing that quite a few had to do before getting the Platinum due to the finicky nature of it, so perhaps the rest will be relatively smooth sailing.

The other bonus is being able to use all the cool gear I’ve been developing without fear of penalty. Stealth gear, infinite ammo, parasite armor/camouflage, etc. awaits within a tactical smorgasbord.
 
Last edited:

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 18, 2020
7,686
2,392
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
This game is on my list but I still need to finish Metal Gear and it’s sequel from the Legacy Collection. It sounds like a fun homage that took the right approach in being just that, while adding a bit of its own flavor.
I do think you get a little more out of it if you've played the original Metal Gear and MG2: Solid Snake beforehand because you'd recognize some of the references but it doesn't matter. As long as you recognize the common metal gear tropes you should be fine on that side.
 

Piscian

Elite Member
Apr 28, 2020
614
457
68
Country
United States
Pretty much just parroting Nicks thoughts on Far Cry 6 -

It surprises me how disinterested in the setting I am. There was something really compelling playing Far Cry 5 in Montana and it and it's trappings being all too familiar having lived there. Far Cry 5 almost struck gold in it's subtle dig on American fanaticism. I would have liked to see them keep going with that topical context. I find myself just not that interested in leading another rebellion on an island. We've been here before several times. Same old island same old dictator. Theres just something about Far Cry 6 that makes it feel like work.

Everything is guided by check points, you have to talk to uninteresting people to move forward. Idk theres nothing exciting or thematically intriguing about it. I actually really liked Far Cry 4 on reflection because the atmosphere and people were so different. Its strange to say while I have the freedom of exploration I don't feel all that free because theres nothing to see. Its just a very bland generic jungle. I can't help, but feel like Ubisoft developed this one without a lot of energy. One thing that bugged me right out of the gates is the forced equipment and upgrading tutorial. It forced you to run through at the start of the game. I just clicked things not really paying attention because those additive grinding elements should never be a front facing part of the game. I think Ubisoft is out of touch if they believe that excites gamers. It does help pad out a game and can incentivise people to play more, but you have to be careful not to pressure people into using it. Let them discover it more naturally.

This Far Cry seems very very by the numbers. Watching the Escapist show this morning there was a nagging part of me that wanted to Ditch Far Cry 6 and play this Tails of Iron game instead.
 

Silvanus

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 26, 2020
6,264
1,896
118
Country
United Kingdom
I fucking did it!! Completed the Pantheon of Hallownest in Hollow Knight (and earned the Platinum trophy along with it).

For those who don't know, the Pantheon of Hallownest is a boss rush of 41 (or 42) bosses. Almost every boss in the game, including optional ones and DLC ones (plus suped-up versions of a few), and a couple more created for the rush itself. Ending with the 3 hardest ones. Without any saving.

Probably the most difficult single trophy I've ever got.
 

Drathnoxis

Artificial Person
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
3,718
598
118
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
I fucking did it!! Completed the Pantheon of Hallownest in Hollow Knight (and earned the Platinum trophy along with it).

For those who don't know, the Pantheon of Hallownest is a boss rush of 41 (or 42) bosses. Almost every boss in the game, including optional ones and DLC ones (plus suped-up versions of a few), and a couple more created for the rush itself. Ending with the 3 hardest ones. Without any saving.

Probably the most difficult single trophy I've ever got.
Wow, congrats! I spent 4 hours beating the final boss... one time. I heard what the pantheon was and just thought, no way.
 

Drathnoxis

Artificial Person
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
3,718
598
118
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
I finished Driver: San Francisco, and I have to say it was really, really good! Just such a great unique take on a driving game. Being able to possess random drivers on the road and crash them into pursuers or race opponents was fun, and being able to charge up a ram attack made take down missions much more bearable than in other games. The real star was the writing, though. The characters were all a lot of fun with great banter, I would find other driving games more fun if the races had fun banter about which pedal was the brake and whether or not it's appropriate to drive on the sidewalk (I didn't play any of the boring blue mission that don't have banter and the game didn't force me to). The main plot pulled off something I actually didn't think was possible: to make the "it was all a dream" twist actually work! That sounds like a spoiler, but it really isn't because it's established within the first half hour, and that's what makes it work. Where as other games will spring that on us in the last 5 minutes to try and shock us with their genius plot twist and retroactively make all the drama and suspense up until that point feel completely meaningless, Driver: San Francisco tells us up front so that we can just relax and enjoy ramming civilian cars into drug dealers. And despite most of the game being a dream it actually has a satisfying conclusion that wraps things up perfectly.

I'm really shocked I don't hear more people talking about this game. I've only ever heard Yahtzee talk about it, but it really deserves to be played by anybody who enjoyed driving games, buddy cop fiction, or just unique gameplay and story.
 
Last edited:

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
17,358
1,501
118
Been playing Metroid: Dread and I can't say I'm too taken with it. The fact that it starts off with a bunch of descriptions for you to read through and then some incoherent cutscenes was already a bad first impression. You'd figure a game that's very gameplay focused wouldn't jerk the player around for the first 10 minutes, but all of this information apparently couldn't have been dished out gradually as you played through it.

As for the gameplay, eh. Shooting enemies isn't really fun, the parry is kinda neat, and the maneuverability is a bit too stiff for my liking. Running around feels fine, but jumping and wall jumping feels off. It makes fighting/avoiding the big one-hit killbots very unsatisfying.

And the levels feel lifeless and lacking in atmosphere. We have 2D metroidvania games like Hollow Knight and more recently F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch, so Metroid: Dread applying this shiny toy aesthetic to a world that doesn't exactly have the character of a Mario or Zelda game really isn't doing it any favors.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 18, 2020
7,686
2,392
118
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Country
Eagleland
Gender
Male
Wow, congrats! I spent 4 hours beating the final boss... one time. I heard what the pantheon was and just thought, no way.
Same. I enjoyed the final boss(I mean, It was frustrating but it felt great when I finally took it down). When I heard that the Pantheon was a 41 boss Rush without saving, I was pretty much "NOPE" and never even bothered. I do not have that that much skill or patience.


Anyway, I started playing Blasphemous and so far am enjoying it quite a bit. It's got a lovely Macabre 2d artstyle and some lovely music and the weird and disturbing world of Cvstodia AKA Fantasy Not-Spain is worth the price in itself. I do very much like their take on Evocative area names that games like Dark Souls helped either poplurize or establish. Even in the early game you get such interesting names as "Where the Olive Trees Wither", "The Wasteland of Buried Churches", "Brotherhood of the Silent Sorrow", Mountains of Endless Dusk" "Graveyard of the Peaks" and so on.

It's as a cryptic as a Souls game and it's all based around a fantastic, very dark version of Spanish Catholicism that's obsessed with Punishment, Penance and Martyrdom that feels like there's a lot of actual thought put into it. Basically at some point in the past the Grievous Miracle appeared in Cvstodia and made everyone's sins or virtues manifest physically on their bodies. For a lot of people this made them giants, monsters or both and what's worse is apparently most of them seem to feel they deserve this because of their sins. There's a big "God Works in Mysterious Ways" vibe here and thus, because God apparently did this(not said explicitly but heavily implied) they'd best be grateful for the punishment. As such, a lot of them seem to wallow in the misery of their altered and often monstrous conditions as just penance and punishment. Like if the world(or at least Cvstodia) became an eternal purgatory and everyone welcomed it.

It seems like it's not falling into the trap a lot of fantasy makes of "Oh, there's a Catholic Church like entity because it's a middle ages setting even though there's no fucking reason for this entity to exist and we don't' feel like worldbuilding how this would evolve in a world without christianity" or even worse, the NGE trap of "Use a lot of religious symbolism/words/phrases because it looks cool but none of it actually makes any sense if you think about it for more then 5 seconds". The game was made in Spain and is apparently heavily influenced by the local Andalusian culture and Catholicism and while I'm not Catholic, I know at least enough to feel like this is very much trying to evoke the same sense of mystery and ritual that IRL Catholicism does(as well as the theme of Guilt and Penance). I'm sure someone who knows more about it could tell me if and where I'm mistaken here. I did read some articles discussing the game from a religious POV and they were generally positive about it, somewhat to my suprise. One in particular more or less says "This is a world where religion rules all but there's no grace or forgiveness. No wonder it's akin to hell".

I'm also gonna point out I find it darkly amusing that when you die, instead of "You Died" you're presented with "EXEMPLARIS EXCOMVNICATIONIS". Especially in that, yes, in the context of a theocracy where being excommunicated is a very, very bad thing and being killed and excommunicated would be kicking you when you're down, to a modern day atheist outside of that context that's just "Oh no, I'm excommunicated. That sounds a bit less bad then getting murdered by freaky monsters". It's also a little bit more creative then "You Died".

It is fucking hard, both the combat, a sparsity of checkpoints/bonfires(in this game called Prie-dieu, a type of alter) and the fact there's a lot of platforming where it's easy to fall to your death or get knocked off a ledge by an attack. I've only made it the Snowy Peaks area and unlocked the first shortcut that goes back to the starting town and man I've died quite a few times just getting there. However, I've very much looking forward to following this weird and twisted path through a land where everyone is obsessed with their own misery and everything looks like sublime Renaissance artwork.
 
Last edited:

NerfedFalcon

Level i Flare!
Apr 3, 2020
6,609
236
68
Gender
Male
Other than keeping up with Genshin Impact, I've also started playing Kingdom Hearts again, to prepare for the addition of Sora to Smash Bros. Beginning from the first game, I decided to take the Sword rather than the Shield like I normally do at the start, and it's surprising just how much of an impact that has on the early game especially. Taking down enemies in fewer hits, but being at more risk yourself, and having the long-range Sliding Dash rather than the quick parry Slapshot as your first special attack, has made me handle things differently enough to stay really interesting. Definitely don't recommend that setup for Proud Mode, though, which I'm not even doing this time - if you don't have Shield there, you're going to die a lot until you go back and start over with Shield instead.

I still think Kingdom Hearts 2 is the best in the series, but all of them that I've played (1, 2, Re:CoM, BBS, 3 but didn't finish) have their own appeal. And hopefully this time I'll actually get through the whole series rather than just picking and choosing.
 

laggyteabag

Scrolling through forums, instead of playing games
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
2,937
479
88
UK
Gender
He/Him
I've been streaming the Halo games, in preparation for Halo Infinite. Im just on Halo CE, at the moment, after playing through Reach.

Halo CE is a game that I feel has aged like a fine wine, but I have also soured on, over the years.

The mechanical side of the game - the combat, the enemies, the weapons - are all excellent. The sandbox is limited, but built with purpose. The varieties of enemy aliens to shoot are interesting, and they all behave in distinct ways. The combat loop is satisfying, and has really held up, 20 years later. There is even an entire vehicle sandbox, of tanks, jeeps and jets, which can all be seamlessly interacted with. It really is a great game, even if some things like the movement can feel a little floaty at times (though you do adjust very quickly). The story is also fairly basic, but it doesn't get in the way, and has some fun twists and bombastic moments.

But, I am slowly starting to sour on the game for two reasons: 1) The Flood, and 2) The Levels.

I admit that I do enjoy the Flood. Thematically, I find them very interesting - intelligent space zombies who have been sealed away for millions of years, and who are responsible for the destruction of the ancient aliens who built the Halo rings. They are also responsible for the biggest twist in the game, which is still very fun. Gameplay wise, they do leave a lot to be desired.

Where the Covenant shoot, throw grenades, dive for cover, cower in retreat, and can drive vehicles, the Flood can run at you, and occasionally shoot you. Whilst this is thematically expected for a swarm-type enemy, the difference is felt immediately, and certainly not for the better. Whilst the Flood do sometimes add an interesting layer to the combat, especially when there is a 3-way conflict between you, the Covenant, and the Flood, the levels - or sections of levels - which focus exclusively on the Flood, are simply way less interesting to play, than those that feature the Covenant.

As for the level design, this is where the game's real weakness lies. That isn't to say that all of the levels are bad. If you ask a group of people what their favourite Halo levels is, there is a good chance that The Silent Cartographer will come up, and that is certainly my favourite level from the game, but whilst there is enjoyment to be found in the game's levels, most of them share the same flaw - repetitiveness.

Samey hallways, repeated rooms, and a copious amount of backtracking are served up in droves, frequently to the point of frustration. The 1st level is full of grey bulkheads. The 3rd level is full of purple bulkheads. The 5th level is just grey circular rooms, hallways, and bridges - repeated seemingly two dozen times, between them. The interior of the 6th level is a maze. The 7th level is literally running around in a circular hallway for 4 floors. Then levels 8, 9, and 10 are mostly levels 5, 3, and 1, but in reverse!

The second half of the game is a bit of a mess. The levels are either confusing, plain bad, or just the first half of the game in reverse, all featuring an enemy faction that isn't anywhere near as interesting to fight. It can definitely feel like a bit of a slog, at times.

But, I do still like this game. The Flood might not be as interesting as the Covenant, but they are still fun to blast apart. The levels might be frustratingly dull, but the combat encounters they contain are always exciting. Halo Combat Evolved is still a great tune, and still as important as ever for the genre, it just isn't as perfect as my nostalgia often describes it to be.
 
Last edited:

hanselthecaretaker

My flask is half full
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
4,821
2,208
118
I've been streaming the Halo games, in preparation for Halo Infinite. Im just on Halo CE, at the moment, after playing through Reach.

Halo CE is a game that I feel has aged like a fine wine, but I have also soured on, over the years.

The mechanical side of the game - the combat, the enemies, the weapons - are all excellent. The sandbox is limited, but built with purpose. The varieties of enemy aliens to shoot are interesting, and they all behave in distinct ways. The combat loop is satisfying, and has really held up, 20 years later. There is even an entire vehicle sandbox, of tanks, jeeps and jets, which can all be seamlessly interacted with. It really is a great game, even if some things like the movement can feel a little floaty at times (though you do adjust very quickly). The story is also fairly basic, but it doesn't get in the way, and has some fun twists and bombastic moments.

But, I am slowly starting to sour on the game for two reasons: 1) The Flood, and 2) The Levels.

I admit that I do enjoy the Flood. Thematically, I find them very interesting - intelligent space zombies who have been sealed away for millions of years, and who are responsible for the destruction of the ancient aliens who built the Halo rings. They are also responsible for the biggest twist in the game, which is still very fun. Gameplay wise, they do leave a lot to be desired.

Where the Covenant shoot, throw grenades, dive for cover, cower in retreat, and can drive vehicles, the Flood can run at you, and occasionally shoot you. Whilst this is thematically expected for a swarm-type enemy, the difference is felt immediately, and certainly not for the better. Whilst the Flood do sometimes add an interesting layer to the combat, especially when there is a 3-way conflict between you, the Covenant, and the Flood, the levels - or sections of levels - which focus exclusively on the Flood, are simply way less interesting to play, than those that feature the Covenant.

As for the level design, this is where the game's real weakness lies. That isn't to say that all of the levels are bad. If you ask a group of people what their favourite Halo levels is, there is a good chance that The Silent Cartographer will come up, and that is certainly my favourite level from the game, but whilst there is enjoyment to be found in the game's levels, most of them share the same flaw - repetitiveness.

Samey hallways, repeated rooms, and a copious amount of backtracking are served up in droves, frequently to the point of frustration. The 1st level is full of grey bulkheads. The 3rd level is full of purple bulkheads. The 5th level is just grey circular rooms, hallways, and bridges - repeated seemingly two dozen times, between them. The interior of the 6th level is a maze. The 7th level is literally running around in a circular hallway for 4 floors. Then levels 8, 9, and 10 are mostly levels 5, 3, and 1, but in reverse!

The second half of the game is a bit of a mess. The levels are either confusing, plain bad, or just the first half of the game in reverse, all featuring an enemy faction that isn't anywhere near as interesting to fight. It can definitely feel like a bit of a slog, at times.

But, I do still like this game. The Flood might not be as interesting as the Covenant, but they are still fun to blast apart. The levels might be frustratingly dull, but the combat encounters they contain are always exciting. Halo Combat Evolved is still a great tune, and still as important as ever for the genre, it just isn't as perfect as my nostalgia often describes it to be.

It would be interesting if Miyazaki did a level layout remix for Halo:CE.


On topic, got a late start on the final QuickDraw pass in RDO. Was meaning to pick up the Naturalist role when it was discounted but that time has passed. Oh well. I’m already half way through the pass after a couple hours or so. Bagged one of the newer legendary bounties, Gene “Beau” Finley which was pretty fun to try out my new explosive express anmo and dynamite arrows on the dozens of Lemoyne raiders holed up in Shady Belle. Also got the deluxe campfire which when combined with the efficient cooking skill makes crafting a relative breeze next to the story mode version.
 
Last edited: