Perhaps it is a little to soon to issue a rebuttal, but someone needs to throw in the towel for this one. Some excellent points were brought up (See Previous Blog) which I will address now with these closing statements. Then lets all agree to stop arguing about it, okay?
Lets face it Halo was one of, if not the reason that people decided to buy Xboxes. It gave Gave them a good/great game, that was easy enough for beginners and deep enough for the Hardxcore. It started a phenomenon which included (but not limited to) merchandise, machinema, novels, etc. Are any of these things new? Well no, but it did bring these things into the public light. The first time I ever played Halo: Combat Evolved was at a friends house and I took a liking to it. Not only was the multiplayer fun, but the campaign was epic and had a good length and pace. Except for the flood, there is no amount of nostalgia to ever make me enjoy fighting the flood, ever. After I finished the campaign through legendary and played it through many times more, I played it so much that nothing but the multiplayer to explore. Sure, the majority of the matches usually came down to pistols, grenades, vehicles MA5B+ melee repeat, but there was always a certain...lets say...novelty to it. I'm pretty sure that’s not the right word. For some of us, it was our first time LANing. But you have to admit that it must of done something right to get the hardxcore gaming crowd into it. Holding tourneys, numerous fan sites. It was quite the experience.
Then the next thing out of our mouths was " When’s Halo 2 coming out?". So we waited and waited and waited, dealt with some delays and waited some more. We kept Halo: Combat Evolved spinning in our disc drives for years before the sequel dropped. Then the day came, everyone skipped school and their jobs to snuggle up on the couch with their new friend Halo 2. And what came of this? Did it live up to the hype? Well, no, it sure didn't. The campaign for one, on the third mission, they drop you in the role of the Arbiter...such a let down. Playing as an elite, A character that for years we were taught to hate and appose by any means necessary. Are we supposed to sympathize with him and the covenant? Hell no. Nobody really liked this character or cared for him. Then on top of that, the Campaign took a nose dive after the first few missions. Was there suppose to be an ending that bungie forgot to put in? What happened to the demo level they showed at E3? That might have been fun. Why did they spend all that time on it just to churn out a generic-esque campaign?
The multiplayer? Sure it was great. Matchmaking was done real well. Besides some glitches and hacks which most of were addressed. It was solid. It featured some of the finest and most innovative maps that the series has ever seen. The custom games were fun and while of course, you would get tired of after a while. You would always come back to it. Although LANing is almost always superior, personally I had quite a good time on LIVE with it, playing friends who I don't get to see often. My friends and I would stay up till five or six in the morning playing, until we were so tired and after the effects of the pizza and mountain dew wore off, we could no longer keep our eyelids open and we let our xbox/xbox 360's come to a halt. God I miss those days, it reminds me that I need to play like that more often. Things stayed that way for a while, until the Halo 3 beta dropped, it propelled sale for Crackdown and built up the hype machine yet again. Was it fun? Hella fun. Maybe it's because most of us felt that this is what Halo 2's multiplayer should have been. It made me realize how much I missed the assault rifle too.
Then Halo 3 finally came out....and here we are. We finished a lackluster fight. The campaign still was lacking as we hoped it wouldn't have been. The multiplayer was much improved over Halo 2's, with less glitches and feeling more balanced. One thing worse than Halo 2 LIVE was that the matchmaking system, while well thought out and as good as it is, takes a lot longer to get you into a match. With more options, game types, custom games to keep you entertained, most of us were quite satisfied with it, all though I must admit that I feel that Forge is kind of uninteresting, especially when so many of us had hoped for a map editor.
And what has changed in the series since Halo: Combat Evolved? Honestly, not a much of anything. The campaign in the series overall always gives you the feeling that its trying to live up to the original, but it just can't and probably never will. Its just missing that original epicness and whatever sense of originality that the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign contained.
The multiplayer hasn't really been changed since the original, we saw weapons and vehicles come and go, power ups, special items, clans and so on. But basically nothing has really changed. But if it isn't broke don't fix it I guess. I mean people have been playing the same version of Counter-Strike for eight some years, regardless of different versions they have released. They just love it. That why we keep playing something regardless of its lack of change. Either it’s your style and you keep playing it or you find something more suited to you. No one is hiding the fact that the Halo series has had a real drought and a lack of innovation and originality since the original. Improved graphics, controls, slight weapon/vehicle and character changes only count for so much.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty started out as seemingly another WWII shooter, back when Medal of Honor was on the decline. Around this time, Call of Duty was able to differentiate from the WWII with multiple story lines and perspectives, no longer just U.S. vs. Nazi Germany. The use of believable, life like characters and scripted events added to it greatly. The multiplayer was fun and started to catch on.
Then many of us eagerly waited for Call of Duty 2. In the mean time though, we had some good expansion packs but also a couple bad, generic feeling console only versions. Then the 360 launched and Call of Duty 2. It was like a fresh breath of air in the WWII FPS genre. It kept us busy for quite some time with an epic Campaign and multiplayer that was still as fun as the original if not better. Then Call of duty 3 came out and kind of came and went. Developed by a different studio, it just lacked the excitement and events of Call of duty 2. It felt like nothing much had changed from the previous ones. Vehicles were more integrated and graphics were improved, but added nothing to the game. The interactive in game cut scenes felt uninteresting, especially when resident Evil Four had done already and so much better. The increase of the amount of people in a miltiplayer match was kind of nice, but it wasn't really different from Call of Duty 2. It suffered from "Haloitis" is a good way to sum it up.
Then here we are, Call of Duty 4. It exceeded many of our expectations. Especially with the departure from WWII. Many were skeptical that is, until we got it for our selves. The campaign, while perhaps a little short, was gripping and epic till the end. The multiplayer, well that’s really the center of all of the arguments. It perfectly closed the line between a realistic and arcade-esque First person Shooter. The match making system, despite its occasional mismatches, was really well thought and carried out. I found myself in a lobby and in a match in less than thirty seconds, something Halo 3 needs to improve on. the perk system and weapon upgrade system are quite balanced and doesn't leave any with a greater advantage over another opponent. I haven't really encountered any "power weapons" while playing. And unlike in Halo, your individual style and preferences don't really harm you. You earn all of your equipment and perks so there aren't any weapon hogs or people running around the map, desperately looking for a weapon that can keep up with another. These systems allow you to completely tailor it to your style and help this game stand out among others. The boot camp and challenges give you something to do besides your normal match types to try for. I personally am excited for what’s next in the series, hopefully they can improve upon this formula.
In conclusion, both of these games are great and excel in their fields, doing what they do best. They're both fun and thats what games should be about FUN. Not debating and arguing over what one of these two completely games are better. It’s much like comparing apples and oranges. Go have fun with these games instead of patrolling message boards to find a fan of one or the other for the sole purpose of telling how wrong they are and how craptastic their game selection is. I have equal love for both of these games so I'll never side with one over the other. Sometimes I need a tactical shooter and sometimes I need a Sci-fi one. May this argument cease to exists from here on out. Just go play your game of choice and enjoy it already, sheesh. read