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Reply 5960 of 6060, by Sombrero

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Never played Duke Nukem Forever and probably never will, but I'll never forgive Beyond Good & Evil 2 for taking the crown of longest game in development from DNF.

I mean the acronym for the name is DNF for crying out loud, can it even get better than that! That's "did not finish" for those less into sports.

Reply 5961 of 6060, by Joseph_Joestar

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gerry wrote on 2024-04-29, 08:03:

Had it come out in the early 2000's it would have been set again halo, return to castle wolfenstein, serious same and more - but by 2011 it could not have stood a chance even accepting the compromises in its present release

Speaking of Halo, during one of the levels Duke makes fun on that game and its power armor.

This is kinda ridiculous, because DNF blatantly copies many gameplay mechanics straight from Halo. Even the default controller layout in DNF is pretty much an exact copy of Halo's official button mappings.

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Reply 5962 of 6060, by BetaC

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After playing through Fallout 2, and buying myself a Steam Deck, I've been somewhat exclusively playing New Vegas on it. What's really impressive is that I can run the game with all of the Viva New Vegas mods at above 60 fps, while portable and limited to eight watts.

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Reply 5963 of 6060, by Joseph_Joestar

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Started playing Halo: Combat Evolved on my Xbox360 via back compat. The graphics of this game hold up surprisingly well. I like the shiny pixel shader water, which was a brand new thing back in 2001, as I recall. Outdoor areas are a bit low on vegetation, but still look fine for that time. Heading underground, the atmosphere in those alien facilities was tense, as they are sparsely lit and feature some suitably unsettling music.

Shooting and movement controls feel surprisingly smooth. Usually, I'm not too good at playing FPS games with a controller, but for some reason, Halo seems to be the exception. Everything feels solid and responsive, and the analog stick sensitivity is finely tuned. I can see why this game got such a warm welcome when it came out.

On the other hand, vehicle driving controls feel a bit too "floaty" for lack of a better word. I think I'm slowly getting used to them, but it still seems like the Warthog should have more grip or something. That's the only vehicle that I've encountered so far, so maybe the other ones will behave differently. I do like that you can pick up marines and have them man the vehicle's turret. That gun mows down enemies quite well.

Combat seems pretty good so far. Not too difficult, except for those enemies that carry shields and roll around a lot. They sometimes fire a green laser that seems to fully drain my own shield with a single shot. Grenades seem to help the most against them, and I'm getting used to taking cover until the shield recharges. Saves are handled via checkpoints, which I don't like, but they've been very frequent so I don't think it will be a huge issue. So far, I only had to reload once, after accidentally driving the Warthog off a cliff. 😁

Anyway, I just helped evacuate a bunch of marines and we all boarded the rescue ship. That was a pretty big level for an OG Xbox game, especially compared to some other console stuff from that era. Nice work by the developers all around.

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Reply 5964 of 6060, by Joseph_Joestar

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Made some decent progress in Halo: Combat Evolved. I liked the mission where you're given a sniper rifle and sent to covertly take out key enemy positions. It was super fun sniping turrets and enemies from a distance while marines provided cover fire and cleaned up the stragglers. Felt like a real team effort. And I liked that some of the soldiers fighting alongside you would say "nice shot" after you drop a powerful enemy with a single sniper hit.

Quite a bit of combat in the section where you rescue the captain on the alien cruiser. Some new enemy types as well. Those camouflaged sword wielding enemies are nasty, and the big guys with the metal shield can take a lot of punishment before going down. I like how the music changes dynamically based on what's happening on screen. It's calm during exploration and gets tense when a fight breaks out.

On the next level where you're searching for that map, I noticed some cool graphical effects. Shining your flashight on certain walls which have carvings and indentations casts realistic shadows. Likely a bump mapping effect put to very good use. Also, detail textures seem to be used on walls and floors, similar to Unreal. Meaning, even if you get really close, the walls don't turn into a pixelated mess, but actually gain more texture detail.

I really like how Halo allows you to go back wherever you want on the current level, in case you need to restock on ammo or health packs. This is in stark contrast to some of the newer FPS games which force you to always go forward by artificially closing off any means of backtracking. Just goes to show, newer isn't always better.

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Reply 5965 of 6060, by Demetrio

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I completed all the Bungie Halos different times, but CE is the one I have the best memories, mostly because in high-school we used to have LAN parties in the computer room: it was a lot of fun 🙂

Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2024-05-01, 13:01:

the big guys with the metal shield can take a lot of punishment before going down

They go down with 1 shot at the back with the Magnum 😁

Reply 5966 of 6060, by Namrok

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Ah sweet summer child. Wait until you get to The Library level. Maybe after you've finished it, google "halo the library worst level ever" and find some people commiserating.

I can say personally when I came to Halo about 10 years after everyone else, I too got through about half the game really appreciating it. I had those thoughts of "Wow, so this is what everyone loves so much about Halo". Then The Library happened, and all that stopped. The Library is literally the exact opposite of everything people love about Halo, and frankly the game never entirely recovers from it.

I mean, I've played my fair share of FPS. I've slogged through some profoundly mediocre ones to boot! But I've never again encountered a game that went from the absolute highs of the first half of Halo, to the absolute lows of The Library, before or since.

Good luck.

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Reply 5967 of 6060, by Sombrero

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Namrok wrote on 2024-05-01, 13:46:

Wait until you get to The Library level. Maybe after you've finished it, google "halo the library worst level ever" and find some people commiserating.

My first attempt to play the game ended there 😁

Encapsulates my biggest issue with the game, it's as if the level designers sometimes first made a part of a level and then Ctrl+V'd it several times. Did go back to the game later and finished it, but never played it again.

Still bought the game couple years back with the intention of revisiting it, haven't yet gotten around to it.

Reply 5968 of 6060, by Repo Man11

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I wish that I had never played Halo CE so I could again enjoy playing it for the first time. I did find the library frustrating at first, but I don't mind it now. Learning to avoid the Flood with rocket launchers does take some time though.

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Reply 5970 of 6060, by Ensign Nemo

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Namrok wrote on 2024-05-01, 13:46:
Ah sweet summer child. Wait until you get to The Library level. Maybe after you've finished it, google "halo the library worst […]
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Ah sweet summer child. Wait until you get to The Library level. Maybe after you've finished it, google "halo the library worst level ever" and find some people commiserating.

I can say personally when I came to Halo about 10 years after everyone else, I too got through about half the game really appreciating it. I had those thoughts of "Wow, so this is what everyone loves so much about Halo". Then The Library happened, and all that stopped. The Library is literally the exact opposite of everything people love about Halo, and frankly the game never entirely recovers from it.

I mean, I've played my fair share of FPS. I've slogged through some profoundly mediocre ones to boot! But I've never again encountered a game that went from the absolute highs of the first half of Halo, to the absolute lows of The Library, before or since.

Good luck.

To me, Halo always felt like a really good game that could have been a masterpiece with a few design changes. The Library was one major misstep, but there were a few others. I always found the grunts to be really annoying and immersion breaking. I feel like they were trying to be funny in a Star Wars prequel sort of way, but it didn't work for me.

Reply 5971 of 6060, by Namrok

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I guess to elaborate, to me, The Library is practically the anti-Halo. Halo wows with it's relatively open and non-linear (for it's time) levels. The Library is aggressively linear. Early Halo enemies have some rather impressive, or at least entertaining AI. In The Library they mindlessly charge right at you. Halo had a lot of visually interesting ringworld levels, with a nice, varied color pallet in an era of gaming that was very dark, grey and brown. Then along comes The Library and... dark, grey and visually repetitive to a point where it's impossible to distinguish where you are.

It reminds me of that old video "If Doom was done today (Part 1)" making fun of how aggressively linear and scripted Call of Duty games are. Except, bafflingly, The Library, which seems to openly defy all the design principles that made all the rest of Halo good, instead of being a parody, is smack in the middle of the actual game.

It's like, these guys proved they knew how to make a good game! They were intentional about it, giving ample interviews about how all these design elements were conscious choices they made, believing they made Halo objectively better. And then for one level, they just went "YOLO, lets do the opposite of all that!" It actually made me angry the first time I played it. Like they were trying to hurt me, knowingly making the opposite of everything they knew and said was good.

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Reply 5972 of 6060, by Sombrero

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Ensign Nemo wrote on 2024-05-01, 17:21:

I always found the grunts to be really annoying and immersion breaking. I feel like they were trying to be funny in a Star Wars prequel sort of way, but it didn't work for me.

And that would be my second biggest issue with the game. Not everything needs to win the edgelord award of the year, but those colorful stumpy guys that behaved like little kids didn't work for me either.

Namrok wrote on 2024-05-01, 17:46:

I guess to elaborate, to me, The Library is practically the anti-Halo.

I don't know, while I suppose I get where you are coming from and I think most would agree the execution of that level is infamously not so great I still think the idea of the level is solid. That idea just ended up being a tedious repetitive mess. I blame the level designers that I don't personally hold in very high regard, it could have been a fun and different side dish in between the main courses in the right hands. But then again I am the "variety is king" guy, so I'm probably looking at it from a different angle.

Reply 5973 of 6060, by Shagittarius

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The original HALO to me just felt like arcade encounters with travel time. And I loved it for that. I have no problem with the library level, it felt like classic arcade design throwing waves of different enemies at you.

Reply 5974 of 6060, by Joseph_Joestar

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Still on Halo: Combat Evolved. The Control Room mission was all about vehicle combat. You get a tank, enemies get tanks, and there are even a few aerial units that attack you. I think I've got the hang of the vehicle controls now, so I had some fun driving a Scorpion around and blasting enemies with impunity. The snowy environment provided for some very nice visuals. In particular, the sky reflecting on the frozen lake looked great. In my view, that effect still holds up to this day.

One minor nitpick. While Halo's music is very good, it can get a bit too loud at times, drowning out everything else. And there doesn't seem to be a volume slider in the OG Xbox version of the game, or at least I couldn't find one. This isn't a huge issue, but sometimes when Cortana chimes in providing advice or instructions, I can't quite make out what she's saying due to the blaring music and all the combat sounds. I wish her lines were subtitled.

The Guilty Spark mission was very atmospheric, with the fog and the rain. After going underground and watching that recording, it looks like we're fighting the Zerg Flood now. Not sure what those yellow ballon things are supposed to be doing, but there sure are a lot of them. The bigger Flood enemies pack quite a punch if they get close though. Anyway, I made it to the Library level, and I'm already dreading it because of what you guys mentioned before.

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Reply 5975 of 6060, by Sombrero

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2024-05-02, 06:28:

Anyway, I made it to the Library level, and I'm already dreading it because of what you guys mentioned before.

Honestly if you haven't yet been bothered by the occasional repetition in the level design by now you could very well just recognize that yeah, the library is too long for what it is, shrug it off and continue playing without a worry in the world. One tedious level doesn't necessarily ruin a game if you otherwise like it.

For me it was the tipping point of something that had already been bothering me.

Reply 5976 of 6060, by appiah4

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I have played through Halo multiple times and the Library level never really bothered me.

People saying it is the worst Halo level of all time apparently never played Halo 3.

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Trying to finish this level on Legendary makes me want to play Library all day long just to refresh myself.

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Reply 5978 of 6060, by bobsmith

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I'm currently playing through Unreal Tournament 99. 99 has a charm that other entries don't live up to. I appreciate many of the changes UT3 and 2004 make but 99 I feel is a lot more rigid. I plan to beat the entire singleplayer tournament and get to ol Xan Kriegor. I honestly can write a whole blog post on how well designed the game truly is. Almost every mechanic was well thought out and wasn't just plopped down for the hell of it like how most modern games are.

One aspect that others may think is stuck in the 90s but I personally think is hilarious are the taunts, nothing is funnier than vaporizing someone with the sniper and hearing "I JUST SLAUGHTERED THAT GUY!". In UT2004 one of the taunts is "You fight like Nali!" which is a fun reference.

On a different note, anyone have some recommendations on underrated 2000s PC games with a great singleplayer story? I feel like I haven't played enough from that generation.

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Reply 5979 of 6060, by Joseph_Joestar

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Two more missions cleared in Halo: Combat Evolved. And yeah, the Library was as tedious as everyone said it would be. A bunch of dark, similar looking hallways filled with waves of similar looking enemies. Repeat ad nauseam for about an hour or so. Also, that robot singing and laughing all the time was creepy.

After that, it was time to revisit the snow level at night, which was interesting. I even got to fly one of those Banshee things, though aerial combat didn't feel so great. This level dragged on even longer than the Library, but it wasn't as boring, because the environment you were in changed frequently and there was a solid variety of enemies. Some of those provided very tough fights.

Specifically, after the second pulse generator overload, when your shield is completely empty, more than a dozen of those big Flood enemies spawn, some of which carry rocket launchers. Took some reloads to clear that section. Ultimately, I found the key was to jump into one of the nearby vents, and hide in the back until the shield was fully recharged. Then, I slowly eliminated the enemies from a distance, using my own rocket launcher and grenades. I think this wouldn't have been as tough if the rocket wielding Flood were more visually distinct from the regular ones. They all look fairly similar, so it's difficult to prioritize the rocketeers during the chaos of combat.

The rest of the level wasn't that hard, though it did have a few challenging moments, like the one where you need to secure a Banshee from the Covenant/Flood battlefield so you can fly up to the end of the level. After overloading the third and final generator, I braced myself for another tough fight, but there was nothing. I had already taken out a bunch of laser drones beforehand, which was a piece of cake compared to the second generator fight. And with that, the mission was completed.

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