I walked into EB yesterday to exchange Sims: House party (it's boring don't buy it) for Half-Life: Blue Shift (yes, I've only just got it). As I was walking out I noticed a little kid, about seven or eight, playing, well trying to play Dead or Alive 3 on the Xbox demo pod. I kind of did a double take, one for the amazing graphics on show even in a demo, and secondly because i remembered that I had heard that Halo was on the DOA3 demo disk.
After watching the child lose again and again trying to tap the B button as fast as he could with Bass to try and beat Gen Fu, he finally gave up and let me go on the demo pod. I paused the game and went back to the demo selection screen.
My heart jumped as the cursor highlighted the words: HALO: Combat Evolved, Interactive demo. I pushed the A button and waited for it to load.
Unfortunately there is only a 1-player campaign on the demo whichis unfortunate due to the two controllers, but back to the game. The beginning sequence for the first level of the campaign unfolded:
Standing at the open backside of the dropship carrying you to the ground, the scenery unfolds as you pass rolling mountains and a bright blue sea. A perfect setting for the beginning of a game. The coast then sweeps into view and as it wheels round you see the enemy: The Covernent. With about ten grunts and a few hunters pointing your weapons at you, you and your marines jump out of the dropship to meet the onslaught of plasma balls and needler spines.
The first thing I had to get to grips with though was the control system, i thought 'What the Fu.. I can only move forward and strafe, I can't look around.' Then after dieing an untimely death I remembered that you had to use the right analogue stick to look around. This made it a whole load easier and once you've got used to the control system it's just like the PC keyboard and Mouse configuration, you'll wonder how any other console First-Person Shooter could use any other controller setup.
I then proceeded to head towards the fight with my trigger finger on the right trigger (which makes it feel more 'real') and prepared to empty my assault rifle into some covenant fiends. I fired a few rounds into some unsuspecting grunts and dived behind a nearby rock. Just as I was coming back out again, a Hunter came out of nowhere and started to shoot, very accurately at me. Going back behind the faithfull rock I lobbed a fragmentation grenade at the hunter dropping his powerful shield. Leaping out I found that my friends had finished him off for me, which was a bit unsatisfying but there were alot more battles to come. I decided to exchange my pistol for a plasma pistol as I didn't think it would be that useful, which I later remembered that it would have been, but decisions in the field were vital to make quickly.
I then followed the arrow thing to find, to my delight, a Warthog. I leapt into the driver's seat and two marines happily jumped into the gunner and passenger seats. The bad thing about the Warthog is, once again, the control system. Accelerate and reverse are on the left analogue and to turn you have to use the right analogue stick. The only problem with this is that the camera swings round the way you press the analogue stick which can be a bit confusing.
Now for the good bits about the warthog. I sped along the beach following a little, blue, futuristic looking arrow, when I came to a hill top covenant base.
Shots came flying in from the hill top as my gunner fired the chain gun as accuratley as he could. After a little bit he had managed to take out all the targets and some little guys with shields (who make quite good roadkill by the way).
I then jumped out leaving the gunner to take out some grunts who were shooting needler rounds at him. I picked up a few plasma grenades and ran up the hill to the front of the base.
I was met with a barrage of fire, which i tried to match with my assault rifle which ran out of ammo forcing me to resort to plasma grenades and a plasma pistol.
I was extremely relieved to find out that a unlucky grunt had dropped his needler and I quickly discarded my assault rifle for it. Just as i did so a plasma grenade landed on me, and Chief turned into a lumpy variety of soup(available at most secondary school canteens).
This was when I really noticed the usefulness of the invisible auto-save checkpoints, as I was brought back to pretty near where I died and got to start the base assault again.
This time however I ran a wide berth of the base entrance I discovered a tunnel which meant I could take them from behind. As I took the corner I spotted two hunters on guard with their backs to me about five hundred meters away. Switching off my flashlight, I strafed back into the tunnel and charged up the plasma pistol to full power. I took the corner of the tunnel with speed and fired the plasma ball while firing some grenades. The hunters turned round spotting the sudden light, only to be met by a large ball of plasma and some grenades. Thinking the corridor to be safe I sprinted down it, only to be met by another hunter with a full shield. Once again Chief left the Mortal Plain.
I decided that this was going to be my last try on the base assault and i had to try something a bit different. I powered the Warthog up the slope and managed to get it up. The Gatling gun and wheels made short work of the grunts and finished off some of the hunters too. Reversing away from some grenades I fell off the base and demolished the warthog, diving off just in time. With the Warthog destroyed I thought that I might be heading for another early grave, but then I spotted some very valuable items: A top shield and a Needler.
I sprinted up the hill and into the base, filled with some intense hatred for the damned aliens. I strafed and shot my way through waves of the little (expletive removed) and came to a slope going down to some grunts, a hunter and a door. Chucking a Fragmentation grenade down I emptied my needler into some nearby grunts and turned them into, erm dead grunts, the hunter thought dived thorugh the door avoiding the blast of the grenade. I changed weapon to plasma pistol as he came back thorugh the door right at me.
I tapped the trigger firing several bright green shots at his head, he ducked these and got some shots in on me. With only one bit of health left i chucked my whole stock of plasma and fragmentation grenades and fled. After a cataclysmic explosion I returned to find him totally waylayed and me free to go through the door. The damn thing was LOCKED! After firing most of my ammo into the door I gave up and let the large queue behind me have a go.
Summary: A hugely enjoyable experiance and i can' wait to get the game.
Rating: Five out of Five bottles; This one'll put hairs on your chest like no other, but don't drink to much as it can be addictive.
Graphics: Amazing, they blew me away, almost literally.
Controls: A bit fiddly at first but a great setup once you get used to them.
Weapons: Cool and satisfying to use, and the two weapon only system makes it more challenging and forces you to make critical decisions early in the game
Auto-save: Brilliant little feature this is, instead of having lives or having to restart a whole level the game is saved at certain places and you are taken back to the most recent one, rather like Half-life.
Similar to: only comparible to Half-life but even that can't live up to Halo.
Thankyou for reading
> "un-red" :D
r u saying the aliens have green blood?
> members of ur team? did u c them die?
I can't remember cept they don't have the red variety.
I was too good a HALOer to let my team mates die : )
> Has anyone else had an 'X'-Periance?
Yep. I have the game sitting at home, have done for the past 2 weeks or so.
Haven't played it much since Jet Set Radio Future turned up though.
Another reason to own an Xbox :)
r u saying the aliens have green blood?
what about members of ur team? did u c them die?
do the dead bodies dissapear?