Podzilla 1985

Monday, November 12, 2012

Black Ops 2 TONIGHT - Or - Halo Sucks and I Stand By It

I'm back with a vengeance, bitches. MMOSite may try to keep the man down but today I'm going to talk about something that gets my blood boiling more than the constant disappointment that is the multi massive online role playing game genre.

Halo.

That name carries a lot of weight with it. What once started as a pretty nice FPS on the original XBox has turned into some kind of giant monster stomping through the city in a quest to destroy all others in its path. Well sir, there is only room for one giant monster in this virtual world, and he's sitting pretty on our logo.

Animals are always the first to know...
Halo was a fine FPS, I'll give it to you. It was simple to me, but a lot of games were simple back then. It seemed like a nice little sci fi shooter that, in a baffling twist, became the hottest thing since Sliced Bread on n64. My feelings on Halo have run the spectrum of general annoyance to full on hatred.

I don't think I'll ever dislike the game more than I did during Halo 3's launch. I was working for GameStop at the time and was still relatively new. Sitting there day in and day out while hordes of slack jawed yokels and "hardcore gamers" waddled in talking about the game nearly drove me to suicide. 

I thought Master Chief was a boring character. He's a super soldier, nay THE super soldier, but that really seemed to be all that defined his character. You never saw his face or got to know him personally, and that always bugged me. One might argue that not knowing helps put you in his place and makes you feel more like its you in that admittedly cool looking armor, and I might accept that logic if this were an RPG. Shooters, to me, need to be more intimate because most of the time all you're doing is blowing someone away level by level with little room for story.

Let me break down a list for you of five FPS characters that didn't suck -

  • James Anderson (Outlaws)
  • Ray McCall (Call of Juarez)
  • Joanna Dark (Perfect Dark)
  • Sergeant Cortez (Timesplitters)
  • Jackie Estacado (The Darkness)
Cartel does not exist. Cartel does not exist.
All of these characters drew me into their plight and made me want to see what happened next. Maybe it's just military based shooters that have trouble with their characters since, ideally, soldiers can take their emotions out of the situation to deal with things with a level head. They don't get the luxury of being a shoot first smart ass like Ray McCall, or a charming sleek spy like Ms. Dark. Maybe Master Chief is a victim of his own genre.

I could forgive that, if the gameplay was more exciting than it is. I bought Halo 2 and thought it was serviceable. I bought Halo 3 and thought it was weak sauce. Oddly enough, my favorite Halo is the much maligned Halo Wars, probably because I dig RTS games and it was made by Ensemble Studios, may they rest in peace.

I played Halo 4 for a few hours after launch and again last night during our patented Sunday Night Game Night and I still have the same reservations about the game that I've had since it became a big money IP. The gameplay is solid but uninspiring, the graphics are quality but not breath taking, and everything about the game just seems average.

Let me say this right now - I'm not a Halo fan so I can admit that I probably just don't "get it." I love Dynasty Warriors, albeit not to the extent Halo fans love their series, and I understand that it isn't everyone's cup of tea. I think I played almost as much Terraria as I have Skyrim. I like oddball games such as Onichanbara while most gamers I know have never even heard of the game.

Two words for you - Zombie Orca.



So maybe my hatred of Halo is unwarranted. After all, something so popular and marketable has to be the best! Right, Justin Beiber, Titanic, John Cena, Episodes I-III, Lil' Wayne, and Just Dance?

Let's talk about something a bit more pleasant and a whole lot more exiciting -

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 2 launches TONIGHT!

I attended the midnight release at my old stomping grounds for WWE 13 and regretted it in the morning, so I probably won't be going to this one. Don't let that fool you though - I am truly excited by this one. I was disappointed in Modern Warfare 3 and sighed out loud every time I was forced to play it while my beloved Battlefield 3 sat dead and unloved on the floor. I think the Treyarch does a better job than Infinity Ward and I'm not afraid to say that out loud on the top of a skyscraper with Jimmy Hart's megaphone.
Anecdote accepted, snappy comeback not found.

Hell, we still play Black Ops every Sunday night, two years after it was released. I'm a little worried about the new futuristic angle, but I'm excited to see what it's all about. It looks fresh and new, all the things Halo 4 did not, and I'm eager to dig into that new zombie mode. I didn't play much of the popular zombie mode in former titles, but this one seems more open world and much more my cup of sugar.

I'll drop another truth on you and tell you that I've never played a level on Black Ops' single player campaign.

"Well Shannon the Magnificent," as you would call me, "how can you hate on Halo so much for its story and not Black Ops?"

Haha, shut up little girl!

I could look past what I perceive as Halo's shortcomings if I could just find an aspect of it I truly liked. I played single player and felt bored to tears, I tried the multiplayer out and had a decent enough time but in no way felt compelled to keep going. Whether that was because I don't "get it" or, more than likely, it's just a mediocre game that has managed to fool gamers for so long, I could never love the franchise or the time I spend with it. Call me spoiled, but I'll be damned if I play an FPS that I can't aim down the sights with.

Black Ops had such an enjoyable multiplayer experience for me that I never even felt the need to play the story. I had fun in the MP, which is more than I could say I had in any mode in Halo (save for Flood, which was pretty cool).

So after you Halo fans butcher this post and try to hunt me down to kill me, I beg of you to go pick up Black Ops 2 tonight and treat yourself to a well designed shooter, assuming of course I'm not completely wrong and the game sucks harder the Cardinals in the playoffs this year.

After all, mediocrity will always be there for you when you're tired of having fun.

Put your crack pipes down and go get it!


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