Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Halo Christmas Everyone

I hope you all had a good Christmas. It was a relatively quiet one here in the Haresign household, what with me barely having any cash to speak of.

However, aside from the hideous amounts of chocolate everyone gets, I also received Halo: Anniversary. Being the die-hard Halo fan I have of course played it way back when but the lure of new graphics, achievements and the new maps for Reach was just too much.

The first step back into the Mjolnir mark V armour was fantastic, I'd forgotten just how satisfying the original assault rifle is compared to it's less powerful modern day equivalent. The graphics are splendid, not amazing by any judge, closer to how you remember the game rather than how it really is, though they exceed those expectations on a regular basis. I've hit the back button a few times and been shocked just how plain the environments were. Saber Interactive have really done an impressive job here.

Once you get into the meat of the game (and for me it was post "Silent Cartographer") that you start to realise the things that are missing. Not because of any bad conversion, but because the very first Halo just didn't have them, like the speed boost on Ghosts, lock-ons with rocket launchers and hi-jacking vehicles. When I first checked the achievements and saw "No-Fly Zone" I thought that's a rather easy achievement. Only to attempt to grab one as it flew too close to the ground and find holding X did nothing. Then I remembered the old tactic of having to snipe the pilot from behind. I haven't managed that one yet.

The oft-maligned repeating architecture doesn't really show it's head until "Assault on the Control Room" and it's bugging me more now than it did when the game was new. It even got me to shift from hardcore play to picking it up and having a pop. Jesus, the levels are huge though. I really need to steal that banshee to cut some of it out.

However, the game is still tremendous despite the ten years. The first time I circled a Hunter and took it down with one pistol shot to the spine was heart-warming. That said, I do miss the DMR.
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