I’m in the Halifax area staying at a relatives’ place as I continue my supposed job search. This week, instead of actively seeking, I played Halo’s single player campaign. Gaming from 2002, here I come!

I felt the game was fairly unbalanced as far as the fun factor goes. Let’s get all the Hatorade out of the way right now. Bungie sure knows how to copy and paste. It’s one thing to keep a common theme throughout a building’s structure to ensure consistency and believability of the environment. But copy and pasting the same corridors and rooms 50+ times in one level? I declare “The Library” as the most tedious, boring, and repetitive video game environment ever built. It seems like a producer at Bungie decided the single player needed to be ten or more hours longer and forced the level designers to pad the length through copying geometry.

Two of the later chapters in the game also have backtracking and revisiting areas from earlier chapters, so there was another element that dulled the experience. Areas where the same three enemies were respawned multiple times weren’t too much fun either. I need to have the feeling of progress by giving rewards for my accomplishments. So stop having me fight the same bloody fights over and over in the same stale environments!

Ok, the good? Architecture was pretty stylin’. The Covenant environments were very distinct from the marine’s ship and Halo’s architecture. All of them reminded me of the set design from the Aliens series and since the game also includes groups of marines fighting together, of course there is dialog taken from Aliens (“we’re all gonna die, man!”). I thought most of the Warthog gameplay was really fun, especially during co-op. But what the hell is with the Covenant Ghost? A number of times I swore up and down when driving one while having to negotiate a narrow ledge with a result of falling over the edge because the Ghost floated a certain amount above the ground (~one metre) and had to stay parallel with the surface. Then you had the fun task of getting it unstuck when it became almost vertical on a rock surface. >:( Oh right, positive…

What’s with the hype around the story? Most of the cutscene dialog was rather awkward, especially the whole Cortona/Bot storyline. Again, a fair amount comes from the Alien series…

The good: vehicles, stuff blowing up, outdoor environments, co-op, mix of indoor/outdoor. The bad: It’s an FPS on a console, jeez. (We won’t mention the botched PC port, will we?)