There's only one "Chief" in gaming... time to meet him
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, fan of retro games, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EACH of the video games in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game review parts are just for fun, and are not meant to be definitive, in depth reviews; this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey itself. From Mario games to the Halo series, from arcade games to Commodore 64, PC games to the NES and Sega Genesis, Playstation to the Xbox, let's play those classic retro games that we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Halo: Combat Evolved
Developer(s) Bungie Software
Platform(s) Xbox, Windows, Mac
Genre(s) First-Person Shooter
Halo is the most iconic game of the Xbox. The game itself is a science-fiction first-person shooter. You take on the role of the Master Chief, a super-powered soldier (known as a Spartan) in the human ranks, helping to fight against the Covenant, an alliance of several advanced alien species. The crux of the game is that humanity is actually losing the war against the covenant, and you are one of the last of the super-soldier-esque Spartans. The game revolves around the discovery a ring-world called Halo, which is actually an ancient alien space station that was constructed well before both humanity and the Covenant ever existed. Fighting your way through hordes of aliens while uncovering the secrets of Halo forms the core narrative structure of the game.
Now, in terms of story, Halo is great, and its universe is rich and full character and detail that put it right up there with other space operas like Star Wars. However, the thing that really made Halo so damned impressive is its gameplay. Halo was a very unique game in that introduced or included a number of great conventions to the first-person shooter genre. First, you could only hold 2 guns, meaning that you had to make a strategic choice about which guns you would carry into any given situation. In other games it was not uncommon to literally carry around every gun you'd ever found. However, because of the 2 gun innovation, every gun in the game was designed to be useful. Rather than a hierarchy of good to bad weapons as was found in games like Doom, Halo had a rock-paper-scissors-esque system, where different guns were good in different scenarios but weak in others. As well, you could use almost any weapon in the game. If you killed an alien and wanted to see what their gun was like, you could literally just pick it up. Most games don't allow this, creating clear segregation between player weapons and enemy weapons, not so in Halo.
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