Is it fair to judge a game based on its advertising? I believe so. Although the dedicated gamer will tend to seek out information about upcoming titles through any media available to them, it's the advertising campaign that defines the mainstream's pre-purchasing experience with a game. Indeed, it often defines whether there will be a purchasing experience at all.
With all the recent debate about whether or not videogames should be consider (good or bad) art, would it not be of cultural significance and a sign of the times (no pun intended) if the venerable news institution declared that videogames was indeed worthy of being covered alongside the paintings by artist Willem de Kooning, the singing of soprano Natalie Dessay or comedic "genius" of Dane Cook in Good Luck Chuck?
Certain to be one of the year's biggest games, Halo 3 is on everyone's radar. In anticipation of this upcoming blockbuster, GameCritics.com was fortunate enough to interview one of the extremely talented minds creating this eagerly anticipated title, artist extraordinaire Shi Kai Wang.
Halo 2 lets me down as a sequel because it fails to improve upon most of the archaic design features that could be forgiven in the original, and gives Halo fans less of an experience in almost every area. It is a good game compared to the class of 2004, but it is no Halo and should be marked down accordingly.
Game Description:Halo 2 continues the story of Master Chief, the heroic super-soldier who defied the invading alien Covenant and survived. The Covenant leaders within Halo are angry at this unheard of event. To save face, they launch an invasion of our planet. Earth's defenses are breached, and we're all in danger—unless Master Chief can lead a small military squad to victory against Covenant forces, in all-out guerilla warfare!
But despite such overwhelming expectations, Halo 2 is essentially a bigger, badder version of the first—nothing more, nothing less. It refines and expands upon many of the original's strongest concepts, stumbles over a few repeated missteps, and offers an experience distinctly similar to the first that fluctuates between modest tedium and prodigious epic.
Books written about videogames are odd prospects. Fiction expanding on published properties has existed for years, but it's been mostly limited to feverish fantasies written by fans in dark corners of the Internet, usually involving bizarre and improbable sexual situations.
Halo delivers as Bungie's and Microsoft's showcase release for the Xbox. It is technically sound and manages to incorporate most of the innovative ideas that drew praise from audiences at its debut. The vehicle-based combat, huge outdoor environments and complexity of the AI—though old hat for PC gamers—are quite groundbreaking in a console video game.
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