Replaying Halo CE

Posted on July 25, 2020 by richardgoulter

Halo recently re-released to Steam as part of the Halo Master Chief Collection. And I finally got around to re-playing it.

I’d played the game on PC some time after it was released.
But I couldn’t remember the game as a whole. I did remember bits and pieces. I remember the first time I got to drive the Warthog vehicle. I remember parts of the game which introduce the zombie-like Flood monsters. – I didn’t remember the ending parts of the game.

More recently, I wasn’t super impressed with my first playthrough of “Halo: Reach”.
I didn’t like the story.
I wasn’t good enough at the gameplay to get into a good flow of it.

Halo CE is simpler than Halo Reach.
It has fewer kinds of enemies.
It doesn’t really have spaceship combat like Halo Reach had.
Its story is essentially much simpler.
– I think it sticks closer to the parts of the game I liked more.

The shooty-shooty parts are satisfying.
The shotgun feels solid as it destroys the zombie-like Flood units in one hit.
The enemies are threatening enough to demand attention.
It’s nice when the game offers good tactics to hard-counter enemies. e.g. the human bullet-fed weapons are good against unshielded enemies and against the Flood, the alien laser weapons are good against shielded enemiesand against the robotic enemies.

Some parts weren’t so satisfying.
The game’s default assault rifle is a pea-shooter. It’s generally just a bad gun to use.
When the game did try and deliver story, it was often overlapping with action parts of the game.
Some parts of the game, especially near the end, had infinitely-spawning enemies but it’s not really clear when you’re supposed to run, or supposed to just fight.

I also think that the auto-regenerating shield, and the limit of carrying only two weapons, limits the gameplay.
Compared to Doom Eternal:
When you run out of shields, you have to duck out of combat. When you run out of shields/health in Doom Eternal, you have to aggressively attack weaker enemies.
When you need to use different weapons to fight different enemies: Halo you have to strategically choose two weapons. In Doom Eternal, your only limit is the ammunition for the weapons you have. And if you run out, you get more ammunition by chainsawing your enemies.

Halo does at least have vehicles which was quite fun.

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