Monday, June 20, 2011

Top 50 Video Game Moments: Number 49

While the first entry on this list really wasn't a spoiler, this one is. If you haven't played through Halo: Reach, don't read it. If you have played through Halo: Reach, or if you're just a big fan of spoiling things for yourself, click right on through.

You've been warned.

Also worth being warned over, don't go to the Picasa account I've made for this list, as all of the headers will show up in the images, so if you don't want to know that Rosebud is Luke Skywalker's father, it's probably best to avoid that.

Though I have a soft spot for it, the Halo series is not known for its engaging characters. Sgt. Johnson kicks and all, but he's essentially a walking, talking action movie cliche.

It's okay, you crazy, cigar-chomping bastard, we still love you.
Master Chief is unstoppable, but he's no teammate. Everyone you meet throughout the course of the series is merely passing through. This is obviously intentional, but it doesn't lend itself to building many memorable characters or interesting interpersonal relationships.

Halo: Reach played at things a bit differently, with characters and plot pacing that almost felt more at home in a Call of Duty game. The player character is introduced to Noble Team at the beginning of the game, and as the game continues, the team does what would have previously seemed nearly impossible in a Halo game - it builds chemistry.

Things begin to turn hopeless soon enough, and the team's ranks begin to thin through one valiant sacrifice or another. Then there's Kat. As the team is flushed out later in the game, they run through some ruins, discussing the mission ahead. Without warning, Kat is killed mid-sentence.

It seems pointless at first (not to mention a little improbable, gameplay-wise, since I'm pretty sure I'd seen her survive a rocket launcher to the face earlier in the game), but that's the point. From that point on, the entire game becomes a suicide mission, and the player has to come to grips with the fact that the best that any of the members of Noble Team are going to be able to hope for is to go out fighting on their terms.

1 comment:

  1. "But I had like 50 Phoenix Downs" is a triumph of taggery.

    I haven't played this, but the whole FPS thing never grabbed me so I don't expect to. It sounds cool and everything; I just can't stand first person for some reason. I've never been clear about why that is.

    Also, am I the only one reading these?