I was sick of shooting games and their seemingly pointless progression, and I was ready to give up on them. Halo restored my faith. Although it is basically the same type of run-around-and-shoot-things game, it has a number of qualities that set it above the rest.
You play a genetically engineered person, who is part of an investigation into ‘Halo’, a strange world built on the inside of a giant ring. Your enemy is the sinister alien religious movement, the Covenant. Both sides believe that the Halo has a great power, and you must stop the covenant from obtaining this power.
The game has a number of intense environments, including several different ships and the world of Halo itself. You’ll find yourself surrounded by incredibly well crafted images, ranging from the dank interior of Covenant ships and bunkers to maze-like cliffs and ridges. You'll find yourself fighting along with detailed and realistic characters . Halo is realistic enough that if you shoot your own troops, they get injured, so be careful where and at whom you fire. The weapons designers have done an incredible job, creating unique guns such as the Needler (which shoots shards of glass), Plasma guns (which need no ammo but do run out of battery) and more traditional but nonetheless impressive projectile weapons. The weapons are impressive in action too - que controls of the X-Box are a little hard to come to grips with - even after several turns I still find myself looking around when I should be running. Still, the movements are more fluid and better orchestrated than in similar games. An added bonus is the shaking feature built into the controllers, which makes the experience even more vivid during gunfire, explosions and similar violence. On the Halo world, there are vehicles called Warthogs that, though at first difficult to direct, are a method of transport that is faster and much more fun than running. But beware - again the realism means you may run over and injure your comrades.
As usual there is a single player game, where you work through each scenario to proceed through the story; and a multi-player game in which you can play against up to three friends. But my favourite game is that in which two people can play the same game as in single player mode. Not only does it make it easier to defeat the enemy, if you die you can respawn and simply continue to fight. It also means you can explore and appreciate the environments in more depth.
Being a genetically engineered super-human, you can let your suicidal tendencies take over, charging into battle with all guns blazing without much fear of injury. For those gamers who like to throw themselves bodily into the action, Halo is for you.
Rating: 4 fairies