Halo 1 Remake

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Halo 1 Remake

Post by Guest on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:19 pm

I guess I am a little behind on this, since the rumor has been circulating since before Halo: Reach was released. But it seems that the rumor has been confirmed. 343 Industries, the new stewards of the Halo franchise, are remaking Halo 1. There is only so much that can be done without ruining what is already one of the greatest video games of all time, but I have to say that I am looking forward to this. Anyway, the point of this post is to discuss , for the fun of it, things that should or should not be changed in the Halo 1 remake.

Graphics
This one is obvious, and not really much for a debate. However, we could argue the degree of graphical improvement, and whether they could deviate from already established models or art. For example, Halo, the wonderful ring that blew my mind away when I first put that disc in my xbox almost 10 years ago. The ring can and should look so much better this time around, but just how different should it look? Is this game going to be a remake, or a complete reboot? Should we similar plant life, a similar waterfall and vista upon our first view of the ring?

Story
How different should the story be? Should it deviate at all? I'm not talking about the plot line, obviously. Halo is what it is. You can't change that. However, there are small parts of the game that could possibly end up different. For example, in Halo: Combat Evolved, our first real view of the ring is upon stepping out of the crashed escape pod. Could our first view end up being slightly different in this game? Probably not....but it is a possibility. There are just small things throughout the game that we take for granted because that is the way it happened. It couldn't be any different; it couldn't have happened differently. Or could it have? I guess that is up to 343 Industries. But...are there are parts of the game that you wished could have happened differently? Are there any scenarios you would like to see them change? Or should the Halo 1 remake follow every footstep the original Master Chief set down on the ring? And should they include anything new: new levels, or just new areas, etc?

Gameplay
This is where the real changes are likely to come in. New weapons, or the same? Power-ups, or armor abilities? New enemies, or just the same? Just how different can they make the game without it becoming something new? Personally, I loved the simplicity of Halo: Combat Evolved. You had a standard set of enemies, weapons you could become familiar with, and absolutely no bosses (you didn't actually have to fight 343 Guilty Spark). While I might like to see some changes to the weapons, and perhaps some of the weapons introduced in Halo: Reach brought into the original Halo, I don't think I would want to see too many changes in that area.

If there are any other things you can think of, feel free to add them. Most importantly, though, are you excited about this? Could it be a good thing?

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Re: Halo 1 Remake

Post by Gabe on Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:09 am

I'll post my opinions in the order you posed your discussion topics:

I see nothing wrong with updating the old with some new. Atmospheric effects that were absent before can be seamlessly added, but changing their essence would be a mistake in my opinion. For example, lighting effects can be made to look cleaner on a barren rock face (imagining the second mission right now) but the shape of the structure itself can be left alone. It was cool because it was made that way. Changing its looks without changing its mechanics would make it more fun to run around without removing the fun associated with playing in an environment you remember loving.

The story, in my opinion, plays backseat to the easy to pick up, difficult to master fun that the game displays. Most of the explanations of the Halo universe are given through everything but the game. The novels, graphic novels, and extra content (ex-literature included with premium editions of the game) tell the story more than the game does itself. It's certainly an interesting universe, but if the game became too focused on story, I think it would lose fan base. Case and point, a lot of gamers hated the latest Metal Gear Solid installment because there was more time spent watching scenes than playing. I loved it, as it is my favorite series, and beautifully provided closure for Snake's story arc, but I was admittedly a bit frustrated when I realized how little I actually had the reins.

Gameplay can always get better. I think bringing everything from the latest installment and acting like it was always there in the first place (several instances of this from H2 to H3) is an understood tactic that only confused a few people. Basically, bring skirmishers and brutes to H1, the armor abilities, weapons, etc from Reach. It would only make sense, seeing as the only human vessel on the ring was docked on Reach before making the 'blind jump' (later changed in Reach to be a planned move by Cortana to make the last speech by Dr.Halsey make sense, just another 'change it and pretend it was always that way' example). On that note though, I think Bungie kinda broke their own rules with a few enemies in the interest of making them harder. It's my opinion that this attempt made the game less fun, and made combat strategy less diverse than it was to begin with.

For example, Hunters from H1. First tactic, grab the M6D pistol and go for the spine, but watch out for his buddy. They gave them a glaring weakness but balanced the ease of a 1 shot kill by making them travel in pairs. Good development, fun times. In every game after that, they still worked in pairs, but they were ridiculously harder to kill, even when going for the 'weak spot'. By the time H:R came out, the 'weak spot' was reinforced with a giant armored plate that had to be removed first. Fighting hunters was no longer fun, and I either ran past them in every instance where I had to fight, or just constantly used explosives or the Spartan Laser since the process of opening and exploiting the weak spot became a chore instead of fun.

Another example is the camo vs shielded elites. No matter what difficulty, in H1, there were no elites that were both shielded and had active camo. They had to choose one or the other. You handled them differently, choosing between sweeping attacks with camouflaged enemies or heavily assaulting shielded ones. That went out the window in H2 and all afterwards. It was a bigger challenge, but it wasn't as fun. You no longer had to think about how to fight the different enemies, just about how much ammo you needed to get it done.

The whole Brute thing is similar. None were shielded in H2, but instead had strong melee 'berserk' abilities and an armored helmet that needed to be removed for those who like headshots. H3 and onward broke that rule, giving many of them shields and basically making them hairy elites. Less diverse strategy, again.

I realize it's not all about the enemies, but they are the main opposition since Halo doesn't have any problem solving elements other than being outgunned and outnumbered.

If I had to still live with the above problems, I would make a demand for better AI. It's been the same since the first Halo, and seems like it's only there to make the game harder. Allies are impossible to control or even suggest actions to, only fire when they feel like it, ignore cover when in a firefight, don't support each other or even seem to be aware of one another, and tend to strafe back and forth between two places in combat, never moving forward or retreating until either they or the enemy are dead. It's absolutely god-awful to an inexcusable extent, and not once have I seen them become more intelligent or interactive (aside from trading weapons with them) since the first game. They attempted to give the illusion in H:R that they would be in your 'squad' but all that feature does is show you where they are, their name, and when they get killed. The only time friendly AI is useful is when they perform scripted actions (like open a door or activate something) but then even the 'hero' characters (looking at you Sergeant Johnson) go right back to being...well...stupid. Bungie could learn a lot from the Konami team who did the enemy programming in Metal Gear. Since Sons of Liberty (released 2 days before Halo: Combat Evolved) the enemy AI has been damn-near genius. They flank, take cover, call for help, use room-clearing tactics, communicate enemy locations to each other, and utilize different equipment depending on their situation. That was in November of 2001. There is no excuse for any shooting game to not have AI that's as intelligent as a sneaking game's AI, especially 9 years later.


Now then, all of that is campaign related, which is not what most people play Halo for. The argument is more valid than multiplayer based critique because H1 didn't have online multiplayer. Besides that, the only real reason to remake H1 is for the campaign, as people already have several games to choose from for their preferred multiplayer experience. H1 was good because the campaign was cool, and the multiplayer had potential, which is now the main reason most people buy Halo games. If it was going to be remade, the only real reason to do it would be to make the campaign better.
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