Halo 3 – Not a Review

I can’t write a review of Halo 3 for the Xbox 360 because I haven’t played it enough.  They got my money so I contributed to the $300 million craziness.  But I haven’t played for more than an hour.


The short answer might be that I’m getting too old for these types of games – which is depressing.  So I’m going to explore a different path.

So backing up in history a little bit.  Let me tell you about my Xbox 360 experiences:

  • Call of Duty 2 – I loved this game.  I played it a lot.  It was fun.  I played it with friends.
  • Call of Duty 3 – I hated this game.  It was hard to play (see more).   It wasn’t particularly fun.  It was hard to find games (maybe because it was new).  Oh, but it was visually stunning.
  • Gears of War – I have mixed feelings about this game.  It was visually stunning.  It was fun to look at while I played.  The game control was a little weird.  I played with friends a few times.
  • Halo 3 – This game seemed like Halo 2 with better environmental graphics and effects.  It also might possibly have an interesting story, although I didn’t get that far, and improved multi-player.  I found it cumbersome to play.

So, Call of Duty 3, Gears of War, and Halo 3, were all beautiful games.  They looked amazing.  Wow!  But I really didn’t like playing any of them.  I’ll call it the 2×2 rule:

2×2 Rule:  If an important action takes more than 2 joysticks and 2 buttons to accomplish, it’s probably too complicated.

Now, I’m sure the Fatal1ty and some of these other pro-gaming guys out there are spectacularly good at playing 2×2 games.  In fact I’d wager that part of the reason they are pro gamers is that they can take 2×2 actions in a non-2×2 game.

I’m glad that there is now an evolutionary track that enables this kind of manual dexterity and near-super human hand-eye coordination.  I have been playing games a long time, am pretty good at them, am generally pretty coordinated and dexterous, and I lack this skill set.

Making games more complex to play does not make them better.  Frankly I think COD3 would have been a better game if it had just kept the game mechanics as COD2 and made newer, prettier environments.  But then I guess that wouldn’t have made the cut.

I hope we don’t see all new games that require constant weapon switching, monkey jumping, and head pivoting, grenade aiming, super tosses, as part of the game.  Because to me (and hey maybe I’m not the sweet spot of the market) that just isn’t that much fun.

So I guess my Xbox 360 will be collecting more dust because Halo 3 is not for me.

Back to Wacraft 3 and Duels.

So, what do you think ?