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Sunday, January 30, 2005

It's been two days since finishing Halo 2...

Halo, the original, I bought at the Target down the street just before they closed for Christmas Eve. "Weird" Ed and me located an Xbox for Lisa (and prolly the LAST Xbox on sale to be found in the state of North Carolina before Christmas) and since Ed, and Josh, and Kyle, and everybody else on Earth that's got an Xbox has been raving about how good it was, I got Halo just to see what the hulabaloo was about. We were in Georgia a day or so later when I finally put the disc in and started playing.

This ain't a videogame. This is art. And I'm kicking myself HARD in the butt for putting it off as "just another first-person shooter" all this time. It's beautiful. It's VERY deep in plot. It's the first videogame that intelligently implements the concept of religion. It's funny, especially the stuff that the Grunts say (I coulda sworn that I heard one scream "Don't kill me I got a wife and kids!"). It feels like the real world with all its physics and geometry and nature. It's got mystery. It's got backstory.

This is the videogame I wish had been around when I was 12.

So I finished Halo one evening last week, and saw the ending that has Master Chief and Cortana alone in their shuttle heading back to Earth, and after the end credits you see the Guilty Spark AI zooming through space and you gotta wonde what he's up to. Lisa got me a Target gift card for Christmas so last Friday, with a winter storm coming in I used it to spring for Halo 2. And got to the ending of that on Friday.

In the name of all that's good and holy... WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?!?

There'd better be a Halo 3 coming out and like yesterday, else someone oughtta go medieval Brute-style on Bungie Studios' butt. Nobody should be made to endure a cliffhanger that leaves not one or two, but maybe five plot threads dangling. For Lord only knows how long.

It seemed shorter than the original, but that may have only been because I was so used to how to play it by this point. It definitely improves on the first game though: more scenery to take in, a LOT more locales to play around, more weapons and bad guys and vehicles, the ability to now hold guns in both hands, and one other little twist that to the best of my knowledge I've never seen anywhere in a videogame before, but was done here (but saying anymore would entail serious spoilage).

But that's gotta be the most cruel way to end a story since the final episode of Blake's 7. At least then Terry Nation had the good sense to force his fans to watch all their favorite characters get killed off one by one. Bungie didn't even give us that much sense of closure.