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Halo 3 is a modern MDK

with 7 comments

While spending some vacations away from home for Thanksgiving I had the chance to play a few Xbox 360 games that my relatives owned and I personally hadn’t give them a chance for trying or buying myself. As always it was pretty fun playing Guitar Hero in a large group, and once again, Fifa was a disappointment when compared to the more realistic Pro Evolution Soccer series.

But there it was, the highly hyped and regarded Halo 3. To be honest, I had lost all faith in the Halo series when I played Halo 1 on the PC… not a bad game, but nothing compared to whatever was around at that time for other shooters. But now the series has become a major driver for Xbox console sales, and while many console owners don’t know better (when it comes to FPS), I was still pretty interested in seeing what the latest Halo game brought to the table.

Of course, this is not a review of Halo 3 but merely some impressions from a PC/console gamer that until today had completely ignored the evolution of the series.

Halo is a very linear shooter, so whatever you can like from Crytek’s Crysis freedom is not there. But you still have vast areas to explore and a very appealing mission-oriented gameplay that looks good on a large HDTV and is very well complemented with a strong musical score.

In general it seemed like a solid game, especially for a console shooter, but the buttload of reviews out there have told you that already. Now from the perspective of this long-time PC gamer and somewhat of a console gamer, Halo 3’s style of gameplay just kept me reminding me of MDK, a true gem of third-person shooter developed by Shiny Entertainment that was released back in 1997 for the PC, Mac, and later on the PlayStation.

Whatever “MDK” meant is still wide open for discussion, but if you have been around long enough and had the luck of playing the original PC version of MDK then you will know what I’m talking about. It was one of those games bleeding originality and one that you wanted to play from beginning to end non-stop. The wikipedia entry of MDK also reminded me of other details about the game like its software-based rendering engine that was developed with the Pentium processor in mind (I believe it relied heavily on MMX extensions, go figure!) and obviously did not require any type of GPU.

At the end of the day, I don’t see myself buying Halo 3 or playing it much at all. Especially when I still have work to do upgrading my PC for playing Crysis on all its visual glory (call it a PC geek guilty pleasure), but for those console lovers, Halo fanboys alike, you can put yourself to rest because the mere comparison of Halo to an old time gem like MDK can only be considered a huge compliment.

Written by Julio Franco

November 23rd, 2007 at 10:44 am

Posted in blog,gaming

7 Comments so far

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  1. “and while many console owners don’t know better (when it comes to FPS), ”

    You need to clearify what you mean by this sentence.

    I’m personally insulted by this comment and I play FPS on both console and PC alike. Both have thier pros and cons and for you not to state that or fail to even mention that shows your bias opinion.

    Lets do the math so to speak, the fore mentioned Crysis Game by Crytek is good, but is will also cost you triple the Hardware cost of the 360 and Halo 3. A 8800GTS/Ultra will set you back 500 or more that that does not even include the mother board, processor, ram HD, etc. So I ask you, is it really fair to compare the two in this light?


    30 Nov 07 at 11:38 am

  2. Spen, although I understand your offence at the perceived bias of the author, I believe you are showing a similar bias towards consoles. Now I own all 3 next-gen consoles plus a pretty kick ass PC. There is nothing like playing an FPS with a keyboard and mouse for ultimate control – something the console crowd have yet to achieve. Gamepads suck for anything other than arcade or sports games. (yes, they really do.)

    You also don’t need an 8800 GTS board to play the latest PC FPS games. By your example, let’s do the math. Yes an 8800 GTS is over 500 bones, but what about a pair of 8600 GTS cards in SLI mode? Each card is around $160 if you shop around, and then $5 for an SLI cable. $325. Less than any console except the Wii.
    Let’s also assume the user already has a PC, so the investment has already been made in a device that can do something other than just play games or watch a hi-def movie. Even a single 8600 GTS gives better than good performance if you knock down a few “bling” features in certain games.

    In reality, I use my 360 and PS3 primarily for HDDVD and Blu-Ray movies. Sure there’s the occasional game like Warhawk or Forza that’s a lot of fun. The graphics are very nice, but then again they’re only pushing 1080 lines of resolution, not 1600 or 2064 or higher.

    Let’s talk hard disk space. Consoles seem to be ridiculously limited to storage capacity that is small and expensive. A 120G drive upgrade for an Xbox is over $200, but for PC you can get 350G, faster read time drive for under $150.

    Multiplayer: Xbox live is a joke. Sony got it right with their free PS3 network. Why should you have to pay to use multiplayer features on XBL when you can have it for free on a PC or the PS3?

    My point is, that if you’re going to compare PC to console, compare EVERYTHING. I feel that the author of the article did a pretty good job of summarizing Halo 3. It really is a weak shooter, and although pretty, nowhere as good as Halo 2, or the Half Life series for that matter. But that’s the opinion of an old school gamer. Wizardry FTW!


    30 Nov 07 at 5:08 pm

  3. First of all thanks for the feedback…

    Despite of the fact I also play on both consoles and PCs, there is not only a perceived but an obvious bias from this editor (me) who runs a PC enthusiast website :).

    That said, I want to clarify that the context of my statement “while many console owners don’t know better (when it comes to FPS)”

    What I meant is that a majority of console owners who love Halo and swear by it have not had as much experience with shooters in general, Halo is perhaps the best of the shooters in a console while PC gamers have been playing shooters for years, we have seen the complete evolution in that genre and can name by the dozens the number of quality titles that have put console versions to shame.

    At no point did I say that Halo is a bad game (for god’s sake I compared it to a golden oldie like MDK!) nor did I compare specs between consoles versus PCs. That goes well beyond the scope of my comments.

    Julio Franco

    3 Dec 07 at 3:02 am

  4. Excellent articles and great blog, i shared it with my Digg friends on New York , Stumble UP ! , Cheers Andy Colleman – Chicago

    Myspace Proxies

    18 Jan 09 at 3:27 pm

  5. I truly enjoyed your article. Will link back from my site. Please post more often if you have time. thanks!


    6 Feb 09 at 11:02 pm

  6. VRy interesting to read it :P :D


    28 Jul 09 at 5:01 pm

  7. Its actually very cheap to get gaming PC’s here in Australia if you build one your self, a half decent one would cost ya about $350 AU


    9 Dec 09 at 4:35 am

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