Why I didn’t download the Halo 3 beta

I love Halo. I love Halo 2, despite the rubbish ending. Only Deus Ex has wasted more of my life (somebody remake it and hurry up – the DX Source project seems to have ground to a halt), and I’m genuinely excited about Halo 3. But I didn’t download the Halo 3 beta, despite owning Crackdown and therefore being eligible. The reason? Multiplayer.

I hate multiplayer gaming, because I’m rubbish at games. And that’s becoming a bad thing, because publishers see multiplayer as the future. The latest release for the Xbox, Shadowrun, is largely (entirely?) multiplayer, and more and more console game reviews say things to the effect of “the single player mode is crap and even a monkey could finish it in less than four seconds”. I ain’t paying fifty quid for that, which means that of the few console games that come out, even fewer of them are of any use to me.

Now, I’m not ashamed of my rubbishness. However, it does mean multiplayer is a complete waste of time for me. No matter where or when I connect, the same thing always happens. Go! Bang! Dead! Shite! Go! Bang! Dead! Shite!

The difference between my skill level and everybody else’s is just too big. You could put me in a multiplayer game where I’m armed with rocket launchers and everybody else has nothing but grated cheese to defend themselves, and I’d still be fromaged to death within three seconds.

I briefly thought that playing similarly rubbish gamers might be the answer, but it isn’t. Imagine the scene: a barren post-apocalyptic wasteland (that’ll be every game, then). Player one commandeers an all-terrain vehicle and drives it over his own head, East 17-style. Player two wanders into a cupboard and can’t find his way back out. Player three strolls off a cliff while trying to remember which button jumps and which one reloads. Player four sits down and has a nervous breakdown. And player five turns out to be a skilled gamer slumming it, and within three seconds I’ve been cheesed to death.

24 thoughts on “Why I didn’t download the Halo 3 beta

  1. Stephen says:

    Well, I don’t know whether it’s because some players spend every waking moment playing, play on the same LAN as the server, have hyper-fast machines, use cheat clients, or are using some kind of game pad instead of keyboard and mouse, (or various combinations of the aforegoing, up to and including all of the above), but I very rarely manage to maintain a positive score in BZ Flag despite having played it for several years now. And BZ Flag has no single-player mode. It does get tiresome sometimes.

    Maybe the next gaming innovation is some kind of handicapping system.

  2. mupwangle says:

    Multiplayer can be fun if you’re playing with people you know (either online or not). It can become more of a genuine game. The same way paintballing or go-karting can be fun even if you’re shit.

  3. Gary says:

    Stephen, I suspect handicapping would just frustrate the better players rather than level the playing field. Nice idea though – I’d definitely attempt online gaming more often if I felt I’d survive for more than three seconds.

    Mupwangle, I guess online co-op is the best for that, then…

  4. Andi Newnham says:

    The last two paragraphs of that are the funniest thing I have read in ages. I had to leave the office I was laughing so hard!
    Love it!

  5. Gary says:

    Why, thank you.

    I take it the fact that I saw the World Of Warcraft episode of South Park the other day means I’m years behind everyone else?

    Unless you’ve posted a video review of it on YouTube, I’m afraid so.

  6. mupwangle says:

    >>Mupwangle, I guess online co-op is the best for that, then…

    Only if there are only two of you. Most online games can be private if you want.

    >>Player one commandeers an all-terrain vehicle and drives it over his own head, East 17-style.

    I once managed to grab a helicopter gunship in one of these games, fly it up really quite high, pressed the wrong button and got out. Barely survived the fall.

    Then the helicopter landed on me. :-(

  7. Jamie says:

    I’m with you on that. Just think, in a multiplayer future, there’s none of that pesky story writing stuff. Maybe I’m becoming an old man, but I much prefer playing against imaginary characters, but then the only games I’ve played this year have been Super Mario Sunshine and Final Fantasy IV & V.

  8. Gary says:

    Nah, I’ve always preferred playing in story mode. That’s one of the reasons I loved Deus Ex so much (and one of the reasons I love HL2 too). That said, a bad story or bad dialogue (hello, Lost Planet) ruins the suspension of disbelief that makes a good game great.

    Been experimenting with various Half-Life 2 mods recently. Minerva is very good, and a new episode is currently overdue. On the ‘box I’ll probably buy The Darkness when it comes out later this month and Crysis on PC, and that’ll probably be it until the post-summer games launch binge. Unless something great comes out for PC or Wii in the meantime.

  9. mupwangle says:

    I just have an addiction to buying games that I’ll never finish. ;-)

    Saint’s Row is quite entertaining in a totally rip-off GTA kinda way. Very funny to jump out of a car at about 100mph into the path of another to do insurance fraud. It’s also about £17.

    I’ll probably buy Forza 2 and DiRT this month.

    Alan Wake (out in July) looks interesting. Bioshock (August) is the spiritual successor to System Shock 2, which you liked, if I recall. Too Human (August) looks OK. In September you’ve got Assassin’s Creed and Timeshift. Also Mass Effect is due out then from Bioware. If you got into KOTOR then this is likely to rock. Halo 3, obviously, too.

    There are loads of 360 games coming out before the end of the summer that are likely to be very good.

    The wii isn’t doing so well. Super Mario Galaxy might be fun. Manhunt 2 will be icky and Red Steel 2 has the potential to be really good if they iron out all of the crap from Red Steel 1. The new metroid is out in September which may or may no suck.

  10. Jamie says:

    Not much out on the Wii until Galaxy, Smash Bros or Metroid. Maybe Resi 4 if it comes out in the UK at the same time, chopping zombies with a chainsaw using the wiimote sounds good. Stock up on some GC games – Sunshine is utterly awesome. Go retro.

  11. Gary says:

    I’ve never played a Metroid title. Are they as good as internet fanboys indicate? Don’t know anything about them at all.

    I keep meaning to get R-Type for the Wii’s VC. Loved that game.

  12. Gary says:

    Mupwangle, I’d forgotten about Alan Wake; as for the others I was including August in post-summer. Bioshock’s a definite, Timeshift and Mass Effect a possibility. Longer term Haze sounds interesting, and there’s apparently a Deus Ex 3 in development. It had better not suck.

  13. mupwangle says:

    >>I keep meaning to get R-Type for the Wii’s VC. Loved that game.

    There are turbografx emulators on-line. The VC one is the TG port.

    >>..Metroid…

    I’ve got hunters on the DS. It was OK. Basically FPS that allowed you to turn into a ball occasionally. Then it borked my save game so I couldn’t be arsed going back to see if it got any better.

    August is still summer. :-D

    I’m not sure if you’ll like Mass Effect. Did you ever play Jade Empire or KOTOR on the PC/Xbox?

  14. tm says:

    >Sunshine is utterly awesome.

    Not so much. It’s not bad though. On the other hand, as I think I mentioned before you can get Super Mario 64, which is *still* the best platformer ever made, for about 6 quid on the Wii shop thing. If you have a controller that will play Sunshine then you have one that will play 64.

    Hunters isn’t that good an example. It’s not that bad but basically it’s a fairly faithful adaption of the Metriod Prime games to a platform that really doesn’t suit them much – and what’s the point of that, exactly?

    On the other hand Metriod Prime is my favourite game of the last console generation – bar none. Knocks both halos into a cocked hat. My criticisms of it are that the grappling hook is brought into the story arc too late to give you any really interesting stuff to do with it and the fourth section of the world isn’t quite different enough form the others to make it outstanding. But seriously when was the last game you played where the introduction of the last power-up not being exciting enough was the worst thing you could say about it?

    For example metriod prime has the single finest double jump mechanic ever programmed. I never though about how rubbish all the other ones were until i played it.

    The sequel was a bit to much more of the same though and without the wonder and perfect balance of the first one. To like Metroid you have to enjoy the back tracking and constant accrual of powers that gradually open up new possibilities in the places you’ve already been. I’ve never managed to figure out a way to test the water with that. You just kind of have to give it a go.

    Oh and you’re all forgetting about the summers biggest release. The pocket monsters hit the DS properly in Europe for the first time at the start of July…

  15. Jamie says:

    > # Gary said:
    > I’ve never played a Metroid title. Are they as good as internet fanboys
    > indicate? Don’t know anything about them at all.

    I wasn’t much of a fan of the 2D Metroid games, but bugger me, the first GC one is astonishing. Imagine Nintendo (I know I know) doing an FPS and you’re there.

    > I keep meaning to get R-Type for the Wii’s VC. Loved that game.

    I bought R-Types on the PSone years ago (probably 9 actually, fuck…!) and it was absolutely rock hard. The old skool 2D shooter really died on its arse, it was an amazing genre, and then nothing. I think Edge reviewed the last Dreamcast game in the last issue I read, and it was a vertical shooter.

    > # Gary said:
    > Bioshock

    Oh, that looks good…

    > # tm said:
    > >Sunshine is utterly awesome.
    >
    > Not so much. It’s not bad though.

    I know it gets a lot of hating, but it’s the most fun game I’ve played in YEARS. The main problem with it for me was that they forgot the story after world three… But who plays Mario for the story. I was about 70% through the Shines before I thought sod it, let’s just finish it.

    > On the other hand, as I think I mentioned before you can get Super Mario 64,
    > which is *still* the best platformer ever made, for about 6 quid on the Wii
    > shop thing. If you have a controller that will play Sunshine then you have one
    > that will play 64.

    Wasn’t impressed with that, to be honest. I played it using Project64 on the PC. Seemed to be a bit pointless and rambly… I think the DS version is supposed to pack a lot more levels.

    > The sequel

    I’ve heard it’s just too hard, haven’t got round to buying it yet. I think they sort of rushed it. Hopefully it’s sorted out for the Wii version.

    In terms of gaming disappointment, I recently finished the GBA version of Link To The Past and was looking forward to trying the GC Wind Waker. What a boring game… Looked incredibly pretty, but nothing happened. The Wii game looks like it has a lot more action. Now, if only I wasn’t totally skint…

  16. Mupwangle says:

    Having now played mass effect, I still think you won’t like it. I’ve played it for two hours and it was mainly dialogue and very little shooting. Very like kotor, but the combat isn’t turn-based.

  17. Gary says:

    cheers. Dialogue in games is useless for me just now – need to keep volume very low.

    I’m enjoying timeshift just now. Dumb fun. Half life 2 episode 2 got annoying and repetitive towards the end.

  18. mupwangle says:

    >> Dialogue in games is useless for me just now – need to keep volume very low.

    It does have subtitles. Not much in the way of dumb fun though.

  19. Gary says:

    Eidos has just announced that Deus Ex 3 is a go-er. Woo-hoo, in a “this is going to take years” kinda way.

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