D0513 T0045 Y2008Panel Discussion: Halo Loyalists

It took the gaming industry long enough, but they finally caught up with the rich interactive platform that Bungie Studios provides as a venue for social and competitive interaction. Halo is no longer the most widely played game on Xbox Live. This is no longer news. It’s been that way for months now. COD4 took us all by surprise as a remarkable team-based experience. GTA4 reasserted itself as a horseman of the apocalypse, and corrected every mistake that was made by its West Coast predecessor along the way.

What is newsworthy is that there is still a damn good game to be had wearing Mjolnir [or Elite] Armor on Xbox Live. Hundreds of thousands of gamers clash on the virtual battlefields wrought by developers every day. They are the faithful. With so many other relevant offerings competing for their attention, the Halo Loyalists insist on finishing the fight again and again and again. The Halo Nation is, perhaps for the first time, populated by citizens who play their game because it is their favorite – not because it is the only viable avenue upon which their gamertag can travel.

They are the panel for this discussion.

What keeps you coming back to Halo? What is your favorite part of the Halo Experience on Xbox Live? It could be a specific hero moment, like picking up a stranded flag carrier on a Mongoose while defenders close in like a swarm of natives chasing down an archaeologist with a golden totem stolen from the ancient temple. It could be the friends you have made along the way in building your rank.

What is the one unit of joy that has you sticking with Halo?

SN1PEZ: Has to be all the friends I’ve made over the years. Its one thing to get that one-shot or save that is an instant thrill, but the presence of your online friends after every win/loss is a much better feeling.

ooCRIMoo: One easily over-looked aspect is the way the online experience works. Setting up a multi-player game in GTA 4 made me long for Bungie’s simple party-based system. I like that when playing with a less than full team, it’s simple to pick up an extra random player if the chemistry’s right and the wins are rolling in.

BSG Alekat: If I really got to the reason why I sign onto Halo almost every day, it has more to do with the community and Bungie’s support. It’s not hard to fall in love with a game when you love games, but it’s the massive amount of content out there that keeps me coming back.

Whachamacalzmit: Community is key. Those great features of Halo 3 only brought us to this game, but the community is what kept us here. If all my friends migrated to another game and there was no community left for me, I’d probably leave.

AmericanNightmr: I keep coming back because I want to see who’s going to die from… What? Mongoose wheel across the map? You simply never know what is going to happen. Pretty much every time I play I see something that I have never seen before. I can’t say the same for the other titles, and if something unique happens, it still doesn’t compare. That and medals are addicting.

Cleanbeats: I really enjoy the competitive nature that the game offers. No other game has really been able to capture that for me. With playlists like Team Hardcore and the newer community offerings from MLG, the game has that competitive environment built right in.

OboeCrazy: I love the basic game mechanics, and then the matchmaking has such a wide variety of play styles to offer that I always have something I want to do. I can Lone Wolf if I just want to slay. I can BTB if I want the epic army vs army experience. I can play SWAT if I want something fast paced and twitchy. We can load up customs and play all manner of strange and wonderful games. Or go into Forge and make our own, or just play around with all the items. Other games, once finished, are simply finished. There’s always something new in Halo 3.

CodeMonkey: The one thing Halo offers that no other online multiplayer game has so far is the statistical reporting on their website. Bungie did a great job for all the fanboys out there when they built in game stats reporting and then setup a website to display those stats. Their online website community is the glue that holds the Halo community together. No other game studio tries to interact with gamers on a level that Bungie does.

Stuicide: It’s hard to think of just one amazing moment but my favorite would have to be the splatter with a ghost. There is no greater feeling than mowing down unsuspecting people with a ghost. The blasters on the ghost are only an effective tool if you use it to get people to jump so you can bust them open like a pinata on their way down.

Monte: When I play halo, not only do I get my friends by my side, but I get to be someone else, a bad ass BR wielding maniac or a pathetic driver trying to have some fun. It’s new, it’s fun, it’s unique. No other game has given this to me so I still play this one. I’m playing Mass Effect right now and it’s great. I crave the friends and the enemies that halo gives though.

Hard Boiled: The perfect gameplay moment is that well-executed flag cap. When everyone is doing their part and working together for a singular goal, it’s a sweet feeling. You have the sneaky people making moves on the flag. The vehicle teams rolling, giving the carrier that perfect path out, and the defensive team keeping your own base area clean for those last few crucial steps.

Maximobien: I play Halo because I LOVE STICKIES. Getting that stick and seeing the medal pop up never gets old. Of course, the more spectacular and long-distance the better, but every stick is sweet.

Mondo Jay: I think the resources for everlasting fun is what keeps me coming back. COD4 may be a great team game with great moments of FPS glory, but you can’t go back and watch clips of that game in a theater like Halo 3. GTA4 may have a wide open experience to explore and cause chaos, but you can’t customize the city/map to the way you’d like to play it ala Halo 3’s Forge. And a lot of games are great fun online, but the matchmaking system just doesn’t run as smoothly as Halo 3.

Tortacular: Moments like this:

Sunburned Goose: What is it about Halo that makes is special, my go-to game besides Gears, COD4, or GTA4? Realism, or the lack thereof. Mancannons, Shields, Plasma Weapons, and Energy Swords, all of these elements and many more add to a story that will never be an experience I will share in real life. Many of the other games I mentioned are variations of real life for me, each of them suffer from the Uncanny Valley hypothesis. Playing GTA 4 or COD 4 builds up a residual feeling, a resistance, because I’m killing Humans which prevents me from picking it up time after time unlike Halo. Shooting a Spartan doesn’t evoke the same emotion in me because the armor is like the pixel version of tanks in my Atari days. He’s human underneath but only part of him.

the dihn: To quote the dinh of the A-Team “I love it when a plan comes together.” A great feeling comes when that flag is planted or bomb planted or sniper is taken out due to some coordination. Nothing like it.

Zeuz Patter: For me, it is the lobby system. It is the only one that works right. It is so easy to get a game. And as hard as it seems to believe, every H3 game is different from the previous one. You could have 3 straight CTF games, and they are all different. Not many games can say that. H3 made a huge improvement on cheating and modding and that is the decisive point.

Fezzer: The Warthog is a beautiful machine. I’ve yet to see any other game EVER implement vehicular gameplay with the elegance and balance that Bungie has achieved. I’ll be completely happy when the Gauss appears in MM again.

[Editor’s Note: Amen, brother]

Milk: Friends, and Halo. They seem to go hand in hand. A lot of communities, and people would not be able to make this experience a memorable one if they were unable to meet online, and through LAN. I would say the one thing that kept me coming back were those two features. LAN, and than later Live.

Flatlined: As I tend to be a Bear style player on objective games, there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to steal a defended flag, or arm a bomb and keep defenders away long enough so it detonates. Even if I touch the flag and know I am going to die fast, just touching it and knowing the other team has to start all over to try to return the flag is a great feeling.

Vi Et Armis: I like the pacing of Halo combat. The style of combat in GTA4 and CoD4 is a little more of a swell and ebb for me, with action being offset by periods of tension while you try find the next foe/objective/sniper who shot you in the head. In Halo, the longest breaks you get are when you die and run straight back into the fray.

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Loyalists 19

  1. #LINK D0513 T1348
    Stuicide wrote...

    I love being quoted in these things…

  2. #LINK D0513 T1550
    Max wrote...

    Reading this makes me want to play Halo SO BAD.

  3. #LINK D0513 T2041
    GunslingerFyre wrote...

    You all say true, and I say thankya. Nothing more I could add as to why I love this game.

  4. #LINK D0514 T0047
    kyli3 wrote...

    I can’t get into any other game like Halo.

    How Halo plays, how easy it is to get a party with friends, and the feelings you get from Halo are great.

    Call of Duty never did it for me

  5. #LINK D0514 T1513
    Viktim Viktor wrote...

    OboeCrazy pretty much summed up what my answer would be to a T. The variety & the community combined with fantastic game and map balancing.

    On a side note, Goose’s link to the Uncanny Valley hypothesis…fascinating. I’ve always sort of felt that way about mowing down “humans” in games (especially bystanders) but aliens, robots, etc are all just fine to blow-up and dismember.

  6. #LINK D0518 T0357
    flurf wrote...

    Halo, to me, is just so much more amazing than other FPSes out there these days. I’ve played CoD4 before and seen it played when visiting friends, but I couldn’t see myself enjoying that much tactical gameplay- Halo is something that ANYONE who can hold a controller can just pick up, learn, and play. I’m living testament to that- I’ve played Halo since it first came out when I was about seven.

    It’s those “whoa” moments on a game of Capture the Flag when your offense is completely wasted an on respawn, and you’re backing up as an eight person team rushes you on Standoff. Then, just as your shields are down and you’re nearly dead your buddies respawn, and then thrown into a massive 8 on 8 battle. It’s stuff like that that makes me so dedicated to Halo- it’s just an epic online experience if you know how to make it one, and it’s backed by an epic community.

  7. #LINK D0529 T1611
    Bel Iblis wrote...

    I like the comraderie, competition and that there’s always something new in the works like maps, gametypes etc. I also like being able to meet new friends and play folks from around the world. Dispite our differences we all have a few things in common.

  8. #LINK D0529 T1700
    Jimmy wrote...

    HALO ROCKS THANK YOU BUNGIE!! I love forge…

  9. #LINK D0529 T1708
    MichaelxCaboose wrote...

    I would have to say the best thing about H3 is the people. Everyone on H3, good or bad, friendly or rude, nOObish or not, they bring excitement to the H3 world. Its where you can sit back, listen to nOOb 1 and nOOb 2 yell at eachother whether or not that snipershot was legitimate or that the other is a spartan laser hog (I will admit, I’m a laser-hog) and then laugh as you watch them duke it out like the nOObs they are. That’s what puts me to sleep everynight. The thought of you nOObs being nOObs. Keep at it, brothers!

  10. #LINK D0529 T1746
    michael evanchik wrote...

    After reading all the comments, i wouldnt know where to diagree. There are so many points of interest. For me, its playing social slayer, after tunning your skills in ranked games, you become such an efficient killer that other players in your party rave at your skills as you kill more then all of your teamates combined in social matches.

    we all love those no-scopes and running riots as well =]

  11. #LINK D0529 T1750
    Foxx15 wrote...

    Hell yeh brothers HALO 3 FTW !! I love it

  12. #LINK D0529 T1754
    Deep Winter wrote...

    Tortacular’s pictorial example is simply epic! Where can one download a HD copy of that?

  13. #LINK D0529 T1844
    secret ajent joe wrote...

    If you play runescape you know that your the biggest loser in the world that’s why they made halo 3. So they could get you off that stupid addicting gay game. now get off your lazy butt, go upstairs, put in halo 3(or go buy it),and play some halo 3.

    Sorry to hurt whoever made runescape’s feeling by this message

  14. #LINK D0529 T1901
    =) wrote...

    I agree

  15. #LINK D0529 T1914
    abc geek wrote...

    I love halo 3. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to make the great things that everyone loves so much.

    http://www.bungie.net/stats/halo3/fileshare.aspx?gamertag=abc%20geek&filter=all

    do the following to check out my awesome stuff.make sure to rate everthing what you really think of it.(please dont just put everything as 1 star.

    Highlight the web adress press and hold crtl and press c then right click on the adress bar and click paste.

    Enjoy the unlimited money map on blackout be creative send me your best map…

  16. #LINK D0529 T1915
    XerxdeeJ wrote...

    What the hell is runescape?

  17. #LINK D0529 T2040
    goobers wrote...

    Thanks for the infinite money map on blackout abc geek. I liked the bubble boy picture and you did a good job on foundation map but what was the point of that rocket flame thrower picture?

  18. #LINK D0529 T2042
    abc geek wrote...

    thanks and that rocket flame thrower was just a random picture

    once again

    http://www.bungie.net/stats/halo3/fileshare.aspx?gamertag=abc%20geek&filter=all

  19. #LINK D0722 T1827
    GhosterOriginal wrote...

    It is the best game for social interaction and connecting with people all over the world, that just want to have fun!

commenting closed for this article

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