Archive

Author Archives: prutting834

Image

At this point, the Halo franchise is old news. The companies behind it have already produced a trilogy and three spin-offs. On top of this, they have confirmed they will be creating another trilogy. If you weren’t keeping count, that’s a total of nine games. NINE GAMES! At what point is enough enough? Why do the producers insist on continuing to “beat a dead horse”?

The answer, obviously, is money. They keep making Halo games because their consumers keep buying them. Sure, the original trilogy (Halo, Halo 2, and Halo 3) were amazing games and deserved all the credence they received. The story was totally original and one of the most memorable and entertaining narratives in video game history. Not to mention, Halo 2 defined online multiplayer. It was the most widely played online console game of its time, and its multiplayer set the stage for what was expected from other shooters like Call of Duty and Gears of War.

However, the game creators weren’t satisfied with just being known for this epic trilogy. They insisted on making spin-offs. Halo 3: ODST presents a story from a perspective other than that of the trilogy’s main character (Master Chief), and the story takes place at the same time as the story from Halo 3. Halo Reach serves as a prequel to the original Halo trilogy. And lastly, Halo Wars takes the Halo universe and incorporates it into a real time strategy game. The fact that the producers totally shifted genres and turned a first person shooter into a real time strategy game shows that they will stop at nothing to keep making Halo games, and to build on their profits.

This idea can be further seen in how they have recently confirmed that they will be making another Halo trilogy, which continues the story from where Halo 3 left off. The issue I have with this is that the ending to Halo 3 does everything in its power to make players think the Master Chief has died. It would have been a fitting ending to the trilogy if it happened this way, but the producers were not satisfied. Instead, they chose to “resurrect” the Master Chief and completely alter how Halo 3 seemed to have ended in order to make another trilogy.

It is a shame that people continue to buy Halo games. If they did not, the producers would certainly not keep making them, and the “dead horse” would finally be left alone. For me, my biggest issue with them continuing to make Halo games is the fact that the novelty and creativity has totally disappeared. Outside of the RTS, the game’s mechanics have changed a minimal amount. Not to mention, the weapons and characters have also been the same throughout. As they continue to churn out games, it appears as if the designers no longer care or try. This makes me think they only keep making Halo games because of greed.

I sincerely hope that other game designers learn a lesson from the Halo franchise and know their limits in regards to making sequels. The companies behind video games need to have a better understanding of when their game’s novelty wears off. If they follow Halo’s lead and continue to make sequels and spin-offs, then all they are doing is taking advantage of their customers. The gaming industry should value and appreciate their customers, not take advantage of them due to their greed.

Advertisements

Before starting the campaign for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, a dialogue box appears with a warning for players. It says, “DISTURBING CONTENT NOTICE: Some players may find one of the missions disturbing or offensive. Would you like to have the option to skip this mission?” The player can either pick “Yes, ask me later” or “No, I will not be offended.” When I first played the game, I was shocked that Infinity Ward felt it necessary to include this type of warning in a game with a mature rating, as the game’s intended audience is people old enough to handle these kinds of graphic images.  Along with this, because of the importance of the mission’s contents to future aspects of the story, I believe that players should not have the option to skip the mission.

 

The mission in question is entitled “No Russian,” in reference to the fact that the player and the Russian terrorists he has infiltrated are instructed by their boss to only speak English. A video of the mission’s gameplay can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhslvePOPbE, although be warned it is not safe for work. Anyways, the mission has the player assume the role of deep-cover CIA agent Joseph Allen, who has infiltrated a group of Russian ultranationalist terrorists. The terrorists are carrying out a massacre at a Russian airport, killing everyone they see with heavy machine guns and grenades. However, the success of the mission does not rely on whether or not the player decides to assist in the killing of innocent civilians or airport security. The images throughout the mission are certainly graphic and disturbing, but they are necessary in portraying the terror and brutality brought upon by the actions of these terrorists. At the end of the mission, the terrorist boss (Makarov) reveals that he knows Joseph Allen’s true identity and kills him (i.e. the player).

 

Leaving behind the body of an American agent at the scene of the massacre was Makarov’s plan all along, confirmed by how he ordered all the terrorists to only speak in English. He sought to deceive the Russian government by tricking them into believing that United States was responsible, in order that they invade the United States. His plan is totally successful, and this mission begins the cascade that leads to the start of World War 3. Later on in Modern Warfare 3, the player gets to hear Makarov as he states, “The bigger the lie, the more likely people will believe it,” referencing back to this mission from Modern Warfare 2.

 

All in all, I believe that players of this game should be forced into playing this mission. The game is rated mature for a reason: it is supposed to have violence and graphic content. It is expected that people who buy the game are mature enough to handle these circumstances. It is not the game designers fault that ignorant parents buy these types of games for their ten-year old children. Not to mention, the actions taken out in this mission are absolutely vital to understand the events that follow in the story. Without playing “No Russian,” players would have no understanding of why Russia invaded the United States and chose to start World War 3. Furthermore, they would have less of an appreciation for how evil Makarov, the series’ primary antagonist, truly is. Thus, because of the mission’s importance to the story and the game’s mature rating, I do not believe that players should be given the option to skip “No Russian” in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.