Sunday, October 25, 2020

Halo: Combat Evolved - First Drop - A Blind Playthrough - Part 3

We continue our fight against the Covenant alongside the Master Chief. As it turns out, Halo isn't a superweapon that we can use to wipe them out. Rather, it appears to be the prison for a race of parasitic monsters known as The Flood.

Military Commanders... Always leaping before they look.

Now we've got to clean up their mess.

Thumbnail, as always, provided by Sam Callahan.

But perhaps it's best to find a way to fix this whole situation without doing a genocide of world-ending proportions. Everyone please ignore the fact that I hit the "extinguish all life" button because it looked shiny.

While this game has a bare bones story, something I appreciate about it is that it avoids bogging itself down in unnecessarily complex jargon. The faction of fanatical aliens are simply called "the Covenant", to emphasize the religious undertones of the organization. Parasitic swarms without end go by "The Flood," to underscore their numerous and aggressive nature. Even out faceless protagonist is referred to as "The Master Chief," their military rank being their most notable character trait. Using those types of Proper Nouns reduces the cognitive load on the player, allowing them to quickly and easily memorize the high level concepts they need to know to understand the overall plot.

On top of that, I like the choice to have the player walk back through the earlier levels and see how they've changed in response to the Flood. It shows us through gameplay how the Covenant and the world around us is dealing with the ongoing threat. There's also the thematic aspect of going backwards, and losing the progress that we fought for in the beginning because we now need to deal with The Flood.

Next time, it appears that we'll be wrapping up our campaign through the first Halo game. Hopefully, we can avoid ending all of existence along the way.

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