Friday roundup. The Coffee Break 24 Feb 2017.
Earlier in the week I published a piece on the Halo Wars 2 story arc, and while my opinion of the game still stands I am slowly warming up to the idea of trying it out later on in time. Recapping what I said, the game has little in the way of cinematic cutscenes unlike the previous title; though the amount of cutscene time is the same between both games with only a few seconds’ difference. The issue I had with Halo Wars 2 is before each mission there was only some dialogue and an in-game: “move into position” cutscene using the gameplay graphics. Halo Wars 1 had a small clip at the beginning of each mission (with a few that did not) but the story was cohesive and if you couldn’t spare the time to play the game through you can still get a good idea of what was going on just by watching the cutscenes.
Now the cutscenes in Halo Wars 2 were great, and though presently I am in a spot where I prefer Real Time Tactical games vs Real Time Strategy titles I can honestly say that I am interested in trying out the game when the opportunity presents itself (and excited to see if Halo 6 will mix the two arcs together into a single story). With Cortana commanding the galaxy, the remnants of the UNSC and of the Arbiters’ forces need all the help they can get – what better help than an aging warship and a crew that has absolutely no idea what has happened since they had last seen the galaxy twenty eight years ago.
Halo 5 Guardians was alright (and this is the same with Halo Wars 2) but I guess this is because I am simply out of fuel with regards to the series. Both games offer a unique experience, but to a veteran of the series for almost ten years it feels like the same old plate of mac and cheese – tasty, but isn’t anything exciting or new. Now were Halo 6 to work the two storylines together, and produce something of a guerrilla war in which the UNSC conducts operations against Cortana and her forces all the while her grip on the galaxy tightens causing various species to revolt against her would be an interesting tale – one that I would be keen to explore further.
Sure I was happy to see the UNSC end the war as the top dog, but there is always something appealing about guerrilla warfare compared to conventional warfare where armies of the same strength and capabilities fighting without issues in logistics, supplies, or manpower. Cortana controlling some of the most powerful weapons in the galaxy might help humanity to A. place trust in the Elites who sided with humanity, and B. develop tactics to defeat a superior foe without relying heavily on technological advantages (as an enemy force can easily out-produce, or outpace you in technology). Ending this post here before I go on a rant about UNSC tactics and strategy I am optimistic about the future of the Halo franchise, but this optimism is always sitting beside the phrase: “hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.”