Halo 2 multiplayer: I like the sound of this

From Penny Arcade:

I will tell you what my favorite thing about Halo 2 Multiplayer is. There are things that anyone would like, as holding two needlers and unloading them is sort of its own reward. Of course, it’s nice to have the same power to create your own gametypes that you’ve enjoyed at home taken online with bountiful new options. Customizing your character - Elite or Spartan, with insignias you create with an in-game tool - that’s appreciated, certainly. Not my favorite thing.

There is absolutely no server browser of any kind.

You’ll be surprised how liberating this is. Typically joining an online game is this arduous purgatory state where you finally find a server that has enough room, but then you join and can’t be on the same team, so you play for a while and don’t enjoy it until people leave and you can join your friends, at which point fucking Bob disconnects the server. That scenario doesn’t exist in Halo 2 for a couple reasons.

One, you create a little “Team” in a menu before you ever play. Teams aren’t like Clans, they’re temporary, but I’d imagine that your teams will be made up largely of your Clanmates in any case. So, you’re there with your allies or quondam foes, the four of you let’s say, and as the guy that put together the team you let Halo 2 know you’re ready to drop. It goes out and finds four guys roughly your ability level with a good connection and you’re off to the races. Want a larger game? Tell it so, and Halo 2 will track down another group of four to match with you, and eight more miscreants for your stalwart band to mistreat. Here comes “Reason This Is Good” number two. If the server drops out there, for whatever reason but you’re welcome to call it cowardice, somebody else is chosen to be the server automatically and play continues. The upshot of this is that you spend your time playing the game, not fiddling with it trying to coax an optimal experience. The process I’ve just described is for official, ranked games, that draw from a set of specific parameters to glean better ranking data from the players. We were locked to this mode the day we played it. But even in custom mode, there’s no “browser” as we think of it, if I understood the UI guy I talked to. You simply set parameters and join games.

That’s always been what excited me most about Halo 2’s multiplayer. I got a chance to really sit down and play CS: Source over the weekend and I was thinking how great it would be if it had Halo 2’s system.

Hopefully this will catch on.

I like what I read about the experience-based ranking system too. You get points based on your wins/losses, but if you keep playing the same mode or against less experienced players, your wins won’t count for as much. It’s sort of like an RPG. Are there any other ranking systems like that? It sounds horribly, horribly addictive. Lucky for me I don’t have Live. Or Broadband. Or an XBox.

yeah the cool thing about Halo2’s multiplayer is that you make a “crew” and then your crew can stick together while you play online. Like, four or five (or eight) of us QT3ers can set up a crew, and then we can join various different games, start our own games, change game types and rules, and the whole crew automatically stays together. It’s groovy.

But what about the single player? I have to expect that it will suck, given that I have not read one single thing about it anywhere. If it weren’t for that E3 movie, I’d think it was multiplayer only.

I think they’re just trying to keep it under wraps. If it’s even only as good as the first game’s single-player, I’ll love it.

They’ve been trying very hard to keep the single player completely unknown to gamers. They want everyone to be shocked and awed or something.

That along with the multiplayer stuff above is exactly why I voted for Halo 2 over Half-Life 2.

–Dave

Stop being insane. They’ve both worked hard to keep the single player an unknown, you can’t use that as a reason to vote for one or the other. Why am I trying to talk you out of being a Bungie freak?

Co-op play is still limited to split screen, no?

  • Alan

One cool feature for the splitscreen is if you’ve got a widescreen TV. Then you can split the horizontal space in two and get more like a normal aspect ratio.

Yeah, they tried to get it in on Live, but decided the effort was better spent elsewhere. Co-op in a game like this might get fairly complicated.

So how does this work if you’re by yourself? Most of my online play is late in PST, so almost everyone I know for gaming is asleep. I don’t like being on a team of pick-up players versus even a semi-organized group. Will the system let me find an “all individual” game?

Yeah, that’s my question too. Although don’t rush to answer it for little old me, as I don’t even have an Xbox and have to wait for the pc port.

I’m a sucker for a good storyline, and I loved Halo 1’s and read all the books. I’m buying it as much to find out what happens as for the good gameplay (although either one individually is worth the $50, I’d expect)

Yeah, they tried to get it in on Live, but decided the effort was better spent elsewhere. Co-op in a game like this might get fairly complicated.[/quote]

I coulda sworn I saw a screenshot from Le Leak that showed an option for system link co-op.

I just recently picked up the books. The first was fairly fun. Note I didn’t say good, just fun =) The second is starting to piss me off, but it’s by a different author. It basically just follows the game story line to a T (at least so far). Not impressed at all. Hopefully the third book, which is by the same author as the first book, will be as fun to read.

Also replaying Halo on the pc to get back into it all =)

Need to replay Half Life also, but I sorta wanted to do that with the Source version but I won’t be doing that because I will have HL2 then… bleh.

Oh, and I took an enormours amount of shit from my GF when I bought those books. It took me weeks to work up the courage :oops:

I liked The Fall of Reach as well. It wasn’t Shakespeare, but after playing Halo, it did a great job of providing context and backstory for the events of the game. I had really hoped someone would do a prequel expansion focusing on the events of that book.

Supertanker: If your’re playing ranked game, a pick up team of any decent skill that was matched against your opponents team would use voice to organize pretty quickly and make do.

Remember: your skill is used to match your game.

I coulda sworn I saw a screenshot from Le Leak that showed an option for system link co-op.

The option you saw in the system-link menu screenie says “Switch to co-op” which unforunately just takes you to standard split-screen co-op.