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I guess I'll chime in on this
Posted By: Steve LevinsonDate: 5/8/05 4:23 a.m.

In Response To: Re: Question... (Mister Chief)

: Sorry, I meant it's a sequel in every thing but name :P

It's amazing how this theme keeps coming up. Whether or not Halo started out as a Marathon sequel is pure conjecture. I personally don't believe this to be the case for the simple reason - why would Bungie have made a Marathon sequel at this point in time? Although development on Halo began some years ago, the original Marathon engine was already quite dated and I can't believe that any game developers in their right minds would create a new game that depended on newbies to go back and play an old game. Remember that Marathon is heavily driven by its story and there would be just too much story to convey at the beginning of Halo were this to be the case. On top of that, we have Bungie making it clear that the Halo Universe is not the Marathon Universe and it's pretty hard to see Halo as a sequel. Further, although there are many similarities, there are even more inconsistincies and incompatibilities that any pretense of Halo ever being considered as a sequel becomes too hard to swallow.

Let's step out of the realm of rabbid gamers trying to find significance in arcane plot elements and step into the minds of the developers. You have a series of very successful games on your hands, but nothing nothing that has ever made the big time. There are fans to be sure, but the fanbase is limited, and most of them use Macs while the real gamers are on consoles and PC's. Although your more recent games have incorporated the latest in gaming technology and have been successful, Marathon remains the most entheusiastically embraced game you have ever done. You want to break into the greater gaming community and you want to build on your past successes, but you can't expect the market you hope to sell to to be familiar with your earlier games.

I believe that in this frame of reference, Bungie chose to use Marathon as a foundation for the development of Halo, but not as its prequel. They took what they thought worked well in Marathon - FPS action, science fiction, a compelling story, AI's and battleroids, and simplified things to make it easier for the masses to get into gameplay. In many ways the Pfhor and their client races became the Covenent and instead of them being enslavers, they became religious fanatics bent on humanity's destruction. Since modern gamers had too short an attention span to be expected to read a bunch of backstory on a series of terminals, everything had to be conveyed through cutscenes. Beyond this, Halo and Marathon completely diverge. The fact that the Marathon symbol was incorporated into Halo is a nod to Bungie's past and nothing more.

Don't get me wrong - Halo is a very nice game. It's a lot of fun, but I find the cutscenes to be an incredible distraction to gameplay and I find the action to be surprisingly tedious in spots. As I read in a recent review of Doom 3, much of Halo can be summarized as - enter room, kill all the monsters inside, enter next room. Marathon has so much more depth, particularly in the development of its story, that I'll never tire of it. That's whay I claim that Halo is a dumbed-down version of Marathon. I understand why Bungie made it this way, but it's hard to extol its virtues when we know how much better it could have been. The one thing Halo is not is a sequel to Marathon, nor was it ever likely meant to be.

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Pre-2004 Posts


Replies:

Question...Andromeda_5[Kilo] 5/3/05 3:52 p.m.
     Yes. Covenentluke9 5/3/05 3:59 p.m.
           Re: Yes. CovenentJohn Molloy 7/20/05 4:32 p.m.
                 Re: Yes. CovenentYossarian 7/20/05 7:15 p.m.
                       Re: Yes. CovenentJohn Molloy 7/20/05 7:32 p.m.
                             Re: Yes. CovenentYossarian 7/20/05 7:54 p.m.
     Re: Question...M 5/3/05 4:01 p.m.
           Re: Question...Bob-B-Q 5/3/05 5:56 p.m.
                 Re: Question...Johannes Gunnar 5/3/05 10:54 p.m.
                       *Waits for Forrest to show up* *NM*Reiginko 5/4/05 4:12 a.m.
                             Re: *Waits for Forrest to show up*Forrest of B.org 5/4/05 8:14 a.m.
                                   Re: *Waits for Forrest to show up*John Molloy 7/20/05 4:39 p.m.
                                         Re: *Waits for Forrest to show up*Forrest of B.org 7/20/05 4:52 p.m.
                                               Re: *Waits for Forrest to show up*John Molloy 7/20/05 5:06 p.m.
                                                     Re: *Waits for Forrest to show up*Yossarian 7/20/05 7:12 p.m.
                                                           Re: *Waits for Forrest to show up*John Molloy 7/20/05 7:26 p.m.
                                   Perhaps there's still a hopemaxbz 7/26/05 1:00 p.m.
                                         Re: Perhaps there's still a hopeJohannes Gunnar 7/26/05 1:44 p.m.
                                               Re: Perhaps there's still a hopeblake37 7/26/05 2:44 p.m.
                                         Re: Perhaps there's still a hopeLegacyTyphoon 7/28/05 1:08 p.m.
                                               Re: Perhaps there's still a hopeJohannes Gunnar 7/29/05 3:56 a.m.
                       Foe Hammer is Gandalf's sword! *NM*ukimalefu 5/4/05 5:45 p.m.
     Not a sequel - an updated, dumbed down Marathon *NM*Steve Levinson 5/4/05 4:16 a.m.
     Re: Question...Mister Chief 5/7/05 3:14 p.m.
           Re: Question...Mister Chief 5/7/05 3:16 p.m.
                 Re: Question...luke9 5/7/05 6:27 p.m.
                 I guess I'll chime in on thisSteve Levinson 5/8/05 4:23 a.m.
                       *solemnly nods in agreement* *NM*Yossarian 5/8/05 5:53 a.m.
                       Aye. Full agreement here. *NM*luke9 5/8/05 9:40 a.m.
                       OH MY GODVid Boi 5/9/05 12:31 a.m.
                             Maybe not, sounds more like a MicroSoft thing :-) *NM*D-M.A. 5/9/05 12:51 a.m.
                       Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisMister Chief 5/9/05 6:38 a.m.
                             Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisAndromeda_5[Kilo] 5/9/05 6:49 a.m.
                                   Ugh, you sound like ForceMorph! *NM*Bob-B-Q 5/9/05 7:12 a.m.
                                   Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisDeathmonger 5/9/05 8:59 a.m.
                                         My thoughts exactly... *NM*Bob-B-Q 5/9/05 10:13 a.m.
                                         Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisMister Chief 5/12/05 8:29 a.m.
                                               Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisSteve Levinson 5/12/05 1:45 p.m.
                                                     Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisReiginko 5/14/05 5:39 a.m.
                       Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisForrest of B.org 5/9/05 7:50 a.m.
                             Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisNick Hoad 5/9/05 12:40 p.m.
                                   Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisForrest of B.org 5/9/05 2:46 p.m.
                                         Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisAndromeda_5[Kilo] 5/9/05 5:11 p.m.
                                               Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisForrest of B.org 5/9/05 8:09 p.m.
                                                     Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisReiginko 5/9/05 9:13 p.m.
                                                           Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisVid Boi 5/10/05 4:56 a.m.
                                                           Give me a break! *NM*Steve Levinson 5/12/05 1:49 p.m.
                       Yes... and no.Claude Errera 5/10/05 5:16 a.m.
                             Re: Yes... and no.Kanen Faud'r 5/10/05 6:45 a.m.
                                   Re: Yes... and no. Indeedukimalefu 5/10/05 7:25 p.m.
                                         Re: Yes... and no. IndeedReiginko 5/10/05 10:00 p.m.
                                   Re: Yes... and no.tom 5/11/05 9:12 a.m.
                                         Bingo.Claude Errera 5/12/05 5:00 a.m.
                                               Re: Bingo.tom 5/13/05 9:09 a.m.
                                   Re: Yes... and no.Claude Errera 5/12/05 5:05 a.m.
                       Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisBrian Wise 5/12/05 9:34 p.m.
                             Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisJoBar 6/5/05 5:45 a.m.
                                   Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisAdam Ashwell 6/5/05 6:28 a.m.
                                         Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisJoBar 6/6/05 4:36 p.m.
                                               Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisKyjel 6/6/05 5:01 p.m.
                                                     Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisForrest of B.org 6/7/05 8:16 a.m.
                                                           Re: I guess I'll chime in on thisAdam Ashwell 6/7/05 9:52 a.m.
                                                                 Re: I guess I'll chime in on thiseMCee 7/19/05 9:35 p.m.

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