How not to write story - Halo Wars


I'm not a particularly huge fan of halo, though it is enjoyable in terms of mindless shootery. Recently I've noticed my Xbox sitting glumly in a corner; neglected, unfed, mess all over its litter tray. So I decided to give it some love and attention by playing Halo Wars on it, as any other game I can get for better on PC.

Now I once had a friend who was HALO 4 LIFE pretty much. Well I say a friend, I just happened to know him at a lancafe I used to frequent and he would talk crap upon crap for hours and hours. This led to the entire backstory exposition of Halo divulged halplessly to me whether I wanted to know it or not, as I waited for a PC to free up at the lancafe in order to get away from him.

As I have a habit of picking up useless information I reckon I'm pretty informed on the Halo "universe" due to this guy, without having to undergo reading the books or getting limited edition versions of the games. Ok, so backstory to piece done? Great, now I can get on and explain the link to the FMV from the game (scroll down a bit).

Firstly, I was quite charmed by the base buidling mechanics snatched from the carcass of the first Battle for Middle Earth game. The missions were pretty alright too, bugs and balancing issues aside and the fact that the later levels up until the last one were mysteriously easy (though they were cool for letting you use some big stompy blowy up stuff).

However, I'm not here to review the game. Ok I give it 6.8/10, happy? Rather, I want to gripe about the abandonment of sensible story telling.

The story to the Halo series isn't imaginative, what with all the ancient beings popping their clogs and leaving dangerous toys for people to play with and mysterious puzzles to follow. Maybe Mass Effect and Halo are set in the same universe? Only destroyed at different times. But the story has been thoroughly fleshed out, cliches and all.

So it bugs me to see such poorly fleshed out characters In this game. There's old grumpy but the best general there is stereotype, then there's fratboy gungho male with oh my goodness gracious I couldn't have seen it coming love interest in the form of sensible condescending nagging hot brainy lady. Then they're thrown together in these bad FMV's and the writers expect us to give a damn about them. Those who bothered to back read my blog (thanks!) will notice I wrote similar shitty characters in a story. However I'm not in my twenties yet even so young and amateurish. I also didn't get paid for it and wrote it in a two hour binge last minute. So I'm pissed at whoever decided to make this canon to a world many strange people love apparently.



They dont even bother to explain what the hell is going on, in the missions I'm told it's imperitive to capture this base or blah blah blah. A few involve finding the sciency lady, then the mission ends and suddenly an FMV is shown where the Arbiter chap forgets to execute her and decides plonking her down by a teleporter she wont escape, which she does, and somehow we've found her at the exact moment and loaction she teleported to. Hoorah! Also it's never explained why they wanted the lady specifically, at first I thought it was because she was brainy so they needed her brains but remembering that aforementioned backstory any human can activate the old ones devices whilst aliens cant. So they didn't need the lady, they could've just nabbed a marine.

Then the story further shits on itself as it turns out that now we've teleported to inside the planet with a sun in the middle and gravity inverted inside and oh god even with basic physics knowledge my brain is melting. Then it's revealed the reason the convenant are here is for...ships? And hey the Flood are here too, so it's a mystery then that they weren't catalogued on the earth database for when Master Chief pops up 20 years later. Fucking hell. I'm searching the battle map for traces of a blue police box for explanation as to why history has changed.

The point of this long rant then is that when you've got a big franchise like Halo, don't do a Star Wars and wipe the canon of the story with your ass by putting unispired characters in its past, as well as better technology and events that don't correlate or leave big plot holes. Like the arbiter's armour, it's meant to have been passed down alien dude to alien dude, but here the chap was pushed over an edge and left inside a planet next to an exploding sun (which had to be exploded by hand as folk have forgotten about long range detonators or timers in this future).

In short, I played this game and now I've got a headache. ARGH! BACK IN THE CORNER WITH YOU XBOX.

I did however like the sarky ship computer woman.

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