Today’s post is pretty off-topic of my recent posts (it has been a while since I’ve discussed something NOT Second Life or Event or website development related.) It pretty much goes without saying that Halo 3 is the most talked about “thing” right this moment (well okay outside of some reports of the recent Second Life statistics but that is a different story.) Halo 3 has a ton of hype right now and after some beautiful Halo 3 fun had today (thanks to to the guys over at Pure West Documentary) I have to say that since the release of the Atari or NES, the video game industry has come a long way (well… look at what it produced, it created Second Life.)
Halo 3 feels less like a video game and more like a theatrical release – the “next-gen” systems are less and less geeky, social-less tools and more interactive entertainment. There has been things Microsoft has done that has not lived up to its potential hype, XP, Vista, Windows Mobile, etc, etc… but Halo 3 and the X-Box 360 seems to be getting it correct, at the moment. Halo 3 LOOKS good and while it is a shoot em up, it is something that a person can get into very quickly. Before touching it, you almost want to replay the entire series (trust me, skip through some of the boredom of Halo 1) much in the same way you may want to see the first two Lord of the Rings movies on DVD before seeing the third in theaters.
Halo 3 is not just a game, not in the sense that Super Mario Brothers was, more in the sense that The Matrix was (it was a trilogy, a game, an anime series, a phenomenon – regardless of how you felt about the movies.) Halo 3 is an experience but also shows how gamers and the industry has turned from being about fun to providing an experience (or attempting to.) That seem to be the industries catch word now, “experience”, and it is what makes something such as Second Life REALLY important. If Halo did not multi-player (which the maps look great) or had multi-player that included bots, the Halo experience would be lessened, cheapened by the fact that you don’t need to surround and trash talk with random strangers on X-Box Live. Imagine re-creating Super Mario Bros. today – there would be a few decisions to be made about it, do you include a multi-player or not? Online-play? Richer graphics? Killer soundtrack? Storyline? Sub-plots? Achievements? New feature? Doe the controller shake?
I have to say, Halo 3 really lives up to its hype (congratulations MS!) It seems that, for the moment, the get this “experience” thing down in the sense of an entertainment system (although the Wii is much more of an “experience” than the X-Box is.) There are many people in the creative fields who could learn from this lesson (including myself).