Not really sure how to explain the change, but everything got very gritty and industrial. All the armor and weapons in Halo 3 felt futuristic and smooth. In Reach all the armor and weapons looked like very near future type stuff. Everyone's covered in ammo pouches and knives. And there's dirt and dust everywhere. Too "Gear of War"ish for my liking.
My problem with Reach's art style isn't that it's too GoW-ish, it's just that it seems like real time shaders didn't exist in gameplay. The game's cutscenes were beautiful, but the physical gameplay aesthetic was very pastel and muted, unlike Halo 3, which was one of the most beautiful games I've seen, having all sorts of vibrant colors
But Reach is a darker game in every way shape and form. You're fighting a losing battle and every time you hit the enemy, you get hit back harder. I don't think is should be as bright and shinny as Halo 3.
I guess, but seeing that Reacch's campaign was so short and below that par of everything else, they really didn't need to have the multiplier share the same dull color scheme. I really like all the improvements they made to everything but I just don't like playing cause everything looks like dirt.
I don't see anything aestethically displeasing about Reach, really. Despite all the heat and criticism it's gotten, I actually think it's a very well developed game. Screen brightness and/or television competency may very well play a huge role in making it seem overly bland. I think the textures are quite nice to look at and soak in.
Plus, Halo 3 set the bar so high. Bungie really went all out for their conclusion to the original trilogy, so that's no surprise. I think people try to compare H3 with Reach way too much. Obviously, H3 was the superior game, but Reach is amazing for what it is. At least it's still kept up with.
as to why i think reach is a darker colored game compared to H3 is a sad game. it has a very heavy theme of death and loss. the spartans and soldiers on reach know they are going to lose reach and die. but know they have a job to do so that the events of the halo series can take place. as where H3 is a game of hope no matter how dark it may seem there is always that faint glimmer of light a head if you just keep pushing forward.
Halo... 3 (9.5) ODST (9.5. I mean, Firefly and Halo? How can you not love that?) Reach (9) 2 (8.5) Combat Evolved (8. Anniversary- 8.5) Halo Wars (and that's still a 7-7.5)
And as to the art conversation, I think Reach had an amazing art design. But the execution of that design was a little off, but you can't deny it looked amazing. The cinematics in Long Night of Solace, and The Pillar of Autumn were just breathtaking (to me).
Now, looking ahead to Halo 4, some of the multiplayer armors really irk me. But the campaign, and the actual multiplayer look great so far.
Yes, the Chief WAS supposed to be the silent badass you put your own spin on, but that was in Bungie's trilogy. This is 343's. And having a compelling main character is something I'm looking forward to.
I wouldn't rate 2 up that high. It was as fun as it was revolutionary to the franchise, but the campaign was a bit lacking in some departments, though I didn't even mind the enormous cliffhanger. Bungie's time constraints made there be too much cutscene exposition, and some of the levels were boring (the sentinel wall, for one), as they were just monotonous killing and traveling without any development of plot or interaction with other characters. The Arbiter was also a far too underdeveloped character, though the time constraints also justify that. 8-8.5 is a good place for Halo 2.
I definitely have to disagree with you there, I'd sooner come down on 3 than on 2. Two was long, well thought out, beautifully executed, and extremely entertaining. I got tripple the worth out of what I paid for that game.
It really is just so difficult to compare these games though. They are such different game with such different backgrounds and they are both really worth their own salt.
I think I was avoiding sounding like a fanboy with that post (because I fraking am). Personally, i'd probably rate all the halos (with the exception of Reach Wars) a 10. But I guess you could say those scores were rated on a curve.
But yeah, trying to compare Halo 2 and 3 is way too freakin hard.
I mean, Halo 2 had Delta Halo/Regret, Gravemind, The Great Journey (yes, I loved playing The Arbiter), the best score in the series, almost had Forerunner tank (which would have been AWESOME) and by far the best multiplayer maps/gameplay.
And Halo 3 had Sierra 117, The Ark, The Covenant, and that amazing final level (minus Guilty Spark), very good multiplayer, introduced save film, and the third best score (more on that in a second).
You honestly can't compare them.
But, what I can't get my head around is the disliking of ODST. Dear lord that game was awesome and different. The city levels were my favorite in the Halo series. Something about the detective story-ness of the plot, and the addition of Nathan-freakin-Fillion, Adam-badass-Baldwin, and Alan Tudyk (couldn't think of a T word for him) made that game all on it's own. Plus the great score from Marty O'Donnell, Firefight, and no levels that make you want to bash your xbox into oblivion (I'm looking at you Library, Hgh Charity, and Cortana), made that game great.
Sorry I went into mini-rant then, but I just don't get that.