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Halo3: A boy's game in a man's world.

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
Apr 13, 2009 23:14


ImageAfter 48 hours in the life of Master Chief, Halo3 shows signs of promise but with the WCG games revealed, did a game fuelled by rage really deserve a spot among the game titles?

Halo3 was a potential WCG title for 2009, its selection dependent on a tussle with Gears of War 2, another team-based FPS on the XBOX360, but which were both eventually overlooked when the announcement came earlier today for the WCG 2009 titles. Given what I’ve seen over the weekend, would I deem it a game worthy of appearing in the most prestigious event on the Esports calendar ?

"It’s a game whose community seems founded on hatred, on an ideology that in-game it's no holds barred, the only rule: that there are no rules."
It would not have been the first time the Halo Series would grace the WCG with Halo2 having been featured several years ago. However, after 48 hours in the life of a Halo3 fan, the anger that radiates from the players during their matches shows signs that perhaps the game has gone too far in the wrong direction to really hit the international stage.

Infused and Signature Gaming were clearly the most aggressive, taking no prisoners as they hurled abuse at the opposition in an attempt to throw them off their game. I’m all for a bit of rivalry, nothing like a few more logs on the fire to heat things up a bit and raise the stakes. But, an excess of anything is never good; everything in moderation. I’m not saying it was baseball bats out – although this happened elsewhere in i36 – but its certainly walking a fine line.

It’s a game whose community seems founded on hatred, on an ideology that in-game its no holds barred, the only rule; that there are no rules. A seemingly relaxed approach that sees its players saying “yeah it sucks, but that is the way it is.” while simultaneously tea-bagging an opponent freshly slain.


"Players stress the fact that it is all in jest, that no-one takes it seriously, but throw enough mud and some will certainly stick"
Although it is fair to say that trash-talking - otherwise known as flaming in the PC world - is common in most first-person shooters on XBOXLive, for the abuse to be so casually transferred from online gaming world to the real world is simply unbelievable. Players stress the fact that it is all in jest, that no-one takes it seriously, but throw enough mud and some will certainly stick.

Despite this Halo3 has a got things going for it, in particular the fact it has players with character, a far cry from the sometimes mute and emotionless eSports stars of more mainstream games. Baxter from Status Quo, Pyrodox from Signature Gaming and ForReal from lowLandLions are just some of the names who left a lasting impression on anyone who was watching, as they not only know how to get pumped but they also know how to make any opponent's blood boil.

Halo3 also holds a good variety of gametypes and an MLG ruleset which is deemed “the most professional”. Teams must learn gametypes including common Team Deathmatch & Capture the Flag as well as the likes of Lockdown Ball.

The game certainly promotes a huge level of communication between team members, especially in the Lockdown Ball gametype, where players must defend the ball carrier in order to earn time on the clock, which ultimately decides the victor. The game is also a lot smoother than other FPS titles on the XBOX360 such as Gears of War, whose multiplayer seems clunky and rigid.

The game is insanely glorified across the sea in the United States where it is stupidly successful in the MLG series, which helped it to blossom an immense community of followers. Back here in Europe however, there are only two real websites dedicated to its community (one of which is a forum); Halo3Forums and decerto-esports, which seemed peculiar. Galleries from European events are apparently a rare sight, and video interviews are gold dust. It is as if the European Halo3 community missed a stage of its evolution, halting its development when compared to its American counter-parts.

"Halo3 gamers have got balls, balls that are practically swinging past their knees"
While on the one hand it was enjoyable to give to a community that values media that has become commonplace in mainstream Esports, it was also sad in the fact that a game that can collect teams from Germany, Sweden and Holland for an international tournament, is unable to put together a place for its community to thrive.

Halo3 in Europe is gaming served raw, no-one is trying to sugar-coat it. It's FPS gaming powered by ego and fuelled by testosterone. Halo3 gamers have got balls, balls that are practically swinging past their knees given some of the filth that comes out of their mouths. The game was the first console game to feature at the I-series and seems well suited to it given its relaxed and care-free attitude, but it is not a meal suitable for the World Cyber Games, who decided to stick rather than twist.


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