Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Playing Halo 3 on XBox 360

Since getting a Xbox 360, I have played Ninja Gaiden 2, a third person fighter and Gears of War 3, a third person shooter. Encouraged that a baby boomer can still play Xbox games, I next turned my attention to Halo 3, a first person shooter video game.

I soon discovered that playing a first person shooter is different from the others. It demands a more rapid respond time, lightning fast hand-eye coordination and good peripheral vision. I find that after a steep learning curve I was able to handle the game well. This is personally very encouraging. This means that my neuro-pathways are still malleable to changes. The old school of neurosciences taught that our brain have a fixed number of neurons and neuro-pathways at birth and the rest of our lives is a period of gradual degeneration of neurons and neuro-pathways. Newer findings now find that our brains continue to grow new neurons and develop new neuro-pathways throughout our lives. This is encouraging.

Halo 3 is a well designed game by Bungie for the Xbox 360 platform. The game play is good with seamless merging of game play and cut scenes. The graphic in the cut scenes are fantastic and I almost feel I am watching an interactive movie. I play the role of Master Chief who is a soldier in a Spartan body armour, a cybernetically enhanced supersoldier, as he wages war in defense of humanity, assisted by human Marines as well as an allied alien race called Elites, which is led by the Arbiter. The universe-building mythos of Halo is good though at times confusing. Halo 3's story centers on the interstellar war between 26th century humanity, led by the United Nations Space Command, and a collection of alien races known as the Covenant.I am glad I have read five Halo novels (The Flood, First Strike, Fall of Reach, The Cole Protocol and Contact Harvest ) before playing this game.

Aside from acting and shooting as a soldier, I get to drive bikes, jeeps, planes and of course, save the universe from a fate worse than death. What more could a guy ask for? It was with a satisfied grunt that I finished the game over the three days of the Chinese New Year (my daughter helped a bit). I have not played the other two games but apparently Halo 3 completes the events started in the other two thus concluding the trilogy.



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