The importance of asking good questions (Destiny)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Sunday, May 22, 2022, 12:48 (37 days ago) @ Joe Duplessie (SNIPE 316)
edited by Kermit, Sunday, May 22, 2022, 12:51

In fact, first time through I did Romeo's mission before the ONI one and was a bit confused about the timeline once I got around to playing the ONI mission.

I'll have to try this… whenever I play it again ahah. Thanks for the info.

Zack is mostly right, but you do have to do "Tayari Plaza" first, then it opens up. You're given an objective marker to head south for the "Uplift Reserve" mission, but there's nothing to stop you heading to the other missions.

Once you've completed all of the above ground missions, the world closes up again and you're forced to proceed to "Data Hive".

ODST is a little masterpiece. (My usual disclaimer: I don't think I'm halfway through the Halo Infinite campaign.) The open world problems in Infinite were solved by Bungie in ODST in part because they had more limits (as Mankitten has said, limits = creativity), and I suspect they asked better questions. They couldn't create the massive open world of Infinite, but they could create a big level that resembled a city environment, and then they asked several important questions about that: why is the player there? What is there for player to do? How can we do something new? How do we keep it interesting?

They did something new by making the player an ODST instead of the Master Chief, with different abilities that led to different gameplay. They made it interesting by giving the Rookie clues to find, which told not one but two stories about what had happened in this environment. The physical clues he found were evocative, but not compelling on their on. (So far that’s how I feel about the collectibles in Infinite, but that could be because I’ve played it over months). Sadie’s story was compelling on its on, but even with that, the Rookie’s night alone in Mombassa would've been tedious all at once. Bungie solved this by including playable flashbacks. We didn't have time to get bored. It's quite brilliant how the game fits together.

Bungie also asked another important question that might offer a clue regarding where Halo Infinite falls short: what does this franchise need? It's obvious the franchise needed Halo 3 to finish the fight. Another question along those lines: what have we promised but not delivered? On some level I think ODST tries to finally deliver the Earth combat from the infamous Halo 2 E3 demo. Neither Halo 2 or Halo 3 really scratched that itch.

All this is to say, I think 343 put a lot of thought into Halo Infinite--so far it's easily my favorite game of theirs. Some questions like "what does the franchise need?" are hard to answer at this late date. I think they're trying something in Infinite very similar to what was done in ODST, but my hunch so far is that a little too much attention was paid to answering "what's technically possible?" versus "how does this all fit together in a compelling way?” Game development is hard.

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