Halo Then and Now Isn’t So Different

When people ask me for evidence that video game development has stalled, I point to a picture like this. This shows the very first screenshot from Halo (back when it was a Mac game) juxtaposed against a remake of the same shot in Halo Reach. Eleven years ago.

Yes, it’s true there have been many graphical and gameplay strides since then, but when you think about it, fundamentally it’s remained more or less the same game.

What would happen if we went back another 11 years? The most advanced system would be the NES, and the gap from that to the original Halo would be far more massive than the jump from Halo to Reach.

It just seems like the technology curve is leveling off. Now that we’ve discovered convincing 3D, people don’t really know where to go to make it better. It’s all still fun, but the technology isn’t constantly evolving every 2-3 years like it used to.

  • Josh

    Out of curiosity, would you prefer it if every single sequel ever made didn’t resemble it’s predecessor? Maybe we should just create Gears of War 3: Rock Band. To say that this is proof that game development has stalled is ludicrous. I’m not saying it has or has not, I’m simply saying that this is most definitely not proof that it has.

  • Torint

    You do have a point, but I am frankly tired about hearing about this.

  • el_terrible

    Personally I don’t thinkits convincing 3d at all. Major uncanny valley in half the new games, I can barely play them. Alot of it is because of shitty animation in nearly every game.
    Yes alot of games use mocap but that doesn’t add up to good animation.

  • aicrag88

    stop lurking reddit and posting stuff without due credit

  • whodat

    before technology can make something better, maybe you can explain what should be improved? should they add a 4th dimension to the graphics?

  • Drester

    @ aicrag88

    Stop whining, there are people who don’t follow every website. And do you really need to give credit for a screen shot?

  • Bert

    @whodat – 3D graphics already include a fourth dimension. They change with respect to time.

  • JohnC

    While the cultivation of new ideas is limited to IP’s that eventually spring a multi-million dollar franchise (Halo, God of War, Gears of War, COD [especially MW1 and 2, and Black Ops], Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, etc.), I wouldn’t necessary say that game developers have reached a plateau solely on the core mechanics of the gameplay (which I assume is your main issue with current gen gaming).
    Halo has always been a space marine FPS, which frankly not too original to begin with.
    It shouldn’t surprise you that the 4th iteration (not counting ODST) is basically the same game at it’s heart.

    I do agree that the lack of innovation can get bothersome. There far too many COD clones (Bad Company 2 is very much this to MW2, while the original BC was actually quite decent).
    Being reminiscent of a successful formula is cool, as long as you have enough distinguishing features between the two (this would be Bad Company being closer to it’s own Battlefield counterparts on PC, yet has plenty of distinction so as to not be considered a “console clone”).
    Being directly derivative is not cool (MOH anyone?).*

    Apply that to the most successful of franchises and you’ll see that playing it safe will always dominate taking a leap of faith.
    But isn’t this just as true with TV, films, and generally any product that was made with the intention of being sold?

    *I don’t like using COD and MW in comparison to other games, but as one the most popular franchises at the moment, it bodes well for the sake of this debate.

  • Steve

    A while back (maybe a good 8 years ago) I made this comment to a friend, and he said the reason we’re not seeing a huge improvement in graphics with each new system is the same reason why they stopped making faster cd burners. Once they got it to its fastest speed (what is it anyway? 32X, 48X, or 64X?) there’ was no reason to increase the technology because we wouldn’t notice the difference between 2 1/2 minutes to burn a cd, and 1 1/4 minutes. Looking back, probably not the best analogy, but this post proves how wrong we are. Who knows what we’ll be looking back on 10 years from now.

    I’m hoping it’ll be videogame systems that are worn as full contact lenses. No need for a tv, console, game disc, or controller.

  • Hallo457

    @JohnC I believe when Halo was originally conceptualized and that screenshot was created supposed to be an RTS type game, similar to Halo Wars. I do not think it was always a first person FPS. However, if you are referring to its run as a finished product, yes the Halo series is all 1st person FPS (with Halo Wars as the obvious exception).

  • filthhealer

    Halo is a shitty game anyhow who the fuck cares?