Sv. Prolivije
Uroš   Serbia
I'm a gamer,
Not because I don't have a wife,
But because I've never smelled one.
Currently Offline
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Permission to leave Xbox, Phil.
For what purpose Master Chief?
To bring Halo back to the PC community!
Permission granted.

Finally, the highly praised Halo franchise has released some of its best entries on PC, neatly assembled in one juicy collection. As someone who grew up only listening to how Halo is great and Master Chief is a super-chad, after playing it, I can say, without a doubt, both statements are correct.

While the title does say The Master Chief Collection, we also get two spin-offs: ODST and Reach, with the latter being my personal favourite in terms of story. Many seem to dislike it because of how bland Noble Team is. Personally, that never bothered me. They never were the focal point of the story. It was always the planet itself, Reach. Noble Team is nothing more than a surrogate pair of eyes for us to witness humanities struggle against overwhelming odds first-hand and the horrors enacted by the Covenant upon the inhabitants of Reach. As for ODST, it was ok. It takes place during Halo 2, but nothing from its story was particularly memorable. Some quirky moments and funny dialogue, but nothing more than that.

Still, the title clearly says - The Master Chief Collection, so let's get back to his escapades. I may get some flak for this, but Halo: Combat Evolved has the worst story, if you can even call it that. There was barely anything. It felt more like a concept. Don't get me wrong, Halo 4 is right next to it, but I still consider Halo: Combat Evolved worse. But then...BAM! Halo 2. We get more lore about this universe, more epic cutscenes, more chad one-liners, and characters actually have some personality. And it is here that Master Chief actually became a chad, with subsequent entries continuing to expand the legend that is Sierra-117. So, even with a few blemishes, I immensely enjoyed this sci-fi space epic; From witnessing the glassing of Reach, helping a friend go out with a bang, to detonating a nuke above Earth like a true chad, there was never a lack of memorable moments.

But what about the gameplay?

Well, it's simply fantastic, and this much is true for every Halo game. Each entry improves upon its predecessor, refining the gameplay, but at the same time, staying true to that familiar gameplay loop set in stone by Halo: Combat Evolved. Personally, I have Halo 3 as my top pick. It's the culmination of Bungie's trilogy, and its greatness and epicness during gameplay are still unrivalled by any previous or subsequent Halo games.

But, where are my manners; I have yet to speak about the gunplay itself. So let's fix that, shall we - it's an FPS game where you shoot, throw grenades and drive vehicles. But the driving controls are unusual. Rather than driving, I dunno, like in 99.9% of games, with movement keys, Bungie said: "We don't do that here", and instead, your mouse is the steering wheel. Tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be drifting on the surface of halo rings like the great Colin McRae.

Each new entry does try to up the ante, spicing up the gameplay, just ever so slightly. Halo 2 has Chief dual wield smaller weapons, which he seemingly forgot how to do in Halo 4 after his cryo-sleep. With Halo 3 came one-time use equipment; Useless overall, but they do look neat in the promotional CGI trailer. However, soon after, an unfathomable evil shook the very heavens, as long and fierce wars were waged over its place in the Halo-verse, with many brave souls lost in the process. Just speaking its name aloud invokes thousand years of bad luck upon your no scope 360 trick shots. I am, of course, talking about sprinting. This putrid thing first reared its ugly head in Halo: Reach, but only as an armour ability. It wasn't until Halo 4 that it finally infected Master Chief, becoming his innate ability. Truly a sad day for Halo fans all over the galaxy. But then again, he was often seen sprinting in cutscenes...

Sprinting polemics aside, I love how Halo effortlessly creates a heterogeneous battlefield. Encounters pit you against a group comprised of unique enemy units, each with different strengths, weaknesses and mannerisms. We have bird boys, smol boys, wort boys, bug boys, hairy boys, chunky boys, etc. And while headshots mean instant death, some enemy units must be first stripped bare; hairy boys have armour, wort boys have shields, etc. Do note - each protection is weaker against different ammo. For example, wort boy shields are strong against human bullets but weak to plasma-based weapons. But, I will let you in on a little secret - All enemies and shields are weak to rockets to the face.

While massacring half of the known universe is fun, sometimes we need to stop, take a breath and admire the scenery. And this is where Halo got me. Halo isn't like that hot chick who doesn't know she's hot. Halo knows and wants your gaze. So, while Halo: Combat Evolved has inner beauty and Halo 4 is entirely flat, the others were a succulent journey for the senses; From the Covenant and its many species, the mysterious biomes of the halo rings and the burning cities of Reach, all the way to Johnson and his clean-shaven chin that accentuates his magnificent moustache, the Halo universe is beaming with beauty to behold.

Yet, visual beauty can't work solo. Its age-old accomplice - music, plays a vital role in immersing the player within the games universe. Sadly, this is where a crucial issue occurred, as how does one rate perfection?
Also, Keith David...Mmmm, you can be my Arbiter any day ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).

But, besides Keith David making my knees weak with his stern, thick and firm voice, sound effects in Halo play a crucial role in perceiving one's surroundings. Being informed about various things during the chaotic fights is paramount for success - possible grenade explosion, what weapons the enemy is firing, etc. All produce distinct sound effects, which in turn help you avoid and instead inflict death upon the enemy.

But before we say farewell, I want to make something clear - I didn't partake in multiplay shenanigans, as I don't care for it. Thus, I can't provide insight into that part of the collection. But if that is what interests you, I highly suggest you read the review from Zionyx.

And with that said, I think it's pretty clear how I feel about Halo. Thus, I'll finish by answering three quintessential questions any buyer may ponder about:

Where is Halo? -On Steam.
Who is Halo? -The big green dude.
Why is Halo? -Yes.

If you crave a specific entry, have no fear I got you:
Halo Reach
Halo CE
Halo 2
Halo 3
Halo 4

If you enjoy this review, come and read more wisdom from the Gospel of Sv. Prolivije.
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I was planning on buying this game after shrinking my backlog a bit. But, life comes at you fast, blessing me with the opportunity to play it on release day via a good friend family-sharing his copy. So who am I to deny this gift from the gods?

And it was a fun experience; Excellent traversal, good story, solid combat, some mediocre stealth sections and a ton of busywork.
So let's talk details, ye?

The Spectacular Spider-Man #310
Since the Spuder is one of my favourite superheroes, I'm happy to say I immensely enjoyed the story. I was firmly hooked from start to finish. Insomniac does a fine job capturing what makes Spider-Man so endearing to many - his humanity. He is flawed, morally imperfect and burdened by his past mistakes and failures. Yet no matter how hard the punch is, he keeps moving forward, striving to do the right thing and extending a helping hand to friend or foe alike, even to his detriment.

But enough me gushing about a man in tight tights, although you can practically make out the...Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, supporting cast; "Is they supportive?"- I hear you ask, probably. Look, they were good, for the most part, and I ain't got ninety-nine problems, but one of the main villains getting 𝒃𝒊𝒕𝒄𝒉 slapped out of the story sure is one. And no, I'm not joking. The story of one of the major villains is concluded by him getting 𝒃𝒊𝒕𝒄𝒉 slapped (literally) off-screen. There was no actual conclusion to his arc - just SLAP! Granted, it was a lovely slap, but still underwhelming.

Other than that, I thought the supporting cast was well-written and likeable. But what stole the show for me was the relationship Peter and Otto foster throughout the story, which gave emotional weight to the story's climax.

And with Insomniac's incredible work on the visuals, audio and animations, the cinematic experience is out of this world. I also want to take a moment to say the new face is better and if you think otherwise, you are unquestionably wrong. Furthermore, massive praise for the casting choices; Everyone fits their role perfectly. But Darin De Paul simply steals the show as Jame Jona Jamason. Even if he wasn't a prominent part of the game, it was a treat to listen to his podcast, where he goes on crazy (or are they?) conspiracy rants about Spider-Man.

So, in summary - presentation, story, characters and their dynamic, emotional investment and payoff - I likey, I likey like.

Fly like a spider, sting also like a spider.
As for the gameplay - it's web lickin' good. You'll fight baddies, be a sneaky arachnid, or at times a sneaky 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘱𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘴, and should you find yourself craving punishment, tons of monotonous busywork awaits you.

But let's start with Insomniac's pièce de résistance - the amazing traversal system, the web-swinging. Simply the best traversal system I had the pleasure of experiencing in my life. Fast, fluid and weighty, but easy to master. It provided an unrivalled delight of just exploring the world while looking swanky. And the map's quite large in scope, yet, I never felt it. The web-swinging is just so fun, that getting from A to B was never a chore, no matter the distance. Heck, I even enjoyed some of the bland busywork if it involved web-swinging.

Speaking of busywork - Did you ever hear about the tragedy of Ubisoft Entertainment The Wise? We lambast Ubisoft every chance we get for its formulaic open-world approach, yet when Sony does this, seemingly none care. Oh, them delicious double standards. But I won't abstain from calling out their bland, soulless busywork...Except for the pigeon catching. Apart from entirely relying on web-swinging, I liked seeing Peter interact with Howard as you bring him his pigeons. The rest were just present. If upgrades and new suits weren't directly tied to their completion, I would have skipped them entirely. Oh, and the game also has literal towers for you to activate so you can reveal all the bland busywork on the map. And lastly, I won't waste my review character limit talking about the dull side quests. I did three - Two by accidentally stumbling on the quest giver, and one because I needed XP for my last skill upgrade.

But dull side content aside, let's talk about combat.

The influence from the Arkham game's freeflow combat is clear as day. But Insomniac did a great job modifying it to fit Spidey's fighting style, which relies on agility and speed to overpower his opponents. I did have to reprogram my brain because of one crucial change - the unification of the stun and counter input. Now it's all done via a single key. The now ex-counter button is used to close the distance, yoink weapons away from enemies, spin them right 'round and bang their gang with them.

Also, with a new suit, comes a new suit ability. I did stick to the first one you get, as it recharged focus. And since focus is tied to healing, and fully charging your focus bars enables finishers and gives a small damage buff, I wasn't wooed by the other options. You can also equip three suit mods, essentially buffs, that can enrich your playstyle further. And, of course, they require tokens to unlock. Gotta make me play that "great" side content somehow.

There is also a skill tree...I mean, it's your typical obligatory barebones skill tree you see in today's action-adventure/RPG games. Also, no need to worry about what to choose, as the game is extremely generous with XP, so you'll get all skills by the end of the game anyway. So go nuts.

And just like Batman, Spidey also keeps gadgets on him, somewhere...But it doesn't matter where they are taken out of, but the fun you have using them while fisting the many goons coming your way. Upgrading them is level gated, and *gasp* requires tokens. I do have a personal complaint about the gadget system - I'm not a fan of the radial gadget menu. It does a fine job of giving you ample time to select whichever doohicky you want, worry-free, but it breaks up the flow of the combat too much for my liking.

However, despite me enjoying beating up baddies and blasting them with my spidey fluid, something felt off.

And as I was taking a cold steamy shower, my eureka came -The game's extremely gung-ho regarding weapons. Somewhere around the middle of the story, the game just went full-on Oprah - "You get a gun! You get a gun! Everybody gets a gun!". So enemies began spreading (across the map) constantly, making me chase them. And that's not my jam. I prefer feeling my enemy's sweaty breath on my neck as we exchange fists, up close and personal.

But while combat was fun, before the game went nuts with guns, there are also some not-so-fun quiet sections. The sneaking as you stalk your prey, getting into position for a silent takedown, is simply not as snappy as in the Arkham games. Plus, the takedown options are rather bland, as are the levels themselves. There are also a couple of MJ and Miles stealth sections. They are...part of the game.

And there you go - Spider-Man. Does it have issues? Yes. But the pros outweigh the cons; Superb traversal, a great rendition of the famous Arkham freeflow combat that captures Spidey's fighting style, and a fantastic story. So, should you choose to take up the mantle of the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, plenty of entertainment awaits you.

Now, bring on the sequel Insomniac. My body is ready!

If you enjoy this review, come and read more wisdom from the Gospel of Sv. Prolivije.
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Me and the boys on the mountain peak of Kopaonik circa 2022
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He squats, he ponders. The squatlosopher

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Pazner Sep 20 @ 5:35am 
vehicular manslaughter
Solaire Bro Jun 25 @ 3:18pm 
Send nudes. Quickly.
Sv. Prolivije Oct 31, 2021 @ 2:15am 
I know how you feel man :chuchelwhy: I can't seem to find a good picture for the grid. I'll try and look again, those slav boys must be all aligned :chuchelsmile:
᠌ ⁧⁧PROblem* Oct 31, 2021 @ 12:30am 
Nice profile mate.
I come here bcz Ive been using ur SteamGrid collection of Metro. Could u make the original metro 2033 grid? Is the only one that I miss <3
alyusenka May 16, 2021 @ 10:00am 
Love your reviews! :steamhappy::goldup:
Sv. Prolivije Apr 20, 2021 @ 4:24pm 
@Gray Fox :cozywolfmedalion: Thank you Geraldo