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Subject: Having to read the books to understand the game is a bad idea.

BE HUMAN

Fight for Earth. Fight for Humanity.

I say this because gamers should not be forced to read into the universe so that the game makes sense. There's nothing wrong with extended universe and lore, or setting up the next game, or hinting towards the next game.

But having answers that can only be answered in either sequels or books is just a cheap move to make gamers buy the next game and/or the books. For example...

1. I think not explaining Ancient Humanity in the games at all (except for showing them roflstomping Forerunners/ getting roflstomped by Forerunner) was a bad idea. There should have been FAR more information on them, IMO. While I've read the books, I can't help but think "nearly ALL of my friends aren't going to have a clue, and if they don't understand, the won't have fun and will probably get rid of the game."

2. The Didact. The gloriously hideous albino Orc is by far my new favorite character, both in the games and in the books.

But not telling the gamers ANYTHING about him is pretty crappy. Sure, he's a main character in the Forerunner Saga books, but for those who haven't read the books... He's really a kind of nobody. Besides hints as such in the terminals, it's never said that he's the leader of the Forerunner military, that he is one of the most powerful Forerunners around, and all that.

Gamers should not be forced to read the books. As we know, not everybody reads books for entertainment. I do, and I've clearly benefited over those who don't. I don't feel that this is fair. There should be some kind of large information in the game that offers similar information, and hints towards the Forerunner Saga books.

  • 01.06.2013 12:38 PM PDT

I am the Thorian, known as Species 37 to you people. I am an ancient sentient plant that is fifty thousand years old. My ability to hibernate for thousands of years makes my real age impossible to guess though you are welcome to try.

I have not read any of the Forerunner books, or the Kilo-Whatsit trilogy and I understood Halo 4 just fine.

  • 01.06.2013 12:45 PM PDT
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Posted by: DecepticonCobra

We are all going to get banned aren't we?

I don't know a single large universe that has every little thing explained in the games or enough for books or other media to be redundant. The only "large" universe i can think of that doesn't have any additional media is Fallout.

FPS cannot keep everything into the games as the story will always be compromised for fun. Not to mention the game would have to have like over 30 hours of content which wouldn't make it a FPS.



  • 01.06.2013 12:49 PM PDT

I agree, OP. Books should always be auxiliary, unneeded content.

  • 01.06.2013 1:24 PM PDT

Haters are going to hate.
Praisers are going to praise.

The Bungie Forums are what keeps my mind sharp and my fingers active, between writing my own movie scripts, drawing, and studying industrial design. At the moment I'm working on miniatures for a short movie that I'll hopefully be able to film once I've saved up for a camera... That's me, with the mug, trying to have a conversation with Konoko.

A selfcontained game is always the best in my book..

Depends on what type of game it is of course, but I prefere when the complexity of the game mirrors the complexity of the story; the more complex the gameplay is, the more complex the story is allowed to be. Not arbitrerily forced though, more like a guideline.

Deus Ex for instance, is a fairly complex game, and has a fairly complex story. The game has a pace that is in harmony with how many story elements one is expected to understand. Metal Gear Solid however, is a simple game, and has a more complex story than Deus Ex, but it solves it by having hour long cinematics (no offence MGS, I love you for other reasons).

Halo is a pretty straightforward action-adventure game, and has had a story that isn't a lot more complex than that. For every game that came out though, one needed to read a book, more or less, and it has increased with time. At the moment it's up to four books; if one is to fully understand Halo 4. I wouldn't say it's a bad thing, but not a direction I support. The level of commitment one is required to have at the moment is not exactly what the IP premissed. It's not a big deal for a fiction enthousiast, but I guess it might be too much for the average gamer (and I think it's too much for the story), that's what I've gotten the impression of anyway. But then again, no one seemed to grasp what happened in Halo 2 either...

Microsoft might spend the most on developing and marketing the games, but it's certainly not primerily a gaming series anymore, and hasn't been in a while, it's more of a fiction told through variuos pieces of media. It's like 50% game, 50% books and stuff.


[Edited on 01.06.2013 1:34 PM PST]

  • 01.06.2013 1:24 PM PDT

Posted by: x Foman123 x

Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R
What house has a rocket pod, has legs, and has a long narrow barrel that probably shoots something powerful?

Sounds like you're describing the lower half of my body, actually.


Posted by: grey101
I don't know a single large universe that has every little thing explained in the games or enough for books or other media to be redundant.

Mass Effect.

  • 01.06.2013 1:43 PM PDT

By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe.


Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R

Posted by: grey101
I don't know a single large universe that has every little thing explained in the games or enough for books or other media to be redundant.

Mass Effect.


Each game is 20+ hours long and it's not an FPS, it has the capacity to do that.

  • 01.06.2013 1:45 PM PDT
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Do not waste your tears, I was not born to watch the world grow dim. Life is not measured in years, but by the deeds of men.

Posted by: goldhawk
We should know better, because we are better.

I agree. I am sure that plenty of gamers don't even know there are Halo books, let alone that they are expected to read four of them to understand H4's plot to the fullest. I bet many people didn't even read the terminals. Didact is a good character, but only if you understand his motivations and back story. Unless you watch the Terminals (which not all players might do because you have to download Halo Waypoint) there is nothing to suggest that Didact is anything but a cardboard cutout with less personality than a Noble team member. Relying on EU to do your storytelling for you is a bad idea, in my opinion. You end up having a ton of stuff to read,and for some people it isn't worth it. Ever wondered why DC and Marvel are doing their reboots? To wipe away the fact you need to be familiar with all their continuity and make it new reader friendly.

  • 01.06.2013 1:49 PM PDT
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Posted by: DecepticonCobra

We are all going to get banned aren't we?


Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R

Posted by: grey101
I don't know a single large universe that has every little thing explained in the games or enough for books or other media to be redundant.

Mass Effect.


Um, you are aware that mass effect has books and comics right?

  • 01.06.2013 1:54 PM PDT
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Do not waste your tears, I was not born to watch the world grow dim. Life is not measured in years, but by the deeds of men.

Posted by: goldhawk
We should know better, because we are better.


Posted by: grey101
I don't know a single large universe that has every little thing explained in the games or enough for books or other media to be redundant.

40k. Sure, it is a tabletop game, but absolutely everything you need to know is in the rulebooks. You don't need to pick up a single other book to understand the universe.

  • 01.06.2013 2:12 PM PDT

Posted by: x Foman123 x

Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R
What house has a rocket pod, has legs, and has a long narrow barrel that probably shoots something powerful?

Sounds like you're describing the lower half of my body, actually.

Posted by: ajw34307

Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R

Posted by: grey101
I don't know a single large universe that has every little thing explained in the games or enough for books or other media to be redundant.

Mass Effect.


Each game is 20+ hours long and it's not an FPS, it has the capacity to do that.

Sounds like an excuse. "A FPS doesn't have the capacity to do that." It is called a codex. I think all the games should have it. ALL OF THEM. If the developers cared that much about their universe they should at least, give something to you with the game that explains how everything works with or without the awesome voice actor. The Codex makes the books secondary so you don't have to shell out money for these things if you don't want to. The Elder Scrolls does the same thing except during gameplay and books.

I plan on playing Halo 4 again to see what I missed.

Halo 4 also didn't have a manual with it. Saddens me. A lot of games these days don't have manuals with them just a little tiny booklet explaining the warnings about video games.

[Edited on 01.06.2013 2:16 PM PST]

  • 01.06.2013 2:13 PM PDT

Posted by: x Foman123 x

Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R
What house has a rocket pod, has legs, and has a long narrow barrel that probably shoots something powerful?

Sounds like you're describing the lower half of my body, actually.

Posted by: grey101

Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R

Posted by: grey101
I don't know a single large universe that has every little thing explained in the games or enough for books or other media to be redundant.

Mass Effect.

Um, you are aware that mass effect has books and comics right?

The books and comics are redundant though. No reason to buy them unless you are a big fan.

[Edited on 01.06.2013 2:15 PM PST]

  • 01.06.2013 2:14 PM PDT
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Posted by: DecepticonCobra

We are all going to get banned aren't we?


Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R
Sounds like an excuse.


Um that's a fact. Even a codex wouldn't explain every little thing not to mention there are things that can't be put into a codex such as characterization.


If people don't or do not read books i don't see how a codex would magically sole everything. If anything that's how people would start to get more interested and want to pick up a book.

  • 01.06.2013 2:16 PM PDT

Posted by: x Foman123 x

Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R
What house has a rocket pod, has legs, and has a long narrow barrel that probably shoots something powerful?

Sounds like you're describing the lower half of my body, actually.


Posted by: grey101

Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R
Sounds like an excuse.


Um that's a fact. Even a codex wouldn't explain every little thing not to mention there are things that can't be put into a codex such as characterization.


If people don't or do not read books i don't see how a codex would magically sole everything. If anything that's how people would start to get more interested and want to pick up a book.

The codex does explain every little thing even the first contact war with the turians and humans. It does give more character to the races and people. Have you ever used it before? It gives them a back story with a motive for the characters. The trilogy even fleshes them out more.

  • 01.06.2013 2:28 PM PDT
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Posted by: DecepticonCobra

We are all going to get banned aren't we?

You do understand that RPG games can do that right? Show me one FPS game that goes in depth with the story like an RPG game.


I take it back, MGS doesn't have any novels (that i know of) but look at how many games and how long they are.

Then again non of them are FPS.

  • 01.06.2013 2:34 PM PDT

Posted by: x Foman123 x

Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R
What house has a rocket pod, has legs, and has a long narrow barrel that probably shoots something powerful?

Sounds like you're describing the lower half of my body, actually.


Posted by: grey101
You do understand that RPG games can do that right? Show me one FPS game that goes in depth with the story like an RPG game.


I take it back, MGS doesn't have any novels (that i know of) but look at how many games and how long they are.

Then again non of them are FPS.

Just because none of the FPS's do it, doesn't mean Halo can't start. Just giving them an excuse. I wish Bungie did more than vehicles, weapons, and enemies in manuals.

  • 01.06.2013 2:58 PM PDT

Bioshock.

  • 01.06.2013 2:59 PM PDT


Posted by: TH3_AV3NG3R

Posted by: grey101
I don't know a single large universe that has every little thing explained in the games or enough for books or other media to be redundant.

Mass Effect.
ME has books as well.

I've never played ME but so don't know if the story is deeper than what the game portray.

[Edited on 01.06.2013 4:25 PM PST]

  • 01.06.2013 4:25 PM PDT

Does every character need a major background check?

  • 01.06.2013 4:39 PM PDT

On Waypoint I'm rocketFox;
http://halo.xbox.com/forums/members/rocketfox/default.aspx

Old GTs; RebelRobot, Flamedude

I always liked how the books used to enhance and expand characters, locations and events of the games. I don't see any reason to make reading a book mandatory to understand the intricacies of the game storyline though, I think thats a shameless business decision to get more revenue dressed up as a creative endeavour.

I'm a cynic. Next we'll have to buy special Halo joypads that are needed for Halo 5, or a special Halo xbox live fee to pay for servers or whatever.

Oh Halo 4........ it still stings.

  • 01.06.2013 4:56 PM PDT

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I can agree completely with the basic idea you are putting forth, OP. That a game shouldn't need additional media, like books, to understand it's story. I just don't think any of what you are saying applies to Halo 4.

If you played the previous Halo games and even made an attempt to read the Terminals, you have some idea of who the Didact and Librarian are as well as what their roles are. It is not spelled out for you, no, but there is enough information there for you to have an idea of what their jobs as Forerunner were.

Even without that, Halo 4's plot makes plenty of sense on it's own. If you want the details, then you have an interest in the backstory, or the full story in other words. For that, they have books, comics, and other media that give you what you crave, more story, and answer many of the questions you have as well.

As many said, an FPS cannot present all that material within the game itself without taking away from the action, the essence of the game. No modern FPS does it, and I doubt any ever will. There are plenty of other games that blend this and RPG elements pretty well, such as Bioshock and Fallout someone mentioned. But those games are far from being the same type of creature or a fast-paced competitive multiplayer shooter.

  • 01.06.2013 5:03 PM PDT

I agree with you 1 million%, I don't have that problem because I have read and will read every Halo book to come out but when I was playing H4 the first time with my friends they had to ask every other minute what the -blam!- was going on.

  • 01.06.2013 5:19 PM PDT

Everything that was of immediete importance was explained in the game. We don't need to know anything more than "we had a galactic empire, the forerunners destroyed it" and the circumstances surrounding those events to understand the story of Halo 4 itself. Everything else would be just filler, which is relegated to the books.

In fact, between the level Reclaimer and the Terminals, they said all there was to know about ancient man anyway. Even the books don't touch much on them.

Anyway, same with the Didact. The same could be said for Truth and having to read Contact Harvest to understand what his motives were; same for Gravemind as well. What is presented in the game is sufficient for the more casual fans to get by, but if they want to learn more about the backstory, the books are there for that purpose.

[Edited on 01.06.2013 5:29 PM PST]

  • 01.06.2013 5:26 PM PDT
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Posted by: grey101
I don't know a single large universe that has every little thing explained in the games or enough for books or other media to be redundant. The only "large" universe i can think of that doesn't have any additional media is Fallout.

FPS cannot keep everything into the games as the story will always be compromised for fun. Not to mention the game would have to have like over 30 hours of content which wouldn't make it a FPS.

Oh! shut up, you know OP is right.
You are taking it waaaay out of context, the point is not about which game could make it without any extra/auxiliary lore. The discussion is that this lore should be auxiliary and not obligatory to fully understand the game, you are defending the incompetence to develop a character in the game just because "A FPS can't have that much information" which is just a point of view that you have about FPS and not a fact.
And FPS stands for First Person Shooter, not because of how much story it has but because you shoot in first person, simple as that.
"First-person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre centered on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through a first-person perspective; that is, the player experiences the action through the eyes of the protagonist."

And to OP: Yes, i hate that way of doing it. But still i don't think books are completely necessary for the enjoyment of Halo 4. But you are right about something, without the books Didact feels poor as a character and doesn't get as much attention as he should.

  • 01.06.2013 5:41 PM PDT

I'd say the universe involvement in Mass Effect and Halo novels is pretty different.
In Halo books, were treated to massive revelations about the nature of the universe, such as the Forerunners, Shield Worlds, Covenant, Spartans, etc... it's big stuff.

In Mass Effect, the novels are more of a back story affair, fleshing out a liked but little seen character. The biggest events in the novels are usually given only the smallest mentions in the game, and at maximum, only usually amounts to a single conversation topic.
In ME3, they upped the involvement a little bit, and had a mission set in a major location in the novels, with a few of the characters thrown in, but you wouldn't need to read the novels to know why your heading in and etc.

  • 01.07.2013 2:40 AM PDT

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