Archive for November 4th, 2012

Halo 4 is half the game it should be

, | Game reviews

The Mammoth is glorious. This enormous wheeled vehicle is like a cross between a sandcrawler and that RV from Damnation Alley. It’s got a big-ass gun on top. Surely new Halo developer 343 Industries knows their Chekhov. When you introduce a big-ass gun at the start of a mission, you must fire it by the end of the mission. Maybe I’ll get to fire it. I hopped on board and couldn’t wait for the mission to start. This was going to be good. Probably better than that giant mechanical spider mission in an earlier Halo. Obviously better than the mondo truck mission in Gears of War. Maybe it will rival the crazy over-the-top sandcrawler sequence in Lost Planet 2!

“Chief, better get a jetpack,” one of the ancillary characters tells me.

A jetpack? What for? Why do I want a jetpack? Oh, in case I fall off. Good thinking!

The Mammoth starts rolling. It wends slowly through a narrow area barely wide enough to accommodate it. It’s like trying to park a Hummer in a space for a compact car. I get to shoot at about ten Covenant aliens off to the left. Then the Mammoth stops. I’m told I have to get off and go play Halo in an area to the right. I play a little Halo. The Mammoth waits for me patiently. Now it’s time to get back on the Mammoth. Then it wends its way a little farther down the very narrow path. Then it stops again for me to play a little more Halo.

This is how it plays out. The Mammoth will never fire its bad-ass gun. It will never drive anywhere other than along this closed in canyon. It’s an oversized bus taking me to bits of the same old Halo I’ve been playing for ten years. It is a massive fake-out, like everything else new in Halo 4: the Spartan ops feature, the storyline, the ancient evil awakening, the new multiplayer. Ponderous, familiar, and disappointing.

After the jump, what’s a Halo 4? Continue reading →

Tom vs Bruce vs America

, | Games

The Political Machine 2012 edition of Tom vs Bruce is now live for early access supporters.

Bruce: Unless your political party is named Viet Minh or Khmer Rouge, someone has to pay the bills. In The Political Machine, you make money by a combination of building up an extensive network of headquarters and upgrading them constantly, and fundraising in various states. The bigger the state, the more money you make. As the biggest state, California commands all our attention. These solicitations are based on diminishing returns, though, so by the end of the game both candidates will likely be scrounging for quarters in laundromats in Compton.

If you’re an early access supporter, you should have your password by now. If you’re not one of those, we’d invite you to become one by donating $18 or more to our Paypal account at, which will get you early access to The Political Machine as well as the next eight articles. Otherwise, we hope you’ll check out the article when it goes public on Wednesday. In other words, when it’s no longer relevant!