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 →