Cryptum

Cryptum (Halo: The Forerunner Saga, #1)Cryptum by Greg Bear

I admit I am a Halo fan but since his novel Eon I’ve been a Greg Bear follower. I was surprised but sceptical to see these two put together but I was willing to give it a chance.

The first few chapters didn’t make sense at first since it implied space-faring humans were involved with Forerunners 100,000 years ago. But eventually that was explained and the idea grew on me.

It’s no Eon, but that may not be fair as it isn’t a pure Bear invention. I certainly enjoyed it enough to want to read the next in the trilogy. I liked the revelation at the end.

Even so, I’d say this is only for diehard Halo fans.

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Halo, Assassin’s Creed and Modern Warfare 2

I prefer a video game with a story: otherwise what carries you through? To achieve a certain skill level? Bragging rights? Not all that interested. But games with a good story are just so addicting!
So we have purchased all of the Halo series over time but in the past week or so I actually went through the entire campaigns for 1, 2, 3 and ODST at the normal level. One night I stayed up past 4 finishing off the last. The online games can be fun (especially Halo 1 on the PC and ODST Firefight) but I’m not as drawn to these as much as to the storied campaign. I really like the history of the Forerunners, the Covenant and Master Chief/Cortana: it’s engaging and interesting with lots of twists. One day you’re fighting the Covenant and then the Flood and then you are allied with the Covenant against Prophets or the Flood or both. And in ODST there’s a lot of back and forth movement in the time line which grew on me, even though I was annoyed by it at first.
Again, it’s the story in Assassin’s Creed that drew me in. It is fascinating and involves both the future and the past in an interesting way. I like the fact that it’s a Canadian game and that it merges in real history as part of the experience. I also love the climbing and leap of faith abilities of Altaïr. I haven’t tried the newly released sequel yet but I’ve still got to finish the first one.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is quite a different animal. Although I have tried other COD titles they haven’t proved to be as interesting to me as the Halo series. What can I say, I’m a sci-fi fan and writer. In this case it was the hype that attracted me even though I haven’t tried Modern Warfare 1 (I didn’t even know the story line carries on from it until after). I’ll admit I was interested in what was drawing so much interest.  Activision has created an interesting game though and it is quite different in that your characters actually die in the game. I don’t mean they die because your skill and luck failed and you were killed, I mean that the characters in the story line who you have assumed actually die. And by betrayal. It left quite a cold taste in my mouth. I don’t like all the violence in shoot ‘em up games like these normally but Modern Warfare 2 really brings it over the top. In the end I find it, surprisingly, an anti-war game. The graphics are so realistic, stunning and blah blah blah that I felt dirtied by the act of playing. But the story made it even more so. After this game I find it even more amazing that mankind has been addicted to war for so long.  I’m glad I went through with the experience of doing the Modern Warfare 2 campaign but I’d rather be playing Halo or Assassin’s Creed.
In the end of this marathon of playing these games I am glad to get it out of my system. I’ll stay play, occasionally, but I need to get more done of a creative nature!