Originally posted by saturnotaku
People are getting crappy performance even at 1024x768 on 9700 Pro cards. This is on a game that was originally demoed on a Mac with a TNT2-class card. I remember the Penny Arcade cartoon from 2000 that talked about the original Halo demo. I've followed development pretty closely the whole way. For all the time and effort that was suppoesedly put into this, the results are speaking for themselves. [/b]
Yes the game demoed on a TNT2 class card way back in 2000 - but they went through at least one engine re-write before they had to re-write it again to move it to the X-box. Comparing the performance of an ancient build to the current game is just a little unfair, I think. If I remember corretly, that TNT2 demo was back when they were going to use terrain generation to allow you to traverse the entire Halo construct. That and the TNT2 version didn't have bump mapping and other cool graphical goodies that the X-box version does.
In my opinion, Halo is the best console to PC port of a game that I've seen. GTA 3 still makes me turn down the draw distance because my system can't handle it. In Halo, I get very playable framerates (no hard numbers yet; haven't done any testing) at 1024x768 with all the details turned up and Vsync off.
That's not enough in and of itself to make me ignore the game's flaws, however: Gearbox is under contract with Microsoft to continue producing content and working on the game (patches, bonus content, editing tools, etc) for the next year. No other console port, ever
, has released editing tools (or at least I can't think of one). Certainly not one that's this high profile. So we can look foward to increased performance (stability doesn't seem to be an issue), bugfixes, more MP levels, editing tools, and hopefully, addressing some of the game's other weaknesses: a high-res texture pack, higher poly count models, better animations, this sort of thing.
It's not perfect, but then the game's a console port. That's what Microsoft wanted Gearbox to do, and that's what they did. They weren't hired to build a PC game from the ground up. While I don't have any experience porting code from the X-box to PC, I can imagine that doing that produces some pretty strange coding challenges (and legal situations, too. Changing the code too much to adapt it for the PC may be restricted by the contract), and will undoubtedly affect how the game is built compared to other engine'd games. The Halo engine definitely has its eccentricities (the command-line refresh rate thing for one), and I think these are attributable to the nature of the port.
That said, there are issues that I have with the game. First and foremost is the need for a higher sensitivity for the mouse. It shouldn't be too difficult to do. Whether this can be taken care of in an .ini file, or if Gearbox handles this in an upcoming patch, or if someone decides to write a mod for Halo that allows higher mouse speeds, it'll get done somehow.
Second issue: performance. While I'm happy with where my system is running the game (specs: 1.4Ghz Thunderbird, SBLive! value, Abit NF7-S 2.0, 1Gig Corsair TwinX, GF4 Ti4600, no overclocking on anything), I can see room for improvement. There are definitely issues that need to be resolved that will allow the code to run faster. From what they've posted in their forums, Gearbox will definitely be addressing this.
Third: appearance. I can see Gearbox releasing a high definition pack for Halo sometime down the road with higher res textures and higher polycount models. Also a possibility for this would be better animation files.
Fourth (not least): timing. While it's an interesting feature, I'd like to see the frame limiter go. Whether or not this will happen, I don't know. We'll have to see. I'd love to see the frame limiter go and the animations improved.
Bottom line for me is that I'm having a ton of fun playing single player and I'm really looking forward to getting broadband this month and going out on the Internet. The game's great and very fun to play, and while it is an eccentric piece of software, the rougher edges are gonna get smoothed out.