Spin is in.

Watch the news, listen to the radio, read a newspaper or internet story. Spin is unmistakable in every bit of our culture. Perfect example: watch any politically based show (Fox, MSNBC, CNN, doesn’t matter). Whenever any politician is asked a seemingly simple “Yes or No” question, the response is inevitably one that is lacquered with qualifications, explanations, hedging, vaguery; in other words, spin. Another great example of the insanity of spin comes via the press junket leading up to the release of a film; especially one in which you know the actors didn’t get along.

Spin is a tactic used to hide a true answer. It’s basically a CYA maneuver, leaving the speaker wiggle room to do a complete 180 somewhere down the line and say the exact opposite.

Sequels to movies, and in this case video games, are prime victims for the spin machines. You’ll rarely get makers of the latest installment to say anything negative about that which came before, especially if they had anything to do with it.

Unless of course, you’re Bungie.

Bungie is the driving force behind “Halo”, one of the most popular video game franchises ever, let alone for the XBOX family. Their newest offering, “Halo 3”, comes out this year and promises to be one of the bigger phonemenons of the genre since…well, Halo 2 came out for the original XBOX.

Now before I get into the article that sparked this posting, I should say that I LOVED Halo 2. One of the first games I picked up for my XBOX 360, a used copy from a local store, I was instantly drawn in and hooked. I hadn’t played the original, so the world of the Master Chief and The Covenant was all new to me. I found the story compelling, and the multiplayer quite a bit of fun.

Now back to Halo 3. Seems as though Bungie put forth some interesting thoughts on their newest game while dishing on the old:

Bungie: We “screwed up” Halo 2

In the article, creators say that Halo 2 was not all it could and should have been. One designer even going so far as to say “even the multiplayer experience for Halo 2 is a pale shadow of what it could and should have been if we had gotten the timing of our schedule right. I ****ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it.”

Other designers complained about the short first-person campaign and the lackluster ending.

Keep in mind, folks, that Halo 2 was one of the top-selling titles….ever. It is still a popular choice for gamers on the 360 multiplayer networks, 4 years plus after its release. Yet the designers are telling you that the game basically “sucks”.

Why do this? Sure, it’s some spin on their part. It’s a cool, hip way of saying that Halo 3 is going to blow you away. ‘If you thought 2 was good, just you wait, because this time we really got it right.’ But also, I sense some pride on the line for these guys. It sounds like they’ve really taken the time and energy this go-round to get it right, in their eyes.

Halo's Master Chief is back

I’m sure Halo 3 will be in my library at some point. But as I’m knee deep in first person and tactical shooters, I’m not counting the minutes down. Still, I’m loving the way video game makers (the good ones, anyway) are going out of their way to make a playable game with a great story and a compelling multiplayer element. That seems to be a key formula for success.