I just thought of another game that could’ve used more repetition: God of War 2.
Granted, it was an amazing game with some crazy cool parts, but like Halo 3, some of the protagonist’s badassery was dampened by the fact that you would be thrust from one completely unfamiliar situation to the next with no common frame of reference. It’s the classic picture of a vengeful hero who has been going in circles in the west wing of the antagonist’s base because he can’t find the right lever or whose quest of revenge comes to a very non-epic end when he doesn’t notice a particular climbable rock wall during an intensely cinematic moment and plunges with the platform he was riding on into the lava for the sixth consecutive time.
I thought Bioshock really nailed the whole repetition thing. Little variety in monsters, recognizable environment hazards (oil slicks, water, security systems), good level layout and a nice checkpoint arrow.
Also, The Dishwasher was in magazine (an Edge magazine, to be exact). Here’s a cell phone screenie:
The article is mostly on XNA, but it’s nice that they put some juicy screens in there.