I am a huge Halo fan and I would like to start off by saying that the reason I so strongly criticize the game is because of how attached I am to the Halo series. I mean look at my gamertag and how long I have had it, that should say enough. I am not one to jump on the blind 343 hate and I am also definitely not one to jump on the blind support for 343. I think a good balance is necessary. I think Halo 4 was a very good attempt at a follow up to the original trilogy. Yes it was kind of lore heavy and yes the MP was not all that great. But going back to it in MCC I realize it had everything we wanted from a Halo game at launch for the most part. A good solid campaign and story line, forge, social and competitive playlist, split-screen in all modes, great advancements in graphics and cutscenes, and the ability to customize many parts of the armor (not just sets). Halo 5 is the worst game in the series by far and I feel you did not take almost any of the previous criticism into consideration for it. You improved the MP gameplay but only in the competitive aspect. IMO it took quite a few steps backwards for the series overall. Yes the gameplay is fun, but if the story is bad, you cant play with friends that are on the same TV as you, the level design is bad, every mode is just competitive, and all the maps feel the same, and you play the same maps over and over again due to broken map rotation, something is terribly wrong. The community should not be so split and the playerbase and sales should be something to brag about, not the lowest in series history alongside a diminishing fanbase.
Now on to the main point of this forum creation. 343, you were created as a studio to carry on the Halo franchise that Bungie had started. With Halo 4 I was under the impression that all of you were fans of the original Halos and would try to carry on the series in a similar manner. I was very excited that all of you were such enthusiastic and passionate fans and I greeted Halo 4 with open arms. I am going to share an unpopular opinion and say that Halo 4 was a good game and felt like a Halo game in a lot of ways, besides sprint and loadouts. With Halo 5, instead of honoring the old design of Halo, I feel as if you are trying to change and redesign every single thing that you possibly can. You are putting more resources and time into changing every character model, every weapon’s look and sound, every vehicle’s design and sound, and introducing so many new and supporting characters, that I have no idea what is going on in Halo 5 and who is who. You are trying to include all EU lore into the game which is great if left as easter egg bonuses for those who have read it. THE AVERAGE GAMER does not read every single comic and novel and watch every video you put out. I should not have to read and watch all material that has every been made to understand what is going on in the game. Bungie understood this. Halo 1-3 and even ODST were able to tell a simple and concise, yet still interesting, story in the game that was understandable. Make sure the story is good and understandable first before you start writing it. Include the flood, bring back the brutes, bring back old locations, and even keep the Prometheans. Just make sure to make the prometheans fell like an actual faction with lots of vehicle and unit types along with visually distinguishable ranks.
Respect the old art style of Halo 1-3. Almost everyone universally loves the old look and style of the elites. Along with the elites most people seem to think that all the character models and vehicle designs in Halo 2 and 3 were better than they are now. I strongly agree and that’s why that leaked Halo Wars 2 cover art has me excited as it looks like it will actually resemble Halo. Your new artstyle looks very generic as if it could be places in any modern sci-fi game. You can KEEP your new designs, BUT YOU CAN’T REPLACE THE OLD ONES. I would not mind at all, actually I would probably love if you included all the vehicles and characters from Halo 3 alongside your new Halo 5 ones so that there is a lot of variety. Then there could be many types of enemies and vehicles. All the classic weapons you are bring back into Halo 5 is a great start, keep doing that. It is not just nostalgia in those weapon designs, it the iconic look that screams Halo.
Alongside the art style of the game you need to respect the sound of Halo. The new soundtrack does sound good and I happily bought the album, but the weapon sounds are no longer unique and iconic. All the UNSC weapons sound too modern and realistic, they no longer each have a very unique and instantly recognizable sound like the original Halos had. The covenant weapon sounds are as generic as they can be in Halo 5, I feel as if even COD Infinite Warfare will use those sounds for their lazers. Almost all the old sounds are Iconic, if you truly are Halo fans you have to agree that Halo 2 sniper sound was phenomenal and sounded like pure power, or the Halo 2 SPNKR.
I understand now at this point it would be impossible to go back to the halo 3 days of no spartan abilities, and the gameplay is fun, but please include a classic playlists at launch for Halo 6 and include classic maps such as midship and lockout. All the current maps feel very similar IMO since they are designed around sprint and ground pound. I think having some classic maps as well as some more flat maps would add a great deal of variety to the package. This way you can cater to all fans both new and old.
343 please understand that this is written not to hate on your work. While I personally do not enjoy Halo 5 in lots of its aspects I do think that the current direction you are taking the series is further pushing away the series vets that allowed Halo to be such a success and made the construction of your company possible. If possible, I truly believe the best way to reach those sales milestones that everyone wants and to have a true system seller is to look to the past halos such as Halo 3 and see what made it a must own game. 343 you have been handed one of the greatest and most recognizable universes in gaming with lots of potential, you just need to realize the tools you have and construct the masterpiece that you are all very capable of doing.
To everyone reading, feel free to leave your comments below to say why you agree or disagree with my thoughts on the direction of Halo at the moment