I’m beginning to believe that the majority of Halo’s community suffers a lot of bias, particularly against 343i and all their efforts.
With Halo: Infinite’s reveal, I have never seen such a sudden and unmitigated backlash to Halo 4, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and above all else: Halo 5: Guardians. Until now, most were presentably neutral towards those games with varying opinions both in favor and against in just about anywhere you look. Suddenly, everyone seems to hate them, and I mean abhorrantly.
People have already set it in stone that Halo: Infinite is going to bring about a resurgance of classical Halo solely because of the new artstyle. They’ve already jumped to the conclusions that it has classical gameplay, a compelling story, and a complete overhaul in the quality of life yet literally no one outside of 343i has even played an Alpha build or let alone knows any information. Simply because of the new artstyle? No, not just that.
There’s always been an incessant pre-disposed bias against 343i and everything they’ve accomplished thus far, only until now, it’s been the vocal minority. The moment the chance arose when simply because a new artstyle was teased, everything flipped and suddenly everyone is indoctrinated to hate the games they’ve already made. They’re forgetting that it’s still the same developer and some would say “They’re still going to blam it up, somehow”.
Mark my words.
If Halo: Infinite slips up in anyway and has so much as included sprint or Smart-Scope, the fandom will efficiently dismantle the game and everyone will go back to hating 343i and their efforts OVERNIGHT, even if the game is good. They just dislike 343i because they’re not Bungie, but to pose a question: What would Bungie have done if they continued to develop Halo? Imagine that instead of developing Destiny, they would implement all their looming and haunting innovations that they’ve saved only for Destiny, and trickled them into Halo. Imagine that they wanted to shape Halo into how they wanted to shape Destiny without starting a new IP. I’ll tell you what, I’m fairly certain that it would still have Sprint as well as many other gimmicks that both games use.
Only, how would the community respond to this? Would they retain today’s entitled attitude towards those innovations? Or would they be welcoming those innovations with the absense of bias towards 343i and simply because “It’s Bungie.”
Here’s a wake-up call: BUNGIE IS DEAD AND THE BUNGIE WE HAVE NOW IS LIVING IN IT’S OWN SHADOW. LOOK AT DESTINY 2 AND THE STATE OF THE DESTINY FRANCHISE. Does Bungie even seem competent anymore?
343i at least kept Halo alive when there wasn’t a reason to. If Halo is such a beloved franchise, then all the developers need from the community is support and encouragement, not demands to return to form, not reluctance to evolve and adapt, not unmitigated patronizing of their efforts. I mean, have you SEEN the amount of detailing in Halo 5 aside from its textures? The music, the environments, the attention to asinine details? Arguably one of the best developed games to hit the modern market regardless of its story. And people just HATE it for everything that it is.
343i have worked extremely hard developing their games.
Halo 4 was a storytelling masterpiece written by Chris Schlerf of all people which played very much like Halo: Reach and fit the new unfathomable universe-building undertones laid out by Schlerf. Could you imagine Chief intimidating Del Rio with his older armor? Not as well at least. Though Halo 4 is completely thrown away by most because its multiplayer was forgettable and Spartan Ops wasn’t engaging.
The Master Chief Collection was a mess, I’m in total agreement with this but in 343i’s defense; When else have FOUR CAMPAIGN ENGINES and FIVE MULTIPLAYER ENGINES EACH WITH THEIR OWN DEDICATED SERVERS running on ONE application that’s been done before and done CORRECTLY? Zero. The MCC was difficult to manage and they knew it themselves, but they did it anyway, because they believed we’d like it. We didn’t.
Halo 5: Guardians is the most controversial of all, and for good reason, too. Most are in agreemeant that the story for Halo 5’s campaign was incredibly subpar compared to the previous games, but here’s the thing: The story was still functional. Chief discovers Cortana is still alive following the events of Halo 4. Exposition. Chief searches for Cortana and is declared AWOL. Rising Action. Locke is tasked with hunting and arresting Chief. Conflict. Cortana turns out to be the main villain. Climax. Locke discovers the truth behind Chief’s absence and they join forces. Falling Action. Cliffhanger. Resolution. There’s your storyboard. What clearly went wrong during development is everything between those extremes, blame Brian Reed for that. Blame him a lot. On the topic of multiplayer, Halo 5 is perhaps one of the most, if not; the most engaging and rewarding competitive experienceto date. It’s a well-received and well-tuned arena style gameplay that surely makes anyone feel like they’re in control of a supersoldier while still retaining the fundamentals of inviting, casual capability and spontaneity. The Halo Championship is still going strong. Warzone is the most dynamic experience in a Halo game that’s already superceded gamemodes like Invasion, Spartan Ops, Firefight in terms of overall popularity and preference while paying respectable homage to previous games with accessory modes like Warzone Assault and Warzone Firefight. However, the most profound and groundbreaking innovation Halo 5 introduced to the franchise is of course the most dynamic Forge tool to date. Despite all of this, a (vocal) majority hate this game with all the passion they could muster.
I’m concerned for the early life-cycle of Halo: Infinite. Should 343i slip up, Halo will surely die this time, even if their mistakes are minor. They’ve lost faith in their own ambitious foresight because of a vocal majority. Those who enjoyed their games would naturally have no complaints, therefore they would naturally be the vocal minority. The baby birds who haven’t eaten, peep the loudest.
I feel as if 343i has catered to purists who only want Halo to be of the same form as the rest of the industry innovates. The new artstyle is all I need to see to feel implicated that 343i is now scared to explore and innovate. Their artstyle was fine as they envisioned it, they didn’t need to change it again. It was their own design philosophy, but changing it only admitted to me that they couldn’t make Halo they way they wanted. They had to cater as a last ditch effort to avoid being crucified once more, though they just might not escape that fate.
Thanks for reading.