For the first time today, I played the Halo 5 Multiplayer Beta. For the first time today, I was disappointed by a Halo game.
I’ve played Halo all of my life. I started playing it with the very first game when my dad introduced me to it. Ever since, the series has been linked to wonderful memories of my childhood. Every time a new Halo game came out, my dad and I would play through the campaign on co-op, completely unaware of what surprises were in store (we didn’t pay attention to E3 or any other sort of video game news things). Halo 4 was no exception. It was worrying to me that a different company was working on the game, since I had heard Bungie sold the franchise. However, it turned out to be great, and I’ve played it as I have any other Halo game. As you can expect, my dad and I were excited for Halo 5. We were disappointed to discover that it would be only for Xbox One (we only have an Xbox 360 now), but we were excited for the follow-up to Master Chief’s great return anyways.
This brings me to today. I was visiting a friend (who has an Xbox One, as well as the Master Chief Collection) to see the Halo 5 Multiplayer Beta. It was exciting to see the game… until I played it. You can’t imagine my feeling of dread when I tried to throw a grenade. Instead of throwing a grenade ready to detonate, I looked down the sight of my gun. Further experimentation with the rest of the buttons led me to realize what 343 has done. They are making it into a Call of Duty clone.
In the past, little things have been added to the Halo series that resemble Call of Duty (such as custom Loadouts), but they were never game-changing. Halo was still its own game, and had its own feel and fun factor. It had a REAL singleplayer option that was filled with content. In fact, it was the game’s FOCUS, rather than the DLC and online multiplayer that so many other games focus on. In fact, I hardly ever really played online multiplayer, since it just wasn’t as fun as inviting some friends over to play local multiplayer, or playing around in the campaign with my dad. However, now with the control change, many other changes are being brought with it. The way the game works as a whole resembles that of Call of Duty. It didn’t feel like a Halo game to me, it felt like an attempt to share in the enormous (and in my opinion, undeserved) profits that Call of Duty makes.
This sudden change towards the mainstream worries me. Will Halo 5 be a multiplayer centered game with a basic and rushed storyline? Will the game require paid DLC to be able to do anything at all? These are things modern games seem to be doing quite frequently, and I’m just hoping 343 doesn’t do the same thing to my beloved Halo franchise.
My dad and I have been with this game from the start, so I just want to say how disappointed we are with Halo 5 due to the changes it has brought. If anyone at 343 is reading this, I would like to ask that you change Halo back to the way it was in Halo 4 and back. I understand that it’s probably too late now for Halo 5, but I hope you can renew Halo to its former glory in Halo 6. Just think about the past, though! Halo was groundbreaking! It sold tremendously well and was the leader of the FPS genre! I know it’s possible for this to happen again. Just remember: Halo is not a first person shooter; Halo is Halo.