So a while back I was watching a series on the development of the Halo games (I’d say whose it was but I seem to remember a thread that was locked for naming a you-tuber, so I better not). Any way, they mentioned that when halo Reach was made Bungie decided to forego intelligent AI in favour of fitting more enemies on screen. So my question to the community is…
Would you rather have large scale encounters against lots of fairly basic AI, or would you rather have smaller encounters with much smarter enemies?
It’s difficult to have both, since they are each quite taxing on the hardware, so we’ll assume they are mutually exclusive.
My thesis is that it is more fun to play against a small number of genuinely intelligent enemies than it is to play against a large number of predictable enemy types. Large scale battles are fun, but they get repetitive after a while, so I don’t believe that they should be used all the time, rather they should be used sparingly when it matters, and the majority of battles should be small encounters. The difficulty would be the same, but for different reasons. Too often in a large battle I feel like I’m playing a bullet hell shooter, when I’d prefer to be playing something closer to first person chess. Halo CE seemed to encourage audacious and intelligent gameplay (IMO), but Halo Reach and especially Halo 5 seem to just hand you some weapons and tell you to go off and fight twenty to thirty Covenant, with the emphasise on strafing and fighting from cover rather than flanking and quick thinking. I played through Halo 5 on legendary recently, and I completed the first mission without dying once, having never played the game on legendary, simply because the AI didn’t have the foresight to flank me while I was engaged, or to advance while I was on low health or reloading. These were the kinds of things that made Halo CE on legendary a frantic and constant fight. Too many times I felt like I was taking a breather during the battle.
But that’s my two cents on the issue. I want to hear what you have to say. Do you prefer the large battles of the more recent titles, or would you rather the fights to be smaller and against more intelligent foes?
TL,DR: Quantity or Quality?