If you download the HD/4K files, you see the concept art and launch are two vastly different Halo rings. There were so much more variation, some of those pictures made you feel engulfed into the ring. I really thought you could explore multiple heights.
I would have really killed for dynamic lighting, dramatic atmosphere, lakes, oceans, rushing rivers and definitely open grass plains showcased more in these pictures. Some even shown jungle and autumn trees like the seasons changing.
With how little there is after beating the campaign and open map, at least make it more visually stunning like planned. The current map is so cramped with bad hills and wreckage everywhere, there is nothing to really take in the view. I wouldn’t say its my fault for the high expectations with how much 343i marketed the whole “Mystery of the Ring” memo. I just felt robbed upon my experience in the end.
To be fair, the map overworld went through quite a few redesigns before we got the final version. And even then, the final version of the overworld map doesn’t let us explore 1/3 of the map it showcases as the north-eastern islands are only accessible for two story missions back-to-back in a linear go-through.
And what with the campaign intended to have post-launch expansions, it makes sense how they would try to explore one biome per campaign portion; at least to some extent.
I still don’t understand how we were never whisked away by the Monitors at any point in the story. We know they have a sand texture, we see it in multiplayer. The new Rachet and Clank wowed me with it’s different worlds, and it presented them one after another. Infinite left us in what feels like the first level for the entire game, no night, no snow, no rain. The ring feels more dead than “rebuilding”.
Biome is one thing. But map design is another. I think they really just wanted us to play around the game’s mechanics than actually enjoy a well designed map. Im talking in the sense of grappling everywhere.
I tend to try and grapple less whenever I reach a captivating view and really just drive or walk my way to the destination to sink the feeling of an empty ring world. Sometimes though, it just isn’t there with how rare there really is.
I love the openness of the ring. I love exploring the entire map/world. However, you are rarely rewarded for exploring which makes exploring pointless most of the time.
I just wish they had more campaign rewards altogether. They should’ve at least let us unlock Master Chief’s armor for MP instead of just the goddam color red