Brainstorming some cross-trilogy mechanics...

Long drive home after work the other day, so my friend Jesse and I got to discussing Halo 4 and the inevitable Halos’ 5 and 6. As 343i has planned these as a trilogy with an overarching plot, we started speculating and some ideas came to mind. Without being long-winded, allow me to simplify some things we would have though would be great in making the next Halo games that much more awesome.

  • Your War Games/Spartan Ops character as a Campaign character.

Imagine in the Campaign of Halo 5, a new secondary character is introduced, and in actuality it is your Multiplayer character from Halo 4. They wear the armour you unlocked, have the traits you’ve selected, etc. Think of how Noble 6 in Halo: Reach could be modified and made unique to YOU. Played Halo 4 a lot? Maybe they are a veteran, sent to aid the Chief. Played not so much? Maybe they are an up and coming rookie sent to get some combat experience with the Chief. The background of that person could be written in a way as such it varies from a few paradigms, but in the overall story it’s a loose plot that needn’t be black or white. Think Mass Effect, and how all these little variables in characters and mission outcomes affect your story, but at the same time don’t in a massive game changing way.

  • Your Xbox Live friends War Games/Spartan Ops Characters as an adhoc squad in the Campaign.

Similar to above, perhaps the Master Chief is assigned to a squad of Spartan-IV’s. Who could they be? How about you pick from your friends list? As your friends play multiplayer and upgrade/unlock things, that could be reflected in YOUR Campaign playthrough. I’ve seen a few games that utilize a mechanic such as this; In the iOS game Gun Bros, you could have a friend’s character assigned to be your A.I. assistant, and they would reflect how your friend has customized them.

  • Campaign Co-op as Marines/ODSTs/Spartan-IV’s

Halo 3: ODST showed us that playing in the Halo Universe as a non-Spartan could be just as fun, if not a little different of a play-style. Halo 3 introduced actual canon characters for your co-op fiends to play as, in the Arbiter and two other Elites. Perhaps instead of having four Master Chief’s, you fill the shoes of whatever soldiers are assigned on that particular mission. Marines could be just as effective, if not weaker and needing the Chief to really shine as the super soldier he is. ODST’s could be a step up. Think class strengths/weaknesses. Team Fortress 2 does this great; each class plays different and it really pushes teamwork to be successful.

  • Huge cinematic sequences.

Halo has always be a very cinematic experience, but from time to time we play a scene that is not really as big as it seems. The Warthog charge in Halo: Reach for example, was a great build up, but you only started playing after your vehicle crashed and the playing field was a lot smaller than anticipated. Visualize leading the charge in a massive vehicle blitz, racing towards some goal as dozens of comrades follow you. How about getting shot out of a high-altitude Pelican? Picture the Master Chief skydiving from 35,000 feet, dodging anti aircraft fire and trying to board passing craft, all the while you are in control of his decent, the entire way down. No luck in boarding a passing Banshee or Longsword? Hit the ground like a brick and carry on. Manage to catch a ride? Fly that thing to your objective. One thing the Uncharted series did great was the massive sequences like that. The train from Uncharted 2; the airplane crash from Uncharted 3. We could totally have those. They could have a handful of outcomes, depending on how you play, yet all lead to the same goal.

  • Xbox Live Vision Camera/Kinect features.

One thing that these “Better with Kinect” games do that gets under my skin are voice commands. We’ve had voice commands for years, without the device. R.U.S.E. for example; all you needed was a headset. Why not some things the Kinect can do well? Scan your face for your Multiplayer character. Scan a texture or design for unique weapons or armour. Heck, I wouldn’t mind motioning throwing a grenade and have it happen in game. Of course, nothing too complex. The hardware is still in it’s infancy and not yet 100% reliable.

  • Custom skins/texturing.

The Forza series has shown us the creative side of the gaming community in how they can take a simple tool to make basic shapes and colours and turn out impressive works of art. Who wouldn’t love being able to really customize your character with a great system like Forza’s?

  • Livestreaming your gameplay.

Pretty straightforward on paper; live broadcast your gameplay. Casuals, rookies and pros alike would love it.

Well, these are my thoughts. As for possible user generated content, there would have to be some sort of moderation system in place to prevent things that are a bit too offensive from getting through. Something more effective than Halo: Reach’s. I think we’ve all seen enough spawn-point-and-guns -Yoink!- to last a lifetime.

Thanks for reading!