With Halo Wars 2 re-introducing the Brutes into the games I thought it was a good time to talk about opinions on their new aesthetic/tech and ideas on where they could possibly be taken in the future mainline Halo games. I’m curious what your thoughts are on the subject.
First off, the Brutes have had another re-design. Which isn’t as obvious when looking at Atriox but becomes more apparent in the cutscenes with Voridus and Pavium with their little to no hair. Since the early days of Brutes I’ve heard them compared to ape-rhinoes which I quite like the idea of and am going to stick by.
In my opinion Atriox looks great and Brute-like but seeing these new Brutes with no hair made me realize just how much they looked like the Locust from Gears of War (a game series I don’t even play!). Overall, I think the new Brute design is good but maybe could use a little more tweaking to make them look less generic and perhaps even more rhino-like when having little to no hair (which the new Brutes seem to be going more towards).
Next in line is the Brute Spiker which seems to have gotten a nice re-design as well with Halo Wars 2. That said, I’d also like to see it function slightly differently from its Halo 2/3 versions.
Overall, its role in my mind should be as an extremely effective close range auto rifle with a strong focus on melee. One of the first ways I imagine this happening is the weapon has a melee damage bonus when hitting enemies with it (seeing as, well, it has a ton of razor blades on it). As for the fire rate and clip size, I think it would actually be one of the slowest firing autos in the roster (also lowest DPS on top of that) which I believe would help balance it. Clip size, because of this, I don’t imagine being too high either and most likely the lowest magazine of all autos. The headshot damage multiplier would most likely apply to the weapon and it would be the overall fastest shoot-and-melee killing weapon in the game. With the headshot multiplier and slow fire rate you just gotta make sure your accurate to attain that fastest kill-time.
As for the most popular Brute weapon, the Gravity Hammer, I’d like to see some additions. Currently, in Halo 4/5 we’ve been using what I consider as the Griffball variant (or Griff-Hammer). As thats been the main purpose for having it in those games. Its a shorter sticked hammer which somewhat lacks the gravity affect of the first (longer hilted) one from Halo 3 the Chieftains used.
In the future, I’d like to see the Gravity Hammer from Halo 4/5 continue to be used primarily for Griffball so it can be specifically tuned for that gamemode. Meanwhile, the one used by the Halo 3 Chieftains and Halo Wars 2 jump pack Brutes is created to give you an option with much more gravity. (pun entirely intended).
Extra Gravity Hammer Variant;
Now for an entirely different Gravity Hammer variant that I thought up with someone. You see some Brutes in Halo cutscenes and Halo Wars gameplay draw objects and aliens alike towards their Gravity Hammer. What if there was a variant you could utilize similar to this? Instead of drawing a single large target though, what you would do is hold on to the right trigger to ‘charge’ it, quickly over a few seconds or more increasing the size and force of the ‘aura’ effect emanating from the weapon whilst slowing yourself down as well from the pressure. Anyone who comes near you will feel the hammer drawing them in and if they get too close or it becomes too strong, not even their thrusters will save them. Once they have been drawn in right next to you they can be finished off with one blow! Sending them flying across the map! (if all goes according to plan) If they don’t happen to be right next to you when you release then hopefully you charged it enough to forcefully slam them into a wall dead from the emanated force of your Hammer. Now, the many caveats to this variant of course would be that the more you charge, the more apparent your location is if your trying to hide behind the corner for a (hopefully) unsuspecting enemy. You probably also wouldn’t want to hold on to the charge forever as it might be lethal to yourself or alternatively you’d just let go. Finally, if you trying using it like a normal Gravity Hammer you might be disappointed cause it won’t 1-shot foes right next to you due to the lack of a charge.
Although, a Hammer variant with the ability to pull in a single target from a fair distance away would also be fun to mess with.
As far as Brute troop variants are concerned I won’t go too much into it (as I’ve had a topic on it) but I will say I’d like to see Brute Hammer wielding Chieftains from Halo 3 come back perhaps with a new 343 spin on them. Among them, jump jet Brutes and maybe even ‘feral’ raging brutes would be fun to see again as well. Of course there is your standard armored Brute which I’d expect to have a pretty significant change gameplay wise from anything we’ve yet seen of their race and I look forward to seeing what that might be like.
I’d also like to see the return of the Spike Grenade and possibly a couple other new ones. I’m making a post entirely focused on grenades but I’ll pull from it what applies to the Brutes here.
The Spike Grenade is very similar to the plasma grenade but more effective in tight spaces and I’m beginning to see the plasma grenade veer off into a different purpose, that of disruption. With that divide beginning to widen I can see the Spike grenade coming unto its own defined roll as the new reliable sticky grenade of choice. Seeing as its longer and spreads its mass out more than the plasma grenade it would better be able to latch on to opponents whereas the plasma grenade has much trouble with this in Halo 5. Unlike the plasma grenade, it should also be able to stick to (most) surfaces, allowing you to be more strategic with its destructive power in close-quarters/hallways.
Now, in Halo 3 the brutes used an incendiary grenade but I think the humans should have a different version of that instead (as they do have one in canon) while giving the Brutes a Toxic Gel Grenade inspired by Halo Wars 2. This would be used for area denial, releasing a long lasting ‘black cloud’ of ooze that slows anyone down inside it while whittling at their health/shielding and obscuring their vision/radar while inside. It could be combo’ed with a flame-thrower or incendiary grenade to light it on fire, releasing many deadly mini-explosions in it and cutting its longevity in almost half but resulting in massive damage. In campaign, I think it would be especially effective against the flood (being the best choice against them) as it would last a nice amount of time and slow down their aggressive advance while also straight up decimating many of them.
The final grenade idea possibly for the Brutes would be a Gravity Grenade. For anyone familiar with the popular Halo 1 mod that uses this you’ll know what I’m talking about. Although I could see this possibly being a Promethean grenade as well.
And thats it!
Overall, I’m happy with the direction they’ve taken the Brutes with their structure/tech aesthetic and looking forward to seeing more from them in the future.
Thoughts? Feedback? Suggestions of your own?