Campaign Should Encourage Aggression More.

At least, I think it should. Prometheans rightfully get a lot of flak for using homing projectiles, which force a cover-hopping approach to gameplay. It essentially becomes a game of exposing yourself long enough to do some damage before ducking away to heal, which is largely seen as boring. It’s basically a cover shooter in a first person perspective.

But, I find it odd that only Prometheans receive this criticism; as far as I can tell, the Covenant effectively do the same thing. While their plasma bolts don’t lock on, they are absolutely unreactable at medium-to-close range, where the player will be doing the bulk of their fighting. Since you can’t react to their fire–and there’s no consistent way to predict when an enemy will shoot, or for how long–how does the player combat the Covenant? They expose themselves long enough to do damage, before ducking away to heal. Again, cover shooter. This isn’t bad, necessarily, but am I alone in finding it… restrictive? Halo’s always flirted with the idea of freedom–in exploration and in combat–but the former’s never been delivered on except for in ODST while the latter is hamstrung by the enemy design.

What’s weird about this is that Bungie themselves knew unavoidable damage was lame. It’s why they changed the Covenant’s weapons in CE from hitscan to projectiles… except the projectiles are so fast as to effectively be unavoidable, anyway. Like, if you’re moving they won’t always hit you, but at that point it’s more a case of the enemy missing the player than them consciously dodging an attack. Even weirder, Bungie themselves intentionally made grenades and melee attacks reactable! The Covenant have these long, exaggerated windup animations before throwing a Plasma Grenade or butting Master Chief with their gun. And those work! You can identify what they’re about to do, and dodge accordingly. Even if it makes no sense from a lore standpoint, they implemented these telegraphed attacks in a readable way that doesn’t stand out as weird-looking or silly.

So! I really think 343 should take this idea to its’ logical conclusion, and make weapon fire itself a telegraphed attack. You can either have the Covenant move with their weapons lowered, only raising it before shooting a few projectiles, or just have the weapons glow before firing, like a sort of ‘charge-up’ type of animation. It may seem bizarre at first, but it would actually complement what’s already been done to Melee and Grenades, while allowing a more aggressive, movement-centric style of gameplay. Besides, with Infinite looking to be Halo’s most open Campaign ever, now’s the best time to move away from putting cover down every twenty feet.

So, please excuse my assertive title up there, but I truly think this is a rational change that would have a huge impact on player freedom and engagement in the Campaign.

Tl;dr: Let me dodge projectiles instead of playing peekaboo. Doom does it and it’s gnarly.