Dear 343i, a critique of your direction for Halo 5

Dear 343i,

As a veteran fan of Halo (since H1), and a first time participant of a “beta,” of any kind actually - I felt very compelled to voice my critique of the game and where it appears to be heading. After all, whats a beta for if not to receive feedback? As I played I wrote everything down I felt was bothersome as I came across them so I wouldn’t forget. I understand this was a beta and things still need to be corrected and ironed out - but im going to include these anyways because I feel that they needed to be said. In some of these I also added a “suggestion.”


1. Searching for games took forever
Most of the time was spent waiting in the lobby. I even went to edit photographs as I waited.

2. Party implementation is very poor
Party problems that exist in MCC is almost exactly the same in the H5 beta. Halo 4 party system was much better that actually worked and Halo Reach party implementation was even better.

3. The announcer is on drugs
Im guessing the same dude that has been the announcer for all the previous Halo games is the same one - but this time he must have been on some serious crack during the recording sessions. The over-enthusiasticness started happening on Halo 4, and while that was annoying, this time its over the top and it made me wish there was an option to turn him off or at least have a “enthusiasm dial” option that I could dial down to normal (or even HIGHER to the point where he has a high pitch voice. Atleast it would be entertaining). Here’s a great video of the nonsense (

4. Controls! Why must I keep having to re-learn every damn game?!
The default controls made no sense to me. The first thing I did was switch the controls to something half way familiar - I was hoping for a Halo Reach control setting - but Halo 4 will have to do… even though I still dont like it.
SUGGESTION: Please find a way to add the Halo Reach control settings as an option to Halo 5. Where you can push the left control stick in to crouch, the B button switches your grenades, and the top left bumper to run. Im tired of having to re-learn the controls ever single time a new Halo game comes out. Doing this will put a serious smile on my face.

5. Characters speak way too often
At first, I thought it was an interesting addition having a teammate speak random things, but then it kept happening… and happening a lot - which became ultra annoying. I wanted to turn it off or dial the frequency down.
SUGGESTION: Halo 1-3 and Reach had a really comical implementation where (during campaign) you would look at a marine and he would look at you and say something. Sometimes something really stupid and funny, other times something important. If you are going to implement this feature, please at least let the user control it through a setting.

6. Killcams is stupid
This really makes no sense. Not only did it take me out of the game, It didnt work right half of the time. Id get a black screen with some lame “music” and saw how I died - which I already knew. I seriously kept pounding my X button because I wanted to get back into the game or look at something else.
SUGGESTION: Please bring back the “Deadcams” like Halo Reach. This view keeps me motivated. I dont want sad music or anything. Just a simple cam that I can tumble around and watch whats happening around my dead, lifeless body.

7. Shields made of paper**/practically instant death.**
I noticed pretty much immediately how quickly I die compared to previous Halo games - and there are several problems as to why. First is that the shields are made of that thin paper stuff you wipe your butt with at the mall. Shields should also regenerate even if you sprint. I saw the video before the beta came out about this new feature and initially I thought it was an interesting idea - but ultimately it became frustrating because of how weak the shields were to begin with.
SUGGESTION: Strengthen the shield, allow regeneration during sprint.

8. Impossible to spot enemies
There were so many times where I couldnt spot my enemies when they were far away (and ultimately ended up dying because of it, due to a snipe) and it became painfully obvious why. Depending on what color team you are on, you will blend in perfectly with the background due to similar shade of color/lighting scenarios. Previous Halo’s did not have this problem because the color of the teams were more of a pastel blue or red and would always stand out from the background. Now everything is the same harsh, high contrast look to it.
SUGGESTION: Adjust the spartan characters to have a different look to them so they are not as harsh looking and appear flatter in the environment.

9. Special abilities like Sprint/Clamber/Stab/Hover smash - whatever its called
SPRINT - I personally like sprint. But I found it becomes cheap when you cant run out of it. In Halo Reach it was better because your spartan would run out of juice and needed a few seconds to recharge that sprint. That felt more “fair” then being able to constantly run.
CLAMBER - This was cool. I didnt know about it until I did it on accident. Although it did take the skill out of jumping onto hard to reach places. Maybe only make clambering possible in certain, extreme situations - like running and jumping to a very distant platform that you couldn’t land on without having to clamber.
HOVER SMASH - Ehhhhhh. I will probably never use this. I tried it once but honestly Id rather not. Its an overly complicated move that feels more like OOOo AHHH type of thing.

  • STABBING - Without a doubt, my favorite thing to do in a Halo game - and unfortunately very rare to do in Halo 5. I think it has to do with sprint in that you dont have an advantage in catching up to your enemy if he is running corners at same pace as you without running out of “juice.” In Halo Reach I dont seem to have any issues stabbing a bunch of people and I think its because of that very reason

10. Plasma grenades underpowered
Throwing a plasma grenade in Halo 5 is like throwing a firecracker at a spartan. It doesn’t do anything and it even appears weak. I loved using them in Halo Reach because they were more fun to use, powerful, and had a nice strong explosion.

11. Victory “Taunt” after the game is childish
I cant begin to tell you how stupid this looks. Are we in a fraternity? On a basketball court?
Simply remove it. I want out of the game to see the stats and to get into my next match. Period.

12. Spartan Armor Customization
The under armor should always be black/grey. Im not sure who thought it was a good idea to make part of it the same color as your actual armor and part of it not - but it does not look good aesthetically. This was introduced in Halo 4 which really boggled my mind and it appears to be carried over into Halo 5; which must stop.
SUGGESTION: The entire under armor should be a solid color. By default, it should be the same black/grey that appeared in every single Halo before Halo 4. Heck, maybe even make it customizable so that if someone wants to make their spartan entirely blue (or whatever color), they can. That would be nice. Side note: Lighting the character during customization is way too dark. It should be much more appealing and easier to see. Halo 4 was better but lighting was too harsh. Halo Reach lighting was just right.

As with Halo 4 - when I started playing Halo 5 I was very impressed with the look of the game. You guys have a seriously rock solid art team that knows what they are doing when it comes to making things look good. Just look at H2 Anniversary! Hot--Yoink!-, those old maps redefined with seriously impressive visuals and sfx! With a few tweaks to the spartan appearance, it can be perfected. But no matter how pretty you make it look (and believe me, Halo 4 and Halo 5 is very pretty indeed), the core of the game is still not there; and I really seriously want it to be. The notes outlined above are just the obvious issues as they appear to me - but when I really think about it - the overall feeling that I get when playing the game is that its too complicated. Too the point where I get bored with it.

I always find myself going back to play Halo Reach, which is my favorite multiplayer game to date. I play it with my friends and family in other states every weekend and sometimes during the week when I get home from work. There is a beauty in previous Halo games that just cannot be found in the game today which is simplicity. Its very easy to add features to something, but just because you can doesn’t mean its right. With Halo 4 I felt like you were trying to make the game easier to play for people coming from Battlefield or Call of Duty. Which isnt right. The controls are similar, the gameplay is similar - If Im a Halo player and I pop in COD or Battlefield - I expect to have to adapt to their controls and their gameplay. Which is how it should be.

There are other things that really bothered me with Halo 4 - again not with visuals, but with gameplay decisions, specifically matchmaking playlists. The introduction of “playlist rotations” were downright frustrating to the point where I completely quit Halo 4 for probably a year (until this afternoon). For example - Dominion - a gametype which was introduced with H4 and was very popular, with an average of 1000 players, was removed… and then it came back…and then it was removed following the introduction of the Rotation feature. Every 2 weeks or something a new game type would pop up and would change. When people complained on the forums as to why it was removed, 343i responded that it wasn’t a popular playlist and would return through the rotation list in the next …3…months (according to their calender). Im not sure how it was qualified as unpopular when another playlist (which was left permanently for some reason) Team Throwdown had an average of 50 people in it… In the future, stop removing playlists. Keep/add legacy playlists from past games like Headhunter, swat, action sack, dominion, hog race, rocket race, etc… If those playlists are extremely low on people playing it, consolidate it into another list.

There are some seriously deep decision making problems that exist at 343i and im not sure why they continue. Die hard fans of Halo really cried out on the forums only to have the threads locked by moderators. Hopefully threads with people giving respectful, honest and constructive criticism are actually being listened to and appreciated instead of us talking into a deep, cold abyss filled with neglect… and pain. Im not sure if the peeps at 343i even take the time to read threads like this, but I sure hope they do.

(Aka Ryan in real life)


Now that I think of it, here are a couple other things I’d like to see for Halo 5 -

  • 4 Player split screen - Halos 1-4 had it, you guys can do it for Halo 5. Whether you want to believe it or not, Local Play is still a big thing with people who like getting together with their friends or family and play some Halo. It would be a serious upset if you invited your friends/family over to play, start the game up, and find out you can only play with 1 other person…

  • Ability to hide elements of the HUD - they have this feature in racing games. Id like to be able to do it with Halo. This would also benefit playing in split screen because most of the time, elements like who killed who, medals, etc get in the way. Being able to selectively turn things off would solve this.- Ability to mute all players except those in my party (like every other Halo game)
    Online Multiplayer - additional game types:Play as Elites -

    (Edited to include most recent wanted features)

I couldn’t have explained this better myself. The Master chief collection has been a major letdown so far. I feel like this has been out long enough to work out the multiplayer matchmaking kinks. However, getting into a party and game through the MCC is basically Impossible. I usually go back to playing halo reach after 2 hours of trying to get into a matchmaking game with a party. I want to WANT to play the new halos that come out but what is the point of spending $60 on a game you can’t even play with your friends? Please fix these issues so we can play your product that we have thoroughly enjoyed since halo 1.

100% Spot On Fiend!

Like many avid gamers, Halo has a great sentimental value. When Halo 4 hit the market, it was very different and was fun but I felt there was too much change and hoped the next would be better. After purchasing the highly anticipated MMC and playing the Halo 5 beta, I found them very disappointing. There were numerous issues from the nonsensical victory taunting to the insanely complicated control settings menu. But what I found myself most upset about was the multiplayer issues, especially when in a party. I understand that there must be a enormous amount of work that goes into created these games but focus should have been taken away from the silly armors and spent more time the multiplayer. I can only hope that the issues that have been brought up in this thread can be resolved in a timely fashion . Again Halo is a major part of many people’s lives and the improvement of the customers experience should be an on going goal.

Whats the problem with searching, I found games at Sanic speed

> 2533274882716804;6:
> Whats the problem with searching, I found games at Sanic speed

Not sure what Sanic is but its not a word. If by Sanic you mean sonic, well then im not sure what to tell you. All I know is I sat around doing nothing most of the time.

This needs to be read by the entire Halo community. Halo needs to change course and become great again.

I thought I was alone on point 8, but I’m thrilled to see that I’m not. It is ridiculous how hard it is to spot players because of the color team they are on, and I don’t recall having a similar problem in any of the halo’s prior to this. Great list

Great conclusion!

Thanks guys, hopefully the peeps at 343i find this :slight_smile:

> 2663959601026826;7:
> > 2533274882716804;6:
> > Whats the problem with searching, I found games at Sanic speed
> Not sure what Sanic is but its not a word. If by Sanic you mean sonic, well then im not sure what to tell you. All I know is I sat around doing nothing most of the time.

Satan+Sonic= Sanic

its a meme

Very good feedback. It is very similar to my own. I’d appreciate if you’d all gave mine a look and provide your own feedback on it as well. Here is the link.

Some time has past, and I have a few more suggestions as I have had some time to play other Halo games and collect some additional thoughts.

Online Multiplayer - additional game types:

Play as Elites -

Im going to add these to the original post.

EDIT: Actually its not letting me add anything to the original post :frowning:

About the controls: I use Recon. No learning required.

> 2533274903234962;15:
> About the controls: I use Recon. No learning required.

Everyone has their own personal preference. The problem is choice! These days we should be able to even have the option to map our own buttons.

Also missing from the Halo 5 beta - inability to mute all players at once. I had to mute everyone one by one every time i got into a match.

> 2663959601026826;16:
> > 2533274903234962;15:
> > About the controls: I use Recon. No learning required.
> Everyone has their own personal preference. The problem is choice! These days we should be able to even have the option to map our own buttons.
> Also missing from the Halo 5 beta - inability to mute all players at once. I had to mute everyone one by one every time i got into a match.

Why would you want to mute everyone at once, were they too noisy? Using a kinect mic?

> 2535423595683400;17:
> Why would you want to mute everyone at once, were they too noisy? Using a kinect mic?

Im not sure what they were using. But generally I dont like hearing other players when I play. Setting the chat to be muted by default is usually one of the first things I change.