Recently, I decided to get some Halo 3 games running, both for nostalgia and for finding a fun, classic Halo playlist to play in. (I found both, just sayin’)
Immediately I noticed some ‘improvements’ over Halo Reach. I’m not going to talk about armor abilities or bloom, even though the lack of these certainly made the game twice as fun. I’m going to talk about the little things that caught my attention that usually go unnoticed on these forums.
Most noticeable was the lack of motion blur. Motion blur has always bothered me in Reach. Even though i’ve grown used to it, I still have to frown and really focus to clearly see what’s going on on my screen. Reach’s game mechanics, such as sprint, make this problem even worse, because with people sprinting all over the place, it’s even harder for you to analyze what’s on your screen if you have to look around, blurry, all the time. It gives me a headache sometimes. Playing Halo 3 was so silky smooth, I did not have to fight the screen with my eyes. The simple movement, without sprint, made it easy to follow people and thus easier to know my surroundings. The time i usually spent trying to figure out where everyone is, i could now spend thinking about strategy and my own placement on the map.
Furthermore, aiming was noticeably different. A thread has already been made about this: Aim accelleration smoothing (link). In Halo 3, it feels harder to land shots than in Reach, even though the targets (spartan IIs) are bigger, probably because I am used to Reach’s aim accelleration smoothing. Aim accelleration smoothing helps newer players, but hinders pro player aim. I was ‘noob’ in Halo 3, because i had to get used to the more responsive aiming, and i got outplayed. A second factor is obviously that there is a lot less auto-aim in halo 3 than in Reach. Lastly, strafing is much more effective in Halo 3 because of the relatively fast movement accelleration and speed compared to Reach.
These three features together form a competitive, fair and fun core gameplay asset that is part of what is ‘Halo’. It was able to achieve a better result without the need of adding other aim nerfing mechanics, such as bloom or recoil. (There was spread, which wasn’t perfect, but it’s still a large step up from Reach. Halo 2’s BR was the best of all, though that caused it to dominate the sandbox even more than in H3).
Another thing i instantly noticed when playing on Standoff is how the warthogs weren’t dominating the entire match, going on an ever-lasting spree, yet were able to get a lot of kills before they went down. The factors at play were:
- Standoff, being a small map, ensures that the warthog has a lot of targets to be caught out in the open -> lots of kills to be had for the warthog
- Spartans IIs have large hitboxes: they were relatively easy to gun down from the warthogs. The warthogs themselves were easy to tip over/destroy with well-placed nades (which, ironically, isn’t the case with Reach’s nukes)
- The map was well designed, forcing the warthog to slow down, and ensuring that enough power weapons were available to take down the warthog. Spartan laser AND rockets? nowhere to be found in Reach.
Also; the melee system worked beautifully. No sprint double beatdowns so no need for shield popping mechanics. Just the good old bleedthrough beatdown: whoever times it best is first, unless they melee at the exact same time, in that case the system looks at remaining health. Only if there is no difference in remaining health is the beatdown traded. What a system! Fair and simple. Unfortunately, this will not be an option for Halo 4, as sprint will not make this work out.
I made this thread for three reasons:
First, to remind the veterans of how little things can have a noticeable impact on your way of experiencing a game, and how Halo 3 got these right
Second: To ask for the community’s opinion on these mechanics, especially motion blur and aim smoothing, and what they think should be done for Halo 4
Third: to ask 343i to take my opinion into consideration and maybe try to pay attention to those if that is still possible, OR confirm or deny their appearance in the current Halo 4 build.