Hey there. First off this post is going to be aimed at competitive players and hardcore players. Some of my credentials are as follow; Top 48 placing at multiple MLG Events for Halo 3 and Halo: Reach, a 50 in nearly every playlist in Halo 3, and a couple 50’s in Halo 2 original and most of all I’ve been playing Halo competitively since early Halo 2.
I first downloaded the beta with a completely unbiased mindset, I purposely didn’t do any research so I could experience things and give my honest opinions. Halo has never been ruined for me, even for Halo 4, I still enjoyed that even though the competitive scene was dead for it. After saying what I have, I will be focusing on the game play, anything outside of the actual flow and focus of the game is for another post.
One of the first things I noticed after the beta finished downloading was the menu, thank you 343 for this vast improvement over the Halo: MCC menu.
I sat down and was ready to play, friends in party, enery drink ready so that I could stay up all night grinding. I queued up and got placed into a game on Truth, and was automatically hyped, a new Midship remake? I’ll take it.
Ground Pound: I Immediately go to town, and get on a killing spree, until I get challenged while half shield on Car 3, I try to ghandi hop, and what’s this? I start floating and my reticule goes to the ground? … Okay? So it’s ground pound, I get that, but I mean… What’s the point? I play on Bumper Jumper, so I’m not sure if it affects anyone else, but now it seems every time I crouch jump I just ground pound, it has gotten to the point where I just don’t even try to crouch jump anymore. I honestly don’t see the need for ground pound, it seems just like an unnecessary addition, I have seen no one use it to get a kill, no one say anything nice about it, and no one use it to their advantage, but this is just after 10 games, so someone else may have seen use for it, but so far, I have not.
Sprint: So far sprint feels natural to me, after playing so much Reach and H4, I’m used to it at this point. If you don’t enjoy how balanced they have actually made it now, you’re just being hard-headed. Halo has evolved into a game which features a sprint function. I have come to terms with it, and so have all the pro players.
Thrust: Again, another feature that feels just… okay? I haven’t really gotten used to it I guess, but I have used it to escape multiple times. It feels alright at best. I don’t know if it’s necessary but at the same time I don’t feel like it needs to be removed any time soon, it feels fine where it’s at.
ADS: This, this was my biggest concern after the first game, and you know what? It’s feel fine in Halo, but contrary to what I just said, it needs a nerf on some weapons, such as the AR, there is no reason using ADS on an AR should make it into a marksman weapon, like a DMR or BR. So far it feels natural and fluid on Marksman weapons, it almost feels as if Halo has been missing something to freshen up Long Ranged duels. Some weapons need to have their ADS tuned as well, such as the Sniper, the delay on scoping in has never been there, and it DOES NOT feel correct.
Weapons: Weapons feel fine, AR and SMG are quite a bit more powerful than the past, and I do agree they need a little bit more tuning, but every gun I have used shoots perfectly. The DMR shoots faster than the past, and it takes some getting used to, but I feel like that increases its value as a weapon and some what requires more skill.
Maps: While I’ve only seen the two so far, I have a few pros and cons with each. Empire; Empire feels like it has great potential to be a competitive map. It plays similar to Countdown from H:R. After saying that though, Countdown didn’t have as many obstacles and clutter. Having two snipers on the map encourages camping, from what I’ve seen, and just having a set up on the outside snipe almost guarantees a win. I believe there should be one sniper, in the middle of the map, so you can’t just camp a sniper the whole game. Truth; Truth plays completely different than the old iterations, Car now feels like more of a power point at this time. I understand this is for balancing so pink doesn’t become the one spot and become over powered, but this causes car to be a better spot because there is far more cover and more spawns near car.
Hit Box: Hit Box is great, all my shots feel like they register, and count. The “ping” sound when you hit your shots is a great addition, in my opinion.
Call Outs: Spartans calling out - awesome. If you’re a competitive player and you remember the old days of queuing up in the MLG Playlist and seeing you’re the only person on your team with a mic, or the only person with half a brain that can make a call out, this is your solution. It requires more focus to the game, but it has already helped me in various situations. The new map call out they have developed that are in game are actually not dumb this time around, such as on Truth, they are the actual call outs from Midship/Heretic, they didn’t just go ahead and make up some weird and unnecessary long names or something you can just spit out in the heat of the moment. Great job on both of these, 343.
Coloring: Some of the coloring on Truth is pretty off putting, the brightness of the sword doesn’t mesh well with the map. The sword blocks a lot of your field of view with its brightness and its scale.
Spawns: Spawns feel fine on Truth to me, they feel just like the old Midship spawns, but at the same time I feel like they should maybe have a rework, with Car becoming such a power point now, I think the spawns on car should be evened out with the spawns on pink, just my opinion. Empire; Empire I honestly have no complaints about. Feels great as a whole to me.
All in all. I like the overall flow of the game, it feels fine, it feels like Halo. It has evolved but at its core, it’s still Halo. After saying that, I notice myself getting far more frustrated than I have with any Halo game. I got actually mad, like I just had played CoD, this is not a comparison of the two, but just an observation.
If I forgot anything I apologize, I’ve been up basically all night beta testing, researching and reading up. I want this forum post to be civil, and knowledgeable, if you want to just start fights, please do not post.