… Don’t throw things at me! The title is slightly misleading.
I intend for this to be a useful, constructive thread which details perhaps a rather neglected issue with Halo 4.
As is usually the case when I make a thread, this is something I’ve found myself talking about quite a bit recently.
In my opinion, one of the major problems with Halo 4 multiplayer is that it doesn’t do enough to bring anything really new and exciting to the table.
We have had plenty of changes, but have they really given us that much which we haven’t had before? Here’s what I mean:
Gives us weapons and powerups more often and more easily than usual.
What’s actually new? - The fact that we can press a button on the D-pad to gain them, as opposed to picking them up from different areas on the maps.
Give us more grenades, more sprint, more ability to escape doomed vehicles etc.
What’s actually new? The fact that we press a few buttons in the menu, as opposed to picking up grenades, or jumping out of a vehicle when we sense danger.
Gives us more forward movement.
What’s actually new? Forced weapon lowering and a lack of indefinite movement at top speed.
This one doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but rather takes something away, and that something is de-scope.
The new weapons and vehicles
Most of the new weapons are doubles of existing Halo weapons in their function, but with new designs.
Even something like the Boltshot is essentially giving us two existing weapons in one: a Pistol and a Shotgun.
I must be fair to the Rail Gun, which does work in a way which is unique to the other weapons.
I must also be fair to the Pulse Grenade, which doesn’t act like any grenade we’ve had in Halo.
As for vehicles, the Mantis is another example of a genuinely new addition to the franchise; it doesn’t function like anything we’ve had before, despite any current balance issues.
For me, most of the additions/evolutions made to Halo with Halo 4 do not seem to be genuinely new in any way which I consider to be exciting and fresh. Most are gameplay changing, as opposed to gameplay enhancing.
Notice how a lot of the new features are just new ways of giving us what we already have, but more frequently and with more ease.
This part is very important: You may be thinking that I’m saying these kinds of evolutions are bad, but I’m not. My problem is not with evolutions which give us more of what we have, but with the fact that they hugely outnumber evolutions which give us new toys to play with.
After all, Dual-wielding just gave us more of what we already had, and I’ve never been against that.
And it doesn’t just apply to multiplayer either. Let’s look at what each main Halo game offered us in the way of genuinely new and exciting evolutions:
- Halo CE started it all, and gave us the unique style of gameplay and weapon sandbox which I’m sure most of us love.
- Halo 2 gave us online multiplayer, among other things, which was absolutely huge.
- Halo 3 gave us Forge and Theater.
Halo 4?.. Spartan Ops
Now I don’t hate the idea of Spartan Ops, in fact I loved the first episode and the last few episodes, though I’m not a fan of recycled maps and objectives, but that’s another issue.
The thing about Spartan Ops is that it just gives us more of what we already had; it is like a mix of short Campaign missions and Firefight.
So even outside of multiplayer, I feel that Halo 4 suffers from the same problem.
Halo 4 doesn’t give us quite enough in the way of significantly new features, which aren’t new twists on things we already had, and this is a problem which is especially true within multiplayer.
I believe that this is a major reason for Halo 4 flopping as far as online population goes, and I think that Halo 5 should look to learn two things from this:
1. Within multiplayer, while it is perfectly fine to give us new features/weapons that give us more of what we’ve already had, with minor changes in the implementation; I think that it is incredibly important to give us new things (not more of the same) which evolve gameplay in signicant ways, while keeping core gameplay in check.
What are these new features? I don’t have a clue yet, but that’s part of the magic.
2. Outside of multiplayer, we need something which is genuinely new and brings a new way of having fun to the franchise. Look to how Forge and Theater succeeded at doing this. Forge let us create maps, and Theater let us re-watch our gameplay; both of which were 100% new ways of having fun in Halo at the time.