Halo: A Surgeon's Perspective

Briefly on me, I am a veteran halo player since halo CE, and currently a young surgeon. I have been using halo as stress relief for the last 10+ years of training, and continue to love it to this day. I have frequented the forums countless times over the last 10+ years and never felt a need to post anything, but times are changing. I have played the halo 5 beta…and…well….

Let’s reflect quickly on something: halo 3 many will argue was the last “pure” halo title. Arena gameplay, no sprint, equal starts, power weapon control, minimal auto-aim, and a large skill gap. Halo 2, of course, was similar. I lived and breathed halo 3, to this day I feel it is the greatest game ever made…with regard to fun-factor at least. I complete understand the many complaints people have had beginning with Halo:Reach. Halo:Reach in my opinion, was an atrocity. When I played that beta, all I could think about was, wow this game is garbage…but it’s a beta I’m sure it will get better. Of course, it did not. However, Halo:Reach was not a bad game…in fact it was a great game. It was just so blatantly different than its predecessor that it caused me agonizing pain. I know a lot of you continue to have these feelings today for Reach, Halo 4, and now Halo 5. I completely understand this.

Halo 4 was a chance at redemption for halo in my opinion, on the shoulders of 343. I played the campaign first, and I was amazingly impressed. Great story, character development, atmosphere, return of the chief… I was very happy. The multiplayer felt…off. However, it was fun. It was, of course, 343 and Microsoft’s vain attempt at appealing to the masses. Loadouts? Ordnance drops? Wait, I can start with a plasma pistol and jetpack? While the game was FUN, it really tried to copy something that another game was already doing much better, and alienated the hardcore fans. The casual fans got their quick fill and abandoned ship. As we all know, it failed in the multiplayer department. While this was obviously rage-inducing to a great many fans, we have to stop and realize that this was a smart decision on Microsoft and 343 to attempt and capture more players. It was inevitable. Let’s just give them a break. I took a deep breath, played the game for a long time, and accepted the direction where halo was headed…even though I did not like that direction.

The feedback from Halo 4 was astonishing. People HATED what was happening to their beloved franchise. For all the hate that 343 has received, I applaud the fact that they actually are listening. They have Microsoft clawing at them to attract more players, but they are still listening to us. 343 have taken everything you have said about halo 4, and changed it for the better in halo 5. Even further, because they knew a large group of players would still rage about halo 5 not being “pure,” they decided to make Halo:MCC, and give everyone a graphically updated, 60fps version of the games that they loved, with online matchmaking. Further, halo 2, now has remastered maps. Of course, IF the game worked as intended, many people would be happy. However, MCC was a disaster at launch (and still is in some respects). In my opinion, the MCC disaster has 343 more pissed at themselves than we are at them, because I think they honestly take pride in what they are doing. MCC will eventually be the masterpiece the hardcore crowd wants it to be, but probably not for months to come unfortunately. In the meantime, I’m going to just be as patient as I can be.

Enter the halo 5 beta. What? Sprint? Thrusters? Hover? Ads? I was initially very worried, but after about 8 hours of beta playing time, I’m hooked. The game is amazing. I honestly feel the thrusters in H5 are the greatest addition to the franchise since the BR in H2. It adds a depth to the combat that will allow more casual players to have fun being mobile, and more competitive players an advantage. After becoming accustomed to the thruster, it feels like such a natural transition for the franchise, and in my opinion will widen the skill gap significantly. I have often been outgunned by skilled players who use thrusters strategically, and while I disliked being owned, I didn’t feel frustrated. The overall theme I’m taking away from H5 is that it makes the player feel powerful. I’ve never felt a sense of “power” in halo until now. Walking around in halo 3 having BR battles was fun, but even when I totally dominated I never felt powerful.

I realize this is nothing more than a self-indulgent rant, but I think it’s important to realize that 343 is trying to cater to everyone, and I think they are succeeding. Halo needs to evolve if we want it to survive for the long haul. By the end of 2015, we will have online matchmaking for a fully remastered 60fps classic halo in the form of MCC, and a brand-new, evolved, fun, intense halo 5. I’m feeling very optimistic.

I agree 100%. Good post.

BR starts take away from the game. AR/Pistol starts was waaaaay more fun. There needs to be more options. Everyone running around with BRs makes the game boring and akin to wack-a-mole.

Great post. I’ve been playing Halo since I was 10 also and I completely agree with all of your major points. I haven’t had this much fun playing video games since Halo 3. I like the new direction of my favorite gaming franchise.

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> BR starts take away from the game. AR/Pistol starts was waaaaay more fun. There needs to be more options. Everyone running around with BRs makes the game boring and akin to wack-a-mole.

There will obviously be seperated playlists in the final game just like every other Halo game. They want feedback on all the main weapons so this Beta strategy makes plenty sense

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> > 2765156556932973;3:
> > BR starts take away from the game. AR/Pistol starts was waaaaay more fun. There needs to be more options. Everyone running around with BRs makes the game boring and akin to wack-a-mole.
>
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> There will obviously be seperated playlists in the final game just like every other Halo game. They want feedback on all the main weapons so this Beta strategy makes plenty sense

They had something fresh whilst classic Halo feeling with the AR/Pistol starts. Just hope they go back to that as the foundation. Maybe BR starts in a hardcore/radar-less playlist would be more fitting.

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> > 2533274807858554;5:
> > > 2765156556932973;3:
> > > BR starts take away from the game. AR/Pistol starts was waaaaay more fun. There needs to be more options. Everyone running around with BRs makes the game boring and akin to wack-a-mole.
> >
> >
> >
> > There will obviously be seperated playlists in the final game just like every other Halo game. They want feedback on all the main weapons so this Beta strategy makes plenty sense
>
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> They had something fresh whilst classic Halo feeling with the AR/Pistol starts. Just hope they go back to that as the foundation. Maybe BR starts in a hardcore/radar-less playlist would be more fitting.

That’s exactly what will happen and what’s happened with most prior Halo games. There will be your Team Slayer which is usually AR starts, and then you’ll have your Team Hardcores and HCS playlists which will have no BR/no Radar. No need to worry about that

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> > 2765156556932973;6:
> > > 2533274807858554;5:
> > > > 2765156556932973;3:
> > > > BR starts take away from the game. AR/Pistol starts was waaaaay more fun. There needs to be more options. Everyone running around with BRs makes the game boring and akin to wack-a-mole.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > There will obviously be seperated playlists in the final game just like every other Halo game. They want feedback on all the main weapons so this Beta strategy makes plenty sense
> >
> >
> >
> > They had something fresh whilst classic Halo feeling with the AR/Pistol starts. Just hope they go back to that as the foundation. Maybe BR starts in a hardcore/radar-less playlist would be more fitting.
>
>
> That’s exactly what will happen and what’s happened with most prior Halo games. There will be your Team Slayer which is usually AR starts, and then you’ll have your Team Hardcores and HCS playlists which will have no BR/no Radar. No need to worry about that

AR starts to me actually feel good for the first time in halo 5, the AR feels right, maybe could use a slight range decrease.

Things that definitely need improvement in Halo 5:

  1. LAG for scopes. The sniper and DMR are especially bad. The transition from no scope to scope should be smooth and painless as it is in other halo titles

  2. Delayed response for sprint: please fix

  3. The color/glare make it incredibly difficult to see blue team often

  4. Sword taking up the entire screen…

  5. The music: seriously, awful. Can I have another death tune please? How about we tone down the “spartan bro’s” fist pumping rock music at the end of the match as well.

  6. Need to have custom control setups: i don’t understand how this is so difficult to accomplish.

  7. I am also in the camp that kill times should be slightly longer.

Overall, incredible job with Halo 5.