halo2-4 multiplayer overview

Although Halo has a great story line, it is hardly the best story in the video game universe. Yet Halo 1 and 2 have by far my favorite campaign of any game I have ever played. They had very easy to learn controls, and when I say controls I mean you felt in complete control of your character. Not to mention this feeling of, the only one that can save the world. This is what made Halo great (to me at least).

This is why I know the people at 343 are more then capable of making Halo 4 great. Because it really was never about the “story” for a lot of people. The new twists they plan on adding are more then likely what halo needs to create new and great moments in the halo universe.

The only thing I am worried about is the multiplayer. As over the last few installments of the game the multiplayer has taken a turn for the worse.

Halo 2 had an amazing ranking system that was only flawed by how many people were able to cheat the system. It had ranks for everything except social. Lets ignore the cheating because I hope(pray) that wont happen in halo 4. The ranks were hard to get compared to the newer halos. They would take about 100 wins in a row to get to 50. although one loss would set you back pretty far, which was a good thing. Once I got a 50 in halo 3 I pretty much stopped caring about my level as it didn’t matter anymore. While This would still happen with this model it would happen over many more games. In halo 3 you could get a 50 in about 30 games.

Halo 3 had a much more laid back feel. The ranks were easy to get, like I said before a 50 in 30games or so. The community averaged high with these ranks, leading to 50s that weren’t as good as other 50s. Having easy ranks isn’t the worst thing in the world but it makes matchmaking unbalanced. It had a rank based off of xp. It felt good other then the fact that it had double xp weekends which seemed to make it pointless. It also made people boost for xp which was a pain and pretty much ruined the playlist for everyone else.

Halo Reach had no playlist rankings which made me personally bored with the game fairly quick. Although they had a much better version of the personal ranking system then halo 3 did. The xp was based on personal performance and it could be acquired in the campaign as well. Although I have played over 8000 games and still haven’t even broken half way through this system. Less leaps and bounds for the next rank would be nice, but I think they did that because of single player boosting. Another great thing about halo reach was the Arena. Although they could have done so much more with it.

Halo 4, for the matchmaking to be a huge hit full of things for everyone it needs to take from all 3 games before it. Halo 2s hardcore ish per playlist ranking system. Halo reachs version of the personal ranking system. Not to mention Arena needs to be revamped. Maybe a single playlist that is team based, not ranked like other playlists, resets monthly, has a leaderboard. There also needs to be that community feel to the social playlists, the weekend events and crazy game types in social playlists is perfect. Although the personal ranking needs to be done right, so that people care more about the team then anything. In reach wins do not mean anything making people care more about their stats then the win. Another great thing in halo 2 was the halo rank at 50. Having symbols for the last few ranks gave them more depth and meaning. Maybe they could do that again in Halo 4.

As for the matchmaking itself, a great way to balance the playlists is by matching players based on two ranks, the rank of the playlist they are in que for, and their highest rank no matter what playlist it is in. Stops 50s from playing against 10s in a playlist they never play.

Now onto gameplay this is purely personal as the way game play feels for everyone is different.

Halo 2 had a pretty basic feel, which was nice because it was not cluttered with bubble shields or anything of that sort. A lot of wins in any game type came down to how well you could use your weapon. It also had very fast game play, not having the option to pick a kit made respawns faster.

Halo 3 had much more features then halo 2 did, what blew me away was forge. Forge makes halo now days if they took that feature away now it would end halo. The theater system they added to record games was also pretty damn amazing if I do say so myself. The community really blossomed with this installment. Although they took out my super jumps out… FU bungie. The multiplayer had great new weapons that felt great. The only downside to what they added was equipment which did not flow very well with the game play 50% of the time. Flairs were okay, bubble shields and energy drainers just felt weird. Maybe if they were gun attachments It would have felt better.

Halo Reach had new weapons that flowed well with game play, the equipment felt good as well. Sprint was about the only one that felt good in “ranked” game play. Who ever thought of armor lock needs to be fired. Although I liked how it fit into the “lore” of Halo. I remember on halo 1 when the drop ship was crashing, the chief armor locked to survive. Getting jet packs in halo was great since I wanted that since halo 2. A downside was there was almost no point in playing the “competitive” game types, as you really gained nothing of value from doing so. Being able to customize your spartan was also huge, it let you be you in game. Unlike halo 3 there was a lot of options to pick from. Had a much better version of forge. Halo reach is pretty much what halo 3 should have been.

Halo 4 should have many of the great things the other games had. A much better forge option would be amazing. You see this with a lot of computer games, but why not let us create halo 4 maps with the tools that were used to make halo 4. This feature is in games like Skyrim, Starcraft 2. If those major titles have this feature then I don’t see why halo 4 can’t. All you would have to do is export and import with the new USB feature that xbox live gave us. I mean yeah not everyone has the pc to do this but the community will latch on to it. I’m also saying not one or the other but the pc import idea could integrate into Forge mode. An updated theater mode, we could export videos on a USB and maybe with the Map Creator for forge mode convert the video file into a playable format. I know that the file would have to be one of those videos created from saved game footage and not the full file but it would still be a nice perk.(that probably got confusing but I forgot the names for the saved games and the saved videos).

The Equipment that is coming in halo 4 seems fine so far, since they took out armor lock. I personally do not like load outs, as people starting the same, as in same gun and everything is just better for competitive game play. Although the community sees this a bit differently so if load outs are in halo 4, I hope that its set up differently. The reason is because spawn times just feel longer, to the point that they are just boring. Not having choices while you are dead is great because you think of what is going on in the game and what you have to do next to correct the reason why you are dead. Now having equipment on the ground would be amazing to me,because then they mean more. Although having sprint as a standard use button would be nice. Sprint just does not feel like equipment and would work great if everyone could always use sprint plus the equipment you pick up or select.

As for customizing your spartan, it would be cool if most of the unlockables came from doing something in matchmaking like getting high streaks with weapons or multi kills. Having more things to work for online would be fun, although do not take that the wrong way… online achievements suck. The model of online achievements is limited. It makes more since to have achievements for offline game play and then have unlockables as rewards in multiplayer.

With the amount of notable people on the 343 team, I know the maps will be great. They may not be balanced 100% but I know they will be fun to play. I have my fingers crossed hoping they do a real lockout remake.

As for the guns that will be in halo 4, there really is no reason to worry because balancing guns is not hard at all. As long as they pay attention and don’t make a gun like the mauler on halo 3. I can not wait to use the remade battle rifle. In this day in age I know they will add recoil to the guns. Although halo 2 sniping was the best just because there was no recoil. You put the circle on the guys head and he was dead, period. Unless he was standbying… lawl.

Recap.

–Halo 4 needs competitive rankings for playlists

–A personal ranking that can NOT be boosted or increased with poor sportsmanship

–Strong unlockables

–A good way to match people based on their competitive rankings in ranked matches

–a few strong community based social playlists

–And leaderboards, something that Halo has lost over the years, leaderboards would work great with the model of arena I talked about.

–The devs also need to keep in touch with the community. If for some reason something doesn’t fit into the competitive playlist they should be watching closely enough to take it out.

I know a lot of what I talked about that needs to change from the last two halos is all about competitive game play. Which might make my opinions seem a bit one sided but lets look at it this way. The causal players still play halo, the competitive players all left to go play competitive games like BF3 and MW3. The reason why the causal players are still around is because what they love is till there in the game. So social playlists do not need to be changed, maybe a few more perks would nice but im sure the devs have a few things for us to see for social game types.

These are all my opinions on what has made halo great, and what would make halo 4 great. Please post what you think would be great in halo 4. And btw anything along the lines of “halo sucks” all I have to say is it was good enough to get you on the forums for it… GJ hahahah