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.