It’s like one of the last innocently optimistic, child-like parts of me has been crushed. I get a lot of joy out of Halo, and I was really loving the hype train. I believed the rhetoric about a “player first” direction for the game. I was excited to “be my own spartan” in a brand new game, and looking forward to whatever challenges I had to overcome to get my armor from the old games. I couldn’t wait to see how the new sandbox and game mechanics would work with all the wonderous combinations both enjoyed and cultivated by the community. Playing the test flights was such a THRILL, and I couldn’t wait for the whole package to arrive.
But we never got the whole package, and we’re not getting it on the 8th either. It was literally taken away somehow. Yes: every conceivable thing was restricted and/or segmented into a commodifiable slot machine with extra steps. I’m looking at a user-end designed for a money-making free to play mobile game. I’m not looking at the lovingly crafted expression of Halo’s legacy that I and so many players were promised. I’m disappointed, I’m insulted, I’m frustrated with myself for not seeing this coming, and I really really wish 343 would openly address the shock people are having and do some serious course correction while there is still any considerable good will left to salvage from the fan base. I hate seeing the whole community be up in arms about this, and some of it has gone beyond a level that is called for. But I also hope people still try to hold this game to a higher standard. The only way I can think of to fix it is if 343 can actually admit what is wrong with this release, and take accountability for the predatory nature of the nostalgia-baiting mactro-transaction extravaganza they’ve released with a minimalist new Halo game attached to it.
If we believe the devs who tweet about this, it was unexpected how much players had to grind, that and players wanted more playlists. They say it was important to stress test the playlists, yet didn’t have a plan to implement new playlists by Dec 8. I find this harder to believe with each thing that is said about it, especially considering how it’s tied in to the carefully crafted monetization. They don’t say anything at all about the customization- which is absolutely also tied in with these things. They haven’t even directly addressed how the challenges- also tied in with this monetization scheme- cause players to ignore objectives and let down their teams.
It may be that these devs are under strict NDAs so they can’t. But my trust and faith in this release has already been struck down considerably, and it’s hard for me to invest more. With all the other horrible things going on in the world, can’t Halo be something better?