I meant to post this weeks ago. I had originally written something up on my phone while I was at Texas, but it decided to refresh the page, so I had to rewrite everything in the notes app while waiting in the airport. This is approximately what I tried writing before. Sorry that it’s taken me until now to actually post this, I forgot about it.
Answering the first question most of you ask, does it feel like Halo, is kind of difficult. It really depends on who you ask. For example, I wasn’t a fan of multiplayer until Halo 3, because that was when I first got Xbox Live (hated Halo multiplayer until then because my friends were so good that I had no chance to practice and become better, which I have). I didn’t however like Reach much (not because the concepts introduced, but rather because those concepts were implemented poorly).
On that note, this game felt, to me, very Halo. It felt as good as my several years clocked into Halo 3. That’s not to say things don’t feel different. At its core, it feels like Halo 3 the most, because of the movement and weapons. AND VEHICLES! On top of that, it then implements some of Reach’s concepts, only they’re actually implemented WELL. Then on top of that, they added some of their own unique concepts, such as the new weapon spawn system and the ordinance that were in infinity (aka awesome) slayer. More on those later.
Even with all of that, to me, it still felt like Halo. But it’s its own Halo. While I actually had fun with it like before Reach, that doesn’t mean it’s the Halo of old. 343i made their own Halo, and I finally get what they mean when they say that. They didn’t just make their own game, they did in fact make their own HALO. It definitely didn’t play as poorly as Reach, and it definitely isn’t CoD. It FELT as good as Halo 3 did to me.
As for my favorite weapons, it’s hard to choose since they we’re all awesome. I started my load out with BRs, and it felt even better than I remember from 3. I picked up someone else’s DMR, and it felt on par and as deadly as the BR. I didn’t notice much of a difference while playing with them during my short time, and most of my time in game was devoted to loving the fact that the BR is back. My secondary was a plasma pistol, which is the weapon that surprised me the most. It felt pretty powerful, though the homing was indeed nerfed. I tried the magnum, which really only felt useful for cleanup headshots, which is how it should be considering it’s place solely as a secondary weapon now. I eventually jumped into a ghost (more on it later), and after some splatters I eventually used it to make a mad dash and ditched it to get the sniper rifle. I don’t see why people have been calling it clunky, it’s just different and people will need to get used to it. It was REALLY deadly with the power boost power-up which made it a one hit kill anywhere (more on it later).
The (random-ish) power weapon spawns (and indicators) worked really well, and I was actually pretty surprised to see it work in infinity slayer alongside the ordinance system. It actually seems like a smart move. You start with whatever starter level weapons you want, you earn mid-teir weapons through ordinance, and then earn power-weapons the old school way, by going to a destination marked by an indicator, and fight for it. It all worked really well together. The power weapons almost add a hint of territories style gameplay into slayer, which is pretty cool, especially compared to weapon campers from previous games.
Vehicles were buffed from reach, which is AWESOME, but they weren’t made too powerful. Ghost’s boost and the warthog’s chaingun are still limited like in Reach, but they have much more health. My ghost was stuck with a sticky, and it didn’t gat destroyed by it. I did headshot a guy in the warthog with a BR through the broken windshield though, which was cool, can’t remember if that happened or not in past games. They all drive well though, I drove the ghost, warthog and mongoose at least a little each, but the only one I used in for longer than 2 seconds was the ghost (it’s splat-tastic!).
As for the ordinance, it gave me the option of refilling my current loadout’s chosen grenade, the needler, or a random power-up each time. Both times I got it in the game, I got the power-ups, which definitely seemed like the most useful of the choices. First I got speed boost, which really helped me strafe to win a BR fight that I was about to lose otherwise (no shields and my opponent had the higher ground). The other one was damage boost, which I got while wielding the sniper, which proved to be extremely deadly. One shot to any part of the body is an instant kill with that combination! Personally, I’d love to see a custom gametype where you always get to choose between any of the three power-ups for ordinance, plenty of strategy with it.
As for loadouts, the one I tried and liked was BR primary, plasma pistol secondary, stickies, pro-vis, faster shield regen, and infinite sprint.
Speaking of, I should mention armor abilities. I only tested out pro-vis and hologram. Pro-vis was as useful as people say it is, and more useful than what I thought it was going to be. There was an ability in Skyrim just like it that I always used, and I can see myself using it all the time. I didn’t get much (good) use out of hologram though because the AA button and sprint buttons should have been switched on the Recon control scheme imho, and their swapped placement confused me each time i’d go to use one or the other. Each time I wanted to sprint, I hit the hologram, and had to wait to send out another, so I switched back to pro-vis where it was ok to accidentally hit it.
Something else I’ve heard questions about is fall damage. I fell from a higher height than Reach’s fall damage and didn’t experience any, but there was fall damage in the forge presentation. It’s significantly toned down, but still there.
Speaking of the forge presentation, I’m most excited about the map. It was mentioned before by Frankie, and it definitely looks like it has potential. I’m also excited to hear there will be 3 forge based maps.
Speaking of maps (said “speaking of” a ton already), I only played Longbow, which is cool since there hasn’t been much video coverage of it yet. It felt much smaller than I expected, but that could have been because of the faster movement speeds. I didn’t explore the buildings, but the rest of the map was fun. I can’t really compare it to any other maps though, because it felt much different than any I’ve ever played.
Only thing that I did not like about what I experienced was Recon’s positioning of sprint and AAs. Since sprint used to be the go to armor ability in Reach, and AAs were mapped to LB in Reach, naturally I would think that sprint would be on LB. However, the other AAs are on LB, while Sprint is now on X for that control scheme. That’s very poor placement for sprint considering you’d have to take your thumb off the stick to press it each time. I personally feel as though the two buttons should be swapped, sprint to LB, and AAs to x like equipment used to be in Halo 3. then the control scheme would be perfect!
But really, that was the ONLY thing I had any issue with during my one game. Everything else felt PERFECT!
Running out of “characters left”, so feel free to ask questions, I’ll try to remember it. Also got a minute recorded of me playing, but was told to stop :/.