Lots of times, people over-complicate things such as attracting casual or competitive gamers when all anyone really wants is a Halo game that is a simple and sound shooter.
Look at the perceived “Best shooters” by the veteran shooter community. They did NOT have all these gimmicks modern day shooters have. It was move,shoot,choose you’re gun/pick-up the weapon you want to use. There wasn’t gimmicks like Armor lock or Kill-streaks that really dont make any sense from a game play perspective. It was you shoot more accurately I die, I shoot you more accurately I die. That is many times the result of encounters in shooter games.
Sure, you have exceptions like Shadowrun but a shooter is clean,simple fun its a pure form of gaming that anyone can really learn. The complications like strategy,set-ups, positioning, tactics are many times created by the players. The game should not try to create these complications for the players, this many times ends up instead being frustrating to the players such as DMR reticle bloom was to most players.
If I gave two noobs a controller and a copy of Halo 1 and told them to play, not knowing the “Best tactics and strategy” it would look like a mess to most veteran players right? But those new players would still be able to shoot,move,and use tactics they would be playing the same game as I would but in a much simplified way. The point is, a shooter is still a simple and clean experience valuing skill above all else, the other stuff is but fluff.
Most players do not play a particular shooter because it has “Kill-streaks” “Jetpacks”, or any particular feature. The average shooter fan likes that particular shooter because it moves,shoots, and looks good. Its not that complicated to see why Halo,CoD, CS, BF, ect… are popular its because the core game mechanics shine above all the other features. The simple acts of shooting,moving, and being able to locate an opponent are simply better than most other shooters. Its not a RPG where the games are judged more off of content and class dynamics, shooters are judged off feel of the core game mechanics above all else. and Halo as without a doubt deteriorated in the core game mechanics of moving,shooting, and clean gameplay over the years.
Mechanics like strafe acceleration/aim acceleration feels horrid in H3+Reach. I feel like I have to “start and stop” many times in H3 to get an accurate head-shot because my reticle starts to speed up beyond my control. The same is true with movement, its sluggish and non-responsive due to strafe acceleration. This is a HUGE downgrade from the core mechanics of Halo 1+2 where I felt in control of my Master Chief. Go watch any H1+H2 video compared to a Halo 3+Reach video and ask you’re self which game would you want to play judging by core game mechanics? If you say Halo 3 or Reach you are in the minority of shooter fans, most would without a doubt say the first two Halo games excelled in core shooter mechanics.
Now lets look at gimmicks. First watch any Halo trilogy gameplay and notice how the game-play flows smoothly, there is not much in those Halo games that make you say “WTF that is really random/cheap” because they were clean,simple,shooters. The kind of shooters that excel at the core game mechanics and allow players to create the complications. Anyone can play these shooters casual or competitive and be playing close to the same game and enjoy their experience.
Now lets look at Halo Reach gameplay. We have people flying around in jet packs on soft kill zones shooting people from “god positions”. We have people pausing the game using Armor lock making players feel cheated of their kills. We have people spamming camo jamming their teammates radars, and abusing the AA to camo snipe and camp in corners. We even have a gameplay mechanics breaking the number 1 rule of any shooter “I shoot you more accurately than you do me you die” a by product of random reticle bloom.
Now lets get two random Halo noobs off the street and ask them what game they would rather play? I promise you the majority of the time those new players are picking the shooters with better core shooter mechanics, and logical non-gimmicky game-play.
TLDR: The Halo trilogy games are the clear winners in having superior core shooter mechanics, and providing gameplay that casuals+competitive players can enjoy. The gameplay complications are provided by the players, not the game unlike the polarizing Halo Reach game. So then why build off the inferior shooter game? Why build off a polarizing and gimmicky Halo experience, rather than a clean,simple, and uniting Halo game that every shooter fan can enjoy? By adding more gimmicks on top of the returning Reach gimmicks, 343 is simply polarizing the shooter fan base further and limiting the games appeal to the Reach fanbase that enjoys these features. By doing this 343 is alienating the core shooter fan, in favor of the casual shooter fan instead of providing a simple,clean, and fun shooter everyone can enjoy and play at a basic level.
Halo is practically the embodiment of a simple,clean, and fun shooter. Reach changed that and people wonder why Halo’s popularity as a multiplayer shooter has declined? 343 you need to go back to the basics with Halo 4, not build off an inferior and less appealing shooter game in Halo Reach. The shooter fanbase will thank you and you will have a more wide-spread appeal with Halo 4.