Players focus on the other AA’s which are so obviously game-changing. But I think the biggest game changer was sprint, the AA that most players have the least number of problems with. With sprint removed from Halo 4, the tension would return and with it, the thrill of Halo.
Sprint kills the patented tension of Halo:
Remember that feeling of a “well-executed kill” that Halo used to stand for? That no other shooter could ever bring you? You were locked into a battle with an opponent–there was no way out except to out-shoot. There was a tension there. Once you got close enough, you were committed. You had to kill or be killed. It was a gripping moment. What would happen?
We put the game into the disc tray to feel that tension, and to come out the winner in those fights. Today, of course, you can sprint away from that commitment. Which is a lose-lose for both players. Even if we’re the ones to sprint away, we lost a key battle moment that made Halo fights epic. Now, battles are much more manageable, and we lose the intensity of Halo.
Sprint discourages accuracy:
When Halo was a game with a fast, floaty, unified movement speed, you had a much bigger focus on accuracy. It was required. If you got close enough to an opponent, and couldn’t run away, your shot accuracy was everything.
Now, you’re running-stopping-running, aiming, sprinting away, turning, running-stopping, aiming … How much aiming is going on there vs. moving around? Like armor lock, the sprint AA is a big do-over for us, and it makes aiming less important.
Why do the hard work of aiming when you can run around, maybe catch the other player off-guard, then clean him up? A toned-down, vanilla victory.
Sprint encourages camping:
In Halo 3, if you camped you couldn’t easily get away with it, because a shot to your back could travel faster than you could. With Reach, you can stay in one place and if you’re found, you can sprint away pretty quickly, to where an AR can’t touch you.
Sprint was given for the right reasons, but is wrong:
“Every other good shooter has it.”
“It doesn’t hurt anything to keep it.”
“Halo was behind the times.”
Sure, we all wished at one point in Halo 3, “if only I could sprint …” I remember thinking it. But be careful what you wish for, because we got sprint, and gave up a lot of Halo feel to get it, stuff that we may not even notice, while we focus on the other, more obvious AA’s that were added to Reach. Hope we can put the genie back in the bottle for Halo 4. What do you think?
Having to move at the same speed as your opponent added to the locked-in nature of the game, a unique feature I think we lost by “getting with the times.”