> TL;DR version
> I bought Halo 4 expecting it to be a sequel to Halo 3, not Halo: Reach.
> Since Halo 4’s release we have seen a close to 80%'ish population drop, roughly 360,000 people stopped playing.
> Halo’s formula, it’s specific taste has been completely changed; comparison would be like Five Guys Burger and Fries switching to all beef to tofu burgers.
> - Shift from balanced spawns and weapon placements forced chaotic imbalanced gameplay.
> - Fully customizable loadouts are not balanced; distrupts vehicle and slayer gameplay.
> - Personal ordinance alters map movement, with no static weapon spawns there is no encouragement for map movement thus making camping easier.
> - Changes of objectives, now KoTH, Oddball and regicide don’t play the same anymore and avoided like the plague.
> Prior to H4’s launch, the lead designers of Halo 4 stated Halo was being brought back to it’s roots, that they were using Halo 1 and Halo 3 as reference points; personally speaking, it does not look or feel like that at all. It feels like it’s a sequel to Halo: Reach.
Now please read the full version
Firstly, I bought Halo 4 expecting it to be a sequel to Halo 3, statements from 343i, specifically from Frankie; “We are bringing Halo back to it’s roots”, and that they were using Halo 1 and Halo 3 as reference points for Halo 4.
Well, to me, it does not feel like that at all. It feels like they made a sequel of Halo Reach and nothing else.
Personally speaking, I did not like Reach as much as Halo 3 because the weapon sandboxes weren’t very precise and very slow to use, the AA’s were far to disruptive and bogged gameplay down.
But now 343i has fundamentally changed the Halo Formula with barely any proper research. All research done was through internal tests and through companies that are hired out to play test games 8 hours a day. None of them were from their actual community.
Halo used to be an Arena style shooter, meaning everyone spawned on equal terms, nearly everything was always balanced; whether it be weapon placements, vehicles, spawns and what you spawn with. Now we have:
- Random and definitively not neutral weapon spawns on map.
- Loadouts distrupting core Halo gameplay, not balanced for Halo.
- Personal Ordinance giving everyone power weapons 2-4 times a game.
- Shift from balanced gameplay to chaotic gameplay.
- Fundamental changes to objectives.
Every game excels at something specific. Call of Duty is extremely casual friendly, Battlefield excels at huge battles and objectives, and Halo was king of 4v4 small balanced game play, and 343i changed it up to try and draw in players that don’t play to often. And judging from the population statistics, it didn’t pan out.
Roughly 368,000 populace of the peak 410,000 people have stopped playing. Right now, there are less people playing Halo 4 on a daily average than there were people playing near the end of Halo Reach.
And right now my point here what I would like to discuss is Matchmaking and 343i in general.
Buying Halo 4 I would expect that it would show some reflections of it’s predecessor, but the game literally shows no resemblance to it’s heritage.
It did not ship with anything that supported any bit of old play style.
Any changes 343i had made have always been too little too late for me and many of us. It took such a long time for a boltshot nerf, which still should not be a one shot kill.
Armour abilities should not have been a priority for the main stage of Halo’s matchmaking, especially coupled with fully customizatble loadouts.
And at this stage I don’t think 343i truly has a grasp of what their community desires; just look at all the objectives. Team Objective has always fared fairly well in Halo right up to Halo 4 where it has one of the worst playlist populations in matchmaking.
I don’t want to sound harsh and to offensive to 343i, but they are driving so many things straight into the ground every time they do something. Almost everything. And this truly saddens me because I love Halo so much.
I wish I could make a real difference for Halo, I wish I had enough skills to be able to apply for a job and actually make a difference for our game.
I love Halo, but Halo 4 is pushing me away, but before I go, I want to reiterate a fact for me. I have played Halo for 5 years with a very tight knit group of friends of about 8 players, and of those 8, 3 months after Halo 4’s launch, 3 of them don’t play Halo 4 anymore and the rest of us play about 30-70% less, and it’s not due to time schedules, it’s due to the lack of enjoyment.