Alright people, I’m gonna spend a little time talking about sprint in Halo.
hears loud collective groan
Yes, yes I’m well aware this topic has been worn out over the years, but I need to get this out there.
Before we move on to my proposal, I want to make it clear; I don’t like what sprint has done to Halo. I never asked for it, never wanted it. I’m not going to explain every detail of why it degrades from Halo’s design nor am I going to indulge any pro-sprint arguments, because frankly, I’ve heard them all, and they’re very easily shot down. If you wish to learn more about sprint and its effect on Halo’s design, there’s plenty of source material for you to look up yourself.
Now let’s move on to the topic at hand, mobility.
It’s entirely possible to implement advanced movement into a game, without degrading and/or drastically changing Halo’s core gameplay.
Currently with Halo 5, sprint punishes players for using it, severely. But at the same time, you’re required to use it to effectively traverse maps that are essentially built around the mechanic.
Even mechanics such as Spartan Charge and sliding, require sprint to function.
So, in order for this to work with classic Halo gameplay, something sprint cannot do, we have to create a mechanic that follows three simple rules:
- Does not force the player to put their gun down; it must be up and usable at all times.
- Does not increase player speed; a static, maximum speed is needed for proper map design.
- Does not degrade from and/or force a negative change in established mechanics and/or game design.
Although these rules can be bent somewhat, the positives MUST out weigh the negatives in order to justify it’s existence. The rules are in place to improve and evolve Halo in a healthy manner, which sprint fails to do. So feel free to come up with your own ideas based off of the rules provided. I’ll be reading them.
Here are my proposals:
- Map pick-up based Armor Abilities. Things like sprint, thrusters and jet pack could remain in the series as pickups on the map. The custom games community would jump for joy with this one, not to mention it would maintain the ever so important even starts. Players could improve their mobility, if they’re willing to fight for it. This is possibly the simplest mechanic to implement, since we’ve already seen what Armor Abilities can bring to the table gameplay wise.
- A mechanic that I will refer to as “Thrust”. Imagine a meter that could be spent on mobility options on the fly, that constantly recharges, but could only be spent on one option at a time. Tap or hold a button to place you in Thrust mode, and you are able add a variety of mobility options, without breaking the above rules. In Thrust mode you can: Press crouch to slide in any relatively forward direction, hold your melee to charge up a spartan charge, and stablize in the air regardless of zoom if you jump. There are many possibilities past these if we’re willing to bend Rule 3, such as wall running and or scaling, faster reloading and/or mantling.
- Lastly. No movement gimmick mechanics at all. Pure, and simple. Halo returns to it’s more platform style roots. Although, this would be met with opposition, this is arguably the healthiest option. Even if it doesn’t evolve the series, it most certainly wouldn’t degrade from the gameplay that many of us have grown to love.
It’s OK to improve upon the game. But change for the sake of change, is wrong. Changing a established franchise to conform to generic overused trends, is also wrong. I hate to use it as an example, but there is a reason people continuously flock to Cod every year; it provides a consistent experience that people want. People will continue to buy something, that continues to do the thing they like. Imagine that? This is something that 343, fails to grasp. CS:GO is a excellent example of a game that stands the test of time. Halo can also be that game, they just have to have a little faith in what Bungie started.
Edit: sigh I was hoping I would get more creative solutions. Now we’ve just dived back into same old arguments. In hindsight, I should of expected this.
Pro-sprinters, when I say I’ve heard every argument, I mean it. When you say there’s nothing wrong with sprint in Halo, what you really mean is you have no problem with the Halo’s that are entirely built off the mechanic. That is the case for Halo 4, 5 and to a lesser extent, Reach. Which is fine, but blatantly ignoring negative changes to gameplay, and treating people poorly who have well thought out counter arguments and are willing to take the time to even explain in detail why sprint is degrading, is ultimately unhealthy for the community. Same goes for Anti-sprint arguments. Please be kind to your fellow Halo fans.
And for the love of god, can we please stay on topic?
Edit2: I’m going to dispel some common misconceptions about the anti-sprint argument.
- We’re not asking for carbon copies of the original trilogy, we ask that the series evolves in a healthy manner. It was the sole purpose of this post.
- Sprint alone isn’t the issue; it’s the rest of Halo being forcibly balanced out to accommodate it. You don’t just put a foreign mechanic like sprint into Halo and it just magically works. If this was the case, there never would have been a problem with it in the first place. It changes everything from map design to weapon balance. The game ends up drastically changing from the ground up, which is exactly what we’re fighting against.