Let me start off by saying that I’m a young male, and a casual gamer. I am the intended audience of a game featuring armoured warriors, guns, explosions, and hot virtual A.I. After all the years in development, Halo 4 should be the game that I wanted to get, and I did.
Man do I feel like a sucker. After enjoying the hell out of EVERY Halo game (including Halo Wars) and even reading the books, my fanboy level was so large, it could beat the Prophet’s shield like a drum. I was sure that I would be enjoying Halo 4 for years to come, convinced that someone could super glue my disk-tray shut and as long as Halo 4 was in it, I’d be happy till Halo 5 came out.
On paper, Halo 4 had everything I wanted from a new Halo game. I even had the ability to make my Spartan specialize in a certain type of combat, just like in the books! I spent the months leading up to November completely bored with any other game I owned, for all I wanted was Halo 4.
Then I actually got the game. My first week with it was amazing, but soon thereafter I found that my favorite aspects of Halo were actually missing, and for once I actually didn’t want to play a Halo game in my free time.
The multiplayer was terrible.
For once I couldn’t play most of the maps with my friends when we would hang out, split screen lagged like a Japanese-hosted Lost Planet match. It was actually more fun to play Halo when my buddy wasn’t next to me, and that was such a kick to the Chief.
Then came the lack of accomplishment, I simply had no joy when I did good in a game of Halo. I got 40 kills in one game in the Mantis and I just felt like a -Yoink-. 343 seemed to think that the casual gamer doesn’t like a challenge, but they forgot that without a challenge there’s no sense of accomplishment. Halo 3 was challenging, and it was awesome to feel my skills improve. What fun is it to get 30 kills if you know it was simply because you managed to got a binary rifle from a dice roll when your opponent got Plasma grenades? I mean what fun is winning a game of soccer against a chicken? Sure you’ll do good, but that’s not fun.
Not even gonna go on about what a freaking crutch the DMR is, man that gun pisses me off. STAY IN REACH YOU FREAKING POS OP GUN!
Then there’s the Warthog. I cannot tell you how much I loved being a Warthog driver. I sacrificed my k/d to help my teammates PWN and it was the best thing ever. Now the beautiful Warthog has been turned into bacon. Thin, microwavable Cosco-bacon. It was with the Warthog that I saw the fatal flaw in the loadout system when the loadouts are simply not balanced. Vehicle play when everyone has plasma pistol +plasma grenade? Nada, zilch.
I guess I don’t even know why I’m writing this. I guess I just feel really let down by my favorite franchise. I really hope those people that Halo 4 catered to stuck around, cause you lost me 343. I’d like to actually meet these people who Halo 4 was meant to be played by, those people who like playing chess against frogs, or racing turtles. I guess they must like Halo 4.
Closing thoughts: I really wish that 343 could make Halo into Halo again. The tools are there, and it seems like they have no problem talking, but some big problems doing. With some tweaks, Halo 4 could be challenging and enjoyable again. Meanwhile I’m watching Halo die before my eyes and I’m wondering if 343 really cares as long as I already bought Halo 4 and their map pack pass. Go back to the roots 343, this branch is dying.