Just my personal opinions about the reveal. I understand that it’s a demo and Covid has made it harder to work on the game, but they had a long time to prepare this and the “it’s a demo/beta they’ll fix it by release” argument has been proven wrong time and time again, so don’t use that as a counter argument.
For context, I own and have extensively played all main Halo games except for Halo 5, which I have seen and played a bit but I still don’t know too much about it compared to the ones I own. Yes, I’m a classic fan who doesn’t like the newer games)
- The graphics don’t look good for something on next-gen. They’ve been hyping up the potential of the Series X, and bragging about how detailed this game would be, but I wouldn’t say this game looks any better than Halo Reach in terms of graphical quality, minus a few gimmicks like dynamic lighting and stuff which look kinda cool, but things like the Assault Rifle looked very plasticy, the brute at the end’s face looked terrible for modern standards, it seems like most of the effort went into developing the environments rather than the assets people care about - which brings me onto my next point. - A lot of the assets appear to just be ripped from previous games. A lot of the enemies look to be retextured and reconfigured models from H4, H5, and H2A. The Assault Rifle is blatantly the same model as the one from Reach, and once again they’re reusing the H4 warthog. This isn’t an issue in itself, because many games do this now, however the fact that they’ve decided to use mainly H4/H5 assets shows that they’re not returning to the classic visuals that they suggested they would. - There are some assets that are new, but they’re nothing special. Most of these I think are new purely because they weren’t in any previous games apart from maybe HW2, but I wouldn’t say they looked especially good or unique, and I think the new phantom looks awful. - The in-game artstyle doesn’t match the cinematics and still looks like Halo 5. While I think that the cinematic shots were okay visually, it doesn’t match the gameplay at all, which looks a lot more cartoonish. There are countless threads and videos discussing 343’s artstyle since Halo 4, so I won’t go into it other than just saying I don’t get why they’ve made the cinematics and trailers appeal to Bungie era fans but then made the actual game appeal to H4/H5 fans. - Over the top visual effects. I’ve noticed that they’ve put a lot of fast and large explosions everywhere, the plasma effects on the weapons are a lot larger than in previous games, and there are tons of other miscellaneous lights and beams dotted around. I thought Halo’s visual effects used to be relatively subtle, which I liked, however the ones in this reveal really make the game look generic in trying to make EVERYTHING flashy and exciting when it shouldn’t be. - The gameplay is not the “return to form” they’ve been talking about. They’ve been saying for ages now that they’re trying to bring the game back to its roots, however the game still looks like it functions the same as the newer ones. Juttery motion, fast weapon switches, sprint, climbing, the new grappling hook which is just another advanced mobility gimmick - I didn’t expect it to be as slow paced as H3, but I thought they were going to at least make weapon switching times longer and remove advanced mobility apart from sprint. The ways the AI behaves is also another really off-putting thing in the 343 games that I hoped they’d have changed, but clearly they haven’t. - The new format is something I’m worried about, but I’ll wait until I play it myself to judge. I don’t usually like open-world FPS games but I wouldn’t judge this without playing it for myself. However, it’s giving me Destiny flashbacks and I honestly don’t think Halo would benefit from functioning like that. I guess we’ll see how this works. - The sound design is, once again, awful. Very typical for 343, as I’ve never like the sounds in Halo since Halo 4 (even H2A), but it’s a big part of the game and Bungie used to put a lot of effort into making the game sound unique and balanced. - Why did they decide to make the cliffs blocky like Minecraft? I don’t think this one needs explaining, it’s just weird.Overall, there isn’t much I liked about this reveal - pretty much everything that put me off H4 and H5 is still present, which irritates me because they were telling us that this was supposed to be a return to form. Some of the stuff I mentioned is just aesthetic, but nobody can seriously deny that visuals and sound design make up a huge part of a game, and in the case of Halo, are integral to its identity. I’m probably not going to ever buy this game, but I’ll play it if I ever get the chance. Anyway, just my personal opinion that I wanted to share, I think it’s useful to identify why the newer games fail to meet fans expectations, so this isn’t intended to bash the game, but rather to identify the mistakes, questionable decisions and shortfalls I believe 343 has made.