After 2 weeks of SO missions I’ve finally made up my mind. This mode just isn’t that great. A new co-op-able campaign independent from the main campaign with new missions every week sounds amazing on paper, but I think 343 really missed the mark on execution.
Lack of Connection
The first problem I have is just the lack of connection between the missions you are playing and the great cinematics at the beginning of each week. I honestly don’t understand who my character is and how it fits into this story, and just in general don’t feel like the mission objectives are relevant to the overall story trying to be told. Maybe just an extra cut-scene in each level could help this?
The second issue I have is that the Spartan Ops levels themselves are recycled from week to week, and are also recycled from certain campaign spaces. I was initially somewhat confused whenever I played week 2’s content and I was playing a couple of the same levels only with minor enemy/objective tweaks. Don’t get me wrong, Sniper Alley, for example, was one of my favorite spaces from campaign but I don’t want it copied and pasted into another game mode.
In all fairness, creating 50 unique looking missions would be quite a task for 343’s art team, but there are other ways to get around that. They could take certain art/texture palettes and just create new geometry and levels out of that. Maybe take the snowy aesthetic of Fortress (third level of week 1) and make a new space out of that?
"THERE WAS A FIREFIGHT!"
The third and final complaint I have with this mode is that it’s really just a less fun version of Firefight. Playing these maps I couldn’t help but think “man this level would make a killer Firefight space.” The Gate (first mission from week 2) would have been a CLASSIC Firefight map.
I love the concept of Spartan Ops, but work clearly needs to be done for its next iteration if it returns in future games. I would honestly love it if 343 brought back Firefight so it could coexist next to Campaign, MP, and Spartan Ops. Maybe they could have an unlocking structure where you could complete a Campaign/Spartan Ops level and could unlock one of the combat spaces as a Firefight map?
Idk, just throwing out ideas, but if nothing else SCORING NEEDS TO RETURN. It’s a feature many fans have loved and is a great feature that encourages replayability. 343 needs to add scoring/medals back into the campaign and also integrate it into Spartan Ops. I will probably never play through these Spartan Ops missions again after completing them, and I think scoring would not only help with that lack of incentive to replay them but would also be a good compromise if 343 refuses to bring back Firefight.
Anyone else have any thoughts?