Subjects That Will Divide

I know quite a lot of you have done similar threads concerning Halo 5; what should happen in the next instalment, who should be present, what the gameplay should be like. So here are my views, and they’re likely to divide the community.

Cortana should remain dead.
Many will disagree with this. Hell, even I do to an extent. She’s a great character, and likeable – providing a balance within each game the Chief has been in. But bringing her back could be a little cheesy. If she comes back, she can’t be the very same AI that we all know. She has to be very different.

Balanced play for online games.
Halo’s strength has always been a level playing field for all players, regardless of how much they play the game. Everyone spawns with the same weapon, at the same time. The reward for those out there who play Halo every day should be improved knowledge of the map and where each weapon/vehicle is. And access to beautiful armour, of course, once earned.

Currently in Halo 4, you can spawn with a variety of different weapons, which can result in a very average player standing back from the main combat area and simply shooting them from a distance. I have no incentive to go in, to charge forward. That must change. And limit or remove the Infinity ordnance packages in order to encourage play.

Firefight should return.
As it says, Firefight was a great addition in ODST, and in Reach. But I was sad to see that it wasn’t in Halo 4. We needn’t fight just the Covenant/Storm, we could also fight the Flood.

Ranked ‘Hardcore’ matches
Though I’m not one myself, dedicated players need somewhere to test their mettle. And those who achieve the highest of highs – topping the leader boards or gaining enough rank – could be rewarded with rare types of armour that have physical properties, such as Recon with the ability to nullify motion detection completely. Or, if you feel hard enough, simply play in your regular armour and gain even more points.

It’s Halo, so give us a Halo.
It’s been a while since we landed, feet first, on a Halo. So it would be nice to go back to one, in 60 fps and in HD, with stunning new graphics on the Xbox One.

Invasion should return.
Invasion was a great inclusion in Halo Reach, and I think it should return. I know 343i were eager to stamp their own mark on Halo 4 but never remove a good thing. I may be in the minority with this, or not. But I thought Invasion was great and I’d love to play it in Halo 5.

Be Careful with the plot for new players.
I thought Halo 4 was narrative heavy, especially if you’re new to the franchise, and the terminals should have been in-game, not on Halo Waypoint. Remember, 343i, Halo is a game for all players, new and old.

Blue Team
I’m not too sure about this one. I would love Blue Team to get back together, properly, with the Chief, but I’m not sure how it could be done in a respectful and carefully managed way. Balancing that with the plot and gameplay could be very difficult. Though if done correctly it could be amazing. Just imagine it.

Running around and pushing buttons in a campaign isn’t interesting.
For me, there’s nothing more frustrating than running backwards and forwards pushing various buttons and switches that lower bridges, deactivate forcefields, or bring anti-aircraft guns online. Do something different. In reality, many of these would be designed with fail-safes in mind, so that a half-ton Spartan-2 doesn’t have to carryout mundane button-mashing missions. A rescue mission perhaps?

If buttons and levers do have to be pressed, then send John with a complement of marines or ODSTs like in HALO CE or HALO 2. Then you don’t feel alone, fighting your own war, while the rest of humanity sits back with a beer.

Halo 4’s Story Was Emotional
The ending of Halo 4 was a brave step. And I loved it. In future installments the story should also have a similar impact: Make the story matter.

I just want to touch on the campaign related points.

> Cortana should remain dead.
> Many will disagree with this. Hell, even I do to an extent. She’s a great character, and likeable – providing a balance within each game the Chief has been in. But bringing her back could be a little cheesy. If she comes back, she can’t be the very same AI that we all know. She has to be very different.

I agree with you. If Cortana was brought back it would look very weak and show little faith to whatever narrative plan 343i has for the Reclaimer saga. Granted, if it was their original intent to have Cortana come back in some way, I would be fine as long as it was done well which 343i is capable of doing. In fact, if she did come back, it could be similar to Gandalf coming back in Lord of the Rings. A case of back and better than ever with an explanation that fits the fiction. But, for one final note, I hope that Cortana remains dead since it gives weight to whatever actions John takes in future games (as well as reminding us that anyone could be next).

> It’s Halo, so give us a Halo.
> It’s been a while since we landed, feet first, on a Halo. So it would be nice to go back to one, in 60 fps and in HD, with stunning new graphics on the Xbox One

Agree. I really liked where 343i went art wise with Halo 4 in the campaign. I would love to see them expand on the stunning vistas they’ve already showcased (stepping into the sunlight for the first time on Requiem, the view when flying the pelican, any of the Forerunner architecture). Honestly, I think 343i absolutely nailed the final set piece when Master Chief defeats the Didact over Earth. It felt right out of one of the Forerunner saga novels. I think we should all be very eager to see what eye candy 343i has for us in Halo 5’s campaign.

> Be Careful with the plot for new players.
> I thought Halo 4 was narrative heavy, especially if you’re new to the franchise, and the terminals should have been in-game, not on Halo Waypoint. Remember, 343i, Halo is a game for all players, new and old.

I agree with you about the terminals but not much else. I read all the novels and was happy to see the story go in a more complex direction. 343i did a service for those of us who are more invested in the story. A positive that also came with the story was that it spurned curiosity from me to learn more about the lore. I’m hoping that for new players it made them feel the same way I felt when I played Mass Effect 2 before Mass Effect 1. Slight confusion but also the desire to learn more (because whatever is being referenced sounds very interesting). However, I could be completely wrong.

> Halo 4’s Story Was Emotional
> The ending of Halo 4 was a brave step. And I loved it. In future installments the story should also have a similar impact: Make the story matter.

A note: I agree with you about the button pressing. Halo 4 had heavier moments than pretty much any previous installment which is awesome. People gripe about Mass Effect 3 and its ending but the game really hit home with a lot of cinematic moments where the music and the events occurring on screen really just made it powerful (ending scene of the prologue, ending scene on Thessia, and many more including the infamous ending(s)). I would love to see Halo 5 hit similar emotional and narrative beats. Moments that stick with you make a game legendary (see: Star Wars: KotOR).

Sorry my post was a bit wordy but these are some things I’ve been thinking about. If anyone has time this Christmas break I suggest playing Star Wars: KotOR (I&II) and the Mass Effect trilogy. Great games if you’re into story.

Perhaps I misunderstood.

First you said that players should spawn equally, and then you said that skilled players should be able to earn armor that keeps them off the Motion Sensor.

Those two contradict one another.

> I
> Balanced play for online games.
> Halo’s strength has always been a level playing field for all players, regardless of how much they play the game. Everyone spawns with the same weapon, at the same time. The reward for those out there who play Halo every day should be improved knowledge of the map and where each weapon/vehicle is. And access to beautiful armour, of course, once earned.

I’ll take this one!

Halo’s core strength is that its an UNBALANCED game. Take unreal tournament. What does coming across a rocket launcher get you? A marginally more versatile weapon that in the right hands can do a lot of damage but still leaves you under serious threat from EVERYTHIGN else in the sandbox. What does it get you in Halo? A doomsday weapon on a similar scale to the redeemer considering it has far fewer limitations. And what’s worse is that it comes up much more frequently and in a sandbox also given over to Super Tanks, Omnipotent Sniper Rifles, CQC weapons that cut out ALL CQC combat save one shot, one of the poorest implementations of the semi-automatic precision weapon (yes, the Pistol/DMR/BR. On the scale of the FPS genre these are all terrible, clunky weapons whose only saving grace is the fact that they’re unbalanced with respect to automatic weapons and thus can be freely used despite how tedious and boring they are.)

In short classic Halo does virtually everything to unbalance itself besides unequal spawns which “the community” in lacking a sense of proportion takes as the all-and-all in order to slap on one more virtuous sounding characteristic onto the product to pointlessly justify its own interest in it.

Its nonsense that’s needs to stop so we can start FIXING Halo. And that’s where the divisive nature of this issue comes in. Some people don’t want Halo to be fixed but at the very least we shouldn’t delude ourselves with misappropriated terminology. Something can have “negative” qualities but still be likable even because of those aspects.

> Firefight should return.
> As it says, Firefight was a great addition in ODST, and in Reach. But I was sad to see that it wasn’t in Halo 4. We needn’t fight just the Covenant/Storm, we could also fight the Flood.

I’m struggling with why.

You say it was a great addition and I certainly know that a significant part of the population really, really invested themselves into it (I recall one four man team doing an insane six~eight hour marathon session just for kicks) but I still struggle with the why.

And the population of Reach’s FF mode was anemic, even more so for the FF gamemode that at least attempted to mimic ODST Firefight, and filled with people looking for easy cR payouts.

Agreed with all points covered. Would also like to touch on the narrative of Halo 4, I thought it was quite good that 343 went more in-depth with the story then Bungie went with the previous Halos’. However yes, they could go about elaborating more on anything that may cause ambiguity. But still, do prefer a complex story to a simple one… So let’s not complain about a Halo game having too much of an in-depth story because it’s a side effect that any detailed storyline will have some hard to understand moments. It’s just how it is.

As the thread heading says, this will divide members of the community.

As far as balanced play and unique armour types for ranked games is concerned, I should have included the following:

Balanced ‘Non-ranked’ games
and
Ranked Hardcore matches.

I believe that Halo does have balanced gamplay, overall. But elements are included that can and do upset the balance, by rewarding the player who knows the map the best. This doesn’t always happen, though. But, for the most part, this is what Halo should be.

As for Firefight. Sure. It wont flick everyone’s switch. I think including it would be a positive, providing another angle of gameplayer for all concerned.