The Case for Walking Fast

Halo games, with the success of the first trilogy, have earned a reputation fore being games wherein people jump very high and walk very fast. While it’s often joked about in anti-Halo or just non-Halo gaming communities, Halo players never really noticed it. It was just something there. But now, with Reach limiting movement speed (and jump height) players are looking back at how that quick and steady run affected gameplay. People notice a difference now, and it’s irking some individuals into saying that because of this (and other so-called imbalances) Reach is not Halo. But is a slower movement speed objectively bad? No, nothing is. Is a slow movement speed a cataclyst for a huge gameplay shrift in a game not designed for it? Yes, but more importantly, it can be bad in context. In Reach, that slow walk creates a slower pace of gameplay thanks to a variety of branches-off effects.

Possibly the most heated reason why walking slow is bashed is because it makes strafing tougher. That issue is more focused on the slow start now required to reach full speed on foot, but it’s an issue with walking speed nonetheless. A lot of Halo combat has been focused around strafing and sidestepping, almost dancing around the enemy’s rounds while he takes helpless fire from yours. This type of encounter is the base, the stereotype, of combat with precision weaponry. In Reach, that dodge is tougher to execute because it requires a “running” start to get to full speed. When you’re only covering an area of two feet with each sidestep, clearly that potential speed is not going to be reached. With the precision of most weapons, that small step is enough to keep the bullets hitting the air next to your head instead of finding a home in your skull.

But remember that in Reach, precision weapons ain’t so precise. Recall my above statement that Reach was not made for slow walking. Now consider bloom (its benefit or detriment to gameplay is irrelevant) and how it ties in. With a more extensive cone of fire, that small step keeps you in the “danger zone” of an enemy’s crosshair. With a faster walk that danger zone could be escaped before the enemy caught glimpse of the movement of your feet. But it cannot with the dangerous marriage of bloom and a slow pace of movement.

An issue a lot closer to home with you BTB players out there is that a slow walk means that if you are without automotive or airborne transportation, you’re spending most of the game’s duration walking to the objective. Granted, you’ll face the enemy team’s offensive perimeter and engage some foes that happen to be running around from time to time. As a whole though, being on foot on a BTB map is a rather boring experience. I’m sure that most people can recall one rebellious teenager that always insists on walking the flag from one end of Blood Gulch to the other, rejecting offers of transport. His reasons are his own, but his choice of action, while inherently detrimental, is worsened in effect by the slow walking speed. Subtract a quarter of it for the flag or bomb in his arms, and you have a pretty slow dude. That is a realistic and relatable testament to the struggle of on-foot BTB players.

Thus it is that walking slow is a rather unconventional approach to Halo movement. But, as stated above, is it really bad? I would say it creates a fish-out-of-water scenario for Halo players who struggle with it on maps too big for their lumbering feet. But for all of the facts and stats, it’s an opinion. And like the truth of religions or the preference of candy flavor, it has elements to it that are outside of facts - the subjective. My goal here is to persuade you all, and perhaps even the grandmasters of this fine game, that the opinion of people in favor of walking fast is both strong and supported. Philosophies aside, I hope that each one of you considers these statements made here, and the statements made and to be made by others on this forum on the topic of movement speed.

Strafe acceleration is the real enemy. If that was removed I think the slower base movement speed would be much less noticeable.

My theory would be to up the movement speed, get rid of strafe acceleration, keep sprint, and scale the maps larger to compensate for your faster movement speed and sprint.

what cold fusion said. Its the slow accelerations that kill the old halo strafe.
As for jump hight and movement, we have sprint, and we can still jump like a meter. In real life I can jump 2 feet at best

Jump height in Reach feels like you’re a fat kid that has been slightly augemented with power armor.

Movement speed in Reach feels like a fat kid augmented with power armor with a cookie dangling infront of his face.

Well written indeed, what I had always said is that the issue overall is basically ‘Limiting freedom of movement’.

We’ve been playing halo for 10 years, and have become accustomed to a fast walking, instant accelerating ferarri of a game character. Where navigating the play-space was super fluid. It was etched into the back of every halo players mind, and it was beautiful.

Then Reach, was basically like stripping us from our Ferarri and putting us in a Taurus. We are used to the speed, the jump height, effective strafing, skill jumps and ‘The dance’. Now we are limited, from what used to be, and it sucks plain and simple.

Sure there’s sprint, but that doesn’t carry over into when you’re actually battling an opponent.

I just hope with Halo 4, 343 recognizes the idea of ‘Freedom of movement’ and gives us back the mobility that we’ve enjoyed for so long.

lack of jump height is what prompts most people to say “grenades are mini nuke over powered nightmares” : reality is that if you could jump higher, you could avoid grenades…

> lack of jump height is what prompts most people to say “grenades are mini nuke over powered nightmares” : reality is that if you could jump higher, you could avoid grenades…

Well, a fast pace of walking would help that too.