There seems to be a consensus at 343 Industries that Halo’s gameplay needs a change. That things need to be added to the Halo gameplay list of mechanics to compete with the ‘modern’ titles. This is prevalent in the design choices they have incorporated this far with the beta footage. For example the thrust, aim-down sight (iron sights), and and it looks like vaulting also exists. The main question that is in my mind as a Halo fan from 2001 all the way to Halo Reach is why? Does Halo really need a drastic ‘evolution’ in change? If we look at the recent features of Halo that many players, especially intelligent players in terms of multiplayer, we can find what defines Halo in a modern context. You don’t even have to go, in terms of title releases, that far back.
Halo 3 is a prime example of what a lot of players wanted, and loved. You had the balance of all the weapons working in their own respect range, and scenario. The shotgun was definitely an up close and surprise weapon. There was no question whether or not someone with a shotgun could reach you from one end of Guardian, to the other side. The BR was the weapon of choice for most scenarios, it was the reliable choice that could potentially beat any weapon if the player was smart. Smart being the word choice, you had many community learned techniques, like strafing, knowing the map and being able to successfully back peddle, or “ghandi jump” around corners to beat a sniper, or a average shotgun wielder. The other fray of weapons worked as last resort type of guns, like the spiker, SMG, plasma rifle and so on depending on map variant or gamemode. They didn’t need to push a bunch of weapons into a working field. Tons of weapons in Halo 4 work as stand alone weapons, some better than others due to ammo and functionality, but none of them were too restricted. This was increased by the aspect of armor abilities.
Introduced in Halo Reach as a compliment to the golden triangle that makes up Halo (Guns, Melee, Grenades) you would compliement one, or some of the many styles of gameplay. It was subtle, but even still had problems among the community like armor lock preventing smooth and seamless gameplay.
Sprint also tried to compliment this golden triangle, but in the end really didn’t work for Halo due to map design choices, as well as weapon balance. A player with a shotgun could sprint lunge towards a DMR player and destroy the purpose of their weapon. This was one of the major reasons why Halo 4 was a failure in terms of multiplayer. Everything was trying to work which resulted in a bunch of features trying to fit together.
It seems like this is one of the problems that is foreseen in Halo 5. It looks like a game with a bunch of features that don’t even try to compliment one another, nor make a connection with the golden triangle of Halo. The reason it slightly works for games like Call of Duty to have a bunch of features that are loosely developed and not well thought about in the long run is because of the wild and crazy gameplay mechanics already there. There is no nuance, there is no subtly or much technique involved, just whoever is quickest and has the best perks and guns. This is not what Halo was supposed to be about. Plenty of times people could best a really good BR when they’re a really good AR user. This is being taken away, and almost everything is becoming like a game of Slap Jack where everyone is just throwing a bunch of stuff in a pile and waiting to see what works.