We have seen the rise of quick kill quick reward games like CoD,BF, MoH, Crysis, the list goes on and on. Why are these FPS’s so popular? What do they offer supposed to a FPS like Halo and what do they do better? The only correct answer is they have very quick kill times. The casual gamer controls the market more than ever before, as the face of gaming has changed over the years and has become more mainstreamed and the tactical ironsight FPS seems to be their shooter of choice. They most certainly in my opinion do not offer what Halo does from a gameplay perspective and overall package but they have become the new trend and safe bet in FPS.
Now, Bungie did something very risky but unique with Reach. They extended kill times with the additions of reticle bloom, and life-saving AA’s. They changed the way Halo is played from a movement perspective, and a kill time perspective. They gave us new abilities off spawn, majorly changing the dynamics of the game. Whether Reach was the best way to go for the Halo franchise is debatable, but one thing is for sure the kill times were increased and they tried to put a new twist on Halo’s basic gameplay and it probably did not fair as well as they probably expected seeing as how the Halo trilogy dominated the FPS market on console for years and Reach does not.
343 Industries is aware of this and my biggest fear is that they will try to drastically change Halo kill time wise and how it is played as a sort of knee-jerk reaction to how Reach was perceived by gamers. I fear that Halo will start to become more like your generic tactical FPS with ironsights to compete with the casual fanbase of those shooters. I fear that we will not be seeing the Halo FPS we all know and love and supported for all these years, but a compromised version of it. Will 343i try to emulate the plethora of BF/CoD clones more with Halo? I seriously hope not, but it is not out of the question especially considering they are not Bungie.
On the other hand, will 343i try to make Halo 4 more like the Halo trilogy with simpler game mechanics with more of a “Halo feel”. They know the Halo trilogy was very sucessful and the safer bet if they want to restore the Halo fanbase. The Trilogy featured slightly quicker kill times emphasizing basic FPS elements and was more of a “barebones” Halo FPS you could say with simple tools. Bungie kept it fairly simple from title to title, although innovating with each Halo title they did not step out of the box as much as they did with Reach. They knew the Halo fanbase was crazy about Halo, so they did not dare or add too much to damage their core fanbase following. They went the usual routes most developers go with their games(FPS especially), sticking to their formula for success and expanding on it a little bit further each time. Early indications say this might be the case, as we see the return of Masterchief and a HCEA giving us a chance to relive the start of the Halo franchise in spectacular fashion.
The third option is taking a bold and out of the box approach like Bungie did with Reach. 343i definitely must have some new ideas of what they could do with Halo and I am sure they dont want to just ride of Bungie’s sucess they might want to innovate on Halo as how they see fit. This again is a gamble, that could either really pay off and amaze the Halo community and breathe new life into the franchise, or it could have disastrous consequences if they stray too far away from the Halo formula. Some would say this happened with Reach to a lesser degree. I say they should not be afraid to innovate with Halo, but they should also be afraid that the Halo community is a VERY loyal community and loves Halo already. Improving Halo and good additions would be my advice, changes to core gameplay/basic fundamentals I would HIGHLY advise against.
Which route 343i will take with Halo 4 is any ones best guess, but hopefully it will be an amazing Halo game.
Which route do you think 343i will take with Halo?