With so many different Halo games, and different players now, there is a friendly debate on “what Halo is”–and what Halo 4 should be. I’ve noticed there are 3 basic arguments in the “is it Halo?” conversation.
Which argument do you find yourself making most often? And which argument(s) do you think will prevail for Halo 4? Can all three arguments be addressed through playlist support? Or does one necessarily cancel out the others?
These are all legitimate arguments. It’s simply personal preference, and sharing those preferences can be interesting–since we do it everyday in our responses to each other, but maybe don’t realize the specific point-of-view we’re coming from.
Argument 1: Keep features that have already been given. That’s Halo now.
This player likes every release better than the last, because new ideas are what gaming is all about. Maybe it’s a Halo 3 player with a high tolerance for change, or a new player who sees Reach as Halo.
Reach’s changes to core gameplay: low jump height, defensive loadouts, and gun accuracy, are not a big deal to ths fan. He likes that Halo is “moving forward” as a franchise, and likes the creative new powers that allow him to be a stronger player.
This player trusts the developer’s vision for Halo, and isn’t open to arguments that Halo is too different.
Argument 2: Go backward on gameplay; go forward on game management.
This player believes Halo 2 and 3’s core gameplay of “guns, grenades and melee” is the gold standard. Without this formula in action, Halo becomes a different game.
Conservative on “core gameplay,” this player happens to be progressive on “game management.” This player sees some Halo game attitudes as too old-school. Being able to shoot/betray your teammate should go. Adding replacement teammates when one quits out during games should be added.
In Reach, Bro Slayer (spawning on teammates) helped to speed up battles. Invasion’s staged map idea, a la Bad Company 2, was new for the franchise as well. In certain situations, the ideas seemed successful to this kind of player.
This player sees Halo as special, but not sacred. If classic core gamplay stays untouched, new ideas that reduce the hassle of matchmaking, and help players to enjoy the game more, should be added to Halo 4.
Argument 3: Return to the golden era. No substitutions, please.
This usually dedicated player does not want Halo to change from the amazing game it was in 2005 (or 2007). For this player, Halo 4 would be perfect if it were a successor to Halo 2, the advancements being cutting-edge graphics, a few new weapons, new multiplayer maps, enemies and story.
This player has seen Halo change too much over the last six years, and is adamantly against more changes, whether they’ve worked for other games or not. They see dropping-in a replacement player mid-game as breaking Halo’s closed competitive system, even if they’re left on a short-handed team, and they believe friendly fire makes Halo tactical. They live with the issues that come along with this old-school approach, by partying up with trusted friends, or they endure them to become a tougher player.
To this person, Halo is only hurt by new ideas, and the formula for a great Halo game exists but was left behind in search of the new.