Most videogames need flashy gimmicks and overblown content to define their franchises, but Halo’s multiplayer shines in its simplicity. The smallest changes make the biggest differences in a series like Halo, so it’s a given that each sequel brings about much controversy with its subtle changes to gameplay mechanics. Here are a few that I disagree with, and would like removed or toned down for Halo 4:
This makes the rocket launcher twice as easy to use. Before, you could jump and barely survive a rocket explosion, but now, people can simply shoot without proper timing and still get an easy kill. It also changed tactics in game modes like SWAT, where people jump constantly to make headshots harder to get; with the normal jump height, you would jump too high for it to be an advantage. Furthermore, it makes map designs less dynamic, and turns jumps with drop-off more annoying; with less jump height, it’s harder to traverse platforms with pitfalls.
In stop 'n pop shooters like CoD, slower player movement is forced when looking down the iron sights, so unless someone is running a Steady Aim or Stalker loadout, all players play with the stop 'n pop gameplay. Halo on the other hand, embraces a semi-run 'n gun playstyle, allowing someone to run at full speed while shooting at their best accuracy (hip-fire is accurate, plus scoping doesn’t slow player movement). Moving at full speed encourages competitive players to improve their skills by strafing and constantly moving, so that the player is harder to hit. Strafing at the right time in past games could mean the difference between dying and killing.
But with strafe acceleration, the skill gap is thrown out the window. When players move, they first start slowly and quickly accelerate after a brief distance. This takes away from skilled players who have practiced their timing with strafing and defensive movement. Not only does it make it harder for the defender to evade bullets, but it also makes it easier for the attacker to utilize aim assist and bullet magnitism to “stay on target.”
Slower Backward Movement
This, in my opinion, is a bad mechanic. If this was removed, CQC weapons like the shotgun and Sword would be perfectly balanced, because both the attacker and defender would move at equal speeds, regardless of the players’ direction. Thus, a player who absent-mindedly ran out after someone could easily be killed by the defender keeping an equal distance between the two, no matter how far the attacker ran.
But Slower Backward Movement negates this equality between attacker and defender, allowing the aggressive to eventually rush into the red reticule for the Sword. On top of this change, the addition of Sprint compounds to make a very easy-to-use power weapon. Without these two mechanics, the Sword would take a lot more patience and skill to use effectively.
This very crucial aspect to Halo has changed in multiple ways. Vehicles are frail, and can easily be destroyed by the game’s most basic weapon (utility weapon). Vehicles need to be more resistent to basic weaponry, like SMG’s, utility weapons, magnums, etc. Proper vehicle balancing isn’t making them weak and puny, but giving players plenty of weaponry and counters on the battlefield equal to the power/amount of vehicles.
The one positive change made to vehicular combat was the ability to destroy vehicles while in operation. I don’t like vehicles being technically indestructible while driven.
Those are the only small changes I can think about. Did I miss anything? Likes, dislikes?
EDIT: I’ve taken out the focus on Reach, and changed it to an overall distaste to the following features.