Halo was always meant to be a party game. It was intended to have certain core features at its launch. Split-screen is gone, multiplayer playlists/UI give zero incentive to play with your friends, and because promises were broken time and time again, this company can no longer be trusted by us, the fans.
I have lost complete faith in 343 as a developer and will boycott halo infinite. The game is broken and I no longer have the patience to be let down again. I’ve only come to post this to share my condolences for those who bought into 343i’s sleazy monetization system or their mission statement alone. Sure, forge looks promising, but the management of this game has still baffled me. If I ever had any stock in 343 as a company, I would be pulling the plug on it right now. In fact, I would’ve done it before the launch of Halo 4.
343, you have lost my trust. I find very little reason, if any, to remain interested in your game. I’ve been a long-time fan, since the days of Halo 1. Countless errors such as hiring people who hate halo, or fundamentally changing the game for no valid reason, has led me to believe that you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know who your audience is or who your core fans are.
Your inability to safeguard Halo was a colossal failure. And for that, you have lost.
Bruh if this is a party game, then we’ve been partying with the same balloon and 1 song for the past year hahahah. How many people at this party? 1 lol. And i just left my own party bc of how lame it is lol.
“Two men enter. The better man leaves. The lesser man is respawning. And that’s Halo.”
Guess that means Halo is a competitive game right? No lol.
Can we stop relying upon the words of a single person as gospel if it fits the narrative we want to drive home and start observing with our own eyes the reality that even though we had fun at LAN parties as a social event, we ultimately derived enjoyment out of kicking each other’s -Yoink!- in an overtly competitive environment by the very definition of that word?
Halo didn’t get any true party game modes into the mix until Halo 3 from what I can find. Up to that point you had slayer and objective modes in your choice of casual or ranked flavor.
343 has certainly unequivocally dropped the ball time and time again, and Halo Infinite for all the positive choices made is no exception.
Not accurate though is it? you derived fun from victory.
But there are people, myself and many of my long time friends included who played halo purely because of how chaotic and fun it was(is/can be).
We did not need to kick anyones caboose to be enjoying the game and many customs were built around creating chaos not competition as the core fun factor.
The same is true of the weapon and vehicle sandbox.
Like I have said before on here there are countless times where a friend or I have opted to do the most idiotic thing possible in a given moment because it was going to result in something chaotic and fun in that moment but likely not serve us victory.
The main mode of halo has always been social.
The name is there with good reason.
And features like forge, halo 2s much missed proximity chat. No fall damage in mp etc. Were all built with social implementation in mind.
Harve designed CE MP to be a party game.
And to say that a win state means something isnt a party game is down right erroneous. Win states make a game a game.
Mario party and smash are party games but by the nature of some being competitive they can become competitively focused despite the core design not being intended as such and thats the qualia, people are attempting to express.
Its a fundamental design philosophy and one that can support a much wider base than a competitive focus simply by its nature.
In H2 Max was all about streamlining and catering to many with what they had.
It was still explicitly a party game philosophy. To replicate to fun of being in a room with friends or a LAN party online.
Then Max/Tyson and Jamie decided H3 was about adding more variables into that base. While refining the experience.
When the core creative leads are the “one dev” it is not a question of narrative.
Its a question of intent and the reality of project goals.
Its hardly a grand conspiracy that reach onward had a very different approach to sandbox design and that the popularity of those titles are not as universal as the prior games. Its very relevant then that Harve was long gone by reach, Max was after starting CA and obviously a very big peice of the puzzle in Jamie had gone to sony for infamous projects.
And when trying to isolate reason as to why Reach onward was such a departure, down to its art direction, it is far from absurd to consider core franchise direction to be a major component of a change in experience. And new i tent that didn’t quite understand what halo was at its core.
Luke smith is not a good example of this type of argument.
Hell, man was a kotaku journalist at the time halo2 launched and he was very critical of the game to boot.
He was a community and journalism liaison during halo 3 and eventually became an artist.
I believe he was even an art director post halo at bungie although dont cite me there.
I didnt hang aroung much on the forums and message boards later into reach or during destiny
But a well knwown fact is Smith was a very competitive person/player. Ie the example is one of a person who had zero impact or say on the fundimental design philosophy of any halo title and who brings a distinct bias in being a player who sees games purely as competitive.
You are basically making the argument that one could dismiss evolution because a critic stated its an afront to god.
Darwin and Wallace both outlined their thesises and intent but many peers tried to force it back into a creationist mold upon publication.
Yet regardless of ones stance the fact remains that Charles’ and Alfred’s intentions were not based in the same philosophy as those peers and so any statements put forward by them to the contrary have no bearing on the reality of the situation.
(Sorry very odd analogy but its what came to mind so I went with it.)
But many of us can separate the 2 and enjoy to play for the social aspect as much as the competition.
And could do so because ranked and social differed greatly and MLG rules were a different game entirely.
It was great because it catered to such a diverse commu ity and wasnt like any of its contemporaries by design.
I think some think (not saying you do) that this argument means to undermine halos competitive qualities but it is really out to determine the essential nature of halo Nd how it can be iterated and expanded on in a way that supports all facets of the community.
Halo is a party game set in an arena that is true but arenas were not the focus mearly the medium of delivery and theres much to be learned from that.
Particularly in a space over stuffed with competitively designed fps games.
I think to reduce halo to being thought of as an Arena Shooter is not just a mistake but a disservice to the franchise, its legacy and the community that grew from the success of the trilogy.
Edit: statements rplied to for ref:
I think this debate is one of the more interesting in our community as of late because it cuts so deep and has so much nuance in every term used as well as varied colloquial usage of said terms. Its fascinating to me.
But ive yet to find a truely great argument against the hypothesis of halos lacking direction being a mistake in philosophy. From my perspective halo has certainly been a party game first and foremost in the mp space since its inception.