Now, I realise, or at least THINK I realise that many of the changes that come with the title update will be slight or otherwise avoidable if you steer clear of the anniversary playlists… But that said, I need to get this off my chest.
For me, one of the main things that made Halo my go-to FPS is the weaponry. You play a game like Modern Warfare, and you’re soon struck by how samey the weapons can be. Pretty much everything fires boring ol’ bullets, and anything can trump anything so long as you get the drop on someone. Reach, however, has much more diverse and, well, FUN weaponry. You’ve got guns that shoot bullets, sure, but also concussive alien blasts, laser beams, blamite crystals, homing bombs, EMP pulses… And the best thing about all these weapons in my opinion is that they’re balanced against each other.
For instance: An energy sword can dominate up close… Unless it meets a shotgun. But a shotgunner’s day can totally be ruined by a barrage of Concussion Rifle spam. A Sniper might make light work of enemies at range, but all it takes is for a Focus Rifle to buzz him and he’ll be running for cover. Still, that Focus Rifle points a line directly to the person using it for all to see…
There’s a stone, paper, scissors mechanic at work in Halo, which helps keep every experience fresh. You can learn from your last death and go out specifically next respawn to find the tool that’ll put them back in their place. This makes map control matter more than just having a good view to snipe from.
…But that was all before the Pistol got buffed.
Honestly, judging by some of the Slayer DMR games I played on Powerhouse in the Beta playlist earlier, we might as well remove all other weapons from the map. The pistol will drop an enemy in 4 shots more or less, up close or at range. 2 or 3 to the body and one to the face before their shields have even popped. It’s easier than using the DMR, and with a Jetpack and zoom, nobody can escape your wrath. Well, unless they’re doing the same, of course.
It’s a satisfying weapon to use, but I can’t help but feel like its a power weapon now. A power weapon that everyone spawns with.
So where’s my incentive to find a needler if I’m dead before the crystals can can strip their shields?
Or a plasma pistol now that the magnum eats shields for breakfast?
Why use a DMR, even? It takes longer and does less.
If you’re keeping these changes in 1 playlist, fair enough. But I kinda feel it turns every game into a clumsy version of SWAT. I already have SWAT. Where’s the appeal in these changes that simplify the battlefield? Am I missing the point somehow? This is meant to feel like Halo, right? Why doesn’t it?