The way I see it, 343 is determined to set themselves apart from Bungie in terms of development, and rightly so. It’s not good to live in a shadow. However, after Halo 4, the majority of the fanbase has made it their sworn mission to stamp on the hopeful company’s fingers as it drags itself into the light of individuality.
And so we find ourselves in the situation we are in now. 343 has stated that Halo is taking a turn for the competitive, like it was in it’s adolescence. However, I highly doubt this means we will be seeing them return to the age-old mechanics of previous games. Halo 1-3 were good, but they are not the ultimate paragon of every videogame evaaaa, if you see what I mean. 343 has shown their loyalty to the old fanbase via the MCC, but it seems they are not going to simply churn out Halo titles with new graphics and campaigns with the exact same multiplayer, as a quick scroll around the internet would lead one to believe is what the fanbase wants.
But this is justified, and a good thing. Halo multiplayer was already stagnating a little, to the point where no amount of weapon sandbox expansion could save it. 343 tried to remedy this in Halo 4, with the popularist perk systems, loadouts and ordnances. This gained them glowing responses from critics, and unbridled hate from the fans. This is something they cannot and will not allow to happen again.
343 realises their mistakes now, and are ‘going back to Halo’s roots’. This does not mean that they are going to bring back every old vehicle, the equipment system, health, etc, etc. They are not slaves to the “nostalgians”, (a term I’m quite proud of) who want Halo to remain exactly the same from 3 onwards because that’s how we like it, thank you very much.
We can see that this is not what is happening, as the Halo 5 beta trailer unashamedly showed off the new Spartan abilities, things that were later explained to be actions available to all players automatically, like dual wielding or boarding. Thus, Halo 5 is introducing new gameplay mechanics whilst still remaining competitive, much like what Bungie did with Halo 2, something many revere to this day as Halo’s pinnacle (and on a side note, default sprint’s probably staying, like it or not, only they’ll probably balance it a bit more).
I dare say many people won’t like this, but it’s for the best. Better that Halo innovate than become a stale, inaccessible franchise with a small cult following. I love the universe, and am extremely excited by the taste we’ve had of Halo 5: Guardians so far.
I expect your hate shortly, nostalgians of the internet.