There is a great deal of speculation in regards to Halo 4, and everyone seems to have an opinion on what will make it better or worse. I’ve seen countless threads complaining about things that no one knows for certain yet. I understand the worry and the excitement alike; a new Halo is being created. I’ve played Halo games since the inception, and I know why I play. Why do you play? What keeps everyone playing Halo, and why did so many people leave when Reach was released?
I don’t want to start a debate about AAs, bloom, rank, movement speed, jump height, maps, storyline, blah, blah, blah… I want to keep it positive. Before anyone uses “nostalgic” in a derogatory sense, I want to remind everyone of Halo in it’s prime: http://dualtality.com/ This was from when montages were something I looked forward to watching every chance I got. Love it or hate it, MLG was/is a collection of the best players in Halo, and anyone who appreciates skill, can appreciate what Halo represents.
Personally, I don’t feel like I’m a good representative of the competitive player. I’d rather play with friends, but the goal has always been to win games as a team. Multi-kills, no-scopes, clutch flag runs… all things that make me happy. Rank matters as it gives you something to work towards. It is a goal far beyond having a cool arm or visor. Reach has proven that anyone can have a Spartan that looks neat, but in the end, that matters little. I play Halo because winning is fun. There, I said it. I like getting kills and winning games. I like feeling like I am improving at something. But I don’t want to win if anyone can do what I just did. Why would I care if I do well at something if it takes no skill? I don’t care if I’m the best at tying my shoes or spelling my own name. Whether we admit it or not, there is no joy to be found in anything that doesn’t provide a sense of accomplishment. Cool looking Spartans can be attained without playing against another thinking entity. But we play against one another. Why? To beat an intelligent person who is on the same playing field is what makes multiplayer Halo fun. If that were not the case, I’d do nothing but play campaign/firefight. Even if you play socially, it’s the interaction with other people that drives you to get on xbl.
All that said, I hope 343 remembers why Halo was successful. Give us better graphics. Give us better looking armor. Give us awesome multiplayer maps. But please don’t forget that we like playing a game where skill, aiming, strafing, and decision-making matter. We like out-playing our opponents. Give us a game where no one spawns with any advantage over anyone else. Many people who remember no longer play, but for those of us who do, please give us Halo again. There is a reason why Halo players always prefer Halo. 1-50? I don’t care as long as there is some reason to play besides attaining a rank that doesn’t reflect how well you play. If you read this far, thanks.
TL;DR: Halo was fun because of the desire to improve instead of making a pointless rank and getting unlocks. I miss that feeling.