I’ve enjoyed every Halo (although I’m admittedly partial to the first three), and, like many of you, I’ve sunken nearly two decades of my life into Halo Multiplayer (can’t believe it’s been this long!). And while I’ll likely enjoy whatever 343 delivers on the MP front, I’d really appreciate it if the cosmetic ranking system (meaning the actual symbol or number that you literally see in-game that indicates your rank in a particular playlist) be based on military ranks again a la Halo 3 (Recruit - General). And, to account for the problem where Halo’s old system didn’t accurately represent higher end players, maybe just add a couple new ranks beyond General (e.g. Spartan, MasterChief, Reclaimer, Hero etc.).
Halo 5’s Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum etc. is fine, and I understand it’s just a re-skinned version of Halo 3, but it has always felt a bit incongruous with Halo for me. It started back in Reach with the higher levels getting increasingly abstract, but even Reach’s higher ranks were still informed by the narrative of the Haloverse (Forerunner, Reclaimer, Inheritor).
Bronze, Silver, Gold…Champion are like medals one earns in a competition; and I suppose you could make the argument that the canon of 343’s multiplayer is that it’s essentially war games for the Spartans - like a sport they play during downtime to refine their skills and the ranks you earn reflect the ranks they earn in their world. But still, it’s a cosmetic choice that seems designed to cater to our real-world E-Sports crowd more than it seems concerned with being consistent with Halo’s themes, tone, and style.
Everything about the Spartans in 5, and the conceit behind the MP, turns them into these super-powered bros jockeying for bragging rights (even their “playful” pointing at each other animations before a game present a tone that’s just not very serious and not very Halo), in effect transforming them into a simulation of us (or the game-maker’s idea of stereotypical “gamer behavior”) rather than allowing us to become them. All of those artistic choices, combined even with the literal rank I see, have an adverse effect (for me) on honoring the tone and style that makes Halo unique and emotionally powerful. How many other games have the generic “Gold…something” system?
So I’d like to see a return of a numbered ranking system paired with a military grade rank not just because I’m nostalgic and I find that kind of cosmetic ranking system more emotionally resonant and easier to understand, but because there should be aesthetic consistency between a game’s campaign/setting and that game’s multiplayer.
Based on the demo we saw at E3, I believe 343 is headed in the right direction. Let me know if you agree/disagree.