Color me unimpressed.
Don’t get me wrong, I still hope 343 Studios comes out with a banging new Halo game, but after the debacle that was Halo: CE Anniversary edition, I’ll need first-hand proof that Halo 4 isn’t a dud before I believe it.
I mean, look at the stuff they highlight in this video (with my commentary in bold):
- A clever reason why there are red and blue Spartans fighting each other. (Who CARES?! Is an elaborate backstory going to make up for subpar gameplay? Because that’s the first thing I’m going to think of when you draw attention to things like that.)
- The story being integrated into the multiplayer experience. (Competitive Halo multiplayer has never been about telling a story. If it’s there and doesn’t detract from the gameplay, sure, I’ll take it. But it’s not something anyone has been clamoring for.)
- The sound effects have been completely redone. (Whoopty ding-dong)
- Players will be able to customize their loadouts and unlock gameplay changing features ala Call of Duty. (This is the biggest red flag for me. To me, one of the most elegant parts of a Halo deathmatch is that it starts everyone off on equal footing equipment-wise. You start giving players who have spent the time to grind out enough XP to give themselves a discernable starting advantage, you start going down a slippery slope of game balance issues. I’d rather lose matches to people who outmatch me with skill, rather than unlocks. This is an especially big issue for a game like Halo, where people don’t die in one hit like other modern war shooters.)