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(11-03-2012, 12:57 AM)

Originally Posted by Bornstellar

Would you like to start by justifying this crap?

I can certainly explain my position, yes.

Let me start by saying that I don't think Halo 4 is a bad game by any stretch of the imagination.

It's think it looks great, I loved the multiplayer, and it's a very polished experience overall.

That being said, the campaign was essentially:

1.) OMGZ!! We're under attack/have to escape/have to stop so and so.
2.) Go blow up that shield generator/push that button/ kill a bunch of dudes!
3.) Now run back through the level and kill even more of the same 8 dudes!

Some of the indoor segments were really solid, but when playing the game in outdoor maps going through the scenarios mentioned above, it gold REALLY old REALLY quick.

If you played Rage, imagine the last level of that game, on repeat, for roughly 8 hours. That is essentially the structure of Halo 4. It forces you to use way too many bullets to kill the same enemies over and over and over again for hours with little variation on how that is accomplished.

I understand some people enjoy arena shooters of that ilk, but frankly, it was a real chore for me.

The funny thing is, the first 15 minutes was another story entirely. The intro was awesome. I honestly felt playing it that if the game kept this up for the entire run, it would have been a primary contender for GOTY and 10 on our scale.

But after that, the game quickly degenerated into the sequences outlined above, and I was left wishing it would get better, or mix it up a bit, or deliver some moments like the early stages of the game. But it didn't really manage to do so in my opinion.

Mind you, they tried to mix it up with some vehicle sequences, most of which were satisfying enough because, well, blowing shit up is fun - but on the whole, there's a lot of back-tracking, a lot of rubber-stamp environment design, and very little going on despite the size of the levels.

They do manage to pack their environment with a ton of objects, and they all look fantastic, but they never did anything spectacular with them in-game outside of the first mission, and that left the game feeling very flat and very repetitive from where I was sitting.

And since folks are so bent out of shape about my comment on iron sights, I'll elaborate a bit here, too.

The thought came to me when I noticed that there is in fact a controller option called "Fishstick" in Halo 4 that gives you the same layout and functionality as most FPS titles on the market by allowing you to swap your zoom function to the left trigger.

However, several of the key guns don't offer sight-focused views, meaning that you use your binoculars and immediately jump out to the standard viewing angle upon firing. It's very jarring, and smacks as a half-assed concession to folks who want that feature in-game.

And yeah, I know Halo fans like what they know, just like most fans of most games. A lot of people argue that a fully-implemented iron sight option would somehow pervert the purity of the game, but frankly, I think they're just afraid of change, and here's why:

At it's core, Halo is about massive, arena-style environments. Ranged combat plays a big role, and when facing key enemies, well-placed shots are critical. As such, aim is pretty fucking important. That being said, a good 50% (and I'm estimating here) of the guns have scope-based aiming components.

This means that the idea of zooming in and shooting isn't foreign to the series, and in fact, is a large part of your tactical arsenal as a player.

With that in mind, and the importance of head shots to combat, it seems like a very logical enhancement to me to offer the OPTION to make use of them. That way, you'd respect legacy folks who like they way their cake is baked, and also allow people who appreciate a higher degree of ease and realism alongside what I and many others feel is a more precise aiming to enjoy the feature.

The funny part is, the developer seems to at least acknowledge that there are some people out there who feel the same way, or the "Fishstick" option wouldn't even exist, so seeing so many call me a CoD fan boy because I believe a "proper" (or more to the point - complete) implementation of this scheme would actually be appreciated and enhance gameplay without impacting the overall design and difficulty of the game -- it just feels like fanboy knee-jerking to me.

And again, I get it. I'd be pissed if, say, Dark Souls suddenly became easy or SOCOM stopped trying to be a tactical shooter and became a Call of Du...err..ok, so that kind of happened with S4 - but anyways, I'm not suggesting that 343i get away from the roots of the series at all.

I'm suggesting that they actually build on them instead of rehashing them over and over again.

To me, Halo is about three core things:

1.) Story - People love the art, characters, and drama of this series, and understandably so. I don't think anything I've mentioned would change that one bit.

2.) Advanced AI Behaviors - The AI in Halo is amazing, and does some really crazy shit. I don't think that needs to stop, either.

3.) MP - The multiplayer in Halo is a well-respected crowd favorite, and it got a lot better with this iteration. I didn't say word one about them adopting anything from other games, though they already made that decision on their own. It didn't "kill" MP at all, and my guess is most will feel this is the best Halo MP experience yet.

Anyways, all that laid out on the table, my point is just that Halo's basic principals are still very true to the ones laid out in Combat Evolved. And sure, that's great for folks who are more in love with other areas of the game, but ultimately, if this were a sports game, we'd be calling Halo 4 a roster update with better graphics, and I think fans deserve more, even if they are afraid of it.

Based on the number of slams I've taken from people who haven't even played the game yet, it's pretty evident that people don't like anyone to talk shit about their baby. But frankly, I'm in the business I am in to make people feel like their preconceived opinion is right just because they want it to be.

I love the fiction and they clearly have a talented, passionate staff behind the wheel, but having played a good 10 campaigns this year that offered more entertainment, strategy and playability than Halo 4, I felt the way the impression I came away with was worth expressing, regardless of the anger it may incur.

I think it's important to speak with conviction. I think Halo has room to grow, and I also think if no one actually has the nuts to say it, the team is much less likely to even think it's a need.

Just my two cents.