Halo 4 Puts Spartan Boots on the Ground in Premiere Campaign Demo
Another E3, another Microsoft press conference opens with yet another blockbuster franchise, though unlike the previous years Call of Duty titles we open 2012 with the premiere campaign demo for Halo 4:
Halo, as a franchise, already has 5 core games, an RTS spin off and a HD remake, which makes 6 games of the same general structure. As a man who generally buys the latest Call of Duty each year I have no right to say a series is stale, but Halo 4 could have done with a shake up of the formula a little bit, what ended up happening, as can be seen above, was the franchise seems to have been taken into entirely new territory that just doesn’t fit the mythos.
Now I want you to believe me when I say I do like Halo, I love it in fact, Ive spent hundreds upon hundred of hours on 1-3, I genuinly enjoyed ODST, and Reach is one of my favourite FPS games. I love the story, I read the books, I have the short film collection on blu-ray, i like the comics….
Yet I watched this demo of Halo 4 and I was turned off. Why, let me explain:
The beginning of the video seemed great, it looked good, the way the UNSC infinity entered the planet and proceeded to crash land, then the skirmish with the small group of covenant as Cortana relayed information through the new picture in picture display. Then we met the forerunner AIs. Suddenly the game goes from being an evolution in the Halo franchise to being a game that involves weapons that rearrange themselves, fighting robots with alternate visor modes. The new weapons don’t seem to gel with the rest of the franchise technology. Even the previous forerunner tech we’ve seen has been big bulky solid pieces that shoot lasers, rather than moving precision engineering that disintegrate with a single shot.
Then there’s the new enemies, with there attacks reminiscent of set piece QTEs that grab you before you have to fight them off. It all seems to serve to either break up and slow down the gameplay (looking through a visor filter to see the enemy, having to wrestle the AI off you etc) or the weapons seem like they’re out of a entirely altogether more fantastical franchise. There’s no real ground for the technology to stand on like previous entries.
I’m positive 343 will have made a great game that will play fantastic and will tell a great story. The multiplayer and the new spartan-ops co-op mode are without a doubt going to be hours of entertainment, but the stylistic design of the additions just feel off. I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt for now though, as these complaint I have may be infrequent, or I may have gotten them out of context (after all, teh game seemed overly slow with the person playing the demo tending to stand and shoot rather than utilise a more cover-based run and gun affair that halo is about).
Once I start seeing more of the game I’m sure I’ll start eating my words, and I’m sure once I finally get some hands on Ill feel like a right fool for even suggesting an apathetic viewpoint, but for now I can wait.
343 Industries has until November 6th 2012 to turn me around…