When I went to E3 this year, I had hoped there would be a chance to play some Halo 4, but sadly it was in the ultra-super-secret-behind-closed-doors-unless-you're-IGN room. About a week afterwards, I received word that Halo 4 was going to be playable at RTX, immediately making me excited for the event. After finally playing the game, all I have to ask is "Who the hell “Call of Duty-ed” my Halo?"
My staff and I played a match of Team Slayer on the new map, Longbow which is kind of like Zealot except outdoors, and everything feels like Halo in regards to the physics and shooting. The more seasoned pros may notice slight differences yet that’s expected with a new Halo game. Where it gets “Call of Duty-ed” are in the ancillary stats, customizations, drops that you can now call-in, and to a lesser extent, the scoring system.
First off, there are the loadouts. In Halo Reach, you picked a class that started off with a certain weapon, if the match type you’re playing even has classes, and that’s it. With Halo 4, you have default loadouts, but if you don’t like it, then you can customize one. So if you prefer the DMR over the Battle Rifle along with those Plasma Grenades that you love sticking people with, then go ahead and change it up. Not everything was available to use, but that’s expected with a preview build like this.
Then come the “perks” that have been added to Halo 4. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to inspect which ones were available since the game was about to start, but I did activate mine a couple of times. Just like in Call of Duty, you get several kills, and an on-screen notification will come up letting you know that pressing right on the D-pad will activate the perk. When I activated it, grenades spawned right in front of me. One of the other writers activated his, and received a speed boost. After we played, I asked one of PR people a bit more about it, and she explained that the “perks” can be buffs just for you or drops that pop-up right in front of you.
I did mention that the scoring system changed. Like Call of Duty, you get points for a kill (50) rather than the single point in Halo. You also get points for headshots, assists, and other accomplishments during the match that go towards unlocking equipment. It’s hardly anything radically different these days, but it is an obvious attempt to make the game more like Call of Duty.
With only one multiplayer game under my belt, I can’t say that I know all the specifics of the game. What I can say is that there were changes made to the game, and I think that some of the Halo faithful may be a little upset with them.
During the 343 Industries panel at RTX, someone asked why they were “Call of Duty-ing” Halo 4. Their response was that they wanted a more familiar interface that new gamers are used to. I can understand why a company would want to make a change so that their game can be similar to the most popular franchise right now. However, this is motherfucking Halo. The game that proved that you can have a great FPS game on the console rather than just exclusively on the PC. Halo has been the standard for FPS games, and by trying to imitate Calll of Duty, 343 Industries is showing a lack of faith in the series which is very troubling for this Halo fan.