The map designs seem to fall into one of two basic categories: huge open expanses or cramped hallways with zero line of sight and few angles in play. Neither of these make for good Halo maps. When I think of Halo design standouts, they're almost invariably multi-tiered and structured around the possibility for either up-close-and-personal or ranged play depending on where you position yourself. On larger maps, vehicles are given some open areas to make hay in, but they're also constrained by various choke points and structural impediments. Historically, in Halo, large map standouts are not fucking donuts where vehicles have free reign, and small map standouts are not claustrophobic hallway fests with lifts all over the place. Why, then, are those the only maps 343i seem to want to make?
Ivan, you defended the convoluted DLC map objective routes where a Waypoint is often pointing you in a direction you shouldn't actually be heading (because of the nonsensical central building structure on Shatter, for example). Fuck that. At no time during one's first objective run on Sanctuary, Midship, Zanzibar, etc. was there any doubt whether you were heading the right way, map control considerations aside. If I have to open a Custom Game to figure out how to get from one base to the other, you fail at design. End of story.
I can really only point to one map design that 343i absolutely nailed: Ragnarok. Oh wait.
Gunplay, on the whole, is vastly more enjoyable than in Halo 3 or Halo Reach. Netcode and framerate gripes aside, I love the way the DMR handles. Most of the power weapons that I highlighted in my campaign review (Railgun, Incinerator Cannon, Binary Rifle) are as fun to use as they were in Campaign. However, acquiring them through magical Halo conjuring or random drops is the absolute opposite of anything Halo has ever stood for. Forget map control, forget choke points. I used to lament the loss of drop timers. The Infinity Slayer system is so far away from everything drop timer Halo stood for that it doesn't even inspire Cuse rants anymore, it just makes me sad. A number of people on NeoGAF suggested a much better system - weapons drop in set spawns, on set timers, but now there's a countdown letting noobs everywhere know that a rocket launcher drop is imminent. This is vastly preferable to the current system. Do I trust 343i to implement an idea so sensible in a timely fashion? Not even a little bit.
Close Quarters Combat
The amount of feedback I feel like I'm getting when I'm in close is minimal. I feel like I'm flailing around blindly. People who use sprint + double melee are the bane of my existence.
I rarely use them apart from the occasional "Wheee, 15 kill spree guaranteed," jaunt in a Mantis or Banshee. I do, however, like hunting them down on foot. The game makes this a very feasible task, much more so than probably any other Halo game ever. I enjoy this greatly, but every time I own a vehicle singlehandedly, I wonder whether the people who are on the opposite side of the coin find the new mechanics less enjoyable.
I don't give a shit. The game's not fun.
Instant respawn on King of the Hill and Oddball? Oddball passing could actually be an interesting mechanic if it were possible to set up any kind of map control or strategy. Nope. Just mash X and run headlong toward that Oddball waypoint my young friend, there's no need for strategy here.
No Assault? No One Flag? It's painfully apparent that most of the people who handled multiplayer had never played Halo before.
Guess what we got instead? Zombies, Swat, Grifball, WHEEEE! Pro tip: ignore what your mom says; DO NOT take your Vivance before you hop in those playlists.
Admit when you make mistakes, then fix them and learn from them. Or, as you clearly seem to have chosen, don't. Wave your hands and make a bunch of excuses. In the process, you're systematically alienating a lot of the old guard of Halo fans. Who cares? The gaming press seems to be eating your shit up. Never mind the fact that those guys have attention spans that are, at best, marginally longer than the COD kiddies you also seem to be wooing. And all the while, playlist counts dwindle...
No online file share support? Really? Never underestimate how hard the people who desperately want Halo to still be good will work to keep your community afloat - someone's already invented a way to create 1 flag maps in Forge. And you're hamstringing the fuck out of him because he can't share his files.
I'm trying to decide whether I like the campaign enough to keep the game around for an occasional trip through the jungle level or Cocop's level. Probably. But I'm pretty much done with multiplayer. I guess I'll watch the rest of the Spartan Ops cut scenes once the whole series has been released - as far as I'm concerned, that is not a game mode, it's episodic animated content with optional torture chambers for people who like depriving themselves of fun.
Halo 4 was also, without question, the last midnight Halo launch of my life (I'd done it for every game from Halo 2 onward, Anniversary included). I'll pick Halo 5 up when it's on sale. There is no reason for me to buy a game where I'm going to be playing only Campaign right on its release date.
The end of an era - this is sad stuff. Check out my games played with each major Halo release. Granted Halo 4 will probably see a few more games played before it fizzles out, but there's definitely some asymptotic action at work here, no?
EDIT: Added another relevant statistic to the "Games Played" graphic to ward off any cries of, "But Cuse, you're getting old!" or "You suck! Adapt!"
Edited by Syracuse022, 13 December 2012 - 01:18 PM.