I would argue that any environment with Forerunner architecture doesn't look like classic Halo. They took everything that made the Forerunner design motif amazing, and threw it out the goddamn window. Instead of huge, haunting installations with some long-forgotten purpose, they're now a jumbled mess of HURR CHECK OUT ALL OF THESE SWEET FLASHY COLORS AND SICK ANGLES BROS, THIS IS TOTALLY FOREBODING AND DEFINITELY CONVEYS A SINCE OF GREATER PURPOSE.
Let's compare, shall we?
A few things come to mind, here: Messy, incoherent, overboard. Too many lights for no fucking reason. It looks brand fucking new despite being there for thousands of years? Do the Sentinels scrub the walls, keep everything nice and tidy for Didact? It fucking sucks.
Now, how about some classic, Bungie Forerunner design?
Foreboding, old, mysterious. Why is it here? What purpose does it serve? Simple, but clearly incredibly advanced. Signs of age, it's obviously been around for a long time. This holds true through every Bungie-made Halo game.
So what the fuck? Halo 4 completely strips all mystery from the series, and in the process, absolutely butchers the amazing visual design language that Bungie had so painstakingly established over the years. I would've loved to be a fly on the wall when Bungie artists first saw the full extent of how violently their baby had been violated, I can only imagine their grief-stricken faces, their quiet sobs...
343 knows nothing of subtlety, or anything about what made the series what it once was, for that matter. Everything about Halo 4 is EXTREME and IN YOUR FACE at all fucking moments. There's no pacing, no down-time - you never really get to stop and appreciate the game. It feels like The Maw throughout the entire game, like I'm being rushed through for no reason other than they don't want me to look too closely, lest I find something that they don't want me to see.
Especially in the case of Forerunner reveals and levels, in previous games, they gave you a chance to just stand in awe and appreciate the world that they had built. Halo wasn't about getting in your face with overt "CHECK THIS OUT, SO COOOOL" type shit (outside of maybe the beginning of Halo 2, I still laugh every time I see that scene) that was included for no reason other than to show off their ridiculous budget. Things happened for a reason. The entire first game felt like a slow buildup to the final moments, when the ring is blown apart. Halo 2 was guilty of this at some points (m chief jumping to earth riding a bomb being primary among them), but it was reconciled by the entirety of Delta Halo, meeting the Gravemind, escaping High Charity whilst stowed away on the Keyship... All of these moments had purpose and power behind them, there was a reason for them. Halo 3 was the pinnacle of this, I think. The buildup to the activation of the Portal, the space battle over the Ark, the return to Installation 04... It was awesome. Reach had less purpose, being a prequel, but it was not without its meaningful moments.
Halo 4 is devoid of all that, instead replaced by flashy showmanship with no purpose but to wow the player with their (admittedly impressive) visuals purchased with millions of Microsoft spacebucks. The entire game was nothing more than a giant, self-fellating fireworks show.
Edited by Drew, 30 July 2014 - 04:46 PM.