So the fact that we added in a skull goes in the "bad" list for you, 'Cuse? C'mon man, haha.
I don't have a problem from a gameplay standpoint (love those spec ops grunts on the Maw), but I do from a Frankie-is-on-the-record-saying-"We didn't touch a thing in campaign because we didn't want to break anything" standpoint. I think I've made it pretty clear that his talking head appearances and written descriptions of what a game has to offer are no longer in my "trusted" zone (LOL PISTOL IS BROKEN, BUT LOOK AT DAT MAP WITH THE WATER, BC DATS GOOD GAMEPLAY). I guess it's really unlikely that you can answer a question like this, but it would go a long way toward revealing how much of a lie Frankie's statement was: is this skull just a tweak of Bungie's Lisp scripting (in this case for enemy spawns) as I've guessed? Even that capability could open some really interesting possibilities (assuming there are other skulls that people who didn't preorder will have at their disposal) while still protecting underlying gameplay (X-X-Y, B-L-B, quick zooms, infinite ammo, etc.) and physics. A good example would be the ability to spawn more/different enemies and allies (like Thunderstorm, I guess, but quantity would be cool especially for guys like RockSlider, and you know I want da gooooold). I figured/hoped that terminals would be built in such a way that they were scripting engine related for the same reason.
Also, I don't know how you can watch that and hear Cortana saying, "I'll bet the Silent Cartographer is somewhere inside that facility," in remade graphics, in HD, and not get a little excited. I was watching the opening cutscene last Friday, "I knew it! The Autumn's accelerating, Keyes is going in manually!" and it was super cool to see it all prettied up and running in HD.
And honestly one of my favorite features is that classic mode is running in 16:9 (right now at least). Even Halo PC didn't do that correctly.
I get that you guys wanted MP included (I did too), but I think the quicker that you come to terms with the fact that this is not a remake of the game, it's a remake of the campaign, then the quicker you'll be able to appreciate that you're going to be able to replay Assault on the Control Room over LIVE with a friend, in HD, with achievements, and at least one skull, as well as other stuff that we haven't even announced yet. As a Halo 1 fan, I think that's pretty exciting.
The outdoor environment looks pretty good (the trees added to the cliff wall, the rocks in the ocean, etc.), I'm not wild about how dark that indoor part was, but I'll reserve judgment for the active camo ambush encounter on the way back up because that's the one that really matters in that space. Pistol looks better than in the first trailer, thank god. Big old AI-slash-graphical glitch on the third grunt from the front when the player zooms in just before the plasma grenade explodes (which is why I found it amusing that Letters chose that exact moment as the subject of his BELI343 gif). Elite artwork was most iconic (by a considerable amount) in the first game, so I wish Saber weren't calling on the Elites iconography from Reach so much. I like a lot of the little touches like the orange-hot fade-in on the plasma grenade "explosion" decals (though I wish it was blue/white-hot instead).
I'm not dismissing this game offhand because it doesn't have multiplayer --- I'm paying as much attention to this project as anyone. More than anything, I really wish that the state of the market/the bigwigs at Microsoft/the (shiny) heads of 343 hadn't made you guys release this 1) at retail and 2) with Reach content masquerading as something it can't be. As a digital download, divorced from the Reach content (even if I wanted to pick it up separately, which I still might - as a casual Reach player, I still enjoy all of the stuff - jet packs, armor lock, bloom - that seems to incite rage on HaloGAF) or bullshit preorder bonuses, and with less of the dream-crushing "YES! IT'S HAPPENING! Wait, what?!? Was that an assassination...? And THAT'S the reason you give?" I'd be all over this. Even without online co-op I'd drop $20-25 and go to town, because I remain skeptical about the net code and because I'm much more methodical than anyone from AJ I've played with except Van. Voc is like a whirling dervish of destruction and I used to feel like I was racing to get a kill in edgewise when we would play 4 player co-op on Halo 3 (that's how I knew right away neither of you was playing in the Grunt Funeral reveal, it's also why I kind of hate campaign scoring). I've often thought about buying Halo 1 from GoD even though I own four retail copies. And the reason for that? I believe in voting with my dollars. And that seemed like a good way to make it clear that Halo 1 still had traction in my gaming lifestyle and that I was still interested in seeing it remade. I believe in voting with my dollars here too, so yeah, no preorder, no grunt funeral, I'll hope for a price dip or try to find it used for the right price, which I'm hoping won't take long given the myriad misconceptions that still litter forums regarding what actually constitutes the multiplayer offering.