As Halo Wars approaches, this will be the third Halo game 343 studios will have given us. I’m not saying Halo 4 & 5 weren’t good games, they just weren’t up their with the quality we expect from a Halo title, third times the charm?
Halo 4, had fans both excited and tentative on how good it will be. After all this was the first Halo game not developed by Bungie and no one had heard of 343 studios. Initially the game was looking promising. A new graphics engine was being used, and this was the best looking Halo game yet. You had a variety of environments, cool looking weapons to play with and new enemies too. A new threat had emerged and was looking to expand on the lore of the Halo universe.
It was a very pretty game, its like Microsoft handed 343 a blank envelope for the graphics.
Unfortunately the gameplay did not really improve much, and to be honest it felt more like other fps games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. Furthermore, we were missing the signature Halo set piece moments. Don’t get me wrong there were some epic moments towards the end of the campaign and it ended on a tragic note, but overall it was one of the weakest campaigns in the series.
The ending got me in the feels, and to the games credit. It made a real personal experience between the Chief and Cortana that I appreciated.
Furthermore multiplayer did not really add anything new to the mix, and again felt like other FPS games.
Really did not play the multiplayer after a week, disappointing.
Moving onto Halo 5, again looked very very promising. With some excellent ad campaigns and teaser trailers. It suggested a story where the Master Chief will be on the run from the UNSC marked as a traitor. Introducing a new character in Locke with a group of new Spartans, tasked to bring the Chief and his Blue team down.
Although they never really explained how the Blue team came together and where they were all this time.
The campaign started off with an epic intro for both teams and I was buzzing already, and the music was on point.
Unfortunately, 80% of the campaign was playing as Locke who was not the most interesting character you will meet. It was nothing like what the Ad campaigns suggested and the story ended on a Halo 2 worthy cliffhanger..
I liked Bucky more, the guy who was originally from Halo ODST.
Furthermore there was an actual boss fight in the campaign, and I was thinking okay this is something new and and I actually really got into the fight. I was expecting more boss fights that would get grander and more challenging.
You face the same boss every time, in fact you fight him six times in total, and you defeat him in the same exact way. There is one fight, where he just multiples himself, which was the most cheapest way to make a boss fight more challenging and overall just frustrating!!
The one highlight was the multiplayer, new game modes were introduced that were actually a whole lot of fun to play and very addictive and reminded us of the great Halo multiplayer games.
Playing War Zone with my friend was a blast, I recorded so many great moments.
But once again, another drawback..
They removed local multiplayer! How in God’s name do you remove split screen multiplayer from a Halo title!?!? It is one of the fundamental elements of what makes Halo games so great and they removed it!
Here We Are
Now we have Halo Wars 2, and once again we have been given some excellent trailers and shown a very promising title. It looks to have improved greatly on the previous game and again showing heavy emphasis on multiplayer.
What was great about the previous title, was that it gave us a deeper insight in the war between the UNSC and the Covenant. Giving fans a new perspective on the war, and answering a few questions raised from the previous titles.
I will be expecting the same again from this title, and hopefully something that is coherent with the beta that was released a couple weeks ago.
So What Do I want From 343?
A game that feels and plays like Halo
Unlike other FPS games, Halo is not coming out every year. So having that familiar feeling of Halo gameplay is not a bad thing. Thats not to say I do not want the gameplay to be improved and the franchise to move forward. But I want the studio to do it, in the spirit of Halo.
I am hoping Halo Wars 2, will be the first step in achieving that. As for the previous two games, there have been one step forward but multiple steps back.