How To Make Halo 4 Great

 

Dear Reader,

This past week, Bungie said good-bye to “Halo” forever, and got to work on their new, maddeningly unannounced IP. As of right now, they are no longer at the wheel of their baby, not even in supporting “Reach.” So, the question is: what the balls could 343 Studios possibly be doing with “Halo 4″?

I have a few choice words of advice that I hope they will take to heart. I think I speak for all the “Halo” fans out there when I give 343 a few stern warnings, and a couple helpful head’s ups. Hit the jump.

1. Don’t Just Play It Safe. Which is what I know you’ll want to do. You want to crank out “Halo” titles on the “Modern Warfare” business model: same engine, same basic gameplay, marginal tweaks and a huge advertising budget. Don’t. “Halo” has always been classier, more dignified in its quest to make each title count. It didn’t always work (cough ODST cough), but they at least tried. It’s why the fans are so loyal. Mess with it, and sully the integrity of the brand, at your peril.

2. Bring Something New. If Day 1′s recent success with “F.E.A.R. 3″ teaches us anything, it’s that a new studio inheriting a venerable franchise should swing for the fences. You only get one chance to prove you belong here, 343, and you should make it count. There are plenty of obvious gaps in the “Halo” franchise so far: higher player counts, bot support, space combat in multiplayer. And those are just the obvious ones. Try for something.

3. Easy On Those Redesigns. I saw what you did with Master Chief’s character in model in the “Halo” re-release. Blegh. Bad start, guys. Don’t go all Tameem on me and start fixing unbroken things. I’m not saying you can’t play with Master Chief’s look, but do so gracefully. Focus on building on top of what works.

4. Let’s Have Some New Enemies. We are all good and sick of Grunts and Elites, and honestly even though the Brutes haven’t been around as long, they’re wearing down, too. How about a whole new cadre of bad guys? And throughout the campaign, it’d be great if we could keep seeing new baddies as we go, rather than just engaging Elites wearing different colors. K thanks bye.

5. Space Combat. Bungie kind of screwed you guys over by introducing space battles in the campaign and then leaving it there. Don’t even think about slacking off on that front. Progress moves forward, not back. If you even hint that you might not be bringing space combat back with a vengeance, I will do something drastic. I’ll pre-order “Starhawk” just to let you know I mean business. Maybe I’ll even get that dust game with the numbers on the end I can’t remember. I think it’s “Dust 867-5309.”

6. Story. Can you please hire a real writer and make him/her tell a good story? Bungie always sat maddeningly on the cusp of saying something interesting, and then held back. Frankly, if you guys can get a Rockstar/Irrational Games quality narrative here, that will almost be enough to earn your place in the Halo pantheon.

–AA

drive it like you stole it

  • Justin Shaikewitz

    I think Halo needs new enemies but probably wont happen…

    Maybe some rogue spartans that we didn’t know survived Reach or were “defective” and thopught terminated or something…

    How does/would Master Chief handle fighting another spartan?

    Maybe a hybrid Elite-Spartan?

    Or Zombie Spartan/marines/others, everything is better with zombies right?

    I would not suspect much if any space combat and I would rather see a great non space combat having halo game then one with second rate regular and space combat. I just hope Microsoft lets them take the time to make a quality game and not force them to churn out a new one every year. But I will just keep my expectations low and take news as it comes.

    • http://padinga.com/members/laughingfish/ Andrew Allen

      I think rogue Spartans would be pimping, especially because I seem to remember hearing somewhere that Master Chief is really only a so-so Spartan when stacked against the others. Could make for dynamite drama.

      I think we’ll get new enemies. But you’re right, space combat is less likely.

      Personally, I intend to keep my expectations high, and hold 343 to a VERY high standard of quality.

  • Keego gross

    I have full faith in 343 that they kniw what they are doing. 343 is mostly made up of former bungie employees that stayed with halo. As for new enimies, count on it in halo 4 because if everyone remembers, hes outside the galaxy and the covenant war is over. But if theres one thing id live to see in a future halo game, its an 8v8 spartans vs elites. Then sometime in it, a ton of flood AIs rush in and make the game harder so everyone is watching their back. Killing flood would not effect your teams score

    • http://padinga.com/members/laughingfish/ Andrew Allen

      I find it unlikely that the Covenant war is just out and out over. Microsoft is going to be too afraid to fix what isn’t broken to go tossing out Elites, grunts and jackals after they’ve worked for this long.

      Nonetheless, I do agree that now is the time to get some new blood in there.

      I like your idea for an 8 v 8, although I think Spartans and Elites would need a wider disparity between them to make that interesting. If they were as similar as they are now, it’d just be 8 v 8.