Halo 4: The Not-Halo Halo
For those of you with any affinity toward video games, you probably are well aware that Halo 4 came out a week ago.
Now, I’m not in the mood to give a full point-by-point review of the game, or point out every flaw I have found and every idea I have to make the game better. I don’t want to turn my webcomic into a platform for that kind of thing. Rather, I’m trying to garner attention to what I feel to be a critical flaw in the game, and encourage people to rally together to demand 343 fix this issue.
Basically, I think this one IS a big enough issue that I should say something about it here.
I’ve been making a lot of hyperbole about Halo 4 being more Call of Duty than Halo, but in all honesty, I can accept a few faults, and even live with a few of the glaring ones. (What dipweed decided to lock out player’s ability to create custom loadouts unless they’ve played forty hours of multiplayer?) But what really takes the cake is what has happened to CTF. What they have done here has gone against what makes Halo the game we love.
Let’s take a moment here and think about this. What makes Halo Halo? The awesome multiplayer. What makes the multiplayer so awesome? The fact that you could do whatever you wanted with it. You have ALWAYS been able to set up and create your own variants on the gametypes and create your own games. This has been the founding principal in the Halo series. It is so critical that even when people started playing their own ideas they got built-in to the game itself. SWAT and especially Infection were games created by the players.
But in Halo 4 the customization has been neutered. This destroys everything that made Halo great.
Sure it’s cool how Infection became Flood and now the zombies actually look and sound really creepy, but there is no way to change the flood’s weapon loadout, which means a formerly incredibly dynamic game mode -that was used in conjunction with custom Forge maps to create hundreds of unique games- is now nothing but its default settings.
But worst of all is what has happened to Capture the Flag. CTF has always been the quintessential gametype, revered even more than deathmatch. And Halo was legendary because you could create so many different options for how CTF should be played. You could create fun new additions and quirks just to mix things up, and you could create the perfect game mode for how you and your buddies like to play.
Not so in Halo 4.
First of all, CTF has no options for single-flag games, completely eliminating a whole class of games. Likewise missing are neutral flag and assault games. And then to compound this great error there are only two or three honestly symmetrical maps to play on, thus one team always has an advantage over the other.
But by far the greatest flaw is that there is absolutely no way to disable the flag-carrier icon on enemy players’ HUDs. In every CTF game, no matter what you do, everyone on all teams will always know exactly where the flags are. There is a large and blatant waypoint on your screen that points you to the guy who stole your flag.
What utter nonsense!
There is no longer ANY point to using strategy, taking an alternate route, or even relying on teamwork to move the flag. Since everybody knows exactly where the flag is at all times, the only reasonable route to take is a beeline back to base, trying to move the flag as quickly as possible. The default settings also dictate that the flag cannot be returned; it can only be reset after the timer expires, and flags don’t need to be at home in order to score. This turns CTF into nothing but a match to see who can capture flags the fastest.
There is no point to changing the default settings because without an ability to conceal the whereabouts of the flag there are no other variations on the rules that are worth playing.
CTF has been utterly killed in Halo 4.
Oh sure, they give us a nice new feature where the flag carrier can use a pistol, but even that has betrayed the concept of Halo because you can’t change that option to the classic Halo style of bearing no weapons, nor to the common style of being able to use all regular weapons. It should be another option that can be changed, but 343 has completely missed the mark of what Halo is supposed to be.
Now the reason I have taken the time to write this little blog is because I want to see a change here. And I doubt that the studio heads at 343 read my comic, so what I really mean to say is that I am initiating a call to all the Halo fans among my readers to rally together. Let’s all put forth our voices together until 343 hearkens to our demands and adds the customization that Halo 4 should have.
I can’t find a mailing address to their headquarters, but here’s the link to the official Halo 4 forums: http://www.343industries.org/forum/ and here’s a thread that already addresses the CTF waypoint issue: http://www.343industries.org/forum/topic/17724-ctf-waypoints-flag-icons/
We demand options to:
-Disable the flag carrier waypoint
-Enable Single-Flag CTF
-Make flag carriers have no weapons, all weapons, or just the pistol
-Allow flag carriers to drop the flag
-Have Flood/Infection matches where the infected can use more than just a sword