Posted by UnhappyCanadian (22 posts) -

Major League Gaming has released a fair amount of coverage of the multiplayer for the new Halo 4 game, and I am quite surprised. The rumors I had heard about the game had made me very skeptical, such as the game being more like Call of Duty, but 343 studios have been handling the project quite well from the looks of things and if they keep tweaking things there may be another enjoyable Halo on the horizon.

The main problem I had with Halo: Reach was its lackluster set of maps. While it did have the vast "forge world" it did not do enough to make sure that forged maps would show up in the multiplayer, making a less-than-enjoyable experience. The two maps they showed looked better than any of the Reach maps, but it is still only two maps. Based on the incredible level design, though, hopefully 343 is able to create a good amount of maps that are of the same quality and polish.

Reach also had a big problem of overpowered armor abilities. Playing Slayer was absolutely frustrating due to the inane use of jetpacks and armor lock. Jet packs made for tedious and contrived gameplay, while armor lock slowed the gameplay down a ton and both just made it feel less fun. The bad news is that it seems that armor abilities are still a problem, but this time it is a single powerful armor ability. The Promethian Vision is essentially a sonar that allows you to see players through walls. I understand the developers are still workshopping the whole production of the game, but the radar is way more powerful than anything I wanted to see from the game. I do not think many people will be enjoying the multiplayer if this perk stays the way it is because it looks like it would absolutely ruin any attempt of a tactical performance and overall just hinder the fun of the game.

Other than that, I have liked what I've heard. The idea of weapon drops not only happening on map, but as kill-streaks is one I find intriguing, and I will be excited to see what it becomes. Overall, it will be nice to see what a studio other than Bungie can add to the wonderful universe we know and love.

#1 Posted by UnhappyCanadian (22 posts) -

Major League Gaming has released a fair amount of coverage of the multiplayer for the new Halo 4 game, and I am quite surprised. The rumors I had heard about the game had made me very skeptical, such as the game being more like Call of Duty, but 343 studios have been handling the project quite well from the looks of things and if they keep tweaking things there may be another enjoyable Halo on the horizon.

The main problem I had with Halo: Reach was its lackluster set of maps. While it did have the vast "forge world" it did not do enough to make sure that forged maps would show up in the multiplayer, making a less-than-enjoyable experience. The two maps they showed looked better than any of the Reach maps, but it is still only two maps. Based on the incredible level design, though, hopefully 343 is able to create a good amount of maps that are of the same quality and polish.

Reach also had a big problem of overpowered armor abilities. Playing Slayer was absolutely frustrating due to the inane use of jetpacks and armor lock. Jet packs made for tedious and contrived gameplay, while armor lock slowed the gameplay down a ton and both just made it feel less fun. The bad news is that it seems that armor abilities are still a problem, but this time it is a single powerful armor ability. The Promethian Vision is essentially a sonar that allows you to see players through walls. I understand the developers are still workshopping the whole production of the game, but the radar is way more powerful than anything I wanted to see from the game. I do not think many people will be enjoying the multiplayer if this perk stays the way it is because it looks like it would absolutely ruin any attempt of a tactical performance and overall just hinder the fun of the game.

Other than that, I have liked what I've heard. The idea of weapon drops not only happening on map, but as kill-streaks is one I find intriguing, and I will be excited to see what it becomes. Overall, it will be nice to see what a studio other than Bungie can add to the wonderful universe we know and love.

#2 Posted by DelroyLindo (387 posts) -

My main problem with reach was that all the maps looked identical. They were all from the forge creator thing; green hills and grey walkways. It just looked so damn dull.

#3 Posted by zombie2011 (4968 posts) -

@DelroyLindo said:

My main problem with reach was that all the maps looked identical. They were all from the forge creator thing; green hills and grey walkways. It just looked so damn dull.

Yeah, i wouldn't have mind Bungie putting in a couple like the Blood Gultch and Sanctuary re-makes in there to show people that the new forge is a really cool mapmaker. But they had like 4-5 forge maps in there which seemed too much.

I watched a bunch of old Halo MP footage from 1, 2, and 3, and decided if they just released a shit ton of the old maps with no new ones (which they won't do) i would be perfectly fine with that.

#4 Posted by mikeeegeee (1552 posts) -

@DelroyLindo: Aesthetics aside, I thought forgeworld provided some of the best multiplayer level design in the game (in the form of "Cage.") But seriously, how awesome is Cage.

#5 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

@DelroyLindo: Four out of the 12 were made in forge world. The rest each had their own aesthetic. To be fair, most of these were taken straight from the campaign, but still...

#6 Posted by DelroyLindo (387 posts) -

They all functioned well, I just thought compared to previous halo games they didn't really look unique enough. Just my opinion,

#7 Edited by DharmaBum (1047 posts) -

Like a lot of things in Reach, Forge World in the end backfired. Obviously the sheer size of the play space is impressive, but as far as map editing goes, it isn't really conducive to building precise level designs on a custom scale. No matter what you want to create, the game will have to load the entire Forge World map for every player (even if you're using just a slight portion) plus most of the time there's just too much screen lag from all the objects merged together.

Those maps were just awfully designed and dull to play, especially The Cage.

Forge World, the default bloom settings, and the fact that Reach shipped with the worst selection of Halo maps in the franchise's history made it a real tragedy in the long run. I just hope that Bungie's experiment with armor abilities proved to 343 that they can't simply throw in new elements, that ultimately break the purity of the sandbox, without thoroughly considering the potential uses/exploits of each new ability within capable hands.

#8 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

@mikeeegeee said:

@DelroyLindo: Aesthetics aside, I thought forgeworld provided some of the best multiplayer level design in the game (in the form of "Cage.") But seriously, how awesome is Cage.

I liked Cage fine but the community as a whole despised it.

#9 Edited by EXTomar (4500 posts) -

It is harder to enjoy and spectate competitive FPS games which is why they've fallen out of favor compared to MOBAs and strat games. I'm surprised MLG is devoting any time to Halo 4.

#10 Posted by Irvandus (2826 posts) -

This was a well written post. I disagree with a few things though. I wouldn't put Armor Lock and Jet Pack in the same category because Armor lock is 900 times worse than Jet Pack. I understand your worry for promethean vision but I have hope because of the wind up time it takes to travel out. It also seems like it's impossible to have it travel the entire map. Your map thing is spot on though, Reach's maps weren't bad but none of them were really good. You can make arguments for powerhouse and swordbase but I would say they're decent at best. I think a large issue I had with them was that they were all environments from the campaign. It just lead me to instantly being tired of how every map looked because I had already seen it the billion times I played through campaign. Yep, good post, stick around GB I like you so far.

#11 Posted by GaspoweR (2809 posts) -

@EXTomar: it is a legacy thing. MLG has built up their reputation on the Halo games esp. during the early years around the time of Halo 2 and they are pretty much the league that matters when it comes to competitive Halo (kinda like how EVO is to fighting games). They were also the ones that actually gave competitive Halo the exposure it needed for it to become really popular. Sure they dabble in LOL and SC2 but they will never forget Halo.

#12 Posted by GoodKn1ght (491 posts) -

@Lebensbaum said:

Like a lot of things in Reach, Forge World in the end backfired. Obviously the sheer size of the play space is impressive, but as far as map editing goes, it isn't really conducive to building precise level designs on a custom scale. No matter what you want to create, the game will have to load the entire Forge World map for every player (even if you're using just a slight portion) plus most of the time there's just too much screen lag from all the objects merged together.

Those maps were just awfully designed and dull to play, especially The Cage.

Forge World, the default bloom settings, and the fact that Reach shipped with the worst selection of Halo maps in the franchise's history made it a real tragedy in the long run. I just hope that Bungie's experiment with armor abilities proved to 343 that they can't simply throw in new elements, that ultimately break the purity of the sandbox, without thoroughly considering the potential uses/exploits of each new ability within capable hands.

I, unlike most, actually still play halo reach. I live in an apartment and the 4 player split screen is really fun and also the only game I own that supports 4 player split screen well. They have since added some user created maps into the matchmaking and they all seem really well done, and are actually quite a bit fun. Not as much fun as past games maps but more fun then a lot of the reach maps. I agree that they were mostly bad. I've never experienced screen lag and I've played a lot of custom forge maps, although only a few weren't just standard maps. All in all, I wouldn't say forge world backfired, it worked as a good, not overly complicated, console map creator. My real wish would be that you can create maps on a PC and then import them to halo but I doubt that will happen. It is really to bad that all the maps do look the same and if they don't do something about that in 4 then I will be very disappointed. Also they got rid of bloom is some playlists, so they maybe recognized the bloom wasn't a good direction for halo?

I will be a little sad if there is not jetpack, it was really useful to get around but I do recognize that if abused, the game turned into a death from above game on every map, so will not be surprised if it's out. I really want this game to be awesome but I fear that halo may just have ran it's course....

#13 Posted by DharmaBum (1047 posts) -

@GoodKn1ght: You speak the truth, duder. It probably came across like I’m super down on Reach but believe me I hold Halo in very regard, ever since the original Halo: CE - ironically still the best one in my opinion, despite everything they’ve added over the years. That’s kinda why it’s so easy for me to find faults with Reach having played it to death, but by no means do I consider it an outright bad game, just an unfortunate victim of some (perhaps in a way necessary) design oversights.

You’re right that MLG did eventually remove bloom (and sprint) to make the game as competitive as possible - and I do find those settings pretty competent. I think the implementation was too late in the game's lifecycle sadly. It just goes back to the lack of good, balanced arena maps that Halo has always been known for. I can’t think of a single standard Reach map that will be memorable down the road, whereas with past Halo games, plenty of classics immediately come to mind.

And as far as Forge World on the one hand being too large for it’s own good, I do agree that they undoubtedly improved upon the actual editing toolset; the phasing objects feature being a prime example of how much more robust it is than Halo 3's. Strangely enough I started out playing the original Halo on PC/Mac and that version of the game had a pretty active modding community, so map editing has always been an important part of Halo to me.

#14 Posted by ShaggE (6334 posts) -

I just hope they bring holograms back. Easily my favorite armor ability, and one of my favorite multiplayer additions in the series.

#15 Posted by big_jon (5709 posts) -

@Lebensbaum said:

Like a lot of things in Reach, Forge World in the end backfired. Obviously the sheer size of the play space is impressive, but as far as map editing goes, it isn't really conducive to building precise level designs on a custom scale. No matter what you want to create, the game will have to load the entire Forge World map for every player (even if you're using just a slight portion) plus most of the time there's just too much screen lag from all the objects merged together.

Those maps were just awfully designed and dull to play, especially The Cage.

Forge World, the default bloom settings, and the fact that Reach shipped with the worst selection of Halo maps in the franchise's history made it a real tragedy in the long run. I just hope that Bungie's experiment with armor abilities proved to 343 that they can't simply throw in new elements, that ultimately break the purity of the sandbox, without thoroughly considering the potential uses/exploits of each new ability within capable hands.

Very good summary, I love Reach, but it was a very flawed game.

#16 Posted by Fosssil (627 posts) -

@Lebensbaum said:

I can’t think of a single standard Reach map that will be memorable down the road, whereas with past Halo games, plenty of classics immediately come to mind.

I remember thinking during the end of Halo 3's lifecycle that I wouldn't want any of those maps to be re-made in the future because I didn't think they measured up well to the maps from CE or 2, but Reach's maps are so poor that now with Halo 4 I'm just hoping that 343 has the ability to create something on par with a Narrows or Construct. Although, I have to say that Haven (formerly Wraparound) looks pretty good from the pro player footage we've seen.

@ShaggE: Holograms are confirmed to be back.

#17 Posted by ShaggE (6334 posts) -

@Fosssil: Awesome!

#18 Posted by GoodKn1ght (491 posts) -

@Lebensbaum: Haha I agree on every point. Sadly console games will never be pc games and the user created content on consoles will never match pc. I love consoles, but I will concede that pc's just get user created content. One problem I've had with user content on consoles is there is no good way to use it. Sure a forge map can be shared with your friends but that doesn't match a sever list where you pick and play with random people. The craziest pc moment I had(granted I don't have much) was I picked a random counter strike sever and when I got in, it's a 3d representation of the springfield (simpson's town). I want moments like that on a console! Yes I know that was also a custom texture but still.

If they are really serious about forge they should at the very least allow some sort of matchmaking for custom games. That was a feature bungie said they were toying with in the early days of reach(or maybe 3) but it got cut. I've always wanted to try and make a map but why? I have a few friends who play but not enough to make a fun match. Sure I bet my map would be bad but how many people think like me but have that ability to do great things. Give people more of a reason to use those tools and it will attract people who can do great things even with the limited toolset. If custom maps did become bigger part of the game then we will create that mod like community on a console game, something that hasn't really been done before. That would a great thing. I'm sure none of this will happen but a boy can dream.