Halo 4... WOW!

Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (308 posts) -

I don't like being cynical. It isn't fun and the only benefit is that when things go pear shaped you can be that douchebag who says; I knew it all along. I see the appeal, but it's not really something I ever longed for. Of course in this day and age we're all cynics to a degree. At least those of us who spend time on the internet seem to be. So I've been harboring this secret cynicism, scared of what direction the next Halo game might go.

In case you missed it (though I doubt anyone reading this would have), Monday was the first good look we've had at Halo 4 and the structure of 343i's up and coming first entry in the Halo saga. And I. Am. Dumbfounded. (On the off chance you missed it, head here: [link] )

The first thing that stood out to me was the music that played in the videos background. All at once amazing and fresh while still managing to be distinctly Halo. It's not an easy thing to do. Making something as boundless and epic as Marty O's scores from the first 5 entries in the Halo games is not something one should take lightly. And it's clear to me that they have not taken anything for granted. The music cascades with the action we've seen. Every note seems to be begging to tell us a story. And the best part is that none of it, not a single bar, feels like it's retreaded material. It all feels new and fresh and done with care. This alone is enough to get me excited for Halo 4. (Not that I needed a push mind you).

Beyond that we got our first look at Spartan-4's. This may be the most exciting thing of all. With the S-3s all but wiped out and John being the last active duty S-2, it's good that they are moving forward in this regard. John will always be the anchor of the Halo games for me personally, but that doesn't mean I don't want other interesting media to consume (like a zombie snacking on your brains). This opens up the canon to all manner of interesting possibilities. And when they said they are working in a narrative justification for Reds fighting Blues I about dropped my jaw. I LOVE the attention to detail that Halo's stewards are showing off here.

I know a lot of people are sentimental for Bungie. God knows I've shown them infinite love in the past. But for me, I was a Halo fan first, and a Bungie fan second. While I'm interested to see where they go and what they do, it's always been my secondary concern. Second to who was going to be taking over my most beloved gaming franchise. I for one, am happy with the team at 343i. I'm eager to see where they take us next. And I'm eager for this Holiday season to get here so I can start my next adventure behind the Master Chief's visor.

The videos I've seen tell me that this new game is going to focus on the Chief's origin and character more than in the past. That is fantastic news. And everything I have seen (which admittedly isn't much) leads me to believe this is going to be one hell of a game in both single and mutliplayer. Halo is the only mutliplayer I bother with and I can't wait to get my Battle Rifle on again!

*This entry copied and reposted from my Deviant Art blog

#1 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (308 posts) -

I don't like being cynical. It isn't fun and the only benefit is that when things go pear shaped you can be that douchebag who says; I knew it all along. I see the appeal, but it's not really something I ever longed for. Of course in this day and age we're all cynics to a degree. At least those of us who spend time on the internet seem to be. So I've been harboring this secret cynicism, scared of what direction the next Halo game might go.

In case you missed it (though I doubt anyone reading this would have), Monday was the first good look we've had at Halo 4 and the structure of 343i's up and coming first entry in the Halo saga. And I. Am. Dumbfounded. (On the off chance you missed it, head here: [link] )

The first thing that stood out to me was the music that played in the videos background. All at once amazing and fresh while still managing to be distinctly Halo. It's not an easy thing to do. Making something as boundless and epic as Marty O's scores from the first 5 entries in the Halo games is not something one should take lightly. And it's clear to me that they have not taken anything for granted. The music cascades with the action we've seen. Every note seems to be begging to tell us a story. And the best part is that none of it, not a single bar, feels like it's retreaded material. It all feels new and fresh and done with care. This alone is enough to get me excited for Halo 4. (Not that I needed a push mind you).

Beyond that we got our first look at Spartan-4's. This may be the most exciting thing of all. With the S-3s all but wiped out and John being the last active duty S-2, it's good that they are moving forward in this regard. John will always be the anchor of the Halo games for me personally, but that doesn't mean I don't want other interesting media to consume (like a zombie snacking on your brains). This opens up the canon to all manner of interesting possibilities. And when they said they are working in a narrative justification for Reds fighting Blues I about dropped my jaw. I LOVE the attention to detail that Halo's stewards are showing off here.

I know a lot of people are sentimental for Bungie. God knows I've shown them infinite love in the past. But for me, I was a Halo fan first, and a Bungie fan second. While I'm interested to see where they go and what they do, it's always been my secondary concern. Second to who was going to be taking over my most beloved gaming franchise. I for one, am happy with the team at 343i. I'm eager to see where they take us next. And I'm eager for this Holiday season to get here so I can start my next adventure behind the Master Chief's visor.

The videos I've seen tell me that this new game is going to focus on the Chief's origin and character more than in the past. That is fantastic news. And everything I have seen (which admittedly isn't much) leads me to believe this is going to be one hell of a game in both single and mutliplayer. Halo is the only mutliplayer I bother with and I can't wait to get my Battle Rifle on again!

*This entry copied and reposted from my Deviant Art blog

#2 Posted by onyxghost (303 posts) -

Here,here! Halo is the only game franchise I still play on hard. I even beat Reach on Legendary solo. If that's not a due hard fan I don't know what is. I hope they get deep enough into the original fiction to pull in the surviving Spartans from Onyx. That would be a trip.

#3 Posted by Ramone (2960 posts) -

I don't understand how that video could have got anyone excited. Story context in multiplayer? Great, but what does that really add to the game? The game looked good graphically but all the talk about warthogs and covenant just made me realise how stale the Halo games were beginning to get. 343 had a massive opportunity to do something amazing with an established franchise and really show themselves off as developers but instead it seems like they are taking the easy route out.

#4 Posted by crazyleaves (640 posts) -
@ZZoMBiE13 who's John?
#5 Edited by zombie2011 (4969 posts) -

@Ramone: Just because they mention the Covenant doesn't mean they will be the main antagonist. They can't just throw away fiction that has been building for 11 years, and of course the Warthog will be in Halo they would be stupid to get rid of it.

#6 Posted by Herocide (440 posts) -

@crazyleaves said:

@ZZoMBiE13 who's John?

The Master Chief.

#7 Posted by Ramone (2960 posts) -

@zombie2011 said:

@Ramone: Just because they mention the Covenant doesn't mean they will be the main antagonist. They can't just throw away fiction that has been building for 11 years, and of course the Warthog will be in Halo they would be stupid to get rid of it.

I hope with all my heart that the Covenant aren't the main antagonist (that also goes for the flood) but I can't see them taking that risk. The whole point of this trilogy should be to develop and expand on the fiction not throw it away however that does not mean they should just have the same guy in the same scenarios, fighting the same enemies with the same weapons.

#8 Edited by pweidman (2308 posts) -

@Ramone said:

@zombie2011 said:

@Ramone: Just because they mention the Covenant doesn't mean they will be the main antagonist. They can't just throw away fiction that has been building for 11 years, and of course the Warthog will be in Halo they would be stupid to get rid of it.

I hope with all my heart that the Covenant aren't the main antagonist (that also goes for the flood) but I can't see them taking that risk. The whole point of this trilogy should be to develop and expand on the fiction not throw it away however that does not mean they should just have the same guy in the same scenarios, fighting the same enemies with the same weapons.

According to all the clues about Halo 4 that are littered throughout Halo: CE Anniversary, 343 are really going to expand the fiction pretty substantially, apparently featuring the Forerunner story and lore. There will definitely be new enemies, new vehicles and some new weapons as well.

I get the strong impression from all I've seen, that 343 is trying to differentiate Halo 4 from it's predecessors. I think the gameplay mechanics will be very familiar, but between the new locations, enemies, weapons, vehicles, and who knows on allies, as well as the graphical treatment with their new engine, and the new music, this game will feel fresh enough. And I say that as a huge Halo fan, but one who has hit some pretty severe burnout with the series. Things look very promising at the least.

And btw, MC looks so great in that reveal vid. I thought the Reach models were great, but this looks like a substantial upgrade again to the models and especially textures.

#9 Posted by ChillyUK7 (283 posts) -

Eh it looked like Halo to me, like Halo 2/3/Reach more or less, Battle Rifle more or less, gameplay looks more or less the same, not really got me interested. Sure it's very early so I hope im proven wrong but Halo 4 doesn't look like it's doing anything radically different with the franchise, to me everything about Halo culminated in Reach and I think it has come very close to perfecting Halo in single and multi player (it took a while for multi player). For others Halo 2 and 3 are 'perfect', it just seems that now is the time to really change things up with the series because everything that can be done with Halo has pretty much been done. I feel bad for being cynical now :(

#10 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (308 posts) -

@ChillyUK7 said:

Eh it looked like Halo to me, like Halo 2/3/Reach more or less, Battle Rifle more or less, gameplay looks more or less the same, not really got me interested. Sure it's very early so I hope im proven wrong but Halo 4 doesn't look like it's doing anything radically different with the franchise, to me everything about Halo culminated in Reach and I think it has come very close to perfecting Halo in single and multi player (it took a while for multi player). For others Halo 2 and 3 are 'perfect', it just seems that now is the time to really change things up with the series because everything that can be done with Halo has pretty much been done. I feel bad for being cynical now :(

Thing of it is, while I want something interesting and fresh, when I put in a Halo disc there are certain expectations. Spartans NEED to be Spartans. Covenant NEED to be the Covenant. But that doesn't mean there isn't room to expand. That's what I'm hoping for. Expand on what I already love, and above all else let's shake up the story beats a bit.

One of Halo's great failings is in John's characterization, or lack thereof. It's all there in the books and comics, but only the dedicated fans ever see it. To their credit, I applaud Bungie for not bashing people over the head with it. It's there if you want it, easily ignorable if you don't care. But where it's hurt the franchise is in all the players who do like story and want that stuff, but don't want to go out of the games to get it. In that regard, Halo has failed to show off just how deep the Chief's story goes.

What I'm hoping for is to see more of the Chief's humanity. It's fine to want a blank slate character for the player to project themselves onto, but Chief always had a voice and a character and it's time they move some of that to the foreground.

I know the multiplayer is a huge part of Halo to a huge part of the audience. But for me, I could care less. I loved Reach's multiplayer. More than I did 3 if I'm honest. After 2 I was pretty much burnt out on shooting other color Spartans/Elites in the head. Then Reach came along and reminded me why I fell in love with Halo MP in the first place. The Armor Abilities added a lot for me. It made it exciting again because you didn't always know what to expect. I know a lot of people did not like them, but for me they were the breath of fresh air I needed to keep caring about the MP mode at all. I hope they don't go backwards or CoD it up. If I wanted CoD I'd play that game. Not that I'm worried of course, just sharing. :)@Ramone said:

@zombie2011 said:

@Ramone: Just because they mention the Covenant doesn't mean they will be the main antagonist. They can't just throw away fiction that has been building for 11 years, and of course the Warthog will be in Halo they would be stupid to get rid of it.

I hope with all my heart that the Covenant aren't the main antagonist (that also goes for the flood) but I can't see them taking that risk. The whole point of this trilogy should be to develop and expand on the fiction not throw it away however that does not mean they should just have the same guy in the same scenarios, fighting the same enemies with the same weapons.

I can tell you outright that the Covenant are not the main enemies. You'll have to deal with some of them for sure, but like all the best Halo games it's not going to be a two sided conflict. What I've heard is that while there are Covenant on (Whatever this strange planet is), they are but one threat the Chief will have to face. As for the arsenal, I wouldn't worry too much. The only reason there is a Warthog at all is because there is a limited arsenal available in the wreckage of Forward Until Dawn when Chief wakes up. They've spoken about new weapons, redesigned versions of existing weapons, as well as new vehicles.

Some fans think, and I tend to agree, that this "planet" is a forerunner structure akin to the Shield World installation from Ghosts of Onyx. If the action is half as good as the adventures from that book then we're all in for a treat.

I wish I could say I understand how the casual fan might not be as excited for Halo 4 as I am. But honestly I have no reference point for what you or anyone else may feel for the game. I've been into Halo since day one. Technically before day one, but that is another story for another day. Some of the things you've mentioned were actually covered in the latest Halo Report (a weekly feature on Halo Waypoint written by BS Angel; 343i's community manager). If you want, I can provide a link. Though if you're uninterested I won't bother digging it up. Fans asked a series of questions and while some answers are typical PR fare, Frankie O'Connor (head of 343i) did a pretty good job of answering as much as he could.

I can certainly understand those who want to take a metered approach when it comes to getting hyped up for a game. Especially one that just switched developers. But the small things they've shown off so far have me eager to learn more and eager to see where the final product takes us. It could still all crash and burn of course. But I choose to be a bit more optimistic than that given that a good amount of the 343 team is made up of the Bungie people who didn't want to move on and loved Halo enough to jump ship when Bungie proper decided to go off on their own new project.

I also want to thank everyone who chimed in. I love a good Halo chat/discussion. It always makes me happy.

#11 Edited by big_jon (5710 posts) -
Marty is my Hero, I met him at PAX, I got to ask him a question directly at one of the panels.

I will say that the trailer had some very inspired music, I am happy that they aren't just remaking the past songs, that would be weak, the mysterious song played a minute in when they show Chief is fucking awesome, made me happy in the pants.

#12 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (308 posts) -

@big_jon: That is super cool!

The Bungie team is full of great personalities. Marty probably being the best of the bunch. But they all seem like interesting people you'd like to meet or get to know. Or at least that's the image they put forth. They could all be serial killers praying on Kirkwood's hobo population at night for all we know. Still, they are probably one of the better developers when it comes to true public relations and not just "PR" if you take my meaning.

#13 Posted by big_jon (5710 posts) -

@ZZoMBiE13: Yes

These were the days, truly made me happy/

#14 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3810 posts) -

I'm really hopeful. Reach was awesome but I'm ready for another game with MC. Focusing on his personality is a great idea. Unless you've read the books etc you only get so much from the games. Also sprint button for the love of god.

#15 Posted by Ixiong (15 posts) -

i love the halo series so much its AMAZING I CANT WAIT TILL HALO 4 PLUS I HAVE SO MANY IDEAS FOR THE GAME.

#16 Posted by Hitchenson (4682 posts) -

No Bungie, no interest. Now Destiny, there's a game I'm interested in.

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