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It’s a Good Thing Bungie Isn’t Making Halo 4
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Halo series. I think that overall Bungie did a great job. Halo is a series that my generation grew up on, and it will always be a game that I reminisce on fondly. But even though Bungie did a great job, there are still a lot of things that they got wrong from Halo 1 all the way up through Halo Reach.
343 Industries is taking over the Halo reigns, and from what we’ve seen so far it’s a good thing. Halo 4 shouldn’t be a remake of Halo 3. Fans need a new set of developers to transform Halo into a game that captures the world’s attention again. Here are the ways I’ve seen 343 Industries taking Halo to the next level.
Making the Game More Immersive
In the original Halo series I didn’t have any connection with the friendly NPCs. I cared about Master Chief, and Crotona (until she started disrupting my game play in Halo 3). But the cut-scenes in 343’s E3s demo looks like the Halo story is getting a major dose of awesome added. From what I saw it’s going to be easier for fans to jump into the story, and have an invested interest in NPC characters.
But it’s not just the story that’s getting more immersive. The player’s interface will have a couple new features. Like Cortana’s head poking up on the side of the screen when she’s talking to you. It’s these little additions that a new set of developers are thinking of instead of getting into the rut of making another Halo 3.
Bringing Back the Epic Proportions
I had a sense of awe set in after I played Halo 1 for the first time. But now gamers are hard to impress and Halo 2 and 3 had less than memorable storylines and scenes. The point of halo is to have epic battles mixed with epic cuts scenes. But Bungie’s idea of “epic” has gotten stale.
After watching the demo playthrough of Halo 4 under 343 Industries production there is no denying that they are pushing the epic scenario to all new heights. It’s not just adding big things flying and crashing around; it’s about getting the player to understand how big and important the actions are. In Halo 3 things came crashing down around me, but I didn’t care because I didn’t understand why I should care. By making the game both more immersive and grandeur, 343 Industries is bringing back the epic look of Halo.
Adding New Features Bungie Wouldn’t Have Added
Bungie is too busy trying to decide what weapons to use from previous games to start making new ones. That’s the problem when games go on too long; instead of making new content they are busy sifting through the old. 343 has already made some awesome looking additions that Bungie probably wouldn’t have produced. New enemies and weapons that are unlike anything we’ve seen before are being added. They aren’t changing the way that Halo looks or plays, but they’re giving it a new spin that is doing the series a huge favor.
Not Forgetting the Original Series, But Improving
And this is the best part about shifting developers. Usually a development shift comes with lots of creative input that changes the original series. It’s a give and take for most games, where cool things are added, but old favorite features are lost. This isn’t the case with the transfer of Halo from Bungie to 343 Industries.
343 Industries isn’t changing Halo to fit their creative ideas. Instead, they are shaping their creative ideas to fit the world of Halo. Old enemies like jackals and grunts will still be included in Halo 4. And more importantly, their image hasn’t been morphed to fit what 343 think’s is cool. It’s because Halo 4 doesn’t have an entirely different image. Instead, it has a clean and updated look that is comfortable for old fans and still on the cutting edge of graphics.
And while the characters are staying the same, they are getting a new dose of personality and realism. My biggest complaint about the original Halo series was the character development. Master Chief isn’t a character I can relate to. Cortana I found more annoying as the series went on and the enemies were all lame, unimaginative, and forgetful. 343 Industires really can’t make the character development any worse, so the only way they can change it is by making it better.
It’s good that this classic game is having a new set of hands on deck. It would be a sad day for the community if the Halo series was beaten into the ground with more and more sequels that had the same feel. Hopefully 343 industries does the game proud. And judging from their E3 demo, I think they will.