I love Halo because it brings me back to an older day in multiplayer shooters where everyone has access to all the same weapons, yet still has a modern feel to it. Load outs in Halo 4 have me worried.
Don’t get me wrong, as I’m incredibly excited for Halo 4. Microsoft wisely started out their press conference with a bang, showing off the gorgeous new world we’ll explore with Master Chief, as well as formidable enemies in the Forerunners. Add in the fact that instead of the traditional shooter experience, we’ll be discovering mysteries, exploring landscapes, and dealing with, presumably, stronger plot details, and you can’t help but be excited for the campaign. I even found myself, someone who doesn’t enjoy a Halo campaign from any game in the franchise other than Reach, intrigued.
So why am I worried then? The game’s multiplayer has a little too much Call of Duty for my liking. While, yes, we did catch a glimpse of some Call of Duty like features in Halo: Reach, the spirit of Halo was in tact. The load outs back then were limited to various abilities, such as a jet pack, sprinting, or armor. It didn’t give anyone a particular advantage, per say, and instead added to the traditional “rock paper scissors” format the series has been known for when it comes to its weaponry. But with Halo 4, you can customize your load outs with various guns. Not only that, you can gain XP to unlock various perks that do more than just customize your appearance.
This is where I worry. Again, I love Halo‘s multiplayer because everyone starts off on an equal setting, skill aside. But if I’m not sure who has what unlocked and who’ll have the extra ammo to finish me off as I reload, it worries me. I play Halo because I want to get away from the Call of Duty style of multiplayer, but now it seems like I can’t get away from it.
That’s not to say that the multiplayer is all doom and gloom, however. There are some pretty nifty load out additions that have expanded on the armor from Halo 3, such as a shield that helps you soak up extra damage, as well as a thermal visor that allows you to see your enemies through terrain. You have to at least give 343 Industries some credit for taking the perks from having a higher level ranked character and not making them simply better guns, but various tactics that give you a slight edge in battle. But still, it is a slight edge, something I’m not that much of a fan of. And after both seeing and hearing countless tales of how someone threw “blind grenades” because of their visor perk, it’s a bit disheartening.