Why Halo Struggles to Evolve

Cranster

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,362
Youtuber Favyn has uplaoded a video essay on what he thinks Halo needs to do in order to evolve and why the fanbase is divisive in Halo's attempts in the past to innovate and evolve over the years. I enjoy Halo 5 and elements of every Halo game but he does make some excellent points here and it's worth a watch.

 

Prine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,504
Cool, will check this out tonight, thanks.

I love the changes made for H5, so im hoping 343i balance things for infinite, i think its obvious they'll be removing elements to make it feel like classic Halo. Im cool with either. I pray clamber + sprint remain though, for SP only if need be. Remove it for MP if so many are bitter on it.
 

FairyEmpire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,994
I only watched a part of the video so far, but Halo was born in a time of arena shooters like Quake, Unreal Tournament and the likes. They turned it into a console-friendly experience but the basics were the same. The entire genre pretty much died in favour of military shooters, hero shooter, class-based stuff, and the art or roaming the map for certain weapons and power-ups to appear seems lost. Still, they're the last popular franchise that still manages to pull it off by trying to keep a balancing act between what old school fans want and modern elements (sprinting, class abilities, loadouts, ADS, etc.). Halo 4 probably leaned a bit too far into COD territory (I'm a Call Of Duty fan but if I want Call Of Duty I play Call Of Duty) and 5 had some odd MTX schemes, but the actual gameplay loop was pretty good, a great mixture of classic and modern. I think that if they can iterate on that they're good. Halo Infinite is gonna be the most ambitious Halo change in the franchise's history, so I'm curious to see what this means to multiplayer.
 

Gloam

Member
Oct 29, 2017
505
I am curious to see where Ryan Payton wanted to take Halo, apparently his vision was too radical for the series. What we've got in terms of the single player stuff in 4 and 5 is not so interesting to me. Would like to see a shake up to the enemies but with a similar grenade, gun, punch dynamic
 

TheGhost

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,057
Long Island
It's because what their dedicated fan base wants is not what casuals want.

People would lose their shit if they put traditional ADS mechanics in the game.

I would love a Halo game with Destiny's shooting. I would play it non stop.

Halo 1 was combat evolved....but the combat hasn't evolved much since.
 

btags

Member
Oct 26, 2017
557
Rochester NY
I would be happy if they took the basic weapon feel/movement and all that from halo 5 and "evolved" the game by changing the setup of single player to more wide open spaces, encounters, etc.

I think Halo 5's gameplay loop was great, the encounters and narrative were what was lacking in singleplayer. There were some bright spots when things opened up a little bit and the player could choose how to tackle a large arena, but it was mostly nothing too inspiring. I was perfectly fine with how the multiplayer was in terms of slayer, although I do think they need to rebalance/re-emphasize vehicles for big team battle and the like. It seems like vehicles have been death traps in recent halos for the most part.
 

MilesQ

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,448
It's because what their dedicated fan base wants is not what casuals want.

People would lose their shit if they put traditional ADS mechanics in the game.

I would love a Halo game with Destiny's shooting. I would play it non stop.

Halo 1 was combat evolved....but the combat hasn't evolved much since.
Great news, you can play Reach. It's Destiny 0.5!

It's also why it's one of the worst Halo games to date.
 

SillyMikey

Member
Mar 29, 2019
282
Cool, will check this out tonight, thanks.

I love the changes made for H5, so im hoping 343i balance things for infinite, i think its obvious they'll be removing elements to make it feel like classic Halo. Im cool with either. I pray clamber + sprint remain though, for SP only if need be. Remove it for MP if so many are bitter on it.
Ground pound was stupid, spartan charge was stupid, grenade hit markers that make them portable radars was stupid. Halo5 did a lot of dumbass things that imo that just made the gameplay worse off for everyone. It being better than Halo4 wasn't that hard to do.

343 imo, still have a lot to prove in terms of Multiplayer design
 

RowdyReverb

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,158
Texas
I think they’ll continue to have 2 diverging multiplayer options like in Halo 5 with Arena and Warzone so that they can offer something for longtime Halo fans and gamers born too late for Halo 3
 
Jun 11, 2018
427
I know that it sounds harsh, but I think that people need to stop holding Halo back with nostalgia. It shouldn’t compromise its core, clearly, however, it needs to evolve and become more modern. If it doesn’t evolve and strive to do what the first game did, then it will eventually become irrelevant and die out.
 

Dan8589

Banned
May 30, 2019
320
Ground pound was stupid, spartan charge was stupid, grenade hit markers that make them portable radars was stupid. Halo5 did a lot of dumbass things that imo that just made the gameplay worse off for everyone. It being better than Halo4 wasn't that hard to do.

343 imo, still have a lot to prove in terms of Multiplayer design
Yeah until I see some actual MP gameplay for Infinite I'm not convinced by anything 343 says.
 
Jun 11, 2018
427
Ground pound was stupid, spartan charge was stupid, grenade hit markers that make them portable radars was stupid. Halo5 did a lot of dumbass things that imo that just made the gameplay worse off for everyone. It being better than Halo4 wasn't that hard to do.

343 imo, still have a lot to prove in terms of Multiplayer design
Personally, I disagree. While it’s not perfect, there’s a reason why it’s still very active on the multiplayer front. Great, if still somewhat flawed, mechanics and solid balancing have made it a fun and satisfying experience for many.
 

Dinjoralo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,109
Yeah until I see some actual MP gameplay for Infinite I'm not convinced by anything 343 says.
Semi related, but I'm wondering how/if Halo Infinite will reconcile it's design with keyboard and mouse controls. I'd make a thread if I knew a lick about Halo, but I know people have said there's things like, areas on multiplayer maps where you could camp multiple spawn points with a sniper rifle if not for the time it takes to aim. Honestly, that could be a good source of evolution.

Great news, you can play Reach. It's Destiny 0.5!

It's also why it's one of the worst Halo games to date.
We get it, you hate Reach. Anything relevant to add?
 

Betty

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,949
All these gameplay issues are not the main problems with the Halo games.

The story, campaigns and lack of vehicle sections in the single player have been hurting it enormously.

But when it comes to multiplayer there's one major oversight they need to correct day 1 out of the box.

Include Big Team Battle at launch and make good, dedicated maps for it that are not just forge knock offs.
 

Pancracio17

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
7,058
I wonder how 343i will approach Infinite's gameplay. Judging by how the game itself looks im thinking theyll go back to some of the classic mechanics at least, but I have no idea how far they will go. I have my doubts they will remove sprint, for example, but maybe it wouldnt be such a bad idea to just base the game off H2A with some adjustments.
 

SillyMikey

Member
Mar 29, 2019
282
Personally, I disagree. While it’s not perfect, there’s a reason why it’s still very active on the multiplayer front. Great, if still somewhat flawed, mechanics and solid balancing have made it a fun and satisfying experience for many.
Its active because its the "newest" Halo game. That doesn't = best or high quality Halo to me.

Like having MP tournaments where everyone just uses a secondary pistol and nothing else cause it kicks ass and is better than all the primaries you spawn with is just completely ridiculous.

The game is not of "bad quality", but its definitely not a good Halo game.
 

Fletch

Member
Oct 31, 2017
145
I was very interested in Infinite after the teaser trailer last year but this years trailer is setting up the game to be yet another sequel to the tired and old Cortana-Chief dynamic. I don't trust 343 to evolve the formula at all.
 

iscodisco93

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,992
Ground pound was stupid, spartan charge was stupid, grenade hit markers that make them portable radars was stupid. Halo5 did a lot of dumbass things that imo that just made the gameplay worse off for everyone. It being better than Halo4 wasn't that hard to do.

343 imo, still have a lot to prove in terms of Multiplayer design
meh, loved halo 5 mp the best since halo 2.
 

ryan299

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,104
Ground pound was stupid, spartan charge was stupid, grenade hit markers that make them portable radars was stupid. Halo5 did a lot of dumbass things that imo that just made the gameplay worse off for everyone. It being better than Halo4 wasn't that hard to do.

343 imo, still have a lot to prove in terms of Multiplayer design
Especially the maps. The maps in 5 are terrible
 

N75

Member
Oct 25, 2017
903
Never played 5, but H4's attempt at "evolution" was just grabbing a bunch of trends from other popular shooters. The people they were targetting got bored and the more core fans became frustrated.

You can say Reach was the start, but that was a non-numbered title where Bungie wanted to do something different before moving on. 343 was under no obligation to double down on it. I even remember them scrapping an earlier build because it "was too traditional", even though they said testers enjoyed it.

You can change/add things without affecting the overall core. "Evolution" and "Immersion" shouldn't be prioritised over pure gameplay, especially for a series known for its multiplayer.

It's weird that Halo is the series that needs to evolve, and not other long-standing shooters like Counter-Strike.
 

op_ivy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,780
pretty great video IMO, as someone that loves halo 5 too.

one point that is overlooked in the video, that i think is of utmost importance, is that the simplicity of classic halo also contributed to halo's mass appeal and success based on that simplicity/accessibility alone. a lot of games keep adding mechanics on top of mechanics with each successive sequel, until the game is really complex to anyone not heavily invested. there are many games i used to be a casual fan of that i'm now turned off by because of how many options, tools, mechanics are at my disposal. fighting games are a prime example of this.
 

Complicated

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,203
They killed it with Halo 5. They just need to keep moving in the same direction instead of the million different directions the fans want multiplayer to cater to based on their own personal rankings of the Halo games.

It's not like we got dual wielding or vehicle boarding in Halo 2 because fans asked Bungie for it. And there sure as hell was nobody asking them to make the BR shitty, spartans slow and floaty, and add shitty equipment in Halo 3 and Reach. People love those games all the same. Halo 5 is no different and I have no doubt Infinite will do just as well if not better.
 

jviggy43

Member
Oct 28, 2017
13,453
Great news, you can play Reach. It's Destiny 0.5!

It's also why it's one of the worst Halo games to date.
Nothing but the fucking truth

Never played 5, but H4's attempt at "evolution" was just grabbing a bunch of trends from other popular shooters. The people they were targetting got bored and the more core fans became frustrated.

You can say Reach was the start, but that was a non-numbered title where Bungie wanted to do something different before moving on. 343 was under no obligation to double down on it. I even remember them scrapping an earlier build because it "was too traditional", even though they said testers enjoyed it.

You can change/add things without affecting the overall core. "Evolution" and "Immersion" shouldn't be prioritised over pure gameplay, especially for a series known for its multiplayer.

It's weird that Halo is the series that needs to evolve, and not other long-standing shooters like Counter-Strike.
God I love this post
 

op_ivy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,780
Especially the maps. The maps in 5 are terrible
there are some absolutely awesome maps in halo 5 - coliseum and plaza (not to mention the remake truth) i think are instant classics that play incredible well in a variety of game modes AND play well with halo 5's sandbox. there are also a few pretty good maps (and i freely admit "pretty good" just doesnt cut it!) like eden, regret, and fathom. i think the games launch map collection was comparatively pretty good. no real stinkers, some standouts. halo 5's real problem was there wasnt ENOUGH great maps and worse, all the additional post launch maps were literally trash.
 

Whicker

Member
Jan 6, 2018
24
Ontario
I know that it sounds harsh, but I think that people need to stop holding Halo back with nostalgia. It shouldn’t compromise its core, clearly, however, it needs to evolve and become more modern. If it doesn’t evolve and strive to do what the first game did, then it will eventually become irrelevant and die out.
The more they tried to change Halo, the worse it got. Reach and halo 4 were pretty terrible multiplayer wise. Halo 5 went a little too far with the abilities but was a step in the right direction. Halo is an arena shooter, something that I really miss. Map control, power weapons, gunfights. If Halo "evolves" like all the shooters right now we're gonna get another boring kid friendly battle royale.

All infinite multiplayer needs is good gunplay with no gimmicks, good maps, skill based progression, and a good big team battle.
Ofc with 343 you need to add with everything included, in 100% working order, day 1.

As for campaign, I want vast open areas with cool enemies with a decent plot. The first time you land in halo 1, when you encounter the flood, co-op, those are some great moments I hope they can deliver again. I really want this game to be good.
 
Jun 11, 2018
427
The more they tried to change Halo, the worse it got. Reach and halo 4 were pretty terrible multiplayer wise. Halo 5 went a little too far with the abilities but was a step in the right direction. Halo is an arena shooter, something that I really miss. Map control, power weapons, gunfights. If Halo "evolves" like all the shooters right now we're gonna get another boring kid friendly battle royale.

All infinite multiplayer needs is good gunplay with no gimmicks, good maps, skill based progression, and a good big team battle.
Ofc with 343 you need to add with everything included, in 100% working order, day 1.

As for campaign, I want vast open areas with cool enemies with a decent plot. The first time you land in halo 1, when you encounter the flood, co-op, those are some great moments I hope they can deliver again. I really want this game to be good.
Yeah, they can make a solid game based off of the mechanics of 2 and 3, but the fact is that things need to change to be relevant. Halo used to lead the charge. Now, I’m not saying that it should just ape the mechanics of other shooters, but it needs to take advantage of modern tech and game design. Other series have died for lesser things. A good example of positive evolution isBreath of the Wild, which kept the core of the original games, but made it modern and changed open world game design. Doom did a similar thing with reviving itself in a modern way while still being true to its core. Halo needs to make the same leap.
 

Dinjoralo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,109
I get the feeling that Halo is put on some kind of pedestal, it's weird. How does being able to clamber and have leeway with jumps ruin map design?
It's weird that Halo is the series that needs to evolve, and not other long-standing shooters like Counter-Strike.
It's because Counter-Strike isn't a series that keeps having new games made to sell new consoles.
 

TheGhost

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,057
Long Island
Never played 5, but H4's attempt at "evolution" was just grabbing a bunch of trends from other popular shooters. The people they were targetting got bored and the more core fans became frustrated.

You can say Reach was the start, but that was a non-numbered title where Bungie wanted to do something different before moving on. 343 was under no obligation to double down on it. I even remember them scrapping an earlier build because it "was too traditional", even though they said testers enjoyed it.

You can change/add things without affecting the overall core. "Evolution" and "Immersion" shouldn't be prioritised over pure gameplay, especially for a series known for its multiplayer.

It's weird that Halo is the series that needs to evolve, and not other long-standing shooters like Counter-Strike.
Because counter strike is not a console game.
 
Dec 15, 2017
548
Why Uncharted struggles to evolve then. Does Halo need to evolve? If anything we need arena shooters to make a comeback. I had more fun playing 10 minutes of Toxikk, El Dewrito and Q3A than with all the post COD shooters.
 

Fatmanp

Member
Oct 27, 2017
913
The COD audience was once the Halo audience
This is what so many people fail to grasp. Halo's audience never quit because of COD. Halo 3 maintained its audience in the face of three massively popular COD games. Halo lost its audience with Reach because it tried to copy COD mechanics. Why stick around and play COD lite when you can switch the disc and play the real thing. Halo 4 doubled down and was even worse. Halo 5 was some crappy hybrid of Titanfall and COD. The only good thing about it is the shooting.
 

Valiant

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,310
Haven't watched it but I think it's the die hard fans.

I remember when Reach came out and lots of old heads hated it because it wasn't basic ass Halo anymore.
 

SweetNicole

The Old Guard
Member
Oct 24, 2017
5,627
I know that it sounds harsh, but I think that people need to stop holding Halo back with nostalgia. It shouldn’t compromise its core, clearly, however, it needs to evolve and become more modern. If it doesn’t evolve and strive to do what the first game did, then it will eventually become irrelevant and die out.
You can evolve without having features that change the base player interaction. Clamber, sprint, spartan charge, etc are all examples of changing base player interaction with the map.

This same Youtuber has another video which delves into this a little more in depth:
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,581
I don't love the assumption that every videogame franchise needs to exist forever, or at least until it runs totally off the rails.
 

Theorry

Member
Oct 27, 2017
19,610
Dont think it needs to evolve. Its a broad term also. They offcourse can make it more from this time. But i think now its a good time not to make big changes,
Take Halo 5 its base. Get rid of ground pound, hover, spartan charge and grenade hitmarker. I think now with the game also releasing on PC its good have a good core.
PC people are thirsty for a good Arena shooter like Halo. And now they are getting Halo.
 

RyanW

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
3,895
It did “evolve.” Just look at the differences as you go through each title. It just didn’t evolve correctly.

People would lose their shit if they put traditional ADS mechanics in the game.
ADS is in the game. I can press the left trigger and the gun is closer to me and the bullet spread is tighter. That’s ADS. I don’t care what they called it to say it wasn’t.
 

Rendering...

Member
Oct 30, 2017
7,859
Haven't watched it but I think it's the die hard fans.

I remember when Reach came out and lots of old heads hated it because it wasn't basic ass Halo anymore.
Reach just plain wasn't up to par. The fans aren't to blame for that. Gunplay was worse due to aim bloom. Movement speed and jump height were nerfed, and armor abilities and loadouts screwed up the game's balance. The setting wasn't even as good. You're stuck on one planet. Also, some of the most fun weapons and vehicles from Halo 3 vanished into thin air.

Reach is not a bad game but it's hardly some underappreciated evolution of "basic ass Halo," which is a hilarious phrase considering Halo's formula has aged like fine wine and the early games are still fantastically replayable. Reach screwed with the basic mechanics and offered nothing in return.
 
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N75

Member
Oct 25, 2017
903
And the correct reading of that isn't "Halo isn't casual enough" it's that Halo will never be able to capture the CoD audience as it stands.
There are a group of people that continue to claim that Halo 4's multiplayer population decline had nothing to with it being negatively received by a lot of fans. Backlash occurred with previous games too, but this time the changes were much more noticeable.

Up until then, Halo and CoD had been regularly fighting for the top spot on XBL, then suddenly Halo 4 releases to huge opening numbers but apparently isn't as popular as it used to be?

All three of 343's games have been heavily criticized in one way. Halo 4's multiplayer, MCC's multiplayer, Halo 5's campaign. That and the fact Microsoft has the less popular console this generation have definitely contributed to the series not being as big as it used to be.

To be somewhat fair to 343, there seems to be a sizable amount of people who like Halo 5's multiplayer, so they're in a bit of a "damned if you, damned if you don't" situation right now. It'll be interesting see what direction Infinite goes.
 

Valiant

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,310
Reach just plain wasn't up to par. The fans aren't to blame for that. Gunplay was worse due to aim bloom, movement speed and jump height were nerfed, and armor abilities and loadouts screwed up the game's balance. The setting wasn't even as good. You're stuck on one planet.

Reach is not a bad game but it's hardly some underappreciated evolution of "basic ass Halo," which a hilarious phrase considering Halo's formula has aged like fine wine and the early games are still fantastically replayable.
Reach was easily Bungies most polished release of Halo after Combat Evolved.