With Bungie not developing Halo games anymore, I was curious as to what direction the series was going to go. Newcomer 343 Industries has done a pretty good job with its first attempt. The problem is that it's not quite polished enough.
First let's talk about the positives. The campaign is actually quite good. It's not much of a chore anymore to kill tougher enemies, which is great because I found myself getting increasingly frustrated with the previous games because it took so much gunfire to kill the Elites. Multiplayer is also loads of fun, it's been given a new makeover with custom loadouts, letting you choose what kind of primary and secondary weapon you want, armor ability, tactical packages, etc. It's also much more satisfying to get kills in Multiplayer now because it doesn't take an entire clip of ammo to kill somebody. I love the ordinance packages, because it gives the points system meaning now. Also, the special weapons scattered across the map make a return, but with a new twist. After players get them from their default starting location, other special weapons transport to random places on the map to make getting them much more challenging, which is awesome. You also don't need an armor ability to sprint, thank goodness. Finally, they've introduced killcams in the 4v4 Team Slayer to show how you got killed by an opponent. All FPS games need killcams in online multiplayer.
Now to the various things that need some improvement. First is the forerunner enemies. Focusing mostly on the knights and the watchers, these are arguably the most frustrating and annoying enemies ever. They seriously need to be toned down a bit in the next game. The knights' shields and health are so beefy it takes forever to kill them, and their ability to teleport makes it even more of a pain. Then there's the watchers, I like to call them "the deadliest pussies". They can ambush you easily because they can fly, and each time you shoot them, they retreat like little b***hes, usually behind a wall. Next, the servers for online multiplayer. You will be experiencing way more lag than you are used to in Multiplayer. Third, the various ordinance power ups: the speed boost, damage boost, and overshield. All of these power ups are a great addition to the game. There's just one problem. When you get these power ups, the screen filter changes color coinciding with which power up you get. It engulfs you in an aura of light, which sometimes makes you an easier target for opponents to spot. Also, you can't use active camouflage when using these power ups because the aura is still around your player even when you're invisible. Why not have a small meter appear or a time limit as to how long the ability will last instead of the screen turning a different color and disorienting the player? That would make more sense. However, the biggest kick in the balls of this game's multiplayer is that 343 didn't code the game to divide teams up properly in the case if players leave before the game starts. Here's an example, 4v4 basic Team Slayer. At the voting screen, there's 8 players and some people vote, but others may not like the stage that's winning all the votes so they leave. This leaves 6 players. You'd think that it would just be 3v3 now, right? WRONG! The game makes it 4v2. How can they screw up something as simple as dividing teams up properly? That's inexcusable. Also, there are very few choices of maps, and because of that, sometimes at the voting screen, there's three different game types but all on the same one map.
Finally, the various changes made; the custom layouts, joining matches in progress, and the killcams. To some people, it makes it look like 343 Industries is trying to deliberately copy the Call of Duty franchise. Is it a Call of Duty clone? No. It's still Halo, by all means. But these obvious similarities can't be ignored.
Overall, it's a great game. The problem with it is in the presentation and originality department. Hopefully 343 Industries will take the feedback from fans with a grain of salt, and fix what is wrong for the next game of the series.
Sound Direction: 9.0