The recently released Halo 4 video had us all talking at G4, but we thought we'd speak to a man with even more first-person shooter expertise than the editorial staff at G4 (if such a thing is even possible): The great Tom "Tsquared" Taylor, captain of Str8 Rippin' one of the greatest Halo teams in gaming history.
First, check out the "Making of Halo 4" video:
Then look below the "Read More" tag to see how Tsquared breaks it down. --Read More-
Stephen Johnson: A lot of people here who watched the video said it basically looks like the last Halo game, so I wanted to ask you if you saw any other things that stuck out as differences.
Tsquared: I think that there's a lot that stuck out, and mainly it's what 343 was saying. One thing that really stood out to me was the fact that -- I believe it was Josh Holmes who said they're going to be looking at the multiplayer aspects for the competitive community. He mentioned that they're going to be having competitive gaming in mind, which is the first time that they've necessarily even considered having the competitive aspects of Halo implemented into the game.
SJ: How would Halo have to be different in order for it to be competitive in that way?
T2: I think that it would have to have a lot more maps and an improved matchmaking ranking system. In the original launch we only saw probably two competitive maps in Countdown and Zealot. I know that from what I've been hearing, that they're not going to be using any of the past campaign maps in this upcoming multiplayer, so I'm pretty excited about that. I think that if they go back to recreating the old classic Halo maps into a map pack just like they did for Halo Reach and improve on those classic maps and lose the armor abilities while implementing a ranking system from one to fifty and maybe even a leaderboard, then we can see Halo 4 do some damage. Then maybe more than 100,00 people will be playing it after a year when it's released.
SJ: So other than that, if you were in charge of Halo's multiplayer, what improvements would you make?
T2: The first thing would be the ranking system, obviously. You want to improve that because of the fact that in Halo: Reach there was absolutely no rankings system. It was more of a credit system to unlock the armor. So they had the armory completion, and also I believe…there's two things. One's the armory completion and I forget the other thing. But there's not any kind of ranking system. So one person could go in that's played 100 rumble pit games and be matched up against someone who's only played one rumble pit game. So they did that for time constraint purposes, and they wanted the matchmaking system to be so fast, but I would much rather wait around for a quality Halo match then get matched up against someone who's never played the game before.
So, I think that's the number one problem there. Obviously you don't want to see any bloom, and you want to see the battle rifle back, which is great. I'm expecting armor loadouts obviously. The spread was in there but I don't want to see that in the actual multiplayer. I think that the armor lock was too overpowered and pretty frustrating, as well as the bloom. I think what happened was with Halo: Reach a lot of people were popping in the game for the first time and they were expecting maybe the battle rifle, but they weren't expecting the reticle to expand. So when people weren't dying and they didn't understand how to shoot, they just put the game down because it seemed like all the guns were nerfed. In Halo: Reach I really felt like I was playing paintball compared to taking over the world.
I think that if I was in charge of the multiplayer I would make sure that everything that they - you know, the default way to play Halo is what everyone plays from the first time they put in the disc, so I think the playlists have to be smart. People would get in and they'd play this game with a weak weapon that they didn't understand how to use in Halo Reach, and now if you start off everyone with a familiar weapon with the battle rifle and have a secondary like the assault rifle, I think people will immediately fall back in love with it as long as there's no bloom.
SJ: I know that 343 has said that they're going to explain exactly why it's Red vs. Blue spartans, so why do you think Red and Blue fight?
T2: You know, if it's Red vs. Blue, how come there's all these other possible team colors out there like orange and green and brown and pink?
I'm not a big Halo book nerd. That's something that I want to do when I'm done with the completive aspects of Halo. I'd love to take my time out and read the books. But I honestly am pretty intrigued by the story. As long as they keep the hit boxes the same, and everything gravy like that, I think it's going to be pretty cool, because I really like the Gears of War style of the Cogs vs. the Locust, and I think that the whole red vs. blue story could be big because Halo has always done a pretty great job of explaining their stories in the campaign and their videos are always great.
But I don't want the game to be 49-49 and then you take me to a storyline of Red vs. Blue. Obviously it has to be done the correct way. Don't implement any of that into the multiplayer. But I'm pretty confused by the whole red vs. blue thing. I'm intrigued by it.
SJ: I guess everyone's faces are covered so it could be anything behind that armor.
T2: Yeah. Overall, this is a great teaser, just because of what they're saying, not necessarily the gameplay. It just seems like they're really stoked about the game, and they look like they've been working really hard on it.
So there you have it: Tsquared's take on the first Halo 4 viddoc. Don't forget to enjoy our Halo 4 FAQ, where everything you need to know about 343's upcoming game is explained.