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The Halo 4UM: #2

by on April 14, 2013
 

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Hey there! Welcome to another article of mine that’s all about Halo 4 news and opinions. My opinions. Hah! So last week was pretty huge for Halo fans, what with the release of the Castle Map Pack, new matchmaking gametypes, and the introduction of the Competitive Skill Ranking system.

Well, everyone else is putting their two cents in. So, I may as well begin with my thoughts on the new map pack, which actually conveniently went on sale. We have to thank 343 for at least doing their best, even if it isn’t always what we want. They do a fantastic job, even if the forging community often goes above and beyond their designs.

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But the first thing to note is that their aesthetic sense is almost unparalleled. We’ve got some of the most beautiful maps in Halo 4, so regardless of their function, every inch of these Castle maps are full of atmosphere that just makes it fantastic to walk around. In fact, there’s rarely been so much attention delivered into the surroundings.

Sadly, the backdrops are often ignored during gameplay, because who has time to look away from the enemy? Anyways, the Castle maps are clearly designed for BTB, and Daybreak is a fantastic homage to Halo: Reach for all those fans that aren’t afraid to say they loved it too. I notice that there are a lot of maps these days that really enjoy distinct Warthog paths, but I always preferred the choppy, controlled roads in Ragnarok.

In total contrast to Perdition, both Daybreak and Outcast feature strong natural settings as the focus of the design. I personally enjoy this, and it makes more sense to go all the way in either direction—full Urban, or full Nature. That’s what I feel made Blood Gulch such an enduring design: the straightforward designs and balance. Put simply? Less is more.

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I’m afraid I have to come down a little on Outcast though. It’s rather cramped to be that large, and to have the big guns like a Wraith on there. They’re kind of rendered a tad useless, and though the whole concept of teams escorting their vehicles to garner winning numbers is unique and neat—emphasized by the vast attention to potential callouts—it feels contradictory to gametypes other than Slayer. But that’s just me. I feel the design is a tad stuttered, however fantastic the art always is.

Perdition? Well, there’s a huge lack of verticality, which I guess makes for more shootouts and less camping, but I have to admit I really missed an in-your-face urban map that actually works well. Here’s another example of those Warthog paths. It’s a tad frustrating that some people just make rounds with it, but I suppose that’s what it’s there for, so here’s 343 giving fans what they want.

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So! Ultimately, I’m a fan of Perdition and Daybreak for their balance, while Outcast—for me—plays best for how it looks and feels rather than how it functions.

Whew, what a mouthful. I have to say, I’m very impressed with CSR—I am thoroughly pleased with the fairness of it all, and it provides a more accurate first impression of who your allies and opponents are. There’s only good things to note about the new system, and it should definitely be here to stay.

Lastly, we’ve got a couple new gametypes. I have to say, multi-team doesn’t work out very well here. The pace of Halo 4 doesn’t suit the chaos that always ensues out of multi-team, no matter how strong a partner you may have on the battlefield. Neither does the lack of a sturdy shield. However, this is pretty subjective. It’s up to whether you enjoy that style of gameplay. Personally, I think Mario Kart forges are Halo 4’s best gameplay for multi-team.

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And Rumble Pit! Oh my goodness. What an awful turn of events. It’s like finding out the weakness of the aliens in Signs was water. They removed Community FFA? Terrible. There’s nothing else to say. Just a terrible decision. Moves like that are what disconnect the Halo community.

Not to mention the closest we’ve gotten to BTB Objective is just two more players. Now it’s 6v6. Not good enough, 343, it just isn’t. Especially when so many of the maps in Halo 4 are gigantic! With maps of these sizes, BTB Objective should have come with the game. IMHO. Oh well. At least every week is the chance of something new—let’s all find out tomorrow!

Thanks for tuning in, readers. Got game? …Oh. Yeah, you do. Well go on then and play, I know you’re tired of reading!

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