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There’s nothing wrong with the Halo 5 beta yet

by on November 10, 2014
 

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Over the weekend, the first footage of the Halo 5 multiplayer beta leaked. The videos immediately pissed a lot of Halo fans off.

Halo, unlike Call of Duty and many other modern games, is a first-person shooter without the ability to zoom down the sight of your weapon, often called ADS, or aim down sights. Instead, the series has always been about shooting from the hip or through a scope. This has been what separated Halo’s highly-competitive multiplayer from other games.

But then, the leaked video got out, showing a player using ADS on a battle rifle. Oh, and the video showed that the game will also let you sprint, a mechanic that’s been in previous games, but is still contentious among the community. So, many fans were really upset.

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A lot of them deemed the ADS change as another example of developer 343 Industries turning the game into something that resembles the more popular Call of Duty games, which are known for fast-paced, ADS-driven combat.

Once more videos surfaced, it was clear that the uproar was unfounded. In previous games, the battle rifle had a scope that you could zoom in with. It turns out, that the battle rifle in the leaked videos was doing the same thing as in previous games, but 343 just took the scope away. It’s technically ADS, but it’s not for every other gun, like it would be in a Call of Duty game.

343 came out and clarified some things:

  1. Firing from your hip (e.g. when you’re not zoomed in) has no penalty in Halo 5. This was a concern since zooming into ADS in other games is more accurate than hip-firing.

  2. When you zoom in with a gun, you won’t move slower. This was a concern because ADS in many games makes you move slower to counteract the increased accuracy.

  3. When you’re zoomed in your view won’t jerk from taking damage, but when you’re in a scope, you will be kicked out.

So, no, Halo is not becoming another Call of Duty clone.

Why this matters so much

Halo multiplayer is super competitive. Like, thousands-of-dollars-for-tournaments competitive. Small changes like ADS can completely change how the game works at the highest skill levels.

A NeoGAF member actually gave a few good examples of how something as simple as sprint can change the game.

– Tends to be accompanied by a lowering of base movement speed (vs. a game with no sprint mechanic) in order to draw a clearer contrast between sprinting and walking.

– Changes combat loop from “run and gun” to “run or gun”

– Allows players a “get out of jail free card” from combat if they’re caught out of position or try to make a bad challenge

– Turns players with sword/hammer into gods, and allows for too many “sprint and smack” insta-kills with melee

– Pretty much destroys any classic/remade maps that weren’t made with sprint in mind

So, yeah, if you’re just going to play the campaign or play a few hours with some friends in multiplayer, you might not notice the changes that much, but if you’re going to spend hundreds of hours mastering Halo 5’s multiplayer, these things should be important to you.

Don’t pick up the pitchforks yet, though

We’ve only seen leaked videos of the multiplayer. While it’s likely these are from the upcoming beta that’s included in the Master Chief Collection, we don’t actually know for certain what the videos are from.

The best thing you can do before getting angry about any changes is to wait until later tonight for the first official footage of the multiplayer beta. IGN will stream a full exhibition match with a set of skilled, eSports-level players tonight at 8 PT.

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