How Halo 5 :Guardians made me hate Halo…Sort of

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Now don’t get this twisted, I absolutely love Halo, from it’s interesting universe and lore to it’s focus on humanizing the robot looking Master Chief. I’m just saying that 343’s multi-player beta, Halo 5 :The Guardians is making it hard for me to return and enjoy any other previous Halo  title. My experience with Guardians  was nothing short of amazing, I was faster, could strike harder, could maneuver better  I felt like I had options  when it came to how I engaged opponents. It was a great time.

The night the beta ended, a friend of mine and I hopped on The Master Chief Collection  to play some  Halo 2 matches. What I experienced was a total flogging often finishing the rounds in dead last. By the time we had finished playing for the night, I had clawed my way from last to maybe third place on my team. My friend, a long time veteran player had no problem dominating each round. My rage and dismay was only compounded by the thought of how well I had done in prior games like Reach  and Halo 4 and more recently Guardians . I’m not a pro player, however I do consider myself pretty good when it comes first person shooters.

I started my FPS journey with games like Perfect Dark (before that it was Wolfenstein 3D and Terminal Terror) from those primordial pits I played various shooters here and there. With the release of TitanFall last year, I really hit my stride.  I’ve come to realize that movement with in a FPS is extremely important to me, a factor I didn’t realize until TitanFall, I like feeling speedy, not Call of Duty  speedy where you’re just an obnoxious dude running around knifing people. I mean I liked the feeling of freedom it gave me.

Bouncing from a wall to a rooftop using parkour gave me the ability to quickly assess the battlefield and to map out my route/plan of attack. That feeling of freedom  was great and some of that was present in Halo 5: Guardians  through the use of sprinting, dashing and ground pounding. The ground pound, though usually used offensively ( your spartan would leap high into the air, from there you would determine where to land and your spartan would careen through the air towards that designated landing spot, the impact would cause a sort of area of effect  damaging and sometimes even destroying a nearby player).

Which sounds pretty awesome right? well in my case I would use the ground pound to quickly move from one level to a lower one relatively quickly, since many stages in the beta had an upper and lower level, the ground pound was often my most used method of getting to the lower levels in a pinch. I used it that way so often that myself and my team mates nicknamed it “The Robert Downey Jr” or “The IronMan” (since your spartan, upon landing, would strike a similar pose to the iconic Marvel Superhero). Another really useful skill that was added was the dash ability, hitting a button allowed your spartan to dash in any direction you held your control stick in allowing you to either dash behind a wall when things got hectic or to re-position yourself in the middle of a fire fight or even to give you an extra push when you’re leaping from platform to platform. All of these don’t sound like a really big deal on their own but when tied together the gameplay of Guardians was made all the more an enjoyable experience.

Snap back to the Master Chief Collection

halo-the-master-chief-collection

Making that adjustment and going back to play the older titles was the equivalent of having an amazing day off at an amazing theme park and then going back to school the next day. Slow movement, no options just a dull acceptance of my fate, It was almost borderline depressing and seriously made me question how in the world Halo had managed to stay relevant after all these years before Guardians  and even before Halo 4  and Reach. So I bring my rant to an end here, for the next several months until the release of 343’s Halo 5 , I’ll be making the best I can of the gulag known as The Master Chief Collection. All the while dreaming of a better, brighter world of which I caught a glimpse of in Guardians. Till then, see you guys online.

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