I’ve been a Halo fan since I was 15 or 14, but lately the franchise is going in a direction that I don’t like. At first I was okay with everything and tried to be accepting, but eventually things started to happen that I didn’t approve of. Like, I have no issues with things like sprint, loadout choices (most shooter games let you do that anyway), BR starts, etc. But those are just little things. There are bigger things out there that have disappointed me even more.
1. The sudden killing and wasting a.k.a unecessary changes to great characters:
You know how the characters in Halo are starting to become all the same? There were only two of them that actually kept me interested: The Ur-Didact and Jul Mdama.
You all know by now how much I love the Ur-Didact and how I have ranted before about how he was awesome in the books and terminals, he wasn’t portrayed well in the games and escalation (even though he still looked really badass and sexy), and was thrown out just like that through composition. Now that his current fate or whereabouts are unknown…..the devs say that they have big plans for the Ur-Didact when he returns…..but so far I don’t trust them with this. He was better in organic form and I really really REALLY don’t want to see him to be turned into a Guardian or Armiger because it just won’t be the same.
Like I said, the Ur-Didact is an awesome character as soon as you learn about him, he’s unique and holds a place in my heart that no Halo fan will or is expected to understand. I was pleased to finally see Forerunners themselves instead of their technology and now he’s become that. I would rather have the real Ur-Didact back than a digitized version. There was NO NEED to digitize him, seriously what should have happened when he fell into that portal on his own ship was that he should have escaped on a Phaeton or something when his forge was discovered.
Jul ‘Mdama is another interesting character and he’s the only thing that kept me engaged during the Spartan Ops post-war shite. I still need to dig into his story in the lore more, but so far, I like him. I love how he would style himself as the Didact’s Hand, and I can relate to that sometimes before I created my OC the Emi-Didact. But now according to some of the trailers and clips, he is apparently killed by Spartan Locke. I have a few friends in the Halo fandom who are Jul fanatics and I respect that, I know they are pissed about this and frankly, I’m now pissed as well. If you hate the post-war and humanity hyper focus then you have to rely on Jul to keep yourself following. But now that he may possibly be gone, that’s a major turnoff for a lot of people, and now, I’m one of those people.
2. Humanity f**k yeah:
Sadly, 343i has a desire to take Halo into the modern military direction like all other games and that results in the UNSC being the most dominant race. In previous games, there was slightly more diversity when the Covenant won a few rounds in the war and got decent screen time, especially in Halo 2 and 3. But ever since Halo 4 you can tell that humanity is being dominant again and it happens after New Phoenix is saved. The UNSC just simply isn’t interesting to me. All it looks like is a version of the current military America has, only with spaceships. (I frankly don’t like the designs of UNSC vessels at all) I’ve always been a sucker for the aliens when it comes to sci-fi and everyone knows that. This pretty much relates to #4, #5 and #6 which I go into deeper detail. But in general, I’m getting tired of it being all about the UNSC. One of these days I would likes a Sangheili spin-off series, and then a Forerunner one and I don’t care how much the mainstream community bitches about it.
3. Weapon Skins and other “tiny” projects replace long time things Halo once had:
Now I don’t mind things like custom loadouts and sprint when it comes to multiplayer, but I feel like the devs are taking away too many important things to give us little things that we don’t really need. A good example of this is weapon skins. If these weren’t made, then we probably would get things like Elites and splitscreen. Seriously, I don’t need to have 5 different coloured versions of my Lightrifle (although the weapon skin I got for my Suppressor in Halo 4 that came with my Didact figure was pretty cool). I just need my weapon and I’m good to go, it doesn’t need a fancy design, just a plain normal Lightrifle is all I need. Sometimes I feel like the devs are too lazy or too pushed to meet a deadline that they make way too many sacrifices to bring this closer and closer to COD and Battlefield.
4. No playable Sangheili:
Fans hate it when I rant about this, but I don’t complain without giving reason. It’s the Sangheili that got me into Halo in the first place. I started playing as them and first it was great, then it became limited, then no access at all until we got MCC. Yet through it all, they are either things to shoot and kill or AI allies and nothing more. Fans ask me why I’m bee-otching about this when we are going to Sanghelios in H5’s campaign and we get to see Swords of Sanghelios; that’s my favourite faction in the Halo universe. The answer is, well, it’s not enough really. I have waited several years to be my favourite split-jaws again and 343i still refuses to grant my wish. This is almost like discrimination and no wonder there’s a lack of diversity these days. They are so in love with their Spartans and I think the very mention of Elites makes them want to puke. (this is highly likely sarcasm by the way) The truth is, I love how we’re going to Sanghelios, I really do, but stepping onto the planet in the boots of a Spartan just doesn’t feel like the true experience if you’ve been waiting for years. You’ll feel more connected to the Sangheili, as one of your favourite species, and on their homeworld, if you’re one of them, as well as fighting alongside of them. As for multiplayer, the devs can continue to state that they had to sacrifice it because of balance issues, but I still say my ass to that. “It’s time-consuming and expensive” they say. Seriously? How tight is your budget? I’m sure you would have lots of time and even if I had to wait another year for this game to come out so you could put in Sangheili, I don’t care. Make it happen someday otherwise I’m sticking to just playing MCC and nothing else beyond that.
5. The over marketing of Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris
As soon as both of these Fireteams were revealed I just knew they were going to be bad news. Don’t get me wrong, I do care about Master Chief, he’s awesome; why else have I put Steve Downes on my list of people I want to meet, ironed the number 117 onto one of my tank tops, and posted all those reviews of all 4 games on MCC last year? But Chief is the only Spartan I care about in the story. Now that we have whole fireteams, it’s another way to make Spartans extremely overrated to a point where I can’t stand them. There’s also a lot of hype that Buck is back. Am I the only person who doesn’t care? Probably. (although I’ll admit I might like Olympia Vale once I get to know her better beside the fact that she is curious about the Sangheili and her armor is pretty cool) If you were to go onto the Xbox website to get Halo wallpapers, you’ll find nothing but Blue and Osiris. If you’re looking for Warden Eternal or the Arbiter then you’re in the wrong place. Because of the huge hype for these two teams, people have started choosing sides. Are you Team Chief or Team Locke? Suddenly I’m reminded of Twilight. If the Arbiter is truly back then I’m on his team. If I can’t have the Didact then I’m also with Warden Eternal. But in a serious manner, if I had to choose it would be Team Chief. I’m just getting bored with how obsessed everyone has become with these two teams and I’m just sitting here like: “Praise Warden Eternal!”
6. Aliens that you only kill
I want to do more than just shoot and kill awesome non-human things in Halo. Will that ever happen? No apparently it never will. It’s great we get to fight alongside of Sangheili again but the Prometheans……since I like to style myself as the third Didact, I wish I could command Prometheans instead. We get the badass Armigers, new Knights and of course Warden Eternal. I would rather take him for my second on command than fight him. All we do is kill these guys and I’m getting tired of it. Me and a couple of friends came up with a multiplayer mode where there are three teams: Spartans, Elites and Prometheans and each player gets to be each species. I think this would solve this issue here to show that 343 does care about diversity.
7. The competitive community
It is no secret that the majority of the Halo fandom are people who are highly skilled and want nothing more but to tower above the rest. Because of these attitudes, it drives away those who aren’t as good or don’t care about winning thus only care about having fun. Here’s how it works: Let’s just say you signed up on a mainstream gaming website either Waypoint or Team Beyond. If you’re not a very good player or just play for fun then your life on those websites will suck. Your opinions you voice on the forums of websites like those will feel like a thousand guns are pointed at you. But if you’re lucky, you might meet a few competitive fans who respect the fact that you prefer to play for fun. But the real issue is that the devs know that the competitive community dominates gaming, so therefore they only listen to what the competitive crowd wants in the next game. If you wanted a Forerunner spin-off get ready to keep waiting because you’ll only be part of a group that is extremely minor to the devs. Plus the competitive community whines even more than casual fans do. If casual fans are upset they are more likely to be constructive as to why they are. This is why I don’t visit Waypoint anymore, most of the competitive gamers on there do not know how to give reason behind a negative opinion and keep it to themselves if there is no feedback they can give.
8. Locke may replace Chief
There are rumors being spread that Chief will eventually die in the series and Locke and his fireteam might replace him. This is a huge turnoff for many people, even me. First Cortana and now this? Oh I don’t think so. I may not be a big fan of the UNSC but it will definitely not be the same without Chief. If Chief dies, I may not buy any more Halo games after that.
So yeah, those are the eight things that are driving me away from Halo. Does this mean I’m going to stop playing and generally loving the parts of the franchise that are important to me? Hell no, I still listen to songs that make me think of the Ur-Didact, I play the Halo games that I like, and if McFarlene makes a Warden Eternal action figure maybe next year, then shut up and take my money.
It’s just that the direction the franchise is going in general doesn’t look good for a casual gamer who prefers aliens over the UNSC like me.
Fellow Halo fans read at your own risk.