Being a longtime Halo fan, I was skeptical of 343’s work since I just wasn’t sure if they could do what I want in a Halo game. But after playing it at PAX Prime, you can put some of your fears to rest. It’s still the same old Halo you’ve come to love from the previous games, but with a different helm. There are similarities, but you’ll definitely feel the difference immediately between the forth game and the rest of the series.
We started with a game of Infinity Slayer (not a huge Capture the Flag fan). Before the match, we were able to choose loadouts to how we see fit – giving us a chance to experience the game with our favorite gear. I picked the Battle Rifle from being a longtime fan of the weapon. As long as you aim for the head, you’re pretty much fine with it. The match began and I had to immediately switch the controls to Recon, but the other control methods (Boxer, Bumper Jumper, etc.) were all available. Recon just works for me in terms of button placement and overall feel.
There’s a serious sensation of weight the minute you start. Now that everyone can sprint, the regular movement of the game feels a bit slower. You could say that it was slow to begin with due to a lack of sprint, but the characters felt heavier. The BR had a more square-scope, but still felt as effective as ever.
Getting medals for almost anything from “Revenge” to even assisting teammates, is a bit more lenient this time around since you’ll be getting a lot of them. Eventually, after getting a Killing Spree, I got to pick an item to bring up. The choices were a Rail Gun, Overshield and a Rocket Launcher, which is very indicative of its move towards a more Call-of-Duty feel. The Rail Gun was pretty cool and acted like the Spartan Laser, but took a bit shorter to charge and was not as lethal (but still as hard to aim).
I walked away still looking forward to the game. It felt strange at first (meaning I died a lot during the beginning), but once I got the hang out of it, our team won the match. Halo fans will enjoy this game, but they might see it in a whole new direction and purists might not get what the team is going for. But people willing to grow with the series will enjoy it. Look forward to Halo 4 this November.