Five for Fighting
In this, the week celebrating the fifth anniversary of the release of Halo for Xbox, we asked a few of our media chums what they think about Halo, Halo 2 and Halo 3 – and what they’re most looking forward to in the next installment. Oh and tomorrow? Boxors will be Roxored.
Francesca Reyes, EIC- Official Xbox Magazine – Knows true meaning of Unggoy and Balut.Bungie: What is it about Halo 3 that you’re most looking forward to?Fran:
Everything. Can't wait to see what the game looks like on 360 and to see what it affords the gameplay. Multiplayer should rule. Also really looking forward to the story, weirdly -- I'm anxious to find out what's up with Cortana and Forerunner. It's all a mystery and I can't wait to see how it unfolds!What feature would you most like to see added to Halo 3, that wasn’t in the prior games?
User created maps. A few 32-player maps for online shenanigans -- or 32 player in general. And more multiplayer maps in general for all group sizes. More ways to customize your armor. More team modes for Live play. Hmmm... that's about it. Unless you want to include sword flying. But that would just be silly.What feature (from 1 or 2) would you most enjoy seeing return?
The totally unbalanced pistol from the original, please. I'm kidding. Seriously. I don't want it to return. But I really did love the ability to jack vehicles. It totally made things more tense -- you didn't feel absolutely safe anymore in any particular position, which is rad. White-knuckle gaming FTW.
For multiplayer stuff, please keep the lobby system. The fact that you aren't able to bring the same group around with you from match to match in other games is just a sin against humanity. Halo 2 nailed it and is currently the only game that still rules that roost. Please don't toss it!What do you think we did wrong in Halo 2 that you’d like to see fixed?
I know you're sick of this, but I have to do the obligatory: "Can we have an ending?" With that out of the way, would love to play solely as Master Chief (I really did like Arbiter, but needed more MC time in the end), and if we are to play through as another character -- be great as an unlockable with a different campaign? That's a pipe dream for sure, but had to throw that in there. Other than that -- multiplayer was pretty perfect in most ways. Oh -- please please please make story mode co-op playable over Live! That would make our day.Describe your all-time favorite Halo moment in Campaign.
It's not so much a moment as the entire gauntlet run at the end of the first Halo. That's pure adrenaline -- just a really well-paced piece of gaming. That the first one that comes to mind, but there are tons. Both games have tons of moments -- none are particularly greater than the others. They're all equally awesome.Describe your all-time favorite Halo moment in Multiplayer.
I don't have one. Seriously. There are too many. But pretty much every match on Blood Gulch (all weapons/vehicles) back in Halo with the OXM staff at the time were priceless. We had pretty much sunk to the lowest level of exploiting every trick in the book to win -- and it was totally personal.
For Halo 2 -- swords on Lockout, for sure. Spearing the crap out of everyone on the staff and taking the win when we first starting playing full-team matches. My all-time favorite Halo moments usually involve me winning. In fact, it's not "usually", it's "definitely."Who’s your favorite Halo character, and why?
Master Chief. Hate to go with the obvious choice, but he's simply just the bestest game character in forever. Who doesn't want to be him and kick all sorts of Covenant heiney just by looking at him?
Dan Hsu, Editor-in-Chief, Electronic Gaming Monthly – Not Che Chou
Bungie: What is it about Halo 3 that you’re most looking forward to?
Playing it. And the new controls! I really don't like going back to the old setup in Halo 2 now....What feature would you most like to see added to Halo 3, that wasn’t in the prior games?
Random weapons on the maps (so players don't necessarily know where the power weapons are all the time) and vehicle-focused multiplayer modes. I'd also like to see a feature that would make me not suck when going up against the *really* good players....What feature (from 1 or 2) would you most enjoy seeing return?
The near limitless customization of modes and options for multiplayer. It's the best in the biz!What do you think we did wrong in Halo 2 that you’d like to see fixed?
I'd like to see limits on sword usage, better organized matchmaking lists, and a way to really, really punish cheaters (like maybe send them to a special multiplayer hell where the only weapon they get is a jammed Halo 2 Needler).Describe your all-time favorite Halo moment in Campaign.
I will never forget the Arbiter cinematics in Halo 2, slowly leading up to when you take control of him for the first time. I wasn't expecting to play as the Arbiter! I thought the movies were just setting up a big confrontation between him and Master Chief. I was floored.Describe your all-time favorite halo moment in Multiplayer.
Ahem. The first time Clan EGM beat Bungie, a certain Frank O'Connor was complaining on my blog that not everyone on that clan was a full-time EGM employee. So we had a pure EGM vs. Bungie rematch. After winning that series 2-1, I felt like we won the Super Bowl. EGM still holds the edge in the series, all time (including Halo 3).Who’s your favorite Halo character, and why?
The Arbiter, for the reasons I stated above. I really thought the story was setting up a showdown between Master Chief and the Arbiter. I never expected to play as him!
Luke Smith, 1UP.com, Poor Man’s Che Guevara
Bungie: What is it about Halo 3 that you’re most looking forward to?Luke:
Finally seeing exactly how Bungie plans to finish the fight that they started five years ago. This saga has been building to something, from the very singular narrative of Combat Evolved, to Halo 2’s universe-expanding plotline, Halo 3’s campaign should for all intents and purposes be the pay off. I know the multiplayer will be good, I want to see how this trilogy draws to a conclusion.What feature would you most like to see added to Halo 3, that wasn’t in the prior games?
Typical responses will be online co-op, bots in multiplayer, hmm, what else? I guess what I’d really like to see in Halo 3 is a fully-realized, tuned, balanced and honed competitive multiplayer experience. The hardcore will always find a way to break the game, albeit with timers watching spawns, or fleeing into the water on Zanzibar with all the “good weapons” – but some form of hybridized spawn system in multiplayer would be ideal. Some of the changes I’m hoping for in multiplayer are already being included in the new matchmaking – so I’m happy about that.What feature (from 1 or 2) would you most enjoy seeing return?
With a revised starting weapon, which Halo 3 is getting – I think dual-wielding will be more sporadic and less-used. With it as more of a novelty in multiplayer, I think that dual-wielding’s return could be triumphant.What do you think we did wrong in Halo 2 that you’d like to see fixed?
Weapon spawn system in MP was the biggest thing. The tracking on the plasma pistol was a bit excessive, as well.Describe your all-time favorite Halo moment in Campaign.
To this day, I still replay the first sniper series in The Truth and Reconciliation on Legendary every week. Looking over that canyon with a boatload of Covenant to dispatch quietly – it’s just a great moment in the series’ campaign.Describe your all-time favorite halo moment in Multiplayer.
In Combat Evolved: During a CTF game on Blood Gulch pegging an flag-toting warthog from across the map with the Rocket Launcher, basically just by predicting where it was going (no cheesy-ass lock-on) – it doesn’t get much better than that.Who’s your favorite Halo character, and why?
Not for his actual character, but for what he means to the universe – the Arbiter. The Arbiter to me represents Bungie’s affirmation that the “Halo” fiction is much, much grander than the story of a single Spartan and his femme AI counterpart. While the Master Chief/Cortana story is certainly compelling, at the same time, introducing a character like the Arbiter was very much a way to say “There’s way more here, than you originally thought.”
Andy Reiner, Game Informer Lead OccultistBungie: What is it about Halo 3 that you’re most looking forward to?Andy:
I would have to say that I am most looking forward to seeing how Halo 2 ends. Hahaha! (cough) Actually, I can’t wait to get my hands on the multiplayer content – whether it’s cooperative play (come on 4-player!), or versus. Halo 2 is still the king when it comes to deathmatching, and I can’t wait to see where Bungie goes next with it.What feature would you most like to see added to Halo 3, that wasn’t in the prior games?
Customization for both the character and weapons. Even if it is limited to cosmetics, I’d really like to feel like I have ownership over my character. A Spartan with a pirate patch and a peg leg would own.What feature (from 1 or 2) would you most enjoy seeing return?
I think it’s safe to assume that the gameplay won’t change too terribly much, so I would rather answer this question by begging and pleading that Bungie include Zanzibar as a map in Halo 3. I’d love to see it with next gen graphics. It would also be a great map for the man cannon.
What do you think we
did wrong in Halo 2 that you’d like to see fixed?
I joked about it earlier, but the ending really left me wanting more. It’s not a bad problem to have per se, but it really felt like the game was building up to a huge battle, then it kicked you out ,and basically said “see you in a few years in Halo 3!”Describe your all-time favorite Halo moment in Campaign.
Leaping onto the back of a scarab. Just seeing this walker march through a city was a tremendous sight. Battling on the back of it was even better. Both Halo games have offered amazing story sequences, but the scarab battle was easily one of the series’ most cinematic moments.Describe your all-time favorite halo moment in Multiplayer.
Performing a one-hit kill with the sword for the first time. When you wield this weapon, you feel invincible. When you see someone else with it, you run (or at least I do). There’s nothing else quite like it.Who’s your favorite Halo character, and why?
I know this response is lame, but I have to go with Master Chief. Why? Because you really don’t know a lot about him. You really don’t see a lot of characters in any form of entertainment that are as big of a mystery as Master Chief. He’s kind of like that TV show Lost. You really look forward to learning more about him as the story unfolds, but at the same time, you really don’t want to know everything. Everyone looks at him differently, picturing a different person behind the mask.
Claude Errera, Halo.Bungie.Org Gruppenfuhrer.
Bungie: What is it about Halo 3 that you're most looking forward to?
This one's a no-brainer... the Films capability. When Marathon (and Marathon 2, and Infinity) came out, there was nothing better than taking a break after a game was over to relive an impossible kill, or show off an angle that nobody but you got to see. Yeah, you can record everything you do in Halo 2, and make montages and the like... but you have no camera control, and it's actually pretty awkward if you just wanna point out that really cool double-melee. The return of this feature in Halo 3 has me salivating.What feature would you most like to see added to Halo 3, that wasn't in the prior games?
See above. Oh, wait, you want a DIFFERENT answer? Hmm. I think it'd be really cool to be able to play as other characters in netplay - and not just have them be skins, but actually have different capabilities. Like you could play as a Brute, and be really strong, with extra melee power.
Or play as a jackal, and auto-aim for the sniper rifle gets ratcheted UP. Or play as a grunt, if you're the best in your group, and need an overall handicap.
I'm not EXPECTING to see this - but it would be cool.What feature (from 1 or 2) would you most enjoy seeing return?
I'd love to see some remakes of Halo 1 maps. I realize Hang 'em High is a totally different level without fall damage - but Prisoner would be a lot of fun, and so would Chill Out. I miss 'em.What do you think we did wrong in Halo 2 that you'd like to see fixed?
My biggest complaint with Halo 2 was the linearity of the Campaign play.
I've already been assured that you have much more freedom to move in Halo 3 - I don't think I was anywhere near alone in this disappointment, and I think the Halo team heard us.Describe your all-time favorite Halo moment in Campaign.
The details are hazy now, but the first time I completed the huge battle near the end of Two Betrayals (Wraiths, Hunters, lots of Elites, lots of Flood, you've got to snag one of those Banshees) on Legendary was a RUSH. I died so many times...Describe your all-time favorite halo moment in Multiplayer.
There isn't a single moment that stands out - there are lots and lots and lots. One thing I love a lot is a hard-fought, long battle between large-ish teams (5-8 players/team) where the win comes down to the last seconds of the game. Doesn't really matter if we win or lose in those cases (though it's nice to win) - it's the sustained adrenaline rush that's key.Who's your favorite Halo character, and why?
That's a tough one. Upon reflection, I think it's probably Gravemind; he's got a GREAT voice, great lines, and a pretty critical dramatic role. I like that we're not 100% sure of his motives; I mean, beyond his desire to see the Flood expand, what does he want? Plus, he seems to be the only character that has a chance of meeting Cortana on her own terms; she scares me a little.