Halo: Anniversary is set to be released on November 15th, 2011 to commemorate exactly ten years since the launch of the original Halo: Combat Evolved. There have been many other Halo games released since then and the series has grown to be one of the most popular first-person shooters of all-time. But despite tens of millions in total sales, not everything has been right with Halo games. Here is a look at some of their biggest flaws.
Halo: Combat Evolved
One of the biggest flaws in Halo: CE was actually something that many gamers liked: the M6D Pistol. With its 12-round magazine and the ability to scope in, it is often considered one of the best weapons in the entire game. This handgun can drop another player in three shots to the head. Compare that with Halo: Reach‘s DMR which is at best a five shot kill and you can clearly see this pistol is way overpowered. In lieu of a sniper rifle, it was the weapon of choice on large maps. Think about that. The pistol that you started with was the weapon of choice.
Considering they nerfed the pistol in subsequent Halo games (even the Halo: Reach Magnum is no where near as good), Bungie obviously never meant to make the pistol this good. This was a mistake.
Aside from rushing the game and rehashing a bunch of levels in the campaign, Halo 2‘s multiplayer was also quite broken. Several button glitches such as the BxB, BxR, Double Shot, and even more ridiculous Quad Shot plagued this game for years. Many pro players liked these button glitches as they increased the skill gap between people who knew how to use them and could pull them off regularly and those who could not. Nevertheless, they were glitches that weren’t supposed to be in the game!
Another problem Halo 2 faced was super jumping. There were some areas on several of the maps which allowed players to “jump” all the way up to the very top. This presented a lot of problems online as it became nearly impossible to root out a player at the top of Lockout for example.
The release of Halo 3 on Xbox LIVE marked a vast increase in the amount of “BS” that happened in the game online. This may not actually have been a problem with Halo 3 itself (Halo 2 sure had its fair share of absurdity) but rather a result of Halo 3 having a new theater mode. This allowed players to go back to review and even record kills or deaths they thought were suspicious.
Halo 3 just had a lot of stuff in it that never should have happened like people surviving direct hits with the Spartan Laser, sticky grenades changing direction in midair, sticky grenades going through people, sniper shots having absolutely no effect (see image on the top left), ridiculously long melee lunges, etc. Instead of explaining just how broken this game was, check out this video called a “Bull-tage” and its sequel.
Halo 3: ODST
A great game but why didn’t Firefight have online matchmaking?!
Reach must utilize better networking code than previous games because much of the crap that happened in Halo 2 and Halo 3 doesn’t happen in Reach. This doesn’t mean it is a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination. The spawning system in Halo: Reach is probably amongst the worst in the series. This is especially true if you are playing Invasion. The attackers in Invasion have two spawn points – one at their “base” and the other on their teammate. Spawning your teammate is dangerous because it can sometimes result in spawning inside of walls. If your assigned teammate is dead, your only other spawn location is back at the “base.” Since you’ll spawn in the exact same spot every time, it becomes very easy to get spawn trapped.
The matchmaking system in Halo: Reach is also notably worse than the ones in H2 and H3. No longer do players have levels based on skill. Instead, they simply gain credits and progress through the ranks based on how many they have earned in their career. This shifts the focus more on how long someone has played rather than how good they are at the game. It is not unusual to see players with high “ranks” who are utterly terrible at the game. This new matchmaking system has even forced sites like HaloCharts to implement their own levels.
In conclusion, the Halo games are popular for a reason – they are good games – but anybody who tries to argue that they are perfect or the pinnacle of the first-person shooter genre is sadly mistaken. Bungie made a lot of development mistakes throughout the years such as overpowering the pistol, not addressing button glitches, and taking levels out of matchmaking. Now that 343 Industries has taken over, it will be interesting to see which direction the series goes from here.