Is Halo 5 Easier Than Previous Halos?
Halo 5’s birth provided fans with a multitude of mechanics designed to enhance your overall competitive experience; mechanics that could change the pace of the game and force both you and your opponents to rethink what makes Halo competitive. Right from the launch, many fans immediately attacked these new mechanics, saying that they “Ruin competitive Halo.” Some to this day still attack these new mechanics, believing that it makes the game easier than it should be.
In my opinion, this is a very serious debate to get involved in considering that this may affect the way Halo 6 may turn out, but prior to getting involved, it is important for us to understand the difference in a game being easier or just different. I cannot speak for fans of every competitive community, but I know for a fact that competitive Halo fans can be extremely biased when it comes to having discussions about the game's mechanics.
We tend to let our love and passion for a certain Halo game blind us from the reality. Many of us argue that using older Halo mechanics in newer Halo games would provide all of us with a great Halo experience, but we tend to ignore the fact that the generation of Halo fans we had in the past are much different than the fans we have today.
From my experience, Halo 5’s new mechanics make the game very different than past Halo games, and personally, I believe that these new mechanics have been extremely difficult to adapt to, making it hard at first for me to play this game and at times I still struggle with some of the mechanics. Of course, these mechanics may not always be difficult for everyone, therefore a debate is necessary for this topic so we can truly determine if these mechanics are something 343 should continue to use in future games.
A Halo player by the name of Kmart recently described his experience playing Halo 5 on Twitter and I personally believe that this is the best way to describe the game's new mechanics. “Halo 5 is so reactionary, a lot of times you just need to soar and shoot with your teammates...not as disciplined as regular Halos,” Kmart said.
Kmart brings up a great point when he talks about how the game is heavily based on your reaction time and aggressive pushes. I believe that the game mechanics reward those who play aggressively more than passive. Being able to make reckless pushes and thruster away from an opponent's defense pretty much gives the aggressive player a second chance when it comes to attacking. Although Halo 5 still maintains the basic fundamentals of traditional Halo, such as map control, player rotations and teamwork in general, giving aggressive players a second chance to attack again heavily changes the overall feel for the game.
Ever since Halo: CE, one major concept every player needed to have a good understanding of to take their game to the next level was to know when to play passively and when to play aggressively. Being able to put a few shots on your opponent, back off and repeat allows you to become much more efficient as a player. In past Halo games, you could not just run around to any location, put off a few shots and thruster away; there was no thruster and you would most likely always get punished for silly plays like that.
Halo 5 allowing players to make so many overly-aggressive plays and get away with it seems to be the primary problem for most players. Many believe that this makes the game much easier and it can greatly hurt the development of players. Personally, I am a bit unsure as to which side I stand on in this debate. Although I do believe that the mechanics promote an unhealthy play style that could hurt the development of players, I do not believe that this always makes the game easier. Halo 5’s changes in mechanics go a lot deeper than just player movement, as 343 also tweaked many weapons, such as the Magnum and Shotgun, which for me at least, makes shooting much harder than in the past.
With the combination of several common weapons having a greatly reduced aim assist and a fast paced game with players capable of flying at you in so many directions, Halo 5 can be a nightmare if you are not used to it. This means that playing aggressively does not automatically mean that it is easier to get kills because you still need to keep in mind that the aggressive player needs to hit their shots in order to be effective and the reality is that most players in this game do not have a good shot. This means that although you may be able to play aggressively in public matches and out shoot many or all of your opponents, that does not mean the entire community can do that.
For me, a game that I feel has the same dilemma as Halo is Call of Duty. Halo fans in the past have heavily criticized the game for rewarding players who play overly-aggressive and do not focus on map control. This gives Call of Duty games a run-and-gun feel in public matches, but once again, we seem to forget that the majority of Call of Duty players simply cannot play as aggressively as the very small minority. The main thing you should take away from this is that although you may be able to destroy your opponents in most public matches, you will eventually face more skilled players who will not allow you to play as aggressively as you climb through the ranks.
Although I do believe that Halo 5’s mechanics do promote a bad style of play, I do not believe it is as bad as many have made it seem. Yes, you will get away with making overly aggressive plays when you are playing against less skilled players, but as you rank up, more skilled players will make this game much more challenging for you than in the past and that is when you really need to start understanding the concept of playing passively. However, this is just my opinion, and as I said earlier, this little debate is one that is very important for all of us to get involved in so we can determine if these mechanics should continue to be implemented in future titles.
What do you think about Halo 5 possibly being easier than past Halo’s let me know in the comments section below and let's get this debate growing.
Follow Zachery Chevere on Twitter @PmL_Zarhaz
Image credits go to Halo Waypoint, 343 Industries, Forbes and SoftPedia