Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Of TUs and Halo 4

You thought I meant the Reach TU there, didn't you?

Well, this is basically a list of things I'd like to see done with Halo, in two categories:
1) Theoretical Title Update for Halo 2 Vista
2) Things that should be in Halo 4

1: H2V TU
Given the apparent demand (myself included) for some kind of Anniversary edition of Halo 2, I thought it might be easier to give Halo 2 Vista an Anniversary TU rather than doing all the screwing around that resulted in the (sliiiightly messed-up, or so I'm told) Combat Evolved Anniversary.
Here's what I'd put in the TU:

Updated graphics: The main point of the Anniversary editions.

Small fixes: FFS let us have more than 50 custom maps. That restriction is stupid given the size of modern PC hard drives.

Forge: The Reach Forge, adapted for H2V, would be an awesome alternative to the awkward (though powerful) Halo 2 Map Editor. The H2ME should be retained though, as it has the ability to create the underlying map geometry, as well as custom weapons and vehicles (visit MonstrMoose/H2MT for some great examples).

Firefight: I love just running around BR'ing Grunts to death and throwing plasmas at Elites. However, the only way to do this is to play Outskirts/Metropolis, Cairo Station and Delta Halo over and over again. A Firefight mode for H2V would be a great addition. (Potential map locations: Outskirts courtyard and streets; Outskirts beach; Cairo Station common areas; Metropolis bridge; Metropolis circular grass area and streets [the areas before the Marine Command Post]; Delta Halo Pelican landing area; Delta Halo Forerunner bridge and tunnels/structures; Delta Halo/Regret towers; Regret Hunter battle; the "outdoor" areas on High Charity; The Great Journey Scarab run area; Gravemind hanging gardens; Uprising "Step Aside, Let The Man Through"...and many more :D)

Since H2V retains its multiplayer (Halo 2 for Xbox lost multiplayer when the original Xbox LIVE was shut down) there is no possibility of "splitting the player base", and nobody will complain about the lack of dedicated MP. This also gives the possibility of LIVE co-op campaign play, which was included with H:CEA, but is currently missing from H2V, despite the best efforts of some enterprising modders.

- The soundtrack does not need redoing. The H:CEA OST was not a simple redo of the original with an orchestra instead of synths; it was a full remix, as if for a separate game (every Halo OST except for Halo Wars includes, or is mostly constructed from, remixes of previous OSTs). This is not necessary, and perhaps not wanted given the differences that would ensue, for Halo 2.

- If possible, do something about the SMG. Its deployment in Halo 2 makes little sense from a canon viewpoint; why retire the MA5B before the MA5C is ready, when it is a generally superior weapon to what you're replacing? Ideally, the SMG should be re-skinned and re-FXed as follows:

Cairo Station: MA5K prototype (MA5KX?). I suggest an MA5KX rather than an MA5CX because the MA5C is a larger weapon that cannot be dual-wielded. The MA5K is a smaller, carbine-type weapon that could potentially be dual-wielded by a Mark VI S-II. (The MA5KX's absence from Earth in Halo 3 can be explained as the superior MA5C being rushed to the frontlines to replace the recalled-for-further-development MA5KXs.) I suggest that the Earth Defense-issue weapons be MA-prototypes because Earth's garrison would be issued with the most up-to-date equipment.

New Mombasa: MA5KX

In Amber Clad: early Silenced SMG (since you are using ODST equipment). This should not have the actually-effective silencing, laser sight, or (AFAIK) increased damage of the proper SSMG.

Multiplayer: Anything. Retain the SMG skin/FX, switch to an MA5KX or SSMG, or any combination of those (providing only one type is on the map at any given time).

- Please, please, leave Delta Halo's exterior in the current style. Apparently Alpha Halo's new look in H:CEA makes it look smaller, and contradicts later designs. This mistake should not be extended to Halo 2.

- On a similar note, don't just reuse assets from other games for the GFX updates. The Scorpion doesn't need the gunner's ring, the Banshee is a different design to the Reach Banshee, and the BR...well, maybe you can use the H3 BR skin.

II: Halo 4 requests
Shorter section this time, on a lighter note too. Just a few things Halo 4 should have, IMO.

A Walk In The Woods: Every Halo except HW and ODST has had one of these. Don't let the Chief's return be missing what even Reach had.
...Hey, ODST was missing that, and that's a Bungie-made one...perhaps the Halo 4 OST could include an ODST-style Walk.

The Halo chant: Only one Halo was missing this, and that's okay because it didn't have Forerunner stuff or Spartans. Halo 4 will have both, so...

Linda appearance: This one is lower-priority and conditional. The speculation is that ONI/UNSC will be on the planet Forward Unto Dawn is headed for, and it'd be a cool little thing if a recovered Linda was there, since was friendly with the Chief and therefore had a good reason to be in the area his rescue beacon was in. *I wrote this section before remembering that Linda ended up in the Onyx Dyson sphere with the S-IIIs, but I thought I'd leave it in anyway. It's something that could show up somewhere, I guess.

Give the new MJOLNIR look - and the addition of a built-in jetpack - a good reason: The Chief's been in cryo for a while, where the hell did he get the upgrades? Please make it an exchange-program Engineer or something, not nanobots or some other cop-out. (An Engineer as a companion for the Chief would be fucking awesome actually.)

Don't force in new weapons: On a similar note to the previous one. Where did that grenade-pistol come from? Forward Unto Dawn should be carrying H3 weapons only, don't try to pull Rule of Cool on the Chief's arsenal. If he picks up new stuff from whatever's on that planet, that's okay, but don't screw with Forward Unto Dawn.
...Which reminds me, the cryo-tube was right next to the cut-off point. Why did the Chief have to blast through all that debris to get to the "open end"? FU-

So there's my ideas/requests/suggestions. Doubt anyone at 343 will pay any attention, but it's worth a try. :) Thanks, BS Angel!

UPDATE: HBO thread with some discussion is here.


  1. On your "Don't force in new weapons" section, you also forgot to mention that at the time that Halo 3 ended, all the Chief had in the form of weaponry was an MA5C with only one bullet in it. Other than that, you did make some good points in your article!

    1. Hmm, I didn't know about that. OTOH, the Forward Unto Dawn is a fully-functional warship much like the In Amber Clad. It's likely that there were at least some basic weapons in its armouries.


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