Thursday, 26 April 2012

MLG's Killa_KC Posts His Thoughts on the Halo 4 Playtest

Over on the MLG forums Killa_KC has posted his in depth thoughts from the Halo 4 Community playtest. He goes into a lot of depth here so I'll copy the whole thing, you may want to pop on over to the MLG forums to thank KC personally.

Before I talk about Halo 4, it's very important for everyone to understand this. The developer bashing that happens in our community has to stop. Every time Halo 4 details are released, the competitive community is there to rip apart every detail and publicly blast 343 about their decisions. If this continues, I would not be surprised if the majority of developers walk away from the competitive audience and consider them a community that simply cannot be satisfied. When you see new information on an upcoming game, think about the positives it could bring to the game first. If you're certain it's something that will simply not work, come together with positive feedback on how to improve it or tweak it. Blasting employee Twitter accounts and bashing the game hurts everyone.
I was invited by Frankie to get my hands on Halo 4 last night in NYC. Microsoft was holding a very exclusive party with some football players that were here for the NFL draft and some press (tv shows and magazine mostly it seemed). There were a couple of community guys there as well.
The multiplayer was setup for 4v4 and 8-player FFA. We played 2 Maps back and forth. Wraparound and Warhouse. Both of these Maps have been seen in the various videos and images on the web. Wraparound had a center platform that was connected via bridges and air lifts with a circular exterior. Warhouse was a multi-level structure with a few outer rooms and hallways. Both Maps were fairly small in size and played TS and FFA very well. 
We were allowed to select from some different pre-set loadouts, but could not customize them. Loadouts were selected very similar to the way they were in Reach with armor abilities. Select at the start of the game or press X when you die to change your loadout. In the menu, you can edit the loadouts (we were not able to in this build). The loadouts had a mixture of the following things (anything not listed here I was not able to play with): 
Plasma Pistol
Frag Grenades
Plasma Grenades
Promethean Vision 
There were no power weapons on the Maps and I didn't see the weapon drop pods. Can't answer any questions about anything other than what is listed above. 
I played with default controls that had Sprint mapped to clicking in the left joystick and crouch being the B button. It made crouching difficult, but using sprint, abilities, and everything else really easy. I didn’t take any time to flip through the different controls. Sprint felt less clunky than Halo Reach’s sprint, but overall was similar. You do run out of sprint in which felt about the same amount of time you’d run out of sprint in Reach. 
I was explicitly told that weapon tuning is still being refined. This is a very very early build of the game and all the weapons are still being tuned. I'm only writing about what I actually played with.
On Twitter, a ton of people asked BR or DMR. I started playing with the BR for a while. There is no bloom and all 3 bullets are very accurate, but there was some small bullet spread. Also, there is some recoil. After shooting a clip at the wall to test the bullet spread, my reticule was fairly higher than where I started shooting. The DMR was single shot with bloom. However, the bloom reset much faster than the DMR in Halo Reach. I didn't have to pace my shots much at all. Both the DMR and BR were 5-shot weapons in this build. At the end of the night, I preferred the DMR. It shot faster than the BR, took the same amount of shots to kill, and I didn't feel like the bloom made me miss shots all that often. 
Promethean Vision is the new see-through-walls ability. When you hit it, a wave of heat-mapping goes out across the screen and shows you nearby enemies. It does not show you all the way across the Map, just fairly close proximity. The enemies are also alerted when you do it. It reminded me a bit of Enhanced Vision from Shadowrun, but not as powerful. Offensively, I would ping the vision before entering a room and then charge in knowing which person to pick off first or whether I should not charge in. 
Hologram was very similar to the hologram from Halo Reach. Not much to say here. 
Magnum also had bloom and was very similar to Halo Reach. It could be shot very fast, but the bloom would make it very inaccurate. It had 8 bullets in the clip and was a 6-shot kill. The Plasma Pistol shoots a little bit slower now when rapidly pressing the trigger, but each shot seemed to do more damage. The homing mechanism on a charged shot seemed to be toned down quite a bit. 
Press X to spawn was in the games I played. However, since they were FFA and TS game types, I didn't notice it much. Not sure if that feature will appear in objective game modes or not. 
In the end, the game looks and sounds amazing. At its core, it's the Halo everyone knows and loves. Movement felt great and I had a really great time playing it for the short amount of time I had. Hopefully 343 will invite us to a longer test session with more features available where we can provide feedback. 
Melee felt like Reach. Nothing really different there. New assassination animations were pretty cool though. I also think I saw something to disable assassination animations if you didn't want to do them accidentally.
- Cowboy Out

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