With Halo: The Master Chief Collection out tomorrow (click here to read Jon's review), the internet went a little mad over the possibility of aiming down sights making its way into Halo 5 after some video footage of the game in action was leaked yesterday ahead of this evening's Halo Fest. The legitimacy of the video footage in question was given credence after studio founder Bonnie Ross tweeted this out:
Leaks are always fun. Tune into #halofest for more on halo 5. Play it at the fest, play in Dec beta and give your thoughts.
— Bonnie Ross (@PlutonForEver) November 9, 2014
It's important to note that the footage in question in no way confirmed blanket ADS for Halo 5, and indeed 343i's studio head, Josh Holmes, clarified some of what had been seen:
No penalty to hip fire in H5, no movement penalty when scoping/zooming, no flinch. Tune in for the beta gameplay reveal at #HaloFest Monday.
— Josh Holmes (@JoshingtonState) November 9, 2014
We're sure to learn more about all of this later tonight, and Holmes already confirmed that descoping is back in, but rather than the debate the notion of potential alleged ADS in Halo 5 (seriously, we're only going to have to wait a few hours), here are five things we'd definitely like to see in the game:
A Marty soundtrack
Something didn't quite feel right about Halo 4 to me. It handled brilliantly, had some fantastic enemy design, and the story grabbed me more than any of the previous games except ODST, but it didn't quite make me feel like the Chief.
Much of that had to do with the absence of Marty O'Donnell's fantastic, iconic themes. We got "Never Forget" at the end, but it wasn't quite enough.
Meanwhile, over at Bungie HQ, Marty was working on the best bit of Destiny -- the soundtrack -- before getting fired under very suspicious circumstances. He's free, 343i, snap him up if you can.
In Jon's Top Ten Legendary Halo Levels piece (which you should totally read if you haven't already) he put The Covenant from Halo 3 as his runner-up, and with good reason. It's a level that sees you given a tank and tasked with taking down two Scarabs. It's amazing and empowering and thrilling and YES!
Halo 4, for all of its superlative gunplay, was rather lacking in marquee moments. There were few fist-pumping occasions where you could feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins. We need that back in Halo 5.
David and Goliath encounters are always good fun, as those run-ins with the Scarabs showed.
Of course, the joy of Halo has been having these setpiece moments and epic gunplay combined with a level of control and player choice that rollercoaster corridor shooters such as COD fail to provide.
Jon put it perfectly in his article when it came to dishing out top-spot honours to The Silent Cartographer:
After a cinematic in-engine swoop over the azure ocean and the iconic beach assault, you'll find yourself on an island with a Warthog, a squad of marines and... well, the rest is up to you. You're free to explore the island's sprawling surface before prying down into the depths, discovering a network of tunnels and dark secrets populated by Covenant elite forces.
Halo as a series frequently gave us the tools for the job and told us to get on with the mission in any way we saw fit. What we need from 343 when it comes to Halo 5 is the same expansive vision and capacity for open, endlessly-replayable level design that Bungie had with that first game.
There was a beautiful moment in Halo 4, having had the delights of space combat thrown our way in Reach's mission Long Night of Solace, where I thought 343i were going to give us gaming equivalent of the Death Star Trench Run. The final mission starts with you piloting the Broadsword through a Forerunner gauntlet, and at one point I became incredibly excited at the prospect of an awesome space battle breaking out as the tension started to ratchet up.
It never came. In fact, that whole section proved to be a bit of a waste, and something of a disappointment, to be honest.
Just give us some space combat, 343i. Just a little bit. It was a glorious change of pace in Reach, and the Broadsword handled very nicely indeed. This one ties into the entry above regarding setpieces -- you gave us the right tools for the job last itme, 343i. Now let us play with them.
Improved Spartan Ops... and bring back Firefight while you're at it
Spartan Ops was great fun, but ultimately underdeveloped. Entire levels were recycled time and time again, the objectives frequently mundane and basic, there was far, far too much padding, and not enough vehicular insanity.
But we loved it. Don't ditch it, 343i -- just make it better.
As fundamentally flawed as Spartan Ops may have been, it delivered a weekly helping of Halo goodness that did sort of expand on the story in a number of ways. We'd posited that Spartan Ops Night would be come a thing, and it totally did, even if it didn't quite live up to its potential. Those problems are fixable though, and with some TLC and a bit of effort, the mode could and should make a comeback in Halo 5.
Also, Firefight. Because it was awesome.