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Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distribution
Date: 10/11/14 5:24 am
In Response To: Halo's ammo and weapon distribution (Masterz1337)

Call me weird, but I hate games that can be completed with any weapon. If the game plays like that, I'll stick to one weapon and keep using it until I'm bored. I also loathe games where one weapon is always the better choice, or when cool weapons are too underpowered to use.

The ideal game for me is a game where each weapon has its use (no reskins/Covenant version of the UNSC's X), there's no situation that calls for a single weapon to solve, but there's situations that make carrying a certain weapon a bad idea.

Anyhow, here's my reflection on the sandboxes and weapon availability:

Halo Combat Evolved: Small weapon sandbox means that every weapon is distinct and useful, with the assault rifle getting the short end of the stick. It's still got a role, but it's overshadowed by the plasma rifle. High ammunition reserves and plentiful found ammunition means that you can waste crateloads of bullets in close-quarters battle or in shooting down that Banshee with small arms. Power weapons (Rocket launchers, sniper rifles, shotguns) are available, but scarce. It encourages you to nurse a power weapon through a level.

Halo 2: Violates the distinction rule. Beam Rifle feels too close to the Sniper Rifle, while the Carbine is in an odd position between the Pistol and Battle Rifle. Don't get me started on the Plasma Rifle and Brute Plasma Rifle.
Power weapons are plentiful enough that you can hand them out to Marines.

Halo 3: Sandbox is the most muddled of the Bungie games. The Spiker and Mauler are nice, but the former doesn't really have its own niche and the latter is so underpowered as to be useless in the handful of times where you get it. Luckily for the Mauler, it's so cool that I use it anyway.
Ammunition is plentiful, but not egregiously so. Power weapons are uncommon and incredibly satisfying to use.

Halo 3 ODST: Not all that different from Halo 3, but the exclusion of the Battle Rifle makes the Carbine feel distinct.

Halo Reach: IMHO, the second-best sandbox in the game. The Focus Rifle is satisfyingly different from the Sniper Rifle and acts as the buff a Sentinel Beam should have had in the first place. The Needle Rifle and the DMR play similar at first, but they ultimately have different applications. The Assault Rifle, Plasma Repeater, and the Plasma Rifle are somewhat muddled together. While the Assault Rifle and Plasma Repeater are more distinct than the AR and PR were in previous games, the Plasma Rifle occupies a middle ground and usually isn't worth picking up. The Spiker somehow feels like its own weapon, and it's a blast to use even if it's not all that great.
The biggest drawback in the sandbox is that automatics are outperformed by precision weapons everywhere but I-can-smell-your-breath range. Fortunately, they're fun to use, and the enemy accuracy and damage is low enough that you don't have to spend your time behind cover plinking away. Except Legendary. Especially except LASO.

Power weapons in Reach are very available, to the point where you will often play through a whole level with at least one, swapping it out for another not when you run out of ammunition but when you find another one you feel like using. The power weapons themselves are different and zany enough that this is actually quite fun.

Preplaced weapons and crates feel natural. The crates are in a place that makes sense (UNSC bases, Covenant chokepoints, or in the clutches of ex-military civilians) and the preplaced weapons are close to where they can be used or lying in a heap near a corpse.

Halo 4: Nearly the worst sandbox/implementation I have played, second only to Bioshock Infinite but somehow falling behind the original Mass Effect. What was once a small sandbox of distinct weapons has turned into an arsenal of guns, each one occupying a small niche in a spectrum of firing rate, damage, and accuracy. The automatics are useless, and the precision weapons are boring.

Special mention goes to the weapon crates. While previous games have used weapon crates and used them well, Halo 4 just doesn't swing it. The crates and weapon drops are placed haphazardly and aren't well integrated with the scenery. One suspects that they are a hasty fix applied when beta testers kept running out of ammunition. With the low ammo reserves and damage-sponge enemies, you're going to be running to crates a lot.

Overall, I feel that Reach could have had the ideal weapon balance and ammunition availability of all the Halo games, if only automatics had been given equal footing with precision weapons.

Messages In This Thread

Halo's ammo and weapon distributionMasterz133710/7/14 4:36 pm
     Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distributionrobofin11710/7/14 11:48 pm
           Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distributionMasterz133710/8/14 2:14 am
     Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distributionRockslider10/8/14 12:49 pm
           Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distributionMasterz133710/8/14 2:30 pm
                 Your images aren't showing up. *NM*robofin11710/8/14 3:03 pm
                       Re: Your images aren't showing up.Louis Wu10/8/14 4:21 pm
                             Re: Your images aren't showing up.Masterz133710/8/14 5:05 pm
                 Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distributionRockslider10/9/14 11:43 am
                       Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distributionMasterz133710/9/14 12:47 pm
                             Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distributionRockslider10/9/14 1:28 pm
                                   Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distributionMasterz133710/9/14 3:17 pm
                                         Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distributionRockslider10/9/14 4:24 pm
     Re: Halo's ammo and weapon distributionQuirel10/11/14 5:24 am

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