And it looks as though they are making some really great changes.
Not that Halo 5's multiplayer isn't already great in its current form. I actually loved the Halo 5 Beta, but it wasn't perfect. The great news is that 343 Industries really seems to be listening to user feedback. Today Executive Producer Josh Holmes wrote extensively about the results of the Beta and some of the changes the team are planning to implement. It was extremely reassuring to see precisely what is being changed and what the team learned. As a massive fan of Halo's multiplayer, I'm extremely excited for Halo 5 and I'm starting to think we might be looking at a stellar return to form for the series.
First things first: those douchey bro-downs that occur when one team wins? They're being toned down. According to the Holmes: "Despite the fact that the intro and victory sequences in particular seemed to be universally loved by Halo bros, we weren’t 100 percent satisfied with the tone of these moments in the game. Expect the final sequences to feature considerably fewer chest bumps and high fives."
That's pretty cool. This bothered me so much I wrote an entire article about it.
Other notable changes? The team is planning to increase the base running speed, and reduce the sprinting speed. Plenty of players weren't too keen on sprint being added to Halo period. This may placate them. Me? I like the addition. 343 is attempting to transform how movement works in Halo and I think it's a brilliant experiment. I loved the ability to dash, sprint, etc. With a few tweaks I think it's going to be a great addition to the game.
- Increase base speed (faster base movement) - Increase strafe acceleration (faster, more responsive strafing) - Reduce top sprint speed (narrow the delta between base movement and sprint) - Modify Ground Pound controls to prevent conflicts w/ crouch jumping - General tuning & bug fixes for all Spartan Abilities (Thrusters, Clamber, Ground Pound, etc.)
Tweaks to weapon balance is obviously happening, the most notable of which seems to be making the Sniper a little less clunky. Notably, the team are attempting to make it a little easier for players to spot weapons on the map. I think this is a great idea. Even as an experience Halo player I often found it difficult to spot weapons on the map. 343 wrote that it was applying 'highlights' to weapons on the map. I think this is a top-notch idea.
- Sniper Rifle: improve scope experience to making it less “clunky” and faster to scope - DMR: adjust position of the scope to improve visibility - Bring back the SPNKr Rocket Launcher as a legendary version of the weapon - Reduce bonuses for automatic weapons in Smart-Link & w/ headshots - Remove grenade detonation in mid-air based on weapon fire - Ability to turn on/off vibration feedback for weapons - General tuning and bug fixing for all weapons
343 really seems to be adding a lot of custom options concerning Halo 5's presentation, which means that a lot of niggly things that bugged me (and other players) can be changed or left as is. I didn't like kill-cams for example. There will now be an option to switch them off. Some players didn't like the in-game chatter between Spartans -- I loved it. Now you can turn it on or off depending on your preferences.
Obviously that's a just a few highlights, Josh Holmes and the team go into a little more detail here if you're interested.
Overall I'm super excited about Halo 5 multiplayer and the direction its headed in, and I say this as someone who absolutely hated Halo 4's multiplayer. It seems like the team really has a grasp on what worked in Halo previously, and has an interesting vision for where it might head in the future.
Now kindly fix up the Halo: Master Chief Collection and we can be friends!