Halo 2 Anniversary – What we expect

If rumors are true then we could see the next Halo remake at the end of this year. Halo 2 came top of our Top 5 Xbox Live games of all time and with good reason, because no other game has come close to emulating what it did for online gaming. Lessons can be learnt from the mediocre sales of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, no mistakes can be made with the multiplayer like there was in that remake. Here’s what 343 needs to do to bring in sales and keep the fans happy.

Keep the Ranking system

halo 2 ranking system

This is key to it’s success or failure. Halo 2 had a brutal ranking system, the 1-50 skill based ranking system caused major headaches for everyone but it was the reason we all kept coming back. Getting to a level 40 was a major achievement, something we could be proud of, something that was respected by friends and the reason many of us kept playing. Sure, cheating was rife but no-one cared, we need a genuine ranking system in all FPS games even though recent games tell us otherwise. I sincerely hope that 343 do not replace the ranking system in any way, the fans don’t want a progression based levelling system and any modification of the system would spell disaster.

Keep the button glitches

The sword and rocket glitches kept things interesting. Getting to the top of maps by sword glitching made custom games fun and turned Halo 2 in to the social experience we all loved. Nothing beats the thrill of flying across the map and getting a wonder kill, when you’re not meant to. The button glitches gave the game infinite character and kept things fresh, 343 would be fools to take them out.

Actually put in a Golden warthog

goldenwarthog

The legend that kept us all fooled for many years should make an appearance. I spent many hours on Headlong searching for this mythical beast and it would be the coolest easter egg of all time if it actually made an appearance. Many are still convinced of its existence and this really would show that 343 care about Halo fans and its history. The Golden warthog needs to exist!

Keep ALL the original maps

Waterworks anyone?
Waterworks anyone?

Halo: CE Anniversary made the huge mistake of not keeping all of the original maps. I want exactly the same maps from Halo 2 just with a bit of extra polish. This includes all extra maps that were available on the Halo 2 mulitiplayer map pack disc. We’ve had countless remakes of Coagulation/Valhalla so give us the ones we haven’t played in a while at least. Halo 2 had the greatest and most balanced maps in Halo history, we need them all back.

Weapons on map and no loadouts

Dual wielding FTW!
Dual wielding FTW!

Loadouts and customization are unnecessary additions to games, usually because the game has very little content and it keeps people interested. The gameplay did the talking in Halo 2, it was balanced and fair and everyone was on a level playing field. Obviously they need to keep all the power ups that were available on maps as well as the power weapons with timed spawns. The ability to calculate the spawn time of the power weapons sorted the weak players from the great. Games cater to casual players more these days and the competitive essence Halo 2 had is somewhat extinct in games these days, bring it back!

No party chat in ranked games

The beauty of Halo 2 meant that you were forced to communicate with team mates and you could trash talk to foes with ease. Party chat has ruined Xbox Live, 343 could take a real stand here and show newer players how great it can be with the ability to talk to others. Currently my Xbox One headset is gathering dust because no-one talks at all. I want the thrill of going in to a game with random people, forming a game plan and making friends. I would be OK with party chat in social games, just keep it out of ranked as it’s essential.

Conclusion

There is no reason to tweak anything in the game besides the graphics and frame rate. I would be more than happy if everything was exactly the same as it was 10 years ago, albeit a bit shinier and prettier. It’s a big responsibility taking on a classic like Halo 2 but 343 need to realize that multiplayer is what should be their main focus. The campaign is weaker than the original Halo and it’s longevity was not based on it’s amazing campaign.

What do you think? What are your greatest memories of Halo 2? Are you excited for its inevitable release or should it be left alone?

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5 thoughts on “Halo 2 Anniversary – What we expect”

  1. I am very shure that 343 Industries or whoever developes Halo 2 Anniversary will in no way make it a remake that is worthy of Halo 2.

    A company that says it tried to make a game as good as possible and then releases something like Halo 4 I would say is apparently just unable to make a good (Halo) game. Frank O’Connor wrote for a Halo Bulletin shortly before Halo 4 was released that it was the best Halo game he had ever worked on. The best Halo game he had ever worked on. Frank O’Connor is still Franchise Developement Director of 343 Industries, so if he also works on Halo 2 Anniversary in a similar role, what do you think this game is going to be?
    I would actually pay 60$ for Halo 2 Anniversary not to be released by 343 Industries or anybody who works closely enough together with them, no joke, just to avoid the shame of such an unworthy remake.

    On a side note, because I can imagine that a lot of people are not so sure what the general mindset of 343 Industries is (in terms of for example “if they still think that sprint is good for a Halo game”), watch the live stream of the ricochet games that pros played which was shown by 343 Industries a few days ago. Watch the people who hosted this live stream, in particular BS angel and listen to all the gay crap they talk. Someone like that works in a not-so-unimportant role at 343 Industries. If BS angel can be seen as a somewhat acurate representation of the mindset of 343 Industries, then you know what Halo 2 Anniversary is going to be like.

    1. I’m 26 to answer your question. I put in over 20,000 games on Halo 2, around the same on H3 and about half this on Reach. I played less than 100 games on Halo 4.

      I’m still optimistic about a revival in quality, the biggest problem is that they said last time that they would listen to the community but didn’t.

      They started catering more to casual players, which is a model used in Call of Duty. The progression based ranking system meant you got rewarded no matter how terrible you play and this was the downfall of Reach and Halo 4.

      Having said all this I did actually enjoy the campaign in Halo 4, I cared for Masterchief and Cortana more than I ever did. Let’s face it, the longevity it strives for is dependent on a good multiplayer.

      1. I just used “How Old Are You?” because I could not decide which nickname to use and this is the one that I am using on Steam.

        To get a bit deeper into the matter: I believe that what 343 Industries thinks is Halo partly consists of it always having to be contemporary in many ways. If they did not make it like that, it would brake with its “tradition” (which would actually be true) and thus not be a Halo game. But they apparently do not see that this “tradition” of always being contemporary can have a fatal effect on Halo, for example if the times are like nowadays. Because nowadays being contemporary means to have a Call of Duty-like gameplay and other bad things (this is the most important one but there are other important ones like visuals, sound, etc.). If 343 Industries had been wise, they had broken with this “tradition” for the sake of Halo.

        Now an “actual” question for you: How can you be optimistic, knowing the (more or less) facts that I have mentioned and many other similar things? I think that if one took them into account seriously, one would see no way to be optimistic.

        I personally had actually pre-ordered the Halo 4 Limited Edition (and the Special Limited Edition Halo 4 Soundtrack) but did not to finish the campaign of Halo 4 because the excistence of all the Call of Duty-like gameplay elements in it made it unplayable for me.

      2. I am quietly optimistic because that’s my nature when it comes to Halo. I won’t give up on a game that was once great, regardless of the change of developer.

        I can’t deny the fact they messed up Halo 4 and it took a huge swerve from the classic gameplay we experienced in the past. I think the backlash and dwindling sales should tell them what needs to be done. They would be foolish to continue the trend from Reach and 4, both of which suffering huge drop offs after a few weeks on sale.

        Of course their idea on the progression of Halo doesn’t match the ideas of us ‘oldies’ but I still think they shall find a way to accommodate us next time.

        Halo needs to go back to being Halo. It gave us something different to the monotonous and god awful military shooters we see today. If they incorporate everything I have outlined above I couldn’t care less what they did with Halo 5.

  2. Great list. However one addition to the list in my opinion would be to finish the ending of the game and that it would be optional to choose between the two endings (original and new). And that I think that if the end could somehow end up to connect with Halo 5, it would be cool, as if it was chief remembering those days or something like that (i really don’t have a great idea, but I am sure someone could come up with a good idea).

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