So, I was lucky enough to attend the annual Rooster Teeth Expo. Not only that, but even luckier so to have played Halo 4 during the even. And just when you'd think I had a Geas for it (lol, story joke), I got to play even MORE Halo 4 at a super secret, invite-only, listed event, held from 7-10pm after the doors had closed on the rest of the event Saturday night.
I'm not going to tell you how super giddy and bubbly I was to find a lost Frank O'Connor on the Exhibit floor, who I asked to sign my copy of Anniversary, to which he answered, "Only if you tell me where the Halo 4 panel is." No, instead I shall tell you about how I thought the game was, and a secret or two at the end that I was able to pull from a few people at Certain Affinity and 343 Industries. WITHOUT FURTHER ADIEU MY IMPRESSIONS ON Halo 4.
Hardlight Shield: Hardlight was great, It worked just how I thought it would, it deflected grenades if they hit it (but not very far away). All in all, I liked it a lot. My second favorite for sure! *You Can Crouch While Using It!!!*
Hologram: Holo was very similar to how it was implemented in Reach, but it was far harder to tell if it was a hologram or just another player, which is good for people who use it. I wont lie, I went after one or two in my time with it.
Promethean Vision: I was not at all a fan of this. Mainly because I felt like, yeah you can see through walls, but all it was was a super radar. I could use my radar against it and hear it and take out the other player (I think MLG player, Bravo, caught me doing this to him in a video he was doing.) So, it's not to me.
Thrusters: My favorite, and not only because it got me out of a jam or two. I loved (from a game lovers perspective) seeing some one coming around a wall, having a grenade throw in their paths, and them posting right by it as it blows up. It was definitely one I stuck with.
Designated Marksman Rifle: The DMR is exactly what everyone says it is: A long range weapon. I had a hard time using it up close (which is the type of encounter I found my self in the most.) so I ditched it fast in favor of that good ol' BR! Speaking of which...
Battle Rifle: The old BR is back and better than expected. I loved the sounds (which will be covered latter) and it just felt right. I had no problem with it at any range, and I felt that all the kills I got were deserving.
Assault Rifle: Pure metal. The AR wrecked at close range and made me a very happy camper. ;)
Carbine: The only weapon I felt was god-tier from the entire thing. I got donked on every time I tried to BR a player using it. It was also a satisfying weapon to shoot.
Storm Rifle: Definitely better than I thought it would be. I only used it on two or three people, and killed each one.
Sniper Rifle: The sniper is totally back. It felt to me, when I got a kill, it was like using the Halo 3 sniper, but only way stronger. There was a hard kick back that totally balanced the power. A great weapon.
Sticky Detonator: This was fun, and a great new version of the Pro-Pipe. I got 6 kills with it through out the two day event and each one was a stick. It didn't seem to me like there was much of a damage radius.
Needler: I never thought I'd be able to say it, but I love the Needler. It was fun to shoot, it sounded cool, and it didn't track like a Tomahawk missile. I loved it
Energy Sword: anyone who is a fan of the ridiculous sword of Reach, you wont be happy, but anyone with any type of sense will love the new sword. The clang of a melee and sword swing is out, the sword is nerffed and you have to be like a solid meter in front of someone, instead of 20 meters away. It takes a larger amount of time for the sword to be drawn and swung than it has before, witch is good.
Rocket Launcher: Totally broken, they had absolutely no splash damage at all. If it didn't hit your opponents feet or their body, it wasn't going to affect them. I shoot right in front of my feet and didn't do anything to me at all.
Scattershot: It wrecked in this build. Up close ( farther than past shotguns) it did great. but a little too far required an extra shot or two. A lot of fun to run around with.
Grenades: The grenades were not the Nukes that they are in reach., which is awesome. They are a little harder to place (which is probably because it's a new game) but it was great fun.
Warthog: I cannot say how great this vehicle was. It handles like heaven, it was stuck to the ground, and every turn felt as real as possible. I love the new 'Hog.
Mongoose: I got into the mongoose after a little bit of looking for enemies, and thought that it's steering was kind of locked at where it was. I couldn't drive it because it just wouldn't turn.
Ghost: I love the ghost now, it drives real well, it sounded incredible and it was like flying a fighter jet on the ground. Totally worth the Hour and a half I spent in line to play Longbow.
Adrift: The first map I was able to play on. I didn't think it was hard to maneuver, but I did think it was too vertical for my tastes. It was like, at times, I couldn't tell if I was being shot from below or above me. A great map for some Regicide, though.
Haven: Really fun, really well organized, and super easy to learn and navigate. I got my first taste of the legendary sniper on this map and it was awesome. I loved the narrows-like feel to it, while being it's own thing, too.
Longbow: I loved this one as well. Super fun, gotta love those snowy maps, and you could tell that it was tailored for a gametype like capture the flag or something, the whole time I was on it, I thought that it would be great for 8v8.
Regicide: As many of you know, I'm not huge on objective games, I like a little CTF here and there, but that is about it. I am much more of a slayer guy, and Regicide took what I love about Slayer and turned it into an optional-objective GT, which I loved. I had a lot of fun running for the king. about 4 matches in I would stay in second place the whole time and wait for the score to be one or two kills away from victory, kill the king, and steal the crown for a solid victory.
Infinity Slayer: I thought that personal ordinance would totally break the gameplay of Halo, and it really kinda didn't even matter. The way it is implemented is so well done that it just works. and works WELL. I loved the fact that you could go and take an enemies drop if you killed them before they could get it (happened to me once or twice, too). I am super happy it was better than I thought it would be.
Sprint: I loved that everyone loved sprint, and I really liked how you are slowed way down when being shot. it was the perfect balance.
Instant Respawn: Again, I thought this would ruin the game, but it works very well. It was refreshing to be able to run back into the battle just to do it again.
Betrayal: I was led to believe that it was impossible to betray a teammate in this build, but on Longbow, while driving around in a ghost, I managed to run a teammate over and get Steitzer's voice in my ear, telling me what I'd done. I ran around for a bit before being killed and when I hit "X" to respawn, I was greeted by a 7 second respawn timer for the crimes I'd committed. I was happily surprised by it and am glad there is still a punishment for team killing.
Sound: I know it is hard to believe, but the sound in the videos that are compressed online do not do the game justice. Everything was beefy and metal and sounded unreal. Covie weapons sounded truly alien, Human weapons sounded like a horde of metal beasts fist fighting, and the ambient sounds of each map were beautiful. Tojima and Davidge know exactly what they're doing.
I loved every aspect of the game, and at the party, I was able to let all of Certain Affinity and the 343 guys know that I thought so. I think they were happy to hear it :)
BONUS: I got to talk to the CA guys, and mess with Jessica Shea, or BSAngel as you might know her, and they were happy enough to give me crooked answers for every question I asked. I asked a CA guy (no names, for anonymity) if the BR in the most recent build was 4 shot v the 5 shot it is now, and he kind of looked around and said, "I don't think I'm aloud to tell you." Which was a steady yes in my books, I ask Jessica a series of Questions ( a little mini-interview, if you will) and here they are:
MIX: How long is the campaign in Halo 4 compaired to any other game in the franchise?
Mix: Okay, is that orb we saw in the E3 demo a cryptum?
Jess: I like to call it a ball thingy.
Mix: Codename confirmed.
Jess: [laughs] yeah, sure
Mix: Is that the Didact?
Jess: Who's the Didact? [laughs]
Mix: Can you give me a yes to any questions?
Jess: Yes, this one!
After that it became us joking around until I let her go and enjoy the rest of the people there. I would like to again thank 343 for inviting me to the event, and say that they definitely got this Halo fan to Believe again.
Halo 4 launches this fall on November 6th.