Thanks for your reply. It's interesting to read, because we basically come to the exact same concusions... for the exact opposite games. I could basically return almost every sentence to you, with the names of the games flipped. When playing ODST, "[t]he movement and basic weapon mechanics are roughly the same, and therefore feel instantly familiar to me" (which was to expected, with the game built on the same code as Halo 3) but I absoluteley disagree that "the basic mechanics are about the same" in Reach, given that Reach had bloom and sprint, amongst the rest of the AAs, all of which ODST was lacking. Which ironically is the entire point of this thread: Games with sprint do not play the same as those without.
I also find it... well, interesting, that you mention the same criteria for both of these games, namely health, movement and jumping, yet come to different conclusions on how familiar they feel. It even goes so far that, if I remove the titles from the quotes, you couldn't tell which game you are talking about:
when I actually got to play the game, while I was clearly playing a game derived from Halo 3, your character was significantly weaker in many ways: health, movement, jump height, grenade throws.
the basic mechanics are about the same with marginally smaller movement speed and jump height. The health system is noticeably different, but it's still directly inspired by CE.
Consequently, I move slightly slower and jump slightly lower, but not enough for it to make meaningful difference in gameplay.
I mean, yeah, ODSTs movement was even slower than Reach's, but other than that, I hardly felt any difference between both games (in terms of changed parameters, that is). Jump height and "shields" (put in airquotes because of ODSTs stamina system) were gimped roughly the same amount. It's more the added
mechanics that distinguish these games to me. All in all, I feel like ODST was sort of a trial run for Reach, they changed as much as they could within reasonable development time (cutting dual-wield, small changes to the movement, VISr, etc.), but then they went completely all out for Reach (AAs, bloom, night vision, assassinations,...)
Sure, the game was meant for the same target audience - but then again, so was Halo Wars. Could it have been even more different than it was? Of course. But I don't consider "it could be worse" an argument, in any discussion. Plus, if A Blue Illusion and CUSTARDP00DLETK are to believed, they seemingly wanted to throw in all of those mechanics that were initially meant
for Halo, but didn't work. So that would explain why it's still remotely similar to its predecessors, with Bungie not purposely trying to turn the apple on its head, but also not wanting to make another game following the Halo formula. Although I have to admit, I've never seen this alleged source, otherwise I would have used it as an argument in that farce of a discussion with Comedic Hermit, way back when.
In the end, I guess we'll never see eye to eye on this. It's actually kind of funny, because that last quote, "Consequently, I move slightly slower and jump slightly lower, but not enough for it to make meaningful difference in gameplay." is almost word for word exactly how I feel about ODST. But still, thanks for the reply. As I've already said, if anything, it was an interesting read...