Halo game: Reach PC
I was never invited to the Halo Reach MCC flights and if I was, I probably would've written an entire novel about all my problems with the given feature set before launch, little late now but I’ll do my best to breakdown my thoughts in the least belittling way I can muster (sorry in advance).
Don't get me wrong the fundamental gameplay is spot on, besides the slight input delay which we already knew that was going to be a small issue at launch and from what I’ve noticed, is barely noticeable. Considering the sort amount of time put into that fix it looks surprisingly borderline flawless. That being said many of the quality of life features that the original game possessed and I expected are just straight-up absent. Even features that MCC previously had on the console but apparently Halo Reach MCC doesn't, specifically on PC as I’m unsure if that’s a thing on console. That is voting for a map, or even vetoing a map. Why are these features not in the game? I don't want to play Downlinked 20 times in a row, or honestly even at all. At the very least give me the ability to select which maps I can queue, or maybe even group some maps together to maintain queue times simply so I don’t get stuck with the same three maps over and over again. Honestly gets incredibly boring really REALLY quickly, and it’s only the third day I’ve been playing. Not even nostalgia can carry me through this one.
Alongside this, if I'm queuing a 4v4 gamemode (such as SWAT), if I don't hit the "Back" button within the first 2 seconds of finishing my game it'll stop working and instantly throw me back into another game. To follow this up, if you leave you supposedly receive a penalty. Completely unreasonable in my opinion, especially if I want to read the stats page after the previous game. For whatever reason, if I then needed to leave after my match to sleep or go to work on time, I can’t without receiving a penalty since I’ve just been thrown into another 12-minute game, essentially ruining the entire game for my 3 teammates since my personally allotted gameplay time has been exceeded. This has happened to me on a few occasions now, I’m not happy about it, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
This brings me onto my next issue, maybe autofill players into matches that are missing players. If the aforementioned scenario occurs to two of my teammates (which shouldn’t be an issue to begin with) pushing my SWAT game into a 2v4 scenario, there is honestly no hope of winning the game, and it just becomes AFK worthy. All map control is lost so getting shot from every angle at the same time is inevitable. Horrible experience.
Further elaborating, we find the game presets, and their accompanying map selections. I don’t know who decided to make every map that was popular disappear from the queue but it was the worst idea ever. When queuing big team battle, I get Tempest every time, brilliant. No Spire? No Hemorrhage? Just Tempest or High Noon every game? Is this a god damn joke? Are these staple maps given a 0.01% chance of appearing or am I the unluckiest person alive. Easy fix, MAKE A POLE SO THE COMMUNITY CAN VOTE FOR THEIR FAVOURITE MAPS AND WEIGHT THOSE ACCORDINGLY. Tip for anyone reading who wants to play Spire, queue Invasion because that’s the only map pool that hasn’t been a complete disaster. Back to Big Team Battle, what made this an amazing gamemode wasn’t the 8v8 gameplay, it was the vast array of weapons and vehicles that the maps had to offer alongside the action packed spontaneous gameplay that followed. Getting 2 friends online and all jumping in a warthog in Hemorrahage to get annihilated by a revenant is one of my fondest memories. Thinking I could relive such a grand memory in a remastered game was blissful ignorance on my part. I’ve never seen Hemorrahage on MCC, and I don’t think I ever will since I’m not queuing BTB with a 0.01% chance of being put on a decent map with no veto to then get stuck in a 15 minute game where I constantly think “gee maybe next game I’ll get a cool map”. Looking back, how gullible was I? Very, since it never happened… at all… and I’m three whole days into playing. Same issue with 4v4 gamemodes with maps like Downlinked. This is slightly subjective, but that’s why we need a pole so the community as a whole can have a say.
Onto the menu itself we find the mess that is armour customisation. This feature was honestly the most fulfilling experience to receive credits and spend them on whatever armour I wanted, in any order I wanted, via the original game. I read that 343 are aware of this feedback already so I won’t touch on it too much, however in 360 Reach, you could inspect players in the lobby to see both their rank, rank name and see a little preview of their spartan. Sadly, this is no longer a thing, making the whole, “showcasing my hard work” such a negligible feature that I don’t even care what my character looks like anymore. I’m literally the only person who can see it properly. I’d love to be able to see what rank names people have in game too. Since the Halo Reach ranks were so memorable from all the occasions where I was inspecting higher ranked players and desiring to be that rank and desiring to unlock that little robot arm, you know the one I’m talking about right? Yeah that one. Yeah now it doesn’t even matter because only you can see it. Maybe it’s a cool sense of accomplishment for some people, but since it’s so linear, everyone will have that exact thing eventually that only you can see. I remember almost all of the early ranks, Recruit, Sergeant, Warrant Officer, Captain, Major, Lt Colonel, General etc (probably missed a few, they’re just the memorable ones for me). The new ranks just aren’t intuitive and despite being a “Tour 1 First Lieutenant” in MCC, I can’t remember the names of any of the ranks that came prior. Side note: some clarity on the rank list/order and what “Tour 1” actually means would be greatly appreciated. Second side note: What even is a rival, and what does that even do?
To conclude, so many quality of life features are just missing it’s mind boggling. The original game had all this stuff nailed to a tee, which is why everyone loved it. Taking something that worked and removing/tweaking core features leaves a sour taste that can’t be scrubbed. Just remember, most people buying this game are doing it for the nostalgia, that’s your key market. So let matchmaking be as SIMILAR to the original as possible. Again, the gameplay is solid and you can see the hard work gone into that, all these other features have just been apparently lost in the infinite void that is time or just neglected from the experience entirely. Overall, I’m just disappointed. Expectations very rarely correlate to reality and this is a prime example. None the less, I’ll continue playing since this is the best I’ve got, and 343 knows that so I fear these issues will remain unchanged. This makes me fear what the future holds for CE, 2, 3, ODST and 4.