| |

Top 4 Kickass Features I Want in Halo 4

Halo 4 is the first chapter in an all-new

Halo triology, now developed by 343 Industries.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

This latest installment will finally reveal the

fate of Master Chief (and his AI companion

Cortana) following the events of Halo 3. Just

this week, Microsoft announced that Halo 4 will

launch November 6 – making 2012 that much

sweeter for anyone with an Xbox 360.

Halo 4 - GI art

I’ll admit that I wasn’t thrilled about Halo

4 when it was revealed at E3 last summer – in

fact, I joked that George Lucas must have taken

over the development of the franchise. Now that

some of the juicy details of Halo 4 have

actually been confirmed, I feel completely

different – “elated” would be an accurate

description. Everything that I have seen – the

trailers, teasers, Conan’s video, Game

Informer’s huge preview – has brought back that

Halo-loving side of me that I thought I’d never

see again after being crushed with

disappointment by Halo: Reach.

All this exciting Halo 4 news makes me

wonder; what new features will we see in Halo 4?

Obviously, the multiplayer concept was explored

in the GI preview, but what gameplay mechanics

will make Halo 4 stand out from its

predecessors? Here are the four kickass features

I would love to see implemented into Halo 4 by

343 Industries:

#4. Dynamic Melee Abilities

Halo 4 - melee
Right in the


Although the melee attack in the Halo games

has always been a trusty method for dispatching

opponents, it has always been pretty basic –

press the melee button, thwack whatever happens

to be in front of you. This changed slightly

when the sword was introduced in Halo 2, with

the crazy lunges that could be pulled off – and

even further in Halo 3, with the addition of

“melee-swiping” (pressing the melee button

rather than lunging) and clashing sword attacks.

I think this idea needs to be taken further

with all melee weapons, and possibly even the

close-range attacks for the entire arsenal of

firearms in Halo 4. Again, while I think the

melee mechanic actually works better in the Halo

games than any other shooter, I think it would

be pretty cool to see some of the close-quarters

abilities of the SPARTANS come alive.

I am not exactly sure how it could be

incorporated into the control scheme, but what

if Halo 4’s melee button didn’t immediately fire

off a punch, but instead you could hold the

button and flick the right analog stick in one

of the four basic directions to pull off

different attacks? This would obviously prevent

you from turning or looking up and down, but you

would definitely still be mobile and able to

strafe or back away if necessary.

To be honest, I

wouldn’t complain if the melee attack in Halo 4

was exactly the same as it has always been – but

I definitely think it would be sweet to see more

dynamic attacks in the close-quarters combat


3. All-New “Load-Out” System

Halo 4 - loadouts

load-outs will change Halo for the


It has already been confirmed that Halo 4

will utilize a “Load-Out” system, just like the

Call of Duty franchise (and almost every other

major FPS series in modern gaming). This is

actually one of the things I am most excited and

nervous about – I want to see 343 Industries do

something unique with the load-out system,

rather than simply copying the exact same

“primary/secondary/equipment/perks” system that

has been in everything since the first Modern

Warfare game.

My idea is this: what if Halo 4’s load-out

system worked somewhat like that of the

inventory management from Resident Evil 4 and 5,

where you have a grid with limited amount of

space (maybe even broken up into “squares”), and

your inventory is composed of whatever you

choose to fit into that grid. For example, say

you have a 3×3 grid to work with – potentially 9

inventory spaces. Perhaps the battle rifle takes

up four spaces, your grenades take up two, while

your active camo module and pistol fill up the

rest of the space. Obviously this is just an

example, I think there could be even more depth

added to the system.

When discussing this idea amongst other Halo

players, the topic of weapon attachments and so

on came up – we agreed that Halo 4 probably

shouldn’t focus so much on customizable weapons,

and instead it should direct its customizable

options to unique armor sets equipped by each

player. Perhaps certain armors – purchased with

credits, earned by playing matches online –

could allow you to have more inventory space;

maybe others could boost your ammo supply. I

would really like to see Halo 4 differentiate

this aspect of its multiplayer component from

the rest of the genre; though it’s only #3 on

this list, I think a unique load-out system like

the one I’ve proposed could be a really exciting

part of the Halo 4 Xbox Live experience.

2. Proper SPARTAN Movement

Halo 4 - dodge

always in Beast Mode.

Have you ever read the Halo novels? First of

all, if you never read Fall of Reach and you

enjoy the Halo video games, stop reading this

and pick that up immediately. Once you’ve

returned, you’ll understand something that is

actually somewhat disappointing about the Halo

video games: despite being pretty accurately

modeled as an 8-foot tall supersoldier, Master

Chief (and all SPARTANS, for that matter) has

never really reflected the acrobatic abilities

that all SPARTANS have in the novels.

In the Halo novels, a SPARTAN is more skilled

than a parkour master, Olympic gymnast, and

martial artist combined. With all the genetic

enhancements, even the bulky armor suit

shouldn’t prevent a SPARTAN from kicking every

ass on the planet with ease, not to mention

smoothly navigating just about every surface and

obstacle in his or her path. Rather than being

somewhat slow and lofty, I feel like Master

Chief should be more like the character from

Crysis 2 – nimble, quick on his feet, and

definitely capable of grabbing a ledge and

pulling himself up without breaking a sweat.

Halo 4 really needs to implement a smooth

system of movement similar to that of Crysis 2

or even Brink, though I hate to muddy up this

editorial with discussion of such abomidable

games as Brink. One thing that it did very well

was movement; you were able to run around the

environment and vault over just about any

reasonably-sized obstacle, making the otherwise

terrible game feel pretty damn nice to control.

Since all players online have the ability to

sprint at any time, why not make the general

feeling of movement more acrobatic and fast-

paced? This idea goes very well with #4 on this

list (dynamic melee mechanics), and could make

Master Chief feel as much like a badass during

gameplay as he is during all those awesome cut-


#1. Spot-Dodge

Halo 4 - movement
What if you

could dodge fatal attacks?

Imagine you’re playing a heated round of Team

Slayer. Some crafty jerk on the other team

scooped up the SPARTAN Laser, and has been

picking off your teammates left and right. You

spot a sniper rifle out in the open, but that

bastard sees it – and he’s just waiting to blow

you to smithereens if you foolishly take the


But what if you could put those awesome

SPARTAN acrobatics to use in yet another

incredibly useful way? Even better, what if this

mechanic required skill to pull off effectively,

serving as a legitimate “risk-reward” gameplay

concept? What if you could just press a button,

and at the very last second, roll to the side or

leap into the air and dodge the laser blast?

The “Spot-Dodge”, as I like to call it, was

actually one of the ideas I wanted to see most

in Halo: Reach, but obviously it never happened.

I have actually debated this idea with some of

my most hardcore, Halo-loving friends, and all

of us seem to agree that it would be pretty cool

to be able to pull off a maneuver that allows

you to survive certain one-hit-kill attacks,

such as the charged SPARTAN laser and even the

rocket launcher. Obviously there would need to

be limitations; one idea was that you could only

pull off the dodge ability if you were facing

the attacker. Perhaps you could even pull off

the dodge multiple times in a row – that could

potentially make Team Rockets/Lasers games even

more insane than they already are.

So, what do you think about all of

these ideas? What are your thoughts on Halo 4 in

general? Let us know how you feel in the

comments section! I’d love to engage in some

discussion and speculation about Halo 4!