Adding on to the sad news about Halo 2 PC’s servers being shut down, Halo 4 has dropped down to 4th place on the Xbox Live activity charts. With 343 putting Spartan Ops on hold, and with the disappointment of their first map pack, players are gradually losing interest of what is supposedly the “Best Xbox 360 Game of 2012”.
Why does this seem like a big deal? Halo 3 wrestled for the top spot with the countless COD titles for about 2 years. Halo: Reach started dropping the charts around 12 months after its release date, the same time Gears 3 released. It’s not surprising that Black Ops 2 and Minecraft are battling it out for 1st place, but with the takeover by FIFA 13, I’m surprised Halo 4 dropped just after 2 months.
What’s happening with Halo 4? I don’t say that as a dramatic Halo-nerd, but what has seriously happened in the past 2 months after its release?
- Halo 4 Tops the Live Activity Charts for a week, until it is overtaken by Black Ops and soon, Minecraft. 343 continues to release new CG episodes (which are amazing) and missions for Spartan Ops and continuously update the War Games Playlists.
- A lot of game-breaking bugs/glitches were fixed, but some players still complained about particular weapons not being nerfed. By the time of the Crimson Map pack, people had difficulties downloading from the in-game store, and players also had problems getting access to Specialization codes.
- With the second half of Spartan Ops continuing a month later, and with many players disliking the new maps, Halo 4’s multiplayer takes a drastic turn, also with the File Share system still not working, and the lack of customization in Custom Games and a Ranking system.
- The Infinity Challenge has been running the past month, which gives the most dedicated Halo 4 fans a chance to win awesome prizes, and even a Halo 4 customized truck. But with competitions like these, there’s bound to be countless numbers of cheaters/boosters, which just ruins the whole competitive experience.
- As of today, there is still no Ranking system, even though it was announced, and the lack of ‘fun’ Playlists like Grifball and Action Sack make multiplayer really repetitive and boring. The custom games community is suffering without a proper File Share system and game customisability, and most importantly, there are still people moping on about how good previous Halo installments were.
Don’t get me wrong, I still miss Halo 3. But with the same map rotations and steady gameplay, its hard not to lose interest in Halo 4. Also, what I personally enjoyed about previous Halo titles was playing online with my brothers and relatives – none of them, besides me, play Halo 4 now – which is extremely disappointing.
In their recent bulletins, Frank O’connor admits “There are a ton of things we wish we’d done better: Features that didn’t make it into the final game. Glitches that emerged. Missteps made. DLC fiascos. Communication breakdowns.” But along with these problems, there have been many high points for 343 in the past year, from Halo Anniversary, Forward Unto Dawn, to their VGA and IGA awards. 343 have showed us how much they care for the franchise, and their dedication to make the best Halo game.
Also emphasizing on how much the community means to them, 343 have announced specific dates to when new features and Halo 4 content are set to release which include, Spartan Ops Episodes 6-10, the Majestic Map pack (which includes two small and one medium sized maps…YES!), playlist updates such as Grifball, Team Doubles and a Forge Test playlist, which shows off community creations. Also, specializations will be unlocked for everyone by the time the new DLC releases, and also the fix for the File Share system will roll out by the end of this month.
Hopefully all these fixes to Halo in the next two months will bring players back. Its been a really slow start to Halo 4, but with the constant updates to make Halo 4 a better game, I hope players give it another chance, especially those who are still on the Halo 2/3 bandwagon.