Halo Vs Black Ops: “Room for two great experiences” – Halo Dev
Halo 4 and Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 release a week apart. Who will come out on top? We chat to Halo 4′s creative director, Josh Holmes, to find out…
Both, if you’re anything like us, but we’ll admit that might not be possible for everyone.
We spoke to Halo 4′s creative producer, Josh Holmes, to find out what it’s like going up against Call Of Duty and how Halo 4 is changing Bungie’s longstanding multiplayer for the better…
X360: Halo 4 comes out a week before Call Of Duty: Black Ops II, are you worried the games are going to clash?
Josh Holmes: Someone sent me a trailer for that [Black Ops 2] recently, I looked at it excited to see what the game was looking like and it turned out to be a big joke trailer! [laughs]
But, I did see the real trailer and I think Treyarch has made some fantastic games in the past and I’m sure this will be no different. I think there’s room for two great experiences and we’re just really excited to see the culmination of the years that we’ve been putting into Halo 4 finally coming to fruition and we’re excited to release it. I hope that the fans are excited to play it.
X360: Why did you think it was important that Halo 4 dressed everything up in the world’s narrative?
Holmes: One of the things that the narrative does for you is give you a grounding for the experience. It’s one of the ways as human beings we teach people things – through storytelling. Story and narrative to us are great teaching tools. It allows players to come in and recognise the rules of Halo and its world and how everything works. The more that we can tell the player through the narrative and prepare people for multiplayer so that they can be successful quickly, the more likely it is that they’ll stick around and become part of the community.
X360: Why is Halo 4 attempting to entice new players to the series and how are you doing this?
Holmes: From the beginning there’s been a philosophy of expanding the experience to as many people as possible. If only for the fact that the larger community you have playing the game the better the experience is. There’s a recognition that there’s a real difference between player knowledge and skill and in a lot of cases there’s a lot of secret knowledge that gives players a massive advantage against another player. You can be highly skilled and enter into a Halo match for the first time and because they don’t know where the rocket launcher spawns or they don’t understand some of the nuances of the game, they come in and get completely destroyed and dominated. As a result, they get very frustrated.
For us it’s been about stripping away those layers of hidden knowledge and put players on an even footing so that a player can come in and understand the rules of the game and be successful. This allows skill to shine through and that’s our philosophy. It is a little different to the way Halo games have approached multiplayer in the past and I know it’s going to be one of things that’s hotly debated within the community. But, we feel really confidant that this decision is the right move based on the testing that we’ve done and makes for a much more fun experience for everyone.
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