If you dare, go find any current article about gaming trends and go to the comments section. Scroll through them long enough and I can guarantee two things: You’ll be very depressed by the time you finish and you will find at least five people bitching about the battle royale craze. Nothing pisses these people off more than finding out that other people enjoy something they hate, so let’s get started.
I think battle royale would be a perfect fit for the Halo series! Would this be a cash-in? You bet your ass it would. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work. Halo is very much a shooter, and so is pretty much every BR game (side note: I just realized BR could also stand for Battle Rifle. For the purposes of this writing, it will only stand for Battle Royale). Let’s go over a few reasons it would be a blast to jump into a massive map with ninety-nine other Spartans for a fight to the death.
Almost all of the game mechanics already exist.
(Please note: I will be using PUBG as a basis for a lot of my points.)
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a game in which you jump out of a plane and land somewhere on a large island. You have no guns, backpacks, or armor on you at the start of a match. There are vehicles, weapons, and other pieces of gear scattered around the map that you must utilize to become the last person or squad alive. In fact, vehicles are essential to most players who land outside the initial safe zone.
Since vehicles are already a huge part of Halo combat, this would be a pretty easy thing to include in a Halo BR. Additionally, it would make for a better on-wheels combat experience than PUBG, due to almost all of the vehicles having weapons. Imagine rolling up to another squad having your friend in the back punch them in the face with bullets. What about going solo and dancing with another ghost, melting each other with plasma until one of you explodes? I’m in.
Up next is looting. Halo has always been based on weapon pickups rather than loadouts (with the exception of H4) so players would already be accustomed to that. Then there’s inventory. This is where Halo would probably differ from PUBG due to it’s very basic inventory system. I hate to say it, but it would most likely have to follow Fortnite, allowing a small number of weapon slots rather than backpacks that store items based on weight.
Lastly, any Halo player can load up Forge and slap a killzone into their custom maps, with options for ista-kill or damage-over-time effects. Tweaking the feature to make it shrink at certain increments probably wouldn’t be a massive undertaking.
The point I’m trying to make is that in the grand scheme of things, it wouldn’t take much to make a BR game mode for Halo. The biggest workload would probably be the creation of the actual map, which brings me to my next point…
Halo lore is ripe for map opportunities.
With over ten games encompassing the Halo universe, as well as multiple books, comics, and even an audio drama, there are countless locations that could be used as a BR space. And considering Halo 4 and 5 have used simulations in the multiplayer portion of the game, they could take the same route to avoid screwing with canon.
New Mombasa Ruins: Why don’t we open a BR match with the Infinity flying over the ruins of New Mombasa? Spartans can bail out of that bad boy in an ODST drop pod and the battle can commence. They will battle through the portion of the city that was damaged the most, as well as the still-intact areas seen in Halo 3: ODST, with some outskirts thrown in for good measure.
High Charity: This big floating mushroom would offer a great mixture of open areas and close-quarters spaces, with plenty of areas where Spartans would have to watch their step if they want to get that chicken ration.
Island: The two biggest BR games utilize islands for their maps, so this one would be a no-brainer. It would just need that good old Halo feel. Luckily, there is already an island that could be used as a reference point, and it happens to be in one of the most beloved campaign missions ever. What if we had a huge version of the island from The Silent Cartographer? Don’t tell me this one isn’t giving you a Battle Royale Boner.
Harvest: Aside from a criminally underappreciated map in Halo 4, Harvest has never gotten any love in the games. This is where humanity first made contact with the Covenant, so it’s got a buttload of significance. Being a planet that is known for farming, it would lend itself well to the kind of area already established in PUBG. Plenty of farms and small villages and maybe an ominous ONI facility on its own little slice of land off to the side.
BR would be a great addition to an already amazing multiplayer suite.
Halo 5 currently has Arena, Breakout, SWAT, Big Team Battle, Warzone, Warzone Firefight, Infection, and Super Fiesta. Why not add Battle Royale?
As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of online trolls and butthurt assclowns who bemoan the current BR craze. Apparently they’re unaware that they could go spend their time playing the kinds of games they like rather than bitching about something online that they could easily avoid. The thing about BR is that it is essentially just a multiplayer mode, just like king of the hill and capture the flag. Can you imagine people complaining about “yet another team deathmatch” in a game? Battle royale is popular for a reason, so of course a lot of developers are going to want to make their own version. I don’t see a problem with that.
I have full faith that 343 could make their own version of the gametype and give it that unique Halo feel as well.
It would hold us over until Halo 6.
The next Halo game has yet to be announced. While it’s expected that we will see a reveal at E3 next weekend, it’s probably still at least a year away. Until that time comes, an entirely new game mode like BR would be the key to getting people back into Halo 5 and keeping interest high until the next proper installment.
Halo 5 has some of the best FPS multiplayer of this console generation, but it has been out for nearly three years now. Without any significant updates in the last two years, people have understandably moved on to newer things. Even I can’t hop into the multiplayer for more than a few games at a time nowadays.
So let’s stop being so negative about this battle royale trend and embrace it. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be critical of the developers who do cash in on it, though. If 343 does this, it needs to still feel like Halo. So let’s bring some of these Spartans back, because many of them aren’t dead.
They’re just missing in action.