With the release of Halo 4 only a week apart from Black Ops 2, one should wonder whether these titans will overshadow one another. While the games are wildly different from a visual perspective, they share a lot in common. They both have a knack for interesting single player campaigns and both feature multiplayer that has e-sports in mind (though to varying degrees). Let’s run the list:
- Planned DLC
- HALO 4
- Narrative Focus With Varied Enemies
- Varied and Expanding PlayLists
- Special PlayLists and Ranking
- 1yr paid and free
- Distant Future
- Black Ops 2 (COD)
- Narrative Focus with Varied Guns *
- Focus with Many PlayLists *
- Intended Purpose of Multiplayer
- Approx 1yr paid
- Near Future
To say that either game could overtake the other in the long run is a bit short sighted in my mind. Truly Halo will be able to have some dominance in the 360 market but that will be matched by Call of Duty and overshadowed overall due to Call of Duty’s support across other consoles. Either way, it’s still worth sizing them up as though they are two sides of the same coin.
The best place to start is with the Multiplayer as both of the games derive much from the designs intended for friend on friend on stranger interactions.
What this comes down to in simple terms is Halo is slow whereas COD is fast. Looking at that alone you find the first generalization that an outsider would use to lump them together.
The big difference is exactly how you kill someone or as Battle Field players say “Knowing how to kill”. This however is a misnomer. In Call of Duty, you need to know how the maps predict where people will be and know how your path interacts with others. In Halo, your method comes down to less about paths and memorization and more contextual motion.
I think the Halo Motion tracker embodies the big difference in multiplayer. Where the Call of Duty mini map tells you where people are and essentially shows you which paths are now occupied, the Halo Motion tracker instead says this is where something happened or where someone is moving.
This makes a world of difference in play and how the games function. Where this contextual data can be enormously helpful in Call of Duty (I enjoyed its presence in Black Ops), it’s not part of the default layout of Call of Duty and is not always included. The reason it’s not persistently available is because contextual data means less in Call of Duty where players are expected to get things like map exploration down to a reflex and not the jungle gym of death Halo is built upon.
Contextual combat means Halo has to be a bit slower in order for players to adapt to a persistently random situation. Call of Duty however is based more on reacting to predicted variables. Because of this Call of Duty is faster since less on the battle field is a variable (short of jerks with helicopters and nukes).
I fall on the side of Halo because the added random acts as a balancing agent in my mind where Call of Duty often breaks the balance with DLC guns.
This may not be immediately clear but there is a difference beyond laser beams between how guns work in either game.
It’s basically the reflex to aim that comes with basic AIM Then SHOOT compared to the Halo hipfire, unless at long range tactics which is alien to the modern “realistic shooter”. Originally this was an artifact of the late 90s shooter which used this method in a uniform way. While shooters back then were not necessarily slower than they are today, they didn’t train you to reflexively aim down the barrel.
The reason I focus on this is because while one intends for you to notice everything, the other intends for you to have tunnel vision and even builds maps to that end.
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The general idea behind good multiplayer maps is to create interactions which players can use to get the drop on each other. The reason I bring this up is because in Halo these interactions are designed to force the player to look up and down, to keep the player on his toes about his surroundings. Call Of Duty, on the other hand, builds its maps so that players can maximize the gun they are using, long hallways and such allow for snipers and various guns to be maximized in their use (Ra55aSS surprise from yours truly).[/box]
Halo 4 vs Black Ops 2 | Console vs Developer
The real interesting part about this is the fact Halo has dominated the Xbox since the game’s conception which is why it’s no surprise that Black Ops 2 might suffer from a poor turn out on the Xbox. Microsoft knows this and could have moved the release date. However what we have is these games in such close proximity that they must compete within their market for user share.
I’d say “Well it’s Black Ops and most COD fans only wig out over the MW releases these days,” but the justification there is that Treyarch multiplayer isn’t what fans of the series tend to prefer.
I’m sticking to Halo myself because even if it is a war of personal preference, I still can’t wrap my head around levelling the same guns over and over again via prestige.