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Comparison of Halo to Call of Duty reasonable, gameplay significantly different, says Microsoft

By: Muhammad Qasim Hassan

  |   September 25th, 2012   |  
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It is not uncommon to find gamers drawing out comparisons between the immensely popular Halo and Call of Duty franchise.

As it turns out, Microsoft itself is not blind to the similarities between the two games and agrees that the comparisons are reasonable.

In an interview with GameSpot, the franchise director of the Halo series Frank O’Connor said that he did not find it strange to find gamers comparing the two franchises, especially taking into consideration the new loadout system in Halo 4.

He said that this loadout system is the main factor that causes the upcoming Halo game to be often compared to other first-person shooters. He contended that there is nothing unreasonable about holding this comparison since it is hard to ignore the effect of the loadout system on the progression system of the player in the game.

However, O’Connor went on to point out that the Halo franchise is not as similar to Call of Duty as many believe, especially because of the different balance of gameplay in the two games.

According to him, balance is one of the key things that the developer keeps in mind while working on a Halo game, whereas the Call of Duty games find players relying too much on big guns, which end up giving them a major advantage over their opponents, thus ruining the experience and odds.

“I think the real difference is that Halo is built on a notion of really balanced gameplay. I love Black Ops, for example, and in Black Ops I’m always trying to get to a weapon; my eyes are always on that prize. And it will be a very, very powerful weapon,” O’Connor added. “Halo is really more about survival encounters, rather than getting the drop on someone or winning through having a bigger gun. And also using the things you’ve learned on the battlefield.”

While acknowledging the fact that unlocking new weapons and abilities would make things a bit easier for the players in Halo 4, the effect would not be as significant or gaming changing as one would expect in a Call of Duty game.

Reducing the impact of getting possession of bigger guns is something that can backfire as far as Halo 4 is concerned as this puts the weapons at a risk of losing their appeal. After going through a great deal of trouble to get hands on a certain weapon and getting very little reward in return is bound to make the player feeling a bit empty.

With Halo 4, the first title in the new “Reclaimer Trilogy,” set to arrive on November 6 and the Call of Duty: Black Ops II to hit the market a week later, gamers would themselves be able to judge if the comparison between the two games is indeed a valid one and whether the gameplay balance is affected by the big guns in a way that O’Connor has mentioned.