For those who don't understand why Halo 4 is considered to be such a poor game:
Originally Posted by GhaleonEB
This is the bottom line.
Juices over in the Community side once said something that described the fundamental problem with what 343 did in making Halo 4. To paraphrase, they were chasing a group of players they are never going to catch - CoD - and lost Halo fans along the way. Now they've got almost no one.
I loved Halo, passionately. It was the reason, alone, I bought a 360. I put more time into Halo 3 than any other game, ever, until that time. Nightly romps in matchmaking, GAF custom game nights, picture stories (and later, video) were swapped daily. I made the GAF OT's for the Halo 3 Beta, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Reach, Halo: CEA and Halo 4.
I gave Halo 4 away for free to a GAFer a few months after it came out, after not playing it for a few months before that. (Foolishly, I had bought the LE; I never redeemed the codes that came with it, and gave those away, too.) I'm buying a PS4 for next gen and will never own a new Halo game. The game is that bad.
343's first and biggest mistake was failing utterly to understand what made Halo, Halo.
Exhibit A: Instant respawn. Halo's combat is designed around a certain pacing. There's a cadence of combat, reprieve, shield recharge, and then re-engagement. Getting cleaned up by that guy you just killed because they respawned instantly, before your shields could recharge broke that cadence entirely.
Exhibit B: Global and Personal Ordnance. Goodbye, map control. Goodbye, rallying your team by securing that rocket launcher and taking out a vehicle. Goodbye, knowing what power weapons the other team has. Goodbye, any semblance or pretension of balance. Goodbye, fun.
Exhibit C: Flinch. Through the rise of CoD, Battlefield and other shooters, Halo has always been the game that prioritized combat clarity. It was the game that didn't screw with your ability to see during combat: no aim down sights, no strawberry jelly on the screen, no visual impairment from explosions. It was also that game that didn't add layers of interference and pushback to its weapon mechanics. Targeting reticule are stable as you move, (used to be) stable when firing, and stable when you were hit. The skill was learning how to use weapons, when to use them, and how to survive encounters of longer than normal duration.
Between the long range of the DMR and the addition of flinch, much of the combat was reduced to grappling with a bucking targeting reticule. That's not fun, or balanced, in any way. It's frustrating. It's my most hated addition to the game, over and above the horribleness that is....
Exhibit D: Perks. Prior to Reach, when you shot someone, or began an action, you could expect a certain action to follow it. I know I can four shot this guy; I know a grenade will strip shields and a head shot will kill. I know this dudes movement options, and that I have him cornered. I know if I get the jump on someone I have the advantage.
Enter perks, and all that goes out the window. When I EMP this vehicle, I wonder how effective it will be? When I engage this guy with the DMR, I wonder how stable his reticle is compared to mine? I wonder how fast this guy's shields recharge, or how fast he can reload, or how many shots he takes to kill? It breaks our ability to mange combat and make smart decisions, and reduces a lot of it to dumb luck. Shucks, I didn't think he had Stability on. Oh well! Better luck next time; maybe I'll run into some dudes where my perk selections give me the leg up next time.
And then they compounded perks, as other systems introduce problems. Hmm, adding the plasma pistol to loadouts totally breaks the vehicle balance. Let's add a perk to reduce the EMP stun! Let's add a mechanic like flinch - removing de-scoping for some reason - and then bring in a perk to partly offset it. Because balance or something.
Just one layer after another of decisions diametrically opposed to Halo's core combat design. Strip all of it away, and that core is pretty good. But you don't play the core, you play it all, and it was a terrible, unfun experience. The population flight looks like throngs of people buying the game, and then recoiling from it in response.
I'm ignoring the campaign, the horrible UI, the awfulness that was Spartan Ops (though to be fair I only played the first three episodes) and the gimped feature set (RIP campaign Theater), not to mention the poor post-launch support (which Fyre covered in the superb OP). But those are surely factors as well.
I hope Halo 5 goes back to Halo's roots and is aimed at Halo fans rather than trying to poach features of other games. But those DLC perks do not inspire confidence.