With the recent announcement that the original Halo 2 ranking system is to be used throughout every game within The Master Chief Collection, a lot (and I mean a lot) of gamers were happy with 343 Industries decision to do this. Why? Well, it means we are finally able to play Halo once again with a competitive edge, even Halo: Combat Evolved, which had no online multiplayer what so ever on the original Xbox, and even more Halo 4 will have a true 1-50 levelling system. It can’t be denied the competitive side of Halo has declined in recent years, mainly due to Halo Reach with its abandonment of a true ranking system, instead we got this ‘Arena’ thing that just didn’t work well as well as a ‘get credits, level up’ system, which completely stripped any competitive gameplay, at least online. Halo 4 looked pretty in terms of its visual appeal, but still offered little for the more competitive gamer.
But all of that is changing, and whilst it’s still unclear as to what approach Halo 5: Guardians will take, we do know it will focus on competitive arena-like gameplay, and will most likely feature a ranking system much like the one in Halo 2 and Halo 3. It’s all guess work, but considering the fact 343 Industries actually decided to implement an old system that actually worked fine back then into games that didn’t have it in the first place i.e. Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 4, this is a sure sign the focus for the future of Halo lies in the competitive realm.
Where does the casual player come into all this? There’s still going to be social playlists and gametypes, ensuring everyone is still having a good time, no matter how they decide to play the game. The competitive player can look forward to individual ranked playlists and a real sense of accomplishment once again.